Published in Overland Issue 239 Winter 2020 · Uncategorized First place, Nakata Brophy Prize: SUPERPOSITION Grace Lucas-Pennington Too many blacks goin around, thinkin they own the place – an old problem. Time was, they knew their proper place; [hard workers, the blacks] these days, can’t go two steps without falling over one [theyre lucky we came here] telling us we’re the problem [lazy goodfornothin] yep too many uppity, wont-stay-in-their-lane blacks [farmers? youvegottabefuckinkiddin] Here sits an edifice; a pulpit raised of shears rumbarrels chains ships bullets theft and bloodred death book-lined, velvet-curtained veneered in an unctuous justice samely coating all the lives adjoined. Within a man sits tracing ghostly ink, revolution emergent as if thrown, a hairshirt spirals verdant, down now onto this stage twixt the sombre stacks of once-trees, much unvisited. The man stops stoops lifts the bristling bundle now heretic, ascends a stair other hands construct the remnant curtains part, there ‘ICONOCLAST’ spelled out in neon tubing pulsing ‘gainst a white white wall. Tomes clasped chestward, he – our reluctant cynosure – speaks voice rising (streetpunk academic mutiny / circle back toward lost fecundity) standing, blinking manifest sunlight palaces and towers shed birds like skin crowds swerve, bend ears, listen: (there was always life before you as there is always life after you you have never been the first, or only) – an old story. and like a tree dragged upright, this roar shunts a world somewhere deep stone stratum cracks, unfastens earth-strong membranes wave functions collapse potentialities formerly certified stable corrode diffract cohere no more certain stories are fences / certain stories are seeds gauche bylines slop our troughs to brimming [gonna destroy im] adamant fencers clinging to zero-sum [fabrication realhistory] mainlining militant indignant feeds maddened erupt [madeitup fraudster notfarmers] a vague relentless clouding morass [sowhatiftherewerehousesyoucouldntinventthewheel] overwhelm civil semblance [savages] two positions, superimposed [You can’t just rewrite history] Read the rest of Overland 239 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Grace Lucas-Pennington Grace Lucas-Pennington is a Bundjalung/European person living on Yugurapul land. She grew up mostly between Bundjalung country on the NSW north coast and the greater Logan/Brisbane area. Grace is currently the Editor for State Library of Queensland’s black&write! Indigenous Writing and Project. More by Grace Lucas-Pennington › 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 25 September 202326 September 2023 · The university Solidarity but only among managers, or the future of the university sector Hannah Forsyth The process continued during Covid. Jobs were being cut due to the threats posed by the pandemic, yet more scholars were being recruited. Nice people, good at their job. But why are we doing this, we kept asking. Management kept telling us we have a funding crisis (which often turned to a surplus in the end), so why are we also on a hiring spree? All along it looked like it could end badly, for all of us. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 September 202326 September 2023 · Friday Features Activating the poetic spirit as friendship John Kinsella I’ve always had the aching feeling that—as a text to be shared among friends and maybe eventually ‘enemies’—the soul-body dialogue poem is a way of arguing towards spiritual certainty in the face of earthly corruption and doubt.