States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Smooching the Parameters' by Jill Jones

This may be the new hunger, walking
through buildings that are off limits.
Fraught kisses on the carpark stairs.
Tripping on rubble that does not build.
Meanwhile, the clucky gestures
towards klutzy. Choices that seem
wrong somehow. Sentiment or sensibility.
A plantation daring not to flower.
A vacant bouquet you can't throw
over the skyline. A tablet
roughly swiping over the cataclysm
from backbench to backflip.
That daggy champ who carked it. Typical!

Houses are billowing. I'm somehow
getting the drift of all this palaver.
Those rumours of defenstration.
Yet another Euro-kerfuffle.
A mis-heard bird-call as the ratification
of no-matter-what. Patterson's Curse.
Murray Cod. Too many cockeyed seraphs.
Lurking minority do-gooders
desperate to kit up with sorcery
or leftovers from interjection culture.
Half your bloody luck.

The orchestration today seems feeble.
Some cyclist dithers in your path.
As if it's the failure of endearments
on any plane. Sensation that irks. I, too,
have gone there. Environments
which try our ease. I have dealt with
frosty margins. Striations
full of torpor. The pressure of
dwindling ruminants.

Welcome to more misadventures,
more posters, too many songs about
nothing much. Tickle and hum.
That night some nabob barged in on me.
As if I'm wronged with entitlements.
Petulant snuffles. Dimwitted subscriptions.
A sad trackstar with no story to sell.
No scandal or hot-blooded dope.

Are there conditions for angelic visitation?
For a heart-to-heart with tiaras
after the cache of dogmas goes missing.
Rejigging a sequin that won't blush.
A damp squib. The enemas
you will eschew. The bootstraps
we wish for. A torment
of old shills. As the crow flies
a holiday goes feral. Another swab
overlooked. The rustle of irony.

I'm shuffling on sand like a deck chair.
They're raising the Titanic. Huzzah!
Tomorrow will be released
from its profligacy. Blame it
on the bossa nova. Oh you knaves,
we are beyond you now.
We'll go exploring Newcastle,
using a map of Berlin.
The accursed thingamabob will walk
sprightly through the kitchen.
The galahs are passing over.
Say yes, and it might mean
something, the sun may shine.
We'll smooch and glam amongst
junk, amongst honeybees.
If they're still here, we are still here,
febrile but aspiring,
with hoops and frocks,
and our filthy alarms.


Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry including Breaking the Days (2015), The Beautiful Anxiety (2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, and Ash is Here, So are Stars (2012). Her work is represented in major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide. She was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University for five months in 2014-15.

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