Jill Jones

Through Things

I crawled, I flapped, I grazed — first day thought.

I shone, I blared, I filled, in the noise of things.

I pelted, I purred, I hung on this water through.

I door, I footfall, I cliff - the clanging, the claiming.

I definite, I after, I there, space word space word.

grey I, mossy I, stretched I, stations counting she.

wattle and rust and, lines of it, she grid.

out breath out breath out, I against I amongst.

dappled I and the golden, paved along kiss morning.

concrete beautiful testing, all that ivy, those circles.

brick in, brick out I — levels, arms, I would.

I and will if.


The grids make you laugh
you know where you are
even if you don’t
the small cracks, a pleasance
red lights and order sometimes
in abeyance, white trees filled
with parrots
some cities are lower than others
what is their dust, particulate
each leaf is a teacher
fading on bitumen, the bus pulls out
side-on to Mr Future in his cab
roundabouts go round
our ellipses lose their power
and we are free from every parenthesis
we have given away
spring is late, the climate’s
here splashing heat memories
dance in the motor inns
as you come in from your properties
all the lovely cows will wait for you
now there are in-house movies
and someone pushing the bus door
into day routines
chase the lights
someone is home

Abandon Careen Dawdle Blunder

you ask ‘what changed everything’
machines, being, trade, quintessence?
is there ‘something that can save us’
apart from deep pure agitation, factories,
seagulls, manacles?

‘why would you attack vagueness,
isn’t this realistic?’ rather than well-mannered
smeary truths, the unaccountable
in the blunder and careen?

in each water drop, is the rush
the coming of time, its rotting steps?
if you see everything, you see nothing,
instead, kiss me!

‘what adds up?’ rafters, windows, clover leaf roads,
lost cargo, flowers in the canal, light on her hair,
working in sawdust, a court house, nocturnes,
an intense golden line
across a bridge, the carving
of a leaf or a nest, not about itself.

hallucinations are a kind of
abandonment within the silence
where old nature is still
or not so still.

‘what adds up’, what emptied senses?
sand on bitumen ‘what’s going on?’
living on the gulf,
smoke, a rising sea, another speech in
a media bubble, the mongrel question
telling time, the gnomon, an accord, a statute
cell renewal, the lines of your hands

stones through water
dawdling en route

Are You Experienced?

Opened out on the lake riddles.   Of light.   Blank face
night against our. Gamble. Will you touch me first? At the
foot of the stairs dream-given strings pull. Skin slips its cards
through. Choppy weather like trumps or triumph. (If I am allowed
to pluck the soft rock. Rolling chatter-up.) I go upstairs.
Your guards mass. There. Hands out for tips eye sly first night wish.
Instant dusk and sex across the waters. But at the height
of the stairs where they keep you. Happy. In watch they tick
off my thoughts. Know the root of my happiness in entrance.
The club walls the thigh. Trembles. Music selling itself slide in
my tailing lights. Little bursts do their work. Beat the
revelatory covers. And kisses fluid jerk ‘don’t fight it!’ fade into
luxurious research picking through. Flesh tones. Hold me
to light a hallelujah. You will know (I will know).
The mystery flight ticket and skin. Your destination swallows
me your hand. A smooth jetty answers my question.
On the lake mist shimmies someone. Laughs.
That trick ghost midnight line.


Twilight arranges its geography.

Yes, there’s a number easy to ignore.

Streetlight ruptures old resentments.

To each their own mismatches.

May your left-hand be confidential.

It is harder to ride the invincible.

The intervals are unguarded.

There are no great careers but low sweet singing.

So, my understanding wrinkled.

The words are soft demands.

Flowers exert pressure.

Yes, remember halls of varnish.

You are proof conveying models of the other.

A cycle scripts the skeleton.

Constructions envelope human flight.

Floor colour, abundant shadow.

White tiles give form to luminescence.

Outside it must blow.

It’s how an interior tears a door in words.

It’s the way I fail, equal to you.

I confused liberations in the old city of joy.

With you or somewhere else, where the object is having a cold time in a frock.

Freedom retorts, wind questions.

Relax with hinges, cars, expenses.

The landscape is a process.

They are the kinds of songs about finding yourself.

Skin peels when it ends.

Driving home, the regime was finally finished.

It’s possible, and for you, a night of trembling.

There were 100,000 people, a dream.

Jill Jones' most recent collections of poetry include Dark Bright Doors (Wakefield Press) and Passages : Annotations (ungovernable press). She is also co-editor, with Michael Farrell, of Out Of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets. She has collaborated with visual and sound artists on a number of multi-media projects, which have featured at arts festivals and other events. Currently she lives in Adelaide.
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