is not the name of a boy band, though it could be,
I think, and then how it’s so easy to lay the blame
at the feet of others. But if you hold the brush,
then you’re responsible for how the painting looks.
As surely as the artist makes the art, people
make the mess they call their lives. I am
no Goddess, but I have to remind myself that
what I have with Johnno I created, though it took
more than six days and six nights of labour
and I don’t remember resting on the seventh.
When Johnno unwraps the white parcel of fish
and chips on the grassy ledge at Brighton-Le-Sands,
I want to throw it all to the seagulls and let them
squabble and bicker right down to the very
last chip. They prowl around our feet, these
shameless salt and vinegar scavengers.
I rejoiced when I floated through the early
months of coupledom, but now I’m stranded
in this limbo of Friday night picnics, Saturdays
pashing at the movies, Sundays given over
to a trek up some bloody mountain track
while the flies circle, my t-shirt sticks to my back
and my calves threaten unprecedented strike action.
It’s as if I’ve nailed up my volition in some tea chest
and left it in storage while it waits for my ship
to find the harbour. Botany Bay is calm, serene,
the wind fresh, the sun slipping out of sight
with this euphoric belly flop into the early evening.
How did I manage this—a thinking, independent
woman who can’t say what’s on her mind
because her man is going away to the war? And
that’s assuming I know what I want to say.
Now that he’s leaving he seems more attractive
somehow, this modern hunter gatherer
who might not have caught the fish
with his own hands, but thought enough of me
to pack a plastic goblet, corkscrew and a bottle
of plonk—this crisp, fruity moselle that goes
straight to my head, the lights shimmering
in the dark water like a hallelujah chorus.
- 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: 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