He washes up upon the shore,
that blue man, waxen in the printer’s trowel
of harbour light. A wedding pumps
on the waterfront, a limo driver smokes
and blows his rings at bats, and he
who looks so often to his watch sees
the washed up golem beyond the rail
and parking bay and barrier and
does and says nothing.
So the sixth bell peels at two AM,
when poems fall away and the tired quay
sighs; the circle train death-rattles
from cut to cut, slipping into Hades’
graffiti bunkers, satanic murals,
black water, black rubble, Tank Stream.
The dead man brushes himself off,
scrapes his way up sandstone walls
and shuffles toward The Lord Nelson.
The bell sounds again, and something
vibrates in wet jeans – the cross is right
way up on an eastern hill. Time falls
back into the space between steps;
the echo of the bell is set to ring.
Stormwater gushes from a cut below
the city’s ribs, as if the CBD sucked
vinegar from a sponge. Metals settle
like a drowned man’s hand across the silt
and scalps of rusted weed roll, quaffing
through a tide of endless wash.
The moon lights Lavender Bay, a light
moons coal-lap bars as coloured rays
dance from off the decks of charters,
or leap from North Sydney towers, taking
brands from neon scaffolds, drowning them
along with lost dogs and the drunks of Darlo.
The dead man touches all the figs from
shadow-bridge to Barangaroo and steps
toward the bar to find the happy-hour spent,
and TVs mounted on each wall ticker-taping
news events to a room of people blue as he.
‘What will it be?’ the barman asks, as once
again his wet pants buzz.
was the woman who presumably tamed
Bennelong, or was it the other way? Or
was it neither way? All the blue man knows
is in the heated room, is in the amber diamonds
flitting from his glass onto the beams of ships
planed and bolted down to stay the swaying.
Stormwater pours out a clean deluge
which hides in crystal flux the heavy metals
of give-and-take and rips like razor light
into the shoals. A sixth bell tolls.
- 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