States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Suburban Panopticon' by Thom Sullivan

Thom Sullivan

Thom Sullivan

Thom Sullivan is a poet and editor from Wistow/Bugle Ranges in the Adelaide Hills. A short collection of his poems, 'Airborne', was


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birds have their own topography : overlaid
on ours : which is vertical & detailed :
with its own system of needs :
its own deviations : the nerve-ends
in my fingertips : & a tremor in my latissimus dorsi
rouse me : a domestic industry
starts up : a saw : or sander : on some abutting title :
the sound raw : with alternating notes :
one contention in the hypothesis
of morning : suggesting whole lives :
whole civilisations : a parochialism : an argument
for god : or gods : or evil : a football crowd
clamours : & over it an umpire's whistle :
piping : a flawed adjudicator : the fiction
at the noumenon of the fiction : the field
on which the binaries play out : any number of them :
it's soul-work : in essence : & the day
rolls back its reminders : the eye in its socket : god :


in the subtractions of light : the season
of sheer high contrails : a midden
of laundered clothes : sheets peeled back :
over the shuffled pack of the morning paper :
i arrive at a sense : at a sense of :
at arrival : a body upright in its song :
a door clicks shut or open : on the further side
of the wall : a parallel space : in its inclusions :
in its variations on the same meridian :
the afternoon satiated : in its details : the spines
of unread books : horizontal : read
like a failed poem : leaf-fall on the pavers :
two leaves : on a forked tree : sheared back :
to an austerity it thrives on : a sluice
of sound : of traffic : blood in its hammering :
the upper room a panopticon :
power-poles an idiom : in the minutiae :
in the lengthening paragraphs : of shadow :


Thom Sullivan