Poem

a spirit into splinters    or a night
into day    the quavers levitating
just the same    see a kind of orangeness
tinge the wrenched event    & head falls & sun
caws & moon forgets her name    a muteness ...

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He went down to the shed to look for a chook
a particular one he’d seen earlier that morning
one he realised he’d never seen before, and
that seemed to have disappeared. It was brown
with white markings, distinctive, like wallpaper ...

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Sometimes you took the shape
of an unseen mosquito,
sometimes of illness ...

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There is a field that will persist in everything:
                     what means crucial means
if there never was a thought deflected not to be
                     a path so far gone? ...

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1.
Your beard intrigues me, its rough mystery, patterned complexity.
I imagine burrowing animals under your skin that raise ...

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body’s habitude begin
with buoyancy, a saturated skin ...

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I’d ask you to reappear from behind the wet blanket, Sun,
But the ozone has been eaten by refrigerants
And we can’t take your glare. We are people
Of the skin cancers, tuned by solar flares ...

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'101, Taipei' by Nicholas Wong, 'Compass' by Eileen Chong, 'The Abstract Blue Background' by LK Holt, 'Decoding Paul Klee’s Mit Grünen Strümpfen (With Green Stockings) 1939' by Katherine Healy, and 'breather' by Tracey Slaughter.

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'Dancing with Stephen Hawking' by John Foulcher; 'The Mirror Hurlers' by Ross Gillett; '63 Temple Street, Mong Kok' by Belle Ling; 'Searching the Dead' by Andy Kissane; 'Raven' by Mark Tredinnick.

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The shortlist: 'My Father's Thesaurus' by A. Frances Johnson; 'Precision Signs' by Lachlan Brown; 'Constellation of Bees' by Julie Manning; 'That Wadjela Tongue' by Claire G. Coleman; 'South Coast Sonnets' by Ross Gillett.

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