The stillness of the street along the river,
the exhale of the last light and the gold before it.
A small boat knifing the water.
These ways we learn to endure, without promises
or permanence. This forgetting of particulars.
As for the night, it too is steady
and gentle as the hand that releases the asp.
Three years I lived on the street where evening
lulled in to a solo violin. Bach talking in my ear
from a high window while I brewed
the night’s coffee. Where I would lie
in the middle of the empty road, not thinking
of renunciation. I came to learn pleasure as a choice.
As the slow unlearning of wrongness.
As the giving in, finally, to fear.
To irrecoverable time. Talk of freedom is only talk
of forgetting, which is a gift I never had.
Tonight I have no desire for answers.
Only to lay each moment of letting go
carefully on the table. To give in to small happiness,
as somebody calling to the cat before the storm.
To the pleasure of the bird as she lands
on the awning fed and singing.
Comfort is knowing time happens at once.
A correctness to our regrets, our anxiety
to look back. So specifically human
this desire, to live day to day without fear of loss.
I am sitting by the fireplace now, the rain
coming down before the night does. Having undone
any thought of going back as I did unchanged
to the simple life. Though I’d have it all again.
The happy routines, luxury of ignorance. Knowing
we continue no matter who is howling.
Like the god of music, who continues
in the wake of such destruction. Who sings
in between all that violence.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with 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: 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 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