States of Poetry WA
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
excerpt from Ligature
her office kept cold
she shivers exhales
but never the satisfaction
of seeing her breath
a red-black plaid blanket wraps
her legs pattern
reminiscent of red dust picnics –
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 ...
We are thrilled to find evidence of roos returning –
after being driven out of the reserve and slaughtered
by hunters, the survivors are finding refuge at Jam Tree Gully.
The vestiges of the old mob. And maybe new mob driven
this way by hunters down on Victoria Plains. In the long grass
they hide. They make tracks and graze and flatten
areas for rest. They are
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, ...
John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry are On the Outskirts (UQP, 2017) Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016), Drowning in Wheat: Selected poems 1980–2015 (Picador, 2016), and the three volume edition of his Graphology Poems 1995–2015 (Five Islands Press, 2016). His poetry collections have won a variety of awards ...... (read more)
for Lorraine and Tony
Not an expression of wealth but one of quiet desperation,
the heat and dry eviscerating hope – a giant shadehouse
of green cloth, and an above-ground keyhole
swimming pool, with avocadoes and ferns edging
the cement slabs, aura in the midday twilight.
And the red dust, too fine to shut out, decorating
the aqua-emerald wat ...