Decentred centre. Regional hubnobbed, notquite heartland,
more ribcaged iron lung of the body politc; working protein;
a thigh muscle: hardly missioncritical, although would be missed.
Or else re-placed. Swath of brownsites, postswamped, timestubbed,
grassrooted and faraway from tua por: no bigshored rickshawed
downtown comehitherness here. No one to impress, this corner of
the 21st C, so everything smallcapped, missmelt, mixmetaphoric, free
of storyboarded skylines or selfieready shopfronts. No toilets
glazed with ads above the urinals advertising legacy watches&
and holidays by the seine. Still, michelinguided porridge purveyors
and famous fromelsewhere meepok claimants stall here,
not for brochure rights but rent and proximity to locyal tastebuddies
who brave the PIE for lunch, sleeves rolled and merces parked by the town
council next to the atm queue next to durian tout next to mobile repair&
next to pawnporn creditready lenders, remitters, resellers, headbowed
men and women loaded with fairprice bags. More tuition centres than toy stores.
Beautiful, necessary employment embanking drenched and empty playgrounds.
Dollars to be stretched and places to stretch them in. Home is where hope’s
affordable. Afternoons, coffeeshop voidsprawls enchair worktanned uncles
in checkered polos haranguing policy (safely offsite) over sips of kopi-c-siu-dai.
Ashfall soft on plastic tables. A son in dhaka squealing from a scarred phone screen.
The chickenrice auntie brisker and louder than presidents (having raised teens
and conquered cancer while hubby shagged shenzhen divorcees,
or so the tv soaps may script her), insisting on cheer and more chilli sauce.
Each chaw sharper than a good story, with no end in mind and no less love.
- 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