States of Poetry
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.
Even poetry dements in the end; fatal attractions to dank earth
and ash albums don't fool or buy time. Poetry cherry-picks
memory for its own ends; yet that's a medicated narcissism for
some. Earnest elegies are often rejected by dogs and children.
Listen to them howl. Voting for life outside of ritual.
I'm on your side; I'm with the hounds and the kids. I won ...
You can't see water beyond the highway hoardings, but you are told Jesus walked on it. This
is your best clue. Dinner settings, security doors, Viagra and tractor parts flash past like
But you feel something pull, not daintily at your sleeve, but with tidal will,
a blood rush of stark equations of space and gravity you cannot hope to solve.
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were brought to Melbourne in 1839 by the protector of Aborigines, George Robinson, to 'civilise' the Victorian Aborigines. In late 1841, the two men and three women stole two guns and waged a six-week guerilla-style campaign in the Dandenongs and on the Mornington Peninsula, burning stations and killing two sealers. They were charged with murder ...
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come ...
Song of Solomon, Verse 11-12
Lo, the cell phone sleeps in its cell.
The raven deactivates the horizon.
There is water for everyone,
The particulars of the evening being, whether consciously
evoked or – 'a great shemozzle'
as Kent said –
merely one day washing over and into the depths
The sound of shovels scraping
of men – the night's
clinging still –
Awake to this, or
yet in sleep
you mumble –
on your forehead
'Ten thousand women
The carpet could be cleaner –
so could the world.
There's too much cayenne
in the soup.
The grand abstraction
is one approach
to the poem, I guess –
so too the eye
of the flea.
I can't even taste
Mosquitoes are circling
the light globe –
Norma, dead now
a month. And
after we cast the ...
winter once more and still
'The gestures of delight are her delight.'
Notate October's last hurrah.
'Dear Cameron, You have an undigested
John Forbes influence,' wrote Gig, a decade past.
Digest, instead, the dusk –