All morning she counts the beat of crickets until the
grass makes a noise like scrunched paper. Ants take
a turn over the hump of her foot. Heat curls the air away
from trees and the call of a shrike is snatched, blurred.
Her eyes stream the fizzling sun, turn the brown paddocks
fealty and behind the forest’s scalp the throb of machine is
palpable, read by touch, its faltering efforts swaying time
until the high straight trunk falls, pounds to the ground,
the epicentre of a quake, silence sticky in the aftermath …
… clean sheets slide, a territory of wide rock, plateau of wood
and earth, sweat; grass more ascorbic, the prickle of warmth
deep in her lungs, head sinking into pillow. Downstairs, pots
are clanking, water runs, a knife hammers. She falls again as
if from a height to her straightened position, her cleaved post.
Light burns like fuel: match-heads, sparklers.
Training an eye, she wonders if it’s possible to see
the dark move in. There’s a section in the garden seeping
purple: changing from oak-green to mint to lavender.
The land has been cleared, but inside there’s mouse-shit in
the shadows especially where the floors meet the wall.
Lifting her head to calls, she glimpses the last of the light. It
shifts in metal slides like blades spinning, and there’s
sweeping, the harrying of clutter, a banging broom, clashing
plate, the music of cutlery. ‘It’s ready,’ says a caller.
Shimmying across the bed of cool hard slate, the dark
shortens her grasp. She stands to a dizzying height.
- 97: PROPAGANDASUBMIT NOW with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill & J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones