I am still half asleep when I stumble
towards the fridge, take two oranges
out of the crisper and find the sharp knife.
I slice them in half, then press the skin down
on the green glass dome, watching the juice flow
into the moat below the ridged hill, twisting
and twisting until I shift as much pulp as possible.
I tip the juice into a glass and put a slice of bread
into the toaster. The newspaper lies on the bench.
I notice a number of people standing upside down,
their heads where the ground should be. I grin
as I turn the paper around. Now, I see a man
lying on the ground, a man with long, messy hair
like mine. He is lying on his stomach, his head
turned to the side, an ear held upright, as if listening.
A stream of blood appears to begin beneath his head
and flow to the edge of the photograph. The blood
is furrowed, as if an afternoon wind is blowing
across the surface of a river. There’s a tiny white
island on the concrete, in the shape of a chilli,
which his blood has not swamped. A woman
reaches out to touch his arm below the press studs
of a rolled-up shirt, as if she’s searching for a pulse.
She has a leather bag slung over her shoulder
and the jacket tied around her waist is adorned
with these dinky cowgirl fringes. The blood
running over the concrete is darker than her hair
and darker than the shadows of the people
standing around the young man. I don’t know
what to say, what to think. My toast is cooling
in the toaster. I stare at my orange juice.
I stare at the ripple of blood that must now be
flowing beyond the border that marks the end
of the photograph and, in a strange way, its beginning.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with 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