met the church
and powdered stones
the visible still
sits with time on its blood,
this hoary tropical day where
the sign proclaims Cuauhtemoc
fell to Jesus Christ on such and such a recent day.
Can all ruins look the same? Squint and the plaza
takes on a Celtic hue. The church grew like a lagoon from tidal stones
and the apartments grew from modern Aztecs. If God could wring the church
(of course he could) whose blood would soak the grass of distant modern ages? Idols have
a knack for coming back, coming back in time like an inescapable poetic rhyme
but proof of idol failure is pinned under lasered glass and man-made light
in the museum. There are three things here. I am imprisoned
by the new church with five minutes to close looking at imported nudes
and Canadian narcissisms when the spire, made of market stones, taps on
the plastic window. It’s closing time, the idols bearing stone fists, smash their prisons,
scamper to the windowsill and shimmy down the obliging cross to the bells, which
ring in soft haphazard tones as idol feet induce an ugly sway. And then to the
market and down the distant metro lines in all directions
to run forever and the glass bounces at my feet.
stumbles in. Sir, what does this mean, what did you do?
The world has turned to glass again, and we are stuck
above the ground in shadow buildings, looking
down at Tlatelolco, spongy ground, and steely sky
for there is no land for us, or ancient times
of heroes, and we have no gods to fail us
only numbered notes and flawless cameras
and we can only marvel at those
autochthonous dreams of other idols
where the church and market meet
and idol drums beat idol feet.
- 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