Suppose your Grandfather,
metis in Trois Rivieres,
when a man comes up
saying: you can come down
there’s work in the velvet factory: food and pay.
Bring your boy. It’s better than the Jeffrey mine
This is easy
I’ll take you down on Wednesday
I’ll give you everything you need.
In the census of narrow laneways
Your grandfather gives his name: Telesphore
Which means bringing fulfillment
and bearing fruit. All untrue.
He says: At least in the mine you could come up for air
Each lung sapped black with the velvet mud
of the lower Pawtuxet. Which means
little falls, accident, lost man.
All of it true.
His boy carries him home.
I’ve got a birch trunk for a hip bone
thighs like willow,
one metatarsal pointed south.
You are low wheat, a sunlit rodeo
next to the Telluride mine.
And the next day dairymen
blocked the roads to Spain.
When I walked up Cadillac barefoot
the man watching the gate said:
I was a fisherman, but that’s done now.
All the big pines, down.
His name stitched like planets
each verb a consolation
and here, cruise ships in autumn
the deceit-heart of the banksia.
If I keep it honest, this picture includes
the ruin of the world. After the long haul
of sliced logs, the weight of white gold,
the uplift of the oldest sea.
And on the last day, we see
rock pools filled with
sheep bone, saltbush,
Penelope and all her maidens
shipwrecked in the red earth, a nest of bees.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and 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: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith 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