A strong south-westerly cuts through the shutters
and wakes me out of synch. Disorientated, I try
	to start a different story but have to secure the window.
	I am harried and haunted by the horrors of Du Pont.
I cannot get away from them whispering at each
node of modernity. Where will I arrive after this?
	Bats frozen mid-air don’t fall like the leaves,
but vanish into singularities. Where else 
can they have been during this residency?

I am a host of limited hospitality.
This is no niche or cradle in Jurassic 
	carbonate sediments — a lift from a planetary
	parenthesis.  To whom do the crows refer
wading through gutters, ice on limina
at dawn? That’s a prediction based on more
	than algorithms. The Star Way is upgraded
to distract attention from vivisection 
and ethical trade-offs via its polar alignment.


I observe for a full life-cycle, but leave
the exoskeleton to settle into its next phase.
	If the pink on the radar simulation equates
	with snow, then 800 metres is the measure
before we reach hexagons. I just walked
800 metres in cold rain and couldn’t
	find a trace of hexagons, but I am sure
they were configuring vertically.
The Australian government science agency —

CSIRO — has been complying to the needs
and requirements of BP. The breaking of glass
	on the non-British Diego Velázquez’s ‘Rokeby Venus’
	in Britain won’t stop the multi-levelled collusion
of fossil fuel companies, though it might
make the glass-breakers feel as if they’re
	doing something when nothing else is being
done. Here’s a hint: stop using all the technology
that comes out of that industry. Du Pont make 

the photovoltaic ‘materials’ in ’11 trillion’
solar panels... equating to half the solar
	panels in the world. Du Pont loves the sun
	and loves capitalism. The British government
love the North Sea and drilling and oil and gas
licenses. They do not love Velázquez’s ‘Rokeby Venus’
	beyond the number of tourists it brings to the city.
Shiny ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirt exoskeletons would get grimy
at the sites of oil extraction and refining.

Mary Richardson did seem to love the Venus.
Her statement was entwined with the oppression
	of beauty and women’s rights. But the violence
	is the discord, isn’t it? She later became a fascist. 
To slash is to slash. The smuggled meat cleaver.
So much is about irony, and irony hasn’t saved
	too many birds or reptiles, mammals or fungi.
I observe for a full life-cycle but leave
the exoskeleton to settle into its next phase.


It’s where we try to work out the difficulties,
isn’t it? A mantra or motif, a contradiction,
	the failures at intersections. The poem isn’t
	compliant even when weighted with rhetoric,
even when didactic. This swims with images.
This flaps like sheets of shredded plastic
	around window frames in the concrete setting.
This sources the molecules: the monomers
strung out into chunky polymers, the radio

playing as tradies set the materials in place.
What is an engineer? Again the crane faces
	into the storm. Each profession has its devices.
	A raven’s feather fell into wet concrete — a flaw
in the artificial, a building block of disintegration.
There isn’t much room for flesh and blood
	while number crunching. Chlorine and nitrogen.
Carbon and Sulphur. Oxygen. All have been 
patented into an off-kilter nomenclature.


Which is not to obfuscate the persistent
violence of patriarchy, even if some are
	weary of the terminology. Maybe the same
	who would call a versifier a form 
of poetaster. I am distracted studying
those eggs laid in gutters and wondering
	about the fate of larvae. So much building
towards future and the barely visible
forms so readily swept away or disrupted.

Such easy chatter at the bus stop in front
of the genomic epicentre. The streetsweeper
	leaving its oil trail. The leaves swept in front
	of the foreigner’s carless garage. The writing
of memoir while teaching memoir writing.
The wind howling through barely similar conditions — 
	I am not making lines out of bird parts. 
I hope that I am not compositing an integer or drawing 
heat from diatoms or the walls of glasshouses.


This piece is sponsored by CoPower, Australia’s first non-profit energy co-operative. To find out more about CoPower’s mission, services, and impact funding, jump online at https://www.cooperativepower.org.au/ or call 03 9068 6036 today.


Image by Peter Olexa


John Kinsella

John Kinsella’s collected poems have been published by UWAP as The Ascension of Sheep (2022), Harsh Hakea (2023) and Spirals (early 2024). His verse novel Cellnight appeared with Transit Lounge in 2023, and his anti-epic, Argonautica Inlandica, with Vagabond (2023). A recent critical work is Legibility: An Anti-fascist Poetics (Palgrave, 2022).

More by John Kinsella ›

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