call me Hadrian’s, call me The Great,
name me ten-thousand more,
but never forget who urged your
hands away from neighbours,
who pushed your fingers into
the carnality of clay and gypsum
so I could stand, stand again—
—higher than a human shout,
a circle of motionless strength
to girdle every square and factory.
you have built bricks on every hour.
bricks in every utterance. bricks
that do not perspire, that form
an indivisible image of—
—a looted, etherised past.
so mix my slurry in dimness
and ignore your spinal ache,
your hips souring from the tilt.
ignore it. there is no rest. not till
the horizon is scaffolded; not till
the clouds themselves are fortified.
you’ve served beautifully.
so why do your children refuse the call?
why does your son find stepping stones across
why does your daughter plant flowers in
why do they ignore exigency? ignore my purity by partition?
—you must stop them. beg them
stop. they are pluck ing my slabs like cotton
from a doll. stop. they are crumbling down my mortar.
tapping out my quoins with bell hammers. I can
feel it. I feel a gaping breeze, sparrow flits,
the invasion of moss, curdled roots,
a brocade of ivy on my colourless rubble.
I am of Jericho. I am of Berlin. of history. I am
all that kneels down when the curtain rises.
- 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