excluding guns and ammo

lighting beacons upon the tops of silos
sparrows fall like clods of dirt
we update our blogs according to the contract
and celebrate Christmas for cameras

excluding guns and ammo you look beautiful tonight
dumping bloated livestock into trenches
the sun still wriggling in a radio sky
always the threat of more children
but we never ask how it came to this
how some of us are immune to hanging
we never admit to stabbing dolphins for music
or to dining on the milk of weeds

excluding guns and ammo you look beautiful tonight
you don’t shake when the media comes
can’t we talk about us as we flog the horses
take a stab at life on the beach
tree trunks humming like old transformers
imagine spitting on the city wall or my chest
remember how babies put dead moths to mouths
the leg irons clean better with ash

excluding guns and ammo you look beautiful tonight
out there the shining bald opinions of men
lighting the beacons ingesting grams of hunger
the clods of dirt the tiny hearts

Nathan Curnow is a poet, playwright and past editor of Going Down Swinging. His work features in Best Australian Poems 2008 and 2010 (Black Inc.) and his latest book The Ghost Poetry Project (Puncher and Wattmann) is based upon his stays at ten haunted sites around the country. A recipient of two Australia Council grants, his recent prizes include the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize and the FAW Di Cranston Award.
© Nathan Curnow
Overland 204−spring 2011, p. 122

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Nathan Curnow

Nathan Curnow lives in Ballarat and is a past editor of Going Down Swinging. His latest poetry collection is RADAR.

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