Jill Jones

Possibly Yourself

What is unheard
still sings in its
smoky cloudy
song of a bird
you can’t hear
don’t know
in the profligate
and profane
items so many items
news from not-news
stories boxes
brambles curves
what you could
have called
your daughters
all their little ponies
extreme lives of cats
murmurs of the boutique
the swimming pool
good news of
the wrong hemline
lipstick jazz
chosen unlike
the bloody chirping dawn
sounds unwise
snakes in the yard
want to be left alone
but those cats are
on the crackling iron
on seashore sound
the roof guardians
up there somewhere
falling as light
does amongst the
ground grid
waiting for someone
you don’t know
possibly yourself
house insects
on the wall
no use hiding


walk into the hills
the weather grips


Dead Wood

Any excuse for trade
or pulling up trees
till it hurts
folding roses over
another dead

Mourn the pothole
dirt disguise
kids cracking phones
‘hello I’m calling’
or hope

Someone’s pinned down
the garden stronger
with bricks you can
smell dead wood
old peaches the uranium
junk mail

First frangipani

As If That / Or This, Is

And who will
in the end
go with into
a secret dawn
you don’t know
with trample dove
a white room
the cave sky
chime green feather
in rest of
day blade kernel
fume spray gather
all more definite
copter clanger that
re-sound of those
fire hills south
the western cold
or to accelerate
as if time
were to climb
a tree sun
the thing burns
in the everyday
all for corners
light fails well
this is cirrus
full of fight
branches every inch
cools as it
heats in paradoxes
the skin knows
the local arson
and freeze frame
collapsing a little
while huffs chortles
examine the ground
you don’t go
quite like that
the gates are
gone by now
always about losing
seconds and beats
congress or lone
beside the point
you can’t track
in the perfume
a half-fledged moment
all fleet gone
a door cracks
the crossing jerks
with a curtain
time for honeyeaters
rosellas and ravens
racks of garbage
and parrot feast
dredge the past
through flick twig
something catches thus
is lonely essence
or plastic ghost
more formaldehyde than
spritzig or chorus
always hedging what
the junk left
with its singing
like a proclamation
but not quite
there are better
layers sound chambers
of the real
you mostly miss
nothing turns off
nothing closes down
to survive this
is what does
in all realms
where dying does
what living does
a car turning
a magpie fence
company of planes
it’s raining fuel
into the heat
it’s all here
slavery debt gifts
blackbirds wasps grit


I lost my opulence
I lost my instance
There’s a form inside
me, my lace, my lie
my capability
as ground crunches
under the tractor
I lost my ignorance
I lost my change
as tits chirrup in trees

What is a godwit
What is a girdle
Who is sweeter
in the morning

Life is out there
You am another you am
my friend and was I
mouse-like, snake-like
snake light on
the path
It’s not your fault
Wake up
If you missed the
so what

Here come the police
another flash mob
mug lairs auteurs
grow corporate badge
hidden plane
their prisoners
of my errors
my eros the lightning
150,000 strikes
upon the state
but little rain that
speaks and I misfit
the night again
to take its top off
and find neither union
nor magic
if nothing grows
or dies

I am somewhere else
am at another
have been another
in the hegemonic spree
lifelines low lights
lithographs lipograms
love letters litter

My primary experience
enters performs
and leaves
neither anonymously
nor autonomously

Here’s my culpability
I lost my claims
in the am

Jill Jones has published eight full-length books of poetry, and a number of chapbooks. Her latest books are The Beautiful Anxiety (Puncher and Wattmann 2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry, Ash is Here, So are Stars (Walleah Press 2012), and a chapbook, Senses Working Out (Vagabond Press 2012). She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide. In 2014 she was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University.
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