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.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 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