Inside me is stuff I’m not sure anyone can explain.
Each day another statistic dances
as a testament to clickbait and big Pharma.
So what are all my chemicals doing
my karma cancer, my noodling nodules,
my sex dreams and gigantic spools of lymphatic anguish?
Who has ever measured anguish?
Who has another theory of black bile?
Is my static any flashier than yours when I brush against
the steel knobs of machines or portals?
Will there be anything left
for vampires after work or zombie picnics?
Or lice, nits, jitters, even thoughts?
Are thoughts worth a candle?
If you put a candle to my ear, would you see the other side of me?
If you left me out in the rain would I melt? Maybe.
And here, where the world picks at itself
continually trips up or dribbles
because it’s inside and out from hang-nail to otolith.
Oh lucky me, I’m alive everywhere I look
as I spit myself along ground and wheeze up air
almost as if I belonged, in another system, another explanation
something that curves as it drops
and laughs as it rises.
Jill Jones’ most recent book is Brink (Five Islands Press, 2017). Her two previous books are The Beautiful Anxiety (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014) which won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry in 2015, and Breaking the Days (Whitmore Press, 2015) which won the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. A new book, Viva the Real, is due from UQP in 2018. Her work is represented in a number of major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, Contemporary Australian Poetry and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. In 2014 she was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University.