Published in Overland Issue 241 Summer 2020 · Poetry River: contra/indications Jill Jones Even if I see and don’t see the river’s writhing the fish daphnia algae the water the water the swelling of ritalin warfarin methotrexate Even if I bend or don’t bend to the flow ingest bitter tasting wonders as do aquatic insects riparian spiders soaked in memantine codeine fluconazole mianserin Even if the nerve system of antidotes flushes me with tics ‘Platypuses feed on the insect larvae that live on the creek bed’ aggression numbness memory loss unwanted rules of the algorithm Past the old flux of apoplexy breakbone dropsy grief grippe horrors jaw-faln lethargy lockjaw nostalgia palsy quinsy rickets scurvy spleen Even if I know it’s too much and not enough ‘with ageing infrastructure there’s some leakage’ with my own sweet body is all I offer baptismal slough of perfume cologne skin lotion sunscreen Even if the nerve system of doses will cure my blurred vision steroids move from cows to waterways through banks and sediments tiredness aches anaemia unusual bruising Even if my nerve system splits from its diminishing returns Silent and hardened destroyed duplicitous and dumb I’m not quite lost though I may not speak up In that plagued flux dying still navigates living welcome stone-fly larvae leafy twig-rush all you tiddlers everything as part of things nothing to rule earth but little ones Note: Quotes from ‘Drugs in Our Waterways, the Bugs and Beyond’ by Bob Wong and Erinn Richmond. https://lens.monash.edu/2018/11/06/1364035/pharmaceuticals-in-our-waterways Read the rest of Overland 241 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Jill Jones Jill Jones lives and works on unceded Kaurna land. Her latest book is Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work is widely published in Australia, Canada, Ireland, NZ, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and USA and has been translated into a number of languages. She has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor. More by Jill Jones › 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 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Games Heather Taylor-Johnson Days pinch and lately I’ve noticed every time I look in the mirror I’m squinting—maybe it’s a grimace. Without trying I’ve mastered the façade of a Besser block threatened by a mallet, by which I mean maybe the world won’t kill me but it’ll definitely hurt and I’ve got to be ready. First published in Overland Issue 228 31 August 20236 September 2023 · Poetry Verbing the apocalypse: Alison Croggon’s Rilke Josie/Jocelyn Suzanne ‘This again?’ and ‘why now? Why not years ago?’ are the two questions raised in each new translation of a non-English piece of Western Canon. There’s an understanding—of course a poetic cycle like the Duino Elegies is incomplete in English, there are endless new readings—and a simultaneous sense of wounded pride/suspicion: what was missing the last time around? What were you concealing from me? What are you concealing now?