Narrative arc

for Ana

  The distance between expanding curves is vexing.
    Consider what is lost

    across lines primed for transoceanic dispatch;

     in our acceptance of the mainstream map
      of this binarised earth.

        We can’t extend, can’t translate or erase the borders

          add or subtract entity from global process
           or the democratising caste of fibre optics.

            Migration, complete and pending, has our passage marked.

             Some narratives defy their introductions. We pastiche
             the prolificacy of Balzac, adding detail

             to the detriment of action, forgetting what we signify.

            Arcs occur, counter to the cut of extant prose
           we recount boldly, without depleting.

          From time to time, preconceptions emerge to define us

        but how little they contribute to our final shift; to
       our shadow.

     The weak see a future developed by category, sure to

   employ no more sound than thunder. But we’ll have
  damage to spend, uselessly and well, to stop the world

inscribing: to gesture to those imperfectly alive.


Image: Lines / flickr




Kathryn Hummel

Dr Kathryn Hummel is a writer and researcher whose creative and scholarly works have been published/presented/translated/anthologised/awarded in various parts of the world. Currently, within Australia, she edits non-fiction and travel writing for Verity La. Kathryn’s fifth volume of poetry is forthcoming with Singapore’s Math Paper Press and her sixth and seventh with London’s Protex(s)t Books.

More by Kathryn Hummel ›

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