Published in Overland Issue 229 Summer 2017 Uncategorized Serenade Jessica L Wilkinson Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Wide open chords raise a blue night on the orange grove of crossed lines. We angle towards metaphor, as if art travels deeper through weird parallel: arms might be branches; a waltz persuades tenderness; that fallen woman has had too many affairs. Familiar tales lead us wide of the stage, gazing at craters on Mercury’s surface. What if we could see only dancers in motion to the music’s story? The arms move first, the feet will follow, picking up speed con spirito – this is a beginner’s lesson in stage technique. Observe kaleidoscopic particles, propelled through soft diagonal and peeling off, always resisting the poet’s remark. Can we keep up without the direction of stars, pulled firm into the orbit of a muscle’s tone? We must learn quickly to absorb the sweeping strings, the skewed vocabulary, these floating experiments in numerical design. There are no secrets here: accidents prove able punctuation in a current of urgent women, each one stretching hard toward light. Read the rest of Overland 229 If you enjoyed this poem, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four outstanding issues for a year Jessica L Wilkinson Jessica L Wilkinson’s latest book of poetry is Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine (Vagabond Press, 2019). She is the managing editor of Rabbit and an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at RMIT University. More by Jessica L Wilkinson 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 27 January 2023 Cartoons In attacking us, they bring us together Sam Wallman 'What these bosses don't understand is that in attacking us, they bring us together.' (Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Svitzer Rally November 2022) 2 First published in Overland Issue 228 24 January 202325 January 2023 Politics The end of the politics of care Giovanni Tiso The daily spectacle of televised briefings was not unique to New Zealand, and it may simply be the case that Ardern thrived when given the opportunity to speak to the public directly—in other words, that she was better than others at it. Alternatively, we could say that her rhetoric found in the pandemic the ground on which to turn into concrete action. Either way, the benefits we derived in terms of lives saved from the remarkable extension of that social license are literally incalculable.