TEXT poetry

Paul Magee

That trees are graves at every step



that trees are graves at every step (there's only one)
into the sky, constellating Brisbane


Remember (the kid falling off the shelf) to press Record
for 'family comedy violence'. Kid remembers to cry - out loud -

Australia's Funniest Home Videos
finished, and we went out, via Liquorland

whereby bottles of people and landings of self
and disco-dancing games and karate
fell over at Lyndal's birthday party,

but that fall back forward

opens your ears eyes nose mouth the doors of the house
it touches silence.


Unemployment, New Farm

Tattooed from ear to ear but blank-faced
a man walks, a blank screen with writing
to the retreating sea of secretarial staff
behind the counter, where they try smiling.

He will probably not quite add up, at Employment Plus,
the Salvation Army's drop-in / be dropped-out nor I,
ideas all over my face, three degrees in mind
and none in any way reliable.

I've been trained to read paper, heads, their
collisions called writing.
Authorship is uncertain as personality
and I surmise from Liz's lecture

I've got the wrong one. She's teaching us
networking and how employers value honesty over
skills; "I'm not very honest. Oh shit!' (well, I'm a writer)
escapes my lips. I produce tattoos.


The text, unlocked, says little, it's just a text, a clothing
yesterday the door broke on our New Farm flat and
the tradesman doesn't work today.


The walking question marks to whom words are addressed
(the sending is all around us
punctuation is not death

that path short and winding that rode right through you
hard like breath




Paul Magee's most recent book, Cube Root of Book (John Leonard Press 2006), was shortlisted for the 2008 John Bray Poetry Award in the Adelaide Festival Of Arts. Paul is a senior lecturer in creative reading at the University of Canberra. He is the president of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia, and has abiding interests in idleness, boredom, stagnation and revolution. <Paul.Magee@canberra.edu.au>


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Vol 12 No 1 April 2008
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Jen Webb