The scalpels rattle in the wooden box
as you gently set it beside the slab.
The body lies with forelegs drooping,
hooves resting just above its chest.
The first incision starts at the base of the
breastbone. You slowly cut towards the tail,
not letting the blade bite too deep,
careful not to spill the blood that remains.
As you drag the blade you feel the weight
of the bag of potato-flour in your pocket,
pressing against your leg, waiting to be
scattered over the newly-exposed flesh,
waiting to soak up the moisture that
indicates that life was once present here,
that this shape was once more than just
a cold and motionless lump of meat.
Once, these tendons shortened and pulled
at these muscles, which themselves contracted
and caused these bones to dance in complex
harmony and push this now -still form over
spitting turf and past the screaming crowd at
record speed under a crisp November sky. Once.
The winnings still linger in the bank accounts
of the prudent, but the dance is over for good.
This is where you come in. Your job is to
remind observers of the life that now has
left this form, to capture the essence that is
now departed, relying only on cold metal,
a sculptor's eye and the sturdy backs of the
three men who watch you closely as you begin
to peel the hide from blue-grey muscle,
unwrapping that which God himself has wrapped.
- 97: PROPAGANDASUBMIT NOW with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill & 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