It was JB’s birthday, everyone was there but her ex, who I most wanted to see,
half-empty crystal glasses littering the table where confident guests circled
holding the half-full, the slosh of constant conversation, gesticulations,
moles, gold, you said to me I just love tonight, it’s the best night of my life
and I adored the overstatement because I’m always on your side, I said
Mine too though it came off as eager because I’m usually unsophisticated,
wish I was ten years older or younger than I am right now.
HK entered the room, the only one wearing a three-piece suit, and Lady B
was smoking cigarillos from a fancy silver flip-top case, twitching her nose
and scratching her leg – Do the streets feel like conveyor belts?
Do you miss your mother? What was the name of that album with the guy
holding the head of cabbage? – you reached into the volcano
of meatballs, flicked your wrist at the gherkins, cocked a brow
as Triple Threat scooped nuts from a bowl shaped like a penis and told us
she’d been to the sea, Just look at my tan! but she’s partial to make-up
that lightens her complexion, so yeah, when she walked away
in her red jumpsuit I thought of that giant cherry and spoon sculpture
in the city where my mother grew up; I do miss her, since you asked.
You were scanning, scanning, you’re always scanning, you once told me
you viewed the world as miniature snapshots sewn together with fine thread
then projected as a silent movie, Last night I crawled into bed at seven
o’clock and slept until nine this morning, I told you I was streaming
a documentary series and you said Oh I know, it can be so hard, the music
grew too loud for me to hear what you said next but when you nodded
toward the shirtless man throwing olives in the air then catching them
one by one in his mouth, I understood completely, half-thoughts
and absinthe shots, you said I’ll start craving milk around noon tomorrow
and I said, surprising you by touching your arm, That’s a marvellous idea for a poem.
- 109: NO THEME 12with C Maling & N Rhook 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C Lowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith 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