Silence is always audible through the noise,
it’s your watching soul
disturbed. The buzzing city is a laminate
pressed upon awful stillness. You arrive
among a Ninja whispering of rain
under a riot of tyres at
Victoria Inn, 6-24 Dougashou.
In this lobby they’ve buried the body of the desert
in art deco
plush English furniture complete with upright
Agatha Christie phone – you’re in the Cotswolds
till in reception Japanese are bowing
as in the days of Queen Victoria,
when smuggled guns began this sad relationship
with high explosives.
In the lift’s quietness you ascend like God, aware
of an itchy skin rash on your ankles. Hotel soaps?
Room 412, you splash on lotion, rub it in
hang your soaking socks over the towel-rack,
then step into the shoes
of invading armies back five hundred years
that burned across Japan’s most Christian city.
Jesuit footfalls in the aisles
of this painted wooden church, modern veneer
on Armageddon. At Ground Zero you stand
before a high blackened chimney, potent as
Peace Park down the road, a shuttle-shuffle place
with photographs in tiers of floors to terrorise
the human spirit into peace while, blocks away
devotees hover in pachinko parlours
firing exploding rounds like they’re in Moscow,
New York, London – not in a nuclear graveyard.
The rain has stopped, the desert’s everywhere.
What do you do when you’re bombed back to the Stone Age?
You bury and rebuild, and learn to love
baseball. Now, in the silent lobby, waiting
for the bus, you’re thinking it could be
yesterday, or Nineteen-Fortyfive, serene,
two minutes past eleven.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 92: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 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 Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan 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 Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Review Short: Iris Fan Xing’s South of Words
- Aidan Coleman Reviews New and Selected Poems of Anna Wickham
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can
- Editorial to AFRO AUSTRALIAN
- 4 Works by Guled Abdulwasi
- The Platonic Split
- you have no idea how far i swam
- To the still
- Garden of Grace
- Bloody QnA
- The Physics of Self
- Life Poem
- go ahead, call it magic
- Chalk to Charcoal
- (un) learning
- 3 Sisters
- Blood Fuel
- Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman