Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

'bodies breathe in by themselves' by Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two

'bodies breathe in by themselves' by Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two

(after The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire)

We had better empty the wine-cups.
To-morrow, at bright dawn, the world’s business will entangle us.
We brush away our tears,
We go – East and West.

                                                          – Tu Fu

gurgle /ˈɡəːɡ(ə)l
grandmothers carry prams to term / babysit baby’s baby / regurgitated capsule
commuters exhale daily day into night aircon carriage
doors closing please stand
waits for no ma

ri:fle slickstream
fillet knife separates the hairyskin
something seeps almost-clear

predict the price drop of value
cue funny anecdote of destitution


I rarely wake up feeling rested
☒ strongly agree

what future has not yet
yet what are we working for?
(who could type ‘I will rape you with a metal pole’?)
no one can afford to breathe

committed is as committed does
google ‘how to section my mother’
do that and see how it feels


a person is on fire / a building explodes
a leg blown off
a cheek shattered
a superbug eats a brain / a cancer eats a liver
these things really happened

a man can lose his life for dressing as a woman
(person)                                                                  (person)
I think an x clothed as x can be anyone x wants
we are all ex-something
ex-womb at least

hear that gradual shift
a slight fingernaildrag on a fender

well well well well well
it is hard to know how to help
but I hope they know it weighs heavy
I carry them like a shotput / which is to say I don’t do much

othr thn tht lol
so much funny stuff

they would have you believe
you can control the darkness
sign up now for 24-hour assistance
get ready for a month of shooting stars


a melted slipper in a bonfire
pain feels right like slipping a socked foot through the radiator till it scorches
you pull out then do it all over / sex fuse

even though I have no grand illusions
I still like Miranda July to read me my horoscope
maybe my grand illusion is my lack of one

Schiaparelli and Comme des Garçons walk into a Leigh Bowery
yes, I would try and make it

the headstrong focus the overhead pan
David Byrne starts kinking his knee

did I tell you how crazy I feel when Born Under Punches plays?
I try not to let it show but
my throat could open my body flail
in Kinsella’s moth-green eyeshadow
and convulsing chest
I wonder what we are capable of on the panopticon patio

computer worms mediate morality
how many lips are being licked *right now*

synapse neuron snap
no fuselage just balance beam creaking
no influence, even in my own dreams

well well well well well
to good friends and good health
to the tough times behind us
what good will that do us?

cursor blinks|




cursor blinks|

can’t wait to see what’s next

Pascalle Burton

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.