Published 18 December 202015 February 2021 · Poetry Poetry | Elsewhere here Jill Jones 1 What is the colour of the world? The bush flame? And how should I begin? With phantoms like portents a blowtorch on the roadhouse the pity blues dogs don’t let up bragging. In the aftertaste of mourning are bankrupt sermons ‘twit twit twit’ as the blackbird’s night trade sharpens into sorrow. J’écrivais des silences, des nuits, je notais l’inexprimable. What sound is without fault? Nocturnes harangue or bluff the summer’s morale. I no longer have any excuse for epigrams but they trail behind me. Each time the coda crumbles I sanctuary it. My ligaments seize. The sound of floorboards mocks me. The house of labour turns me loose. I am the trouble of what I write. 2 Phantoms from treetops fall like footprints the brightness delaying as beginnings do. It’s a disagreement with time and the place of things. A diurnal shimmer. Noon melts into darkness. I wrote silences and nights We’re preoccupied or helpless. Hectic broadcasts and think tanks are the only conversation. Is sound our fault? Is there some other source, a charm a new style we swing on a catwalk like a charlatan with his magical stutter with prescriptions for elsewhere. Something grabs me in passing a syllable, a sound that becomes one word then another. I recorded the inexpressible This isn’t retreat but utterance over ego, and the fierce doors of this house turn my trouble loose. 3 Eucalypt litters daydream. The summer night sky turns into view. Buds have become moments. Flowerbeds spread sunshine’s rattle. Pollen begins to drown and there’s a syllabic noise on the breeze. Each new dream twitches like a green twig. We break, we slide, we shift. We have secret loves we hide away in poems. A kind of sanctuary a kind of tolerance a charge on the soul (if that’s what you call it). It feels like whiplash or a liquor never brewed a springboard, a new enzyme, desire that drags you out of spasms in your sinews. It’s not a fault of sound, but a beginning once begun continues without too much mockery. lets every irony echo —there is nothing that is just one— Just as dawn chorus is not one. Even single things rescue each other and elsewhere is also here. Notes: ‘And how should I begin?’ – T.S. Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ ‘twit twit twit’ – T.S. Eliot ‘The Waste Land’ ‘J’écrivais des silences, des nuits, je notais l’inexprimable.’ – Arthur Rimbaud, ‘A Season in Hell’ (my version in English in section 2) ‘a liquor never brewed’ – Emily Dickinson, ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’  Jill Jones Jill Jones lives and works on unceded Kaurna land. Her latest book is Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work is widely published in Australia, Canada, Ireland, NZ, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and USA and has been translated into a number of languages. She has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor. More by Jill Jones › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Games Heather Taylor-Johnson Days pinch and lately I’ve noticed every time I look in the mirror I’m squinting—maybe it’s a grimace. Without trying I’ve mastered the façade of a Besser block threatened by a mallet, by which I mean maybe the world won’t kill me but it’ll definitely hurt and I’ve got to be ready. First published in Overland Issue 228 31 August 20236 September 2023 · Poetry Verbing the apocalypse: Alison Croggon’s Rilke Josie/Jocelyn Suzanne ‘This again?’ and ‘why now? Why not years ago?’ are the two questions raised in each new translation of a non-English piece of Western Canon. There’s an understanding—of course a poetic cycle like the Duino Elegies is incomplete in English, there are endless new readings—and a simultaneous sense of wounded pride/suspicion: what was missing the last time around? What were you concealing from me? What are you concealing now?