“Our bodies are mysterious because they are alive.”
-Dr. Doris Taylor, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair at the University of Minnesota
A “ghost heart,” she calls it.
Lifeless, suspended in a glass dome
The lab is full of them.
Time pings off the glass like a swarm of insects
at night—yet inside there is no night.
No rhythm. No sleep. No end.
She rinses the dead heart,
injects its rubbery walls with stem cells,
flips the old organs like houses.
In the lab they speak of hearts
as “dead” or “alive.” Meaning what? Is there such
thing as the life
of a heart, a heart-like life? If so, it’s possible that a dead one
wouldn’t even be a heart anymore. It wouldn’t be any kind of thing.
A “ghost” then, as she calls it,
if we can speak of the body and not just the spirit
When she filled the first heart
with living cells, it didn’t start beating
immediately. A tiny pacemaker was attached.
then Harald and Thomas called her from the lab.
A rosy flush
like dawn creeps into the flesh …
A stem cell
can divide indefinitely, and in this it resembles God.
It is necessary and sufficient for skin and bones and eyes and lungs,
teeth and hands and hair
But it is none of those things.
It’s might, maybe, perhaps, the incarnate what-if
of every organ, an idea in the flesh.
The lab fills with plums, ripening
in glass bells, the spell of death
slept off like a fairytale.
they hang like sleeping birds, like orchids,
like smoked meats,
cocoons, candied apples, like oysters yet to be plucked
from their shells.
They swell in imitation of a world
they don’t fully recall, waken to a future
we can barely imagine,
tiny beating hearts,
first fruit in the kingdom
of first fruit.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 91: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 90: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 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 Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan 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 Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance
- Review Short: Judith Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
- Melody Paloma Reviews Keri Glastonbury
- Submission to Cordite 91: NO THEME VIII
- Judith Bishop Reviews Phillip Hall’s Fume
- Bella Li on as Associate Publisher
- Alex Creece on as Production Editor
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- Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations
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- Jackie Ryan: Teaser to Burger Force 3
- Dispatch from the Future Fish
- Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC
- 7 Portraits by Ali Gumillya Baker
- Selections from 3 Yhonnie Scarce Series
- Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room
- To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’
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- Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane
- On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited
- Letter to Anne Carson: Work of Remembrance and Mourning
- Translated Extracts from Chantal Danjou
- Translations from Old English
- The Poets: Pejk Malinovski Self-translates