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 1 December 20231 December 2023 · History ‘We’re doing everything but treaty’: Law reform and sovereign refusal in the colonial debtscape Maria Giannacopoulos I coined the concept of the colonial debtscape while working to understand the relation between debt and sovereignty in the wake of the 2007 Global Financial crisis. Despite the referendum held in Greece in 2015 where the people voted against austerity, austerity as punishment, was imposed anyway. As this was a colonising move, that is, the imposition of an external and foreign law on local populations against their will, it was to Aboriginal scholars here that I turned to begin to put the pieces together. First published in Overland Issue 228 30 November 202330 November 2023 · Urbanism The Plains exposes the psychic terrain of Victoria’s highways Fred Pryce The Plains charts the psychic terrain of the freeway in miniature, peeling back the lid of the private vehicle to expose just one of the millions of dramas taking place in simultaneity, severed from one another yet still part of the same city-wide traffic ballet.