sonogram • the bricklayer • projective geometry


THREE POEMS BY JINI MAXWELL
 

sonogram


over the balcony, my neighbours have replaced their leeks
with tomatoes; an aeroplane unhinges a piece of the air

and cigarette ash floats past the railing and gets lost

lately I am transfixed by the potential sound of falling
a passing train, the hum of old pipes, everything gets transposed

into sky. Or, I think about how falling happens
all over the place, a warhead,
an unexpected furrow in the road

like how leaves do, for no reason except it’s time,
surface to air inevitably coming to surface again

it’s so much easier to picture the fallen,
as we hold the picket-line between normal and tragedy,

but even then everything normally stumbles on,
for example, my friend died, but I still drink pepsi
and wonder whether or not to close the backdoor

north korea could attack at any moment
and I don’t even know what I’m listening for
will it be whistle? Or a roar? The same domestic kind of silence?


the bricklayer


two days after, he frees the snake
he found trapped in chicken wire
carving out the lip of bush.
this way, he says
it will be too tired to fight.

i come to hate this unyoked patience
turning up everywhere:
untethered borrowing,
crystal magic, the son
forever in the other room.

grief can’t melt steel beams.
i won’t coax
a cut snake from the wires,
a squabble of hippies in a church

but there’s always
something rising in the distance:
smoke, or a memory around it,

white ox filtered only
by the eucalypts.
a balcony, christmas day,
and the sound of irish fiddle in the trees.

projective geometry


this feels like: doodling through high school geometry
then failing a perspective drawing class

i don’t know the prime factors of 58 008
but if you hold it upside down, you’ll see
i’ve written boobs on this calculator

i guess everything is connected: maths and drawing,
a butterfly flaps its wings in the amazon
then one thursday i can’t rediscover the angle
that made you seem kind anymore

I may only see things one-point at a time
but if this is the vanishing point, baby, I can’t categorically say
i like the life i’ve drawn in your direction

still, to gain any kind of perspective on this
i have to imagine myself as some cuck with a VR headset
looking at a demo build of us, saying

these guys are so toxic together

i can’t tip this upside down to turn it into a joke

when you and i are still shuffling the feet of our silence
leaving scuffs all over our shared room


 
 

About the author

Jini Maxwell is a robot ally and future ghost. She tweets @astroblob

Jini is reading at Seen&Heard, a special event happening in Sydney on July 14. Check the full event details here.

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