Contemporary Australian Poetry

Upon Reflection by Liana Christensen

Being Beaut by Toby Fitch

The light

by Jackson

 

The light has to get somewhere, touch something, to exist

You take acid as we’re sitting in the air

The old woman pours whitewash over her husband’s head

We’re on the left

There’s no box, no comfort zone

Anything but raw paper is a compromise

Two girls with acne and stringy bleached hair

Occupy Wall Street

A month in the hole

In solitary

The way to connect is to work together

I had a clear vision

Looming orange clouds, an apocalyptic sunset

Something that makes you smaller or channels your movement

 

The light has to get somewhere

A curve through spacetime

A function

A journey, transmission, idea

In the dream we’re on a plane, rows of seats, going somewhere

We don’t know what we want but it isn’t this

People keep pets

The husband is grey and decrepit

If your mother couldn’t hold you while you cried

hold yourself now

Try to hide yourself

If you throw up the next morning

does that mean you’ve poisoned yourself?

When you look for yourself as a thing

there is nothing there

 

The light has to get somewhere, touch something

Is that the same t-shirt?

Occupy Breastfeeding

Howl, keen, be the banshee of yourself, announcing your death

I take scissors out of your hand

You’re taking acid

Seeing the nothing inside yourself

A curve through spacetime

A function

A journey, transmission, idea

In touching something, the light

is not destroyed, but changed

In the dream

the husband is grey and decrepit

The woman pours whitewash

Anything but raw paper is a compromise

The noises when I cried and cried frightened me

 

The light has to get somewhere, touch something, to exist

People keep pets instead

Curl into a ball, try to hide yourself

We don’t know what we want but it isn’t this

Fenced in, fenced out

You in the aisle seat

I in the middle

Light is nothing, only

potential

When you look for yourself as a thing

there is nothing

The way to connect is to work

against each other

In touching something, the light

is not destroyed, but changed

Reflected, absorbed, refracted

Tear at your clothes and hair, bite yourself

 

The light has to get somewhere

I smile a little

Acid, you’re taking acid

Light is nothing, only

potential, just

an idea

Occupy Everything

Looming orange clouds

The window seat free

No-one looking out

This is not conditional

A month in the hole

Two months

Give you time to think

What if the neighbours come

and try to cheer me up?

Not depressed

Not ill

Don’t need anything

In full control

of self, life, responses

An adult

Tear at your clothes and hair, bite yourself

I don’t know what I want

If your father couldn’t hold you while you cried

hold yourself now

In touching something, the light

is not destroyed, but changed

Polarised, amplified, focussed

There’s no box

This is not

conditional

You don’t have to be

a good boy, a good girl

I had a clear vision

The light

has to touch something

First published in Uneven Floor

WA-based poet Jackson won the 2014 Ethel Webb Bundell Poetry Award and came second in the Glen Phillips Poetry Prize and the Karen W Treanor Poetry Award. In 2013 Mulla Mulla Press published her second collection lemon oil. In 2015 she commenced a PhD in Writing at Edith Cowan University. Jackson is the founding editor of Uneven Floor poetry blogzine, unevenfloorpoetry.blogspot.com. Visit her at proximitypoetry.com