Jill Jones

‘we see them above the big white house in High Street’

cars are draped in indigo, the moon
turns orange, I unpick words again
stars tag along

my busy dream is overcome by dull slabs
of thought, mulling a brochure
through pearly branches

these are our transports beyond canals,
refineries, rail, our labour’s never the question
during this time of collapse

we found a cap for The Falcons by the river
exchanged feeble for tender, to be that free
as if all that’s left is air


I get lost in the midst, I bleed stars
      rough atmospheres
There’s no solitude in the flesh
Black sun in my throat

It’s no resting place even in
this cave, this pluck, the way a face
is arched by lips, syntax, or tongues
      won’t heal me

Everything thickens like waste
I’ve no skirts left, my remaining
      nerves will not curtsey
I dream only through scars

Ditches and Prayers

Details can be difficult
Rain’s never lonely
It may revive gawky nuances

Machines cry from ditches
Money lights up like flowers
This room smells too historic
There was something about a tape
A prayer that never surfaces
Versions are worse than they appear

Details can be grubby and unforgiving
Nuances shuffle into ditches
In the hills, fires blister

This Image Factory

you’re breaking space with form, with stains
and energy, scars, a kind of mona lisa grin

there’s no triplicate, an analogue photo exposes
what’s ready, or shrouded, or finished

just as a pillow in a kid fight stays above the head
only in a wink, a flash, a glimpse gone forever

match your poetry to the couch, past the rapture
of paint on the doors, a blitz of tags, calligraphy

in the way hair moves, an oscillation of selves
of good angles at windows, privacy as fair game

you can change your name to be who you are
or were becoming, with a blink, a shutter


I must turn to the acceptance aspirin
or machinery that doesn’t need to be seen
unless it glows with its own eternity
or flashes in my palm some soft meanings.

Or I perform at my own edge, cheering
thresholds and likes, a tally of sweet virus
sardonic tiktok, endlessly shackled to a role
sketching sunrises as if impossibly real.

Tell me about those matters I asked of.
‘To what hero shall we sacrifice?’ There’s a thesis
in all this, a whimper of monoliths. Then ‘all hills
shall cease, all mountains turn to pain.’

Jill Jones lives in Adelaide. Her latest book is Acrobat Music: New and Selected Poems, published in late 2022. Recent books include Wild Curious Air and A History Of What I’ll Become. Her work has been published in periodicals in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ireland, NZ, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and USA. She currently writes and teaches freelance, and previously has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.
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Blogger Sheila Murphy said...

Yum. Such great poetry, Jill. Thank you. Sheila

4:35 AM  

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