States of Poetry 2016
States of Poetry 2016 - Victoria | 'Australian awe: white guys on life and art before 1788' by A. Frances Johnson
for Marcia Langton
The rock-art guide, combusting
in 43 degrees, back to image.
His sloppy dreamtime
a melted ice-cream,
far from refrigerated sublime.
Gwion rock art from the 'Tassel era' is happy art,
though contentiously attributed and dated, he says,
authoritative white sweater in white sweater.
Quick across the twilight road,
the eight legs of the cat.
Water corrects the earth
to flatness, patching fields with sky.
Little boat of red figures, adrift between two days.
The creek slides through the rain's eyelashes.
I am history now
in the scales, the age of sounds
I make sense then drop it
it gets dirty, it breaks
the ants carry it
I am bent at the switch
my tapes of the archive
decay, loops stutter
I am bent at the floor
facts roll under the chair
little dust songs
or songs outside
the parrots know
and I am sti ... More
The do-it-yourself piano isn't
kicked to matchwood, and you take
this for affirmation. When we
work out how to switch off
Bob Dylan, your plangent homemades
will go unaccompanied, no longer
sought like an injury lost in the mists
of Hansard. People suggest topics
they won't be using, and this is
more like an archive sneeze
than what yesteryea ... More
Angling over star-fields,
the pitches lit like billiard tables.
Those lengths you were shouted up and back,
lungs scoured by brillo air.
The lazier concord of close mown grass
and low hanging fruit
of the short boundary. A tang of primitive
electronics: the circuit board's braille labyrinth,
the slab type of Amstrad.
This callow path, you< ... More
A little pin-up
above the knees.
Behind the curtain
a dress-up game –
pretty things come undone.
He chalks lines
on raw stitches.
My body fits the timeless black.
'You can live in it, or die'
smile the lips full of needles.
Do I look a little dead
with black fabric
on bone-pale flesh?