Type
Poetry Prize
Category
Judith Wright Poetry Prize
Poetry

chinny chin chin

when the black curtain drops in a back room at the airport.
solo desk in the corner: union jack + southern cross + lipstick holder.

      white man drags a beat up fairlane, parks so close our mirrors touch.
watching him watching me watching him, I feng shui my rear vision. wait for the bricking.

the morning’s notes are eagles: take it eeeeeasy.
another beer for mister loiter. shut the door.

      would you like to listen to some ambient music?
I prefer the sound of running water, thank you.
and the quivering galleries in my sinuses flush.

      shall we examine the laundry? you’re travelling like you’re carrying triplets.
it’s my diet, sir: donuts, fries and four n twenty meat pies (mate).
      we’ll need a gastroenterologist to verify. sign here. clickety click (add a brick).

      and what about the little one?
alongside probable psychological causes, she’s still breastfed.
can’t eat oranges, wheat, sugar, dairy, red meat –

      what animal proteins are on your person? have you raised swine in high fevers
      in the last hundred days?
sir, in this theatre of permeable membranes, about seventy percent are resistant
to smoking, drying, and freezing –

      you got a stiff neck?
I’ve taken up pottery. I like clay on my hands … (especially now that my retinas
are detaching).
      cackles and shania twain. clickety clickety click (brick brick brick).

      that what the tinted visor’s for?
(breaking scarlet): saving for a rhinoplasty, sir, and a small boat to sail up north.
better homes up there since 1987, I hear, and the winters blood-warm.

      your pandas are doing well by the way. wang wang and foo nee.
      only fertile once a year (& no-one kicks up a stink that they’re behind bars).
bears are more delicious in exile, sir.

      look here – what about these rheumatic joints, and the chinese constellations?
      we hear they are inflamed, and extremely unequal.
we will take turmeric, sir, to the gate of heavenly peace, and for your inflammation,
a trip to lhasa and taipei.

      stroking the hair on his chinny chin chin. he says, it’s council land, technically.
      clickety clickety clickety click. (brick brick brick brick).

if you fly in on a clear day, you can see them stationed along the coast, crowns
firm in the sand, bottoms pink and bare and raised to the salt like porcella rumps.

Read the rest of Overland 238

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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.

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