Snow can’t have fallen.
There was a chessboard on a scintillating
up endued, or down, with pivots,
concretised. It smelt of old spit-
air let from a carnival mallet.
5 a.m. He’s in a bed, not at home.
Some dark smokes and peals.
Tell a story, says a boy’s voice. The boy is white-blonde, with an obdurate coldness
of finger. And tuck me
—sheet shrink-filming rib-
cage—so I can’t squirm at all.
A Blue Mountains hermit
gazing at clear
still creek water counts
the pulse in his sallow jowls—one, three,
four, two, dawn fog, pulse, each a gecko
smell the urine of one with thirst.
He sees that his clothes are rags now and draped over a nest
of spurred bones. Kookaburra lands on the whipper snipper cord
rack of the vision eating him.
where in kinder times they shot
cars, also farming machinery. All-white,
LED, without squaring, diaphanous
tunnel to the ancients, star portal.
He paid the cover at a side entrance. Ate four googs.
Went out front some to breathe.
Snow can’t have fallen.
Meanwhile other isolates
surfing coastal plains, Southern-
Cross-eyed in trim deserts,
ferreting honey ants from basin
alluvium, in hisses
through grassland winds, steamrolled
pennies of pink
salt and plateau blood
—they are all eaten.
To some gnomic ends they feed themselves.
Your brain, the boy’s fire.
By white whizz-bang hushed
West Gate siren mast oil squat vistas
of cab glass black what-all
boy up whispered down down the Melbourne
side whispered man’s voice snow
can’t have fallen can’t have fallen tell me
driver is it very
anything where you’re from
Good sleep collects
in the bone. Salt
pent from creek water
drunk wishes rushes snowy. And Great Sandy
camels, they bear what little
remains of the devoured
over a Europe of red dunes
south—to rhododendron gardens.
There is a mass interment in the gardens. An obelisk
shrine erected. Into this bed we tuck our wild folk and their kin.
You who went without: sleep.
- 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
- 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
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance