States of Poetry
excerpt from Ligature
he drops his shoulders
lets out his breath
finds himself benched
between green wood slats and
a black plastic platter of sushi,
disposable sticks in his hand.
ache on his right eye like a river stone
thinking like five hands
at the piano. city stratified in front
his eye’s diameter
Chris Arnold lives in Perth and used to work as a software engineer. He was published in Westerly’s first writers’ development program, and now works as the journal’s web editor. In 2017, Chris commenced a cr ...
I am a dickhead in ways I thought I wasn’t
I am a dickhead in ways people who call me a dickhead can’t imagine
I am a dickhead in ways people who call me a dickhead can imagine
I am a dickhead with residues and hangovers of misapplic ...
Grasshopper on the window, the flyscreen, and stepping out
into the beige heat, over us. Tangled in our hair, hooked to our backs.
Grasshopper, cod wisdom. Grasshopper contraband on the eye-
out for plagues. The Australian Plague Locust and its tendency
to shift character when gathered together. In worship. In parliament.
O phase polyphenism, in which mor ...
It rained heavy, ridiculously heavy, when the heat
was at its peak, and then it went dry – the ebb & flow
of the surface-water, the water soaked deep. It’s
thin-on now, even vanished. A dry creeping towards
longer cold nights. The tank is down to 20 000 litres,
or thereabouts. And no clean air for weeks, as farmers
have burnt their tinderish stubble to ash, ...
– photograph 1964.
at the bridal table
in front of Mill Hall stage
she is small
and tight lipped flowers
from somebody’s garden
in a bucket behind her head
the shell of her jacket
as though she has been
her chest an empty cavity
all that sheen –
damask on the table ...
For my mother
The young men,
friends of our middle one,
camp nights in your bed.
Some leave it with hospital corners,
some leave it like a lair to revisit
and some make cocoons on top.
In most cases
they are shaping up.
On kitchen raids
they all report sound sleep
and I wonder what it is
that breaches their dreams
as t ...
Lucy Dougan’s books include White Clay (Giramondo, 2007), Meanderthals (Web del Sol), and The Guardians (Giramondo, 2015), which won the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry in 2016. She holds a PhD from UWA on representations of Naples. She currently works as Program Director for the China–Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University ...... (read more)
Poetry, in ‘stilling things’, as Martin Heidegger suggested in 1950, is nevertheless always restlessly active. These six voices are six stills from a fast-moving history of poetry in Western Australia. They are evidence that poetry can provide moments we can enter into in suspended silence while experiencing that movement and ...... (read more)