Published in Overland Issue 201 Summer 2010 · Main Posts / Writing Aperture James Stuart Brief squalls of blue, spliced between persistent rain. Scene 4: a pair of black swans drift towards sunset, slow tilt at a finite problem – soft-lighting perhaps? But the rugby fan behind me unwraps a hotdog, wrapper branded Hans Small Goods, & the Waikato Chiefs score again. Near Bulli Pass, an isolated stag hoofs it across the freeway’s shock of headlights, edging away from Venison Weekend at the Austrian Club. Each of us holds this sensation of acceleration, approaching the drawn-out smudge which may yet be mountain range blurred against a graphite sky. Even in rewind, you look older in the makeup mirror in your hip pocket, kept for such doleful occasions. With a flick of the wrist, you interlock its circles like a lens though a quick survey of the foreground brings the distance, like a taciturn stranger, too close for comfort. Ambling along this alpine lake’s gravelly shores, petrified wood crumbles at a touch, each piece strewn into place before the crowd snaps the reverie with a gasp. The train is a cue; we shuffle into platform gaps, fingering this thought or that, licking our lips in anticipation. If there is room here – enough for everyone – invite the rugby fans, our collected friends, even the swans, who barely register our shapes from so high above, as we move into & out of focus, signposting this explicable mist. James Stuart James Stuart’s most recent projects include Conversions, an exhibition of poetry in translation (Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing). He was a 2008 Asialink Literature Resident in Chengdu, China, supported by the Australia Council and Arts NSW. More by James Stuart 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 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 23 February 202324 February 2023 · Writing From work to text, and back again: ChatGPT and the (new) death of the author Rob Horning Generative models extinguish the dream that Barthes’s Death of the Author articulates by fulfilling it. Their ‘tissue of signs’ seems less like revolution and more like the fear that AI will create a recursive postmodern nightmare world of perpetual sameness that we will all accept because we no longer remember otherwise or how to create an alternative.