Pam Brown

Dry Ice

this is the place to come,
to work in winter in summer,
it’s in a photo of shadows -

staring out at the rain
that's always falling
from the poetry magazine skies

the people in this archive
know how to be quiet,
plugging in
to the table sockets,
lining up to hot spots

why are the reference shelves
from 495 - 580,
from south asia to botany?)

it's way above
the traffic, no birds,
a fake pot plant, specks of diesel
on the upwind,
too noisy to sit outside,
too high up to stand and lean
(resist a chronic urge
to throw yourself over the railing,
splat onto the white double lines -
a broken up bloodied blob,
maybe safer
to use the hi-speed internet
at Woolworths,
no balcony there


in the evening,
under a windstorm,
watching Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Sabotage’
needles and pills in the cooler,
(none for pleasure),
contemplating decomposing
(an elegy for complications)
in a lull in the drama


Georges Bataille said
By writing I wanted to get to the bottom of things.
And, having given myself this task, I fell asleep.


‘no content, only dirt’
Linh Dinh podcasts.
I am at your front door, Linh,
it’s early,
garbage trucks make their hyperaubade,
I'd like to contribute
but I wouldn't know
bad junk from good junk

same problems in poems, poetry magazines,
news sites, plays, sciences, films -
and I’m fuming like dry ice,

can poetry do it though,
specifically, address problems
from the sofa,
when the world erupts
in high definition,
dictatorships crack and collapse,
corporate investment tumbles,
can't poetry follow ?


eyes narrow, lids lost their spring -
there's no spring in your lid these days,
just like Bataille, falling asleep.

down below
globs of gobspit dot the bitumen,
mesmerised, up here,
by the pulsing glow of standby
lighting a narcotic path
to the Foxtel card slot

Since 1971, Pam Brown has published many books, chapbooks, and an e-book. Her most recent title, Authentic Local, was published by papertiger media in 2010. She has a long editorial association with Jacket magazine and blogs intermittently at thedeletions.blogspot.com. She lives in Alexandria in Sydney.
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