March 2014

Page 2

Broken Hill stretches out beneath me as I survey the city from its enormous man-made lookout. It strikes me as a town forgotten, a satellite city thrown to the edge of memory by civilisation.This is how itexists— lyingalone between coastlines, between cities, between history, the present and the future. Although it is the latter that always appears as an uncertain blur, this is a town that continues to endure,defiantly facing up tothe inhospitably dry environment of Western NSW. The lookout I am standing on could be considered the centre of town. It lies on top of what the locals affectionately call The Slag Heap, the elongated, mountainous pile of rubble that separates Broken Hill from South Broken Hill. The Slag Heap runs parallel to the main drag, Argent Street, but …

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It was one of the most important things they did together: with each other and for each other. They would buy a bottle of wine—just a little bit more expensive than they should be buying—and watch the asterisms over Fitzroy. When it was about to happen, it was always a silent agreement. They both knew, on rare afternoons when the terracotta haze spread its wings over Melbourne to greet the rising moon, that the lights would be at their brightest. They both had an eye for the atmosphere and an arcane sense of infinitesimal shifts in lunar alignment. It would take him at least an hour to set up the telescope. Years before they’d moved in together, when he’d first taken her back to his tiny apartment, it was the …

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Our bricks and mortar sit on rammed earth like dirt sits on our skin. What seems so solid, so dependable is nothing more than a visitation on the earth. A layer to one day be washed away by choice, storm or the certainty of time itself. Circular Quay rests like the nest of a kingfisher against the water, incubating fragile eggs which hold such promise. A heart with all the trains and busses like blood lines pulling and pumping the vital molecules of us in and out. With every beat the atrium of Wynard and the ventricle of Central Station fill and empty with fresh hands, fresh legs and fresh minds to replenish and repair. To ensure growth. Our icons, The Harbor Bridge and The Opera House, like two eyes …

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the reef’s every nimble colour mirrored by an oil slick* __________ * So the speaker ends on “slick,” an elusive word that, writhing like a sea snake through vaulted coral outcrops, animates the final line while wedging a stopper in our thoughts. Or so we think. Note the shallow correlation between nature (as always, organo-goodly) and its befouling opposite. This mode is as comfortable – for any post-romantic – as are the loafing arms of an anemone to the chary clownfish. Must be, we think, more vulgar lefty commentary. But no, look deeper, these are baited words amid which lurks something devious and salty. We recognize the form as Haiku, but Haiku have strict rules governing, laid down by clever folk on expensive paper: the above is in breach. We …

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Let’s make this quick, cause it’s Saturday and I wanna parttyyyy. The KARMA ANIMAL Award is our second performance poetry award, a short list of five poets, all who took up the challenge in their own unique style. Here;s the rundown. Alistair Robinson’s The Wheel blended mechanical imagery with verse on the abstract nature of karma, and it’s relation to the natural world. One judge had this to say: “reminds me of something that belongs in an underground art gallery Enjoyed the abstract nature of the poem” Erin Biglia’s Empty Gesture, Venom Threaded, ruminated on the notions of just deserts, and getting what you deserve. Erin’s piece came in a close second to our winner this week. Well done Erin. One judge described it as “Complex, with a rhyming scheme …

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