Published in Overland Issue 236 Spring 2019 Uncategorized to paint like picasso before 1904 Grace Yee there is a species of tavern where drinkers make disparaging remarks about chinese immigrants. it is patronised by a squadron of pirates of otherwise sweet temperament, who truck their goods with whomever they please. baring dog-yellow teeth, they sit in plastic fold-up chairs in cheap t-shirts designed by europeans unmolested in canton. each ship at the bar plays furiously, leaving a trail of wild colonial girls cruelly strangled after the first wash. in the wake of their missionary grandmothers, the risk these women take is calculated on trigonometrical principles. female players have the option of wearing cones so they don’t get kissed for no reason. everyone looks for their partners online these days, including an entire class of whining feminists for whom postpartum incontinence has never been a problem, but who nonetheless kegel jade eggs at every opportunity. it’s hard for these women not to feel violated by the knowledge that their dna is half-man, but the smarter chicks check their purses of emotional labour in (the taverns’) tiny grimy bathrooms and suspend intercourse by returning to campus via the victorian roads. in high pollen weather, with abscesses fit to burst, they heroically collaborate in their efforts to arrest the flames. after years of feckless liaisons, some of these women set sail for the orient. landing in the earl’s court, they feel secure in their portion of comparatively uncontaminated empire. with contempt in equal parts for men and aliens silently stoning their gallbladders, they manage to live peacefully, albeit corpulently, by a calendar of saints for years under a special licence to paint like picasso before 1904. Note: These two poems include phrases derived or borrowed from Davis, John Francis. The Chinese: A General Description of the Empire of China and its Inhabitants. Vol. 1. London, 1836. Read the rest of Overland 236 If you liked this poem, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Grace Yee Grace Yee teaches in the writing and literature programs at the University of Melbourne and at Deakin University. She is currently a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Meanjin, Rabbit, and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. More by Grace Yee 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 7 February 2023 Aboriginal Australia Victoria police back down, is this a case for defunding? Crystal McKinnon and Meriki Onus After three arduous years, Victoria Police have today withdrawn their charges against two organisers of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest. Whilst we welcome their decision, we note that their mediocrity gave them no other option. Emboldened by their state-sanctioned impunity, Victoria Police’s ineptitude hit a dead end. Pigs cannot fly. First published in Overland Issue 228 6 February 20237 February 2023 Aboriginal Australia Winaga-li Gunimaa Gali: listen, hear, think, understand from our sacred Mother Earth and our Water Winaga-li Gunimaa Gali Collective To winaga-li, Gomeroi/Kamilaroi people must be able to access Gunimaa. They must be able to connect and re-connect. Over 160 years of colonisation has privileged intensive agriculture, grazing and heavily extractive water management regimes, enabled by imposed property regimes and governance systems. Gunimaa and Gali still experience the violent repercussions of these processes, including current climate changes which are exacerbating impacts, as droughts become longer, floods and heat extremes become more intense, and climatic zones shift, impacting on species’ viability and biodiversity.