'privately'  inside  the  body  but  much  of  this  is  the  extra-somatic (GAWW - not symptomatic but coral. 'the 20th century's premier art mode', though at that point only as an infusion, ubiquitous but still failing to assume the forms which will 'replace' life as a whole.)

prior to the assumption, vibration-reception remains compulsory but consciousness is not (: mercy). input is fixed open but output circuited to the internal joys1 and some externals can be diverted through own soft-dumb-cells, especially into hands in any movement, and through most contact with the ground here, which until the final moments maintains a pre-coral variability and some absorbency. we

 

Jen Crawford

 


 

 1 Formerly eyes

2 I release the present tongue as retroactive and self-consolatory. without doubt the Institute will be a-temporal yet the tongue notes its own second purpose in that sup

Recording

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'lopping' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

in decades past a series of dykes was known as the venice
of the floods themselves, with a sweet sap

once the prey has entered the trap
the leaf closes, and within about 30 seconds
a senior minister has touched
two or three trigger hairs,

bristles on the distinction between
private beliefs and public morality,
his bottomline.

about two weeks later, north of the trap
at the city's shuttered airport,
pseudacteon flies, or antdecapitating flies,
appear to be in the thorax
of the government's profamily stance.

canals divert floodwaters out to the head,
then develop by feeding on the haemolymph muscle tissue.
after about two weeks they cause the ant's head
to grapple with its body

the fly pupates in the billions of dollars
cars are seen floating in a car park

 

Jen Crawford

 

'reshelve' previously published in lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015)

Recording

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'reshelve' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

what we'll do is remove the dusty fly-spotted umbrella light-shade from over the bed, and we'll put there something that catches the will of the leaves outside the windows and holds it in the centre of the room. a leaf doesn't have an individual life, but it seems to, and the green at the middle of that life is what I'll feed you. that will come in as milk, translucent blue humming calculation of unthought.

when you were smaller and a life but less a person you were in appearance closer to death, nestled in against a puddle that showed as a shadow, wave, brother, yin, memory, ghost, wave that swelled for an exit and then held, organised, and absorbed in itself, was absorbed. that's yours now too, earth for the green-blue light and the song of the wagtails. earth for the air to be untranslated, straight to your lungs.

should I mention scarcity and the fires to come? but your blood is of that language, tipping and will be so while your hands find the way to your mouth. mouth wet and working in joy's animation of hunger. i've cleaned the skirtings and the grout. it's rained through all of January but there's sunlight on the bed. you're on your way, you're on your way. for now, a bit of sleep.

 

 Jen Crawford

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'umbrella' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Every morning, with an authority
of clinging, earthy foundations
a house sat in air.
Inside someone was singing an aria
about how love inflects its failings
and a woman, absorbed in her toilette
considered how pained words work
the world awry, even as air fills with song.
Outside a man hammered boards
to make a dwelling; crows sat on a wire
as if planning insurrection.
Drought held paddocks tightly
as a team ran a divining rod
over corrugations of salt.
Rain, when it started,
was a kind of stumbling.

 

Paul Hetherington

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'Dwelling' by Paul Hetherington | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

A gap opened every evening
emitting a panting – as soft as darkness,
or stray dog at exhaustion's end.
Unsettling, like a straggly bird,
it dropped dark feathers
of prickling desire into the room.
It knew the edges of solitude
like the blue glacier's encrusted ice,
and morphed into a clouded mirror
on which each searching glance stuck fast.

Paul Hetherington

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'Gap' by Paul Hetherington | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

This cardboard prison they call an archive
is cold, airless and silent as death.
Floor to ceiling boxes contain voices
no longer heard yet still wailing within
and faces no longer seen yet still missing in a
jail of captured snippets, images and memories
like the severed heads and bleached bones of
dismembered bodies neatly locked away in the vaults
of museums and universities of the world
in the name of science or history or anthropology or
something else so important at the time that
justified the collection of bits and pieces of another –
the Other.
Reams of records tell how you measured
our heads with every western yardstick –
examined us through your voyeuristic lens,
scrutinised our children's fingernails under
microscopes and found them remarkably pale –
looked inside women's vaginas where
that rosebud is pink as pink is pink
despite the otherwise apparent differences
between black and white such as
intellect, industry and capacity to settle.
We are the inmates incarcerated within these
cardboard cells where every neatly dotted 'i',
and symmetrically crossed 't' screams out:
Read this Black angst against
these white pages.

 

Jeanine Leane

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'Cardboard Incarceration' by Jeanine Leane | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

As a new century dawned white Australians were urged
to feel comfortable and relaxed about their history.
'Shake off that irksome black arm band – legacy of radical
lefties who can't leave well enough alone – and their
tiresome chant that white Australia has a Black history and
we all have blood on our hands.
We've got a new song to sing now!'

Right wing historians hummed the new tune
and set about to write Aboriginal massacres out
of the record, out of the history books, out of the classroom.

There weren't really fifteen thousand Palawa people
in Van Diemen's Land before the arrival of
white Christians. They said.
There weren't even five thousand!
Only a few hundred naked savages roamed here
and a meagre hundred or so killed –
in self defence – of course.
Or perhaps they were stealing?
On the darker side – they were cannibals –
weren't they ? Think about it!
What happened to the rest? Who knows?
Nobody wrote it down – no history of
massacres here.
Perhaps they were saved by Christian charity
and blended in with the rest of us – or
maybe they died of natural causes
or just perished because they couldn't adapt.
The rest is mere hearsay – oral history –
words in the air!
Nothing on paper – so who remembers?
The Aborigines didn't count in numbers –
so why bother now?

Nobody recorded those other syllables in time –
full of sound and fury, punctuated by
blows, blood and screams.

But wasn't their blood red?
And didn't their loved ones cry?

Late in the twentieth century, with a population
of eighteen million the shootings of
thirty-five settlers went down in Australian history
as the Port Arthur Massacre prompting a
Prime Minister who denied Black massacres
to buy back the nation's firearms to minimise
the chance of another white one.

But wasn't their blood red too?
And didn't their loved ones still cry?
What is the colour of massacre?

 

Jeanine Leane

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'The Colour of Massacre' by Jeanine Leane | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

For Garry Papin and the Muthi-Muthi People of Lake Mungo

 

Lady Mungo heard the white scientists trampling
on her people's sacredness and she began to surface –
to speak.
While you archaeologists are stomping on
our graves arguing about the depth of your
new Pleistocene layer my people already know
the story that always was.
They stumbled on my head in five hundred
pieces – they said – no bigger than the postage
stamps they placed on the letters they wrote to
their colleagues around the world to
come and see me too!
They spread me out like a jigsaw –
each piece an important part of their
puzzle of landscape and history.
But my people knew the story.
First time I left my Country was
in a suitcase bound for a university to
be studied by the experts.
Why are you still stealing us –
dead and alive?
My people heard me crying across the
miles in that cold collector's box and
told the whitefellas to bring me home.
They said we thought Aboriginal people
would be happy that we are discovering
their past. My people said she's our first
lady and wasn't yours to take.
For over two decades I cried.
When I came back to my Country, my
people came together to see me rest
where I'd always been.
When I heard the white scientists disturbing
my people's graves I rose forty thousand years
to say:
You didn't find me – I came back to tell you
that I didn't come out of Africa!
This is my home, and my people's Country!
We buried our dead in peace and with respect.
I rose to the surface to tell you to
stop desecrating the sacred sites of Australia's
first ladies, our men and our children!
Listen to my children's children and their children
first!

 

Jeanine Leane


Recording

'Lady Mungo Speaks' begins at 1:07

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'Lady Mungo Speaks' by Jeanine Leane | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

For Patrick White (1976)

 

When the Badtjala people discovered Eliza Fraser,
her story of cannibals devoured a history.
A century later when the Badtjala people
rescued Ellen Roxborough on the fringes of paradise
White's imagination captured the Aborigine –
the Blacks – for the nation.
When she ate Badtjala woman's flesh,
she swallowed us all and we passed through the
bowels of colonial mythology all over again.
Who are the real cannibals?

 

Jeanine Leane

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'On Cannibals' by Jeanine Leane | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Whitefellas have a license to stare in
car parks, foyers, forums and gatherings at
anybody else who doesn’t look white.
They’re famous for asking Blackfellas
where we come from even though they
belong to the oldest diaspora of all.

Whitefellas are experts on
Aboriginal affairs and have ready opinions.
In particular white men in the academy
seem to know a lot about Aboriginal women.

 Sometimes Aboriginal people amaze
whitefellas if we finish school and go to university.
Then we’re encouraged to be more like them –
but whitefellas are surprised if we are
too much like them and say;
Why do you call yourself an Aborigine
when you live just like us?

 

Whitefellas know Aborigines are good at sport –
it’s all about natural ability and intuition.
But whites succeed through hard work,
preparation and structure.
Aboriginal sports people can be a challenge
for white coaches because we lack discipline.
But white people are happy to say that
rugby league has done a lot for Aboriginal people
even though Aboriginal people have done a lot
for rugby league.
They are happy too that they created sports that
Aboriginal people excel at like boxing – then
they are happy to call us Australian

Whitefellas hope that the gap in health,
education, housing, income and life expectancy
between black and white Australians will close soon.
But they still put shopping bags on
bus seats between themselves and the nearest Aborigine –
maybe that  space needs to close first.
Perhaps the biggest gap of all is
across the grey matter between Whitefellas ears
when they think of us. Maybe they need to
build a bridge or a road to transverse that
chasm – because they like building things – don’t
they – Whitefellas! And when they’ve built that
bridge, they should walk back over it to
make sure it’s solid – not just tell us that it is
because we’re over promises.

 Whitefellas feel sorry for us because we have
‘lost’ our culture over time and apparently age
doesn’t weary theirs. They call change progress.
Whitefellas like to study true Aborigines in the bush and
bring their knowledge back to cultureless urban mobs
like me – but we’re a pain – us
urban mobs – too many questions and
Whitefellas know that real Aborigines
don’t ask questions.

 If we go to university we should take courses in
Aboriginal studies because whitefellas know that
with their guidance we’ll be good at it –
maybe we can even help other Aborigines.

 Some say that Aborigines don’t work in Australia!
Truth is Australia doesn’t work without Aborigines!
This country would be broke without Blackfellas. 

 Advice is a one-way street in colonial Australia and
Whitefellas never seem to tire of that well-worn track.

 

Jeanine Leane


Recording

'Whitefellas' begins at 3:38

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'Whitefellas' by Jeanine Leane | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems