Published in Overland Issue 250 Autumn 2023 · Poetry blah opus Panda Wong blah moon smoulders as I careen like a pulsar towards hot blah summer I am failing flailing feeling in a thalassic blah in a time where I can’t hear the constant hum of the earth above the hum of mass air conditioning originally invented to help ink dry & stop pages warping it now entombs us in productivity delusion lives in the phrase climate control I think of sweat as a type of release a friend texts me did u know we work almost twice as much as medieval peasants? fml why am I always too cold in every office job I have ever had my co-worker says it’s because offices are always set to the perfect temperature for a man wearing a business suit corporate ambient & this year the world cup is happening in a country where it is so hot & humid you can die from your own body heat a country where nepali labourer surendra tamang tells time magazine I used to have dreams as he lies on a hospital bed his kidneys eviscerated by heat & work at the age of 31 a country where over 6500 migrant workers have died to build eight air-conditioned stadiums real hunger games shit this is how you shed blood without spilling a single drop on tv a single perfect cgi tear crawls down kim k’s perfect face remember when she said it seems like nobody wants to work these days? & this year over 800 ‘australian’ companies paid no tax making it extremely sexy to pay tax there’s a soft dent in my pillow from screaming into it orgasm cult girlboss who forced her staff to watch videos of lions ripping zebras apart workers are like predators only the apex never go hungry when I say burn you sayout burnout burnOUT BURNOUT this word like a wet bandaid peeling off a shark bite some types of seabirds survive typhoons by flying into them but some never come out the thing is we are all a community of air one shouldn’t differentiate between all that breathes I am watching this documentary about two brothers in delhi who rescue black kites carnivorous birds that are falling out of the sky choking on smog & cut up by kite strings coated in crushed glass with their teenage bodybuilder histories & intimate knowledge of muscle the brothers suture wings & reconnect tendons in their family’s soap dispenser factory there’s something about tending to the skies one piece at a time as it falls apart & sometimes I can’t believe how lonely life can be in a world where mycorrhizal networks exist an entanglement of trees feeding each other through delicate mycelium threads the forest’s own fungi internet but here I am newly birthed angel of blah Panda Wong Panda is a poet working on unceded land in Naarm/so-called Melbourne. She is an Associate Editor at The Suburban Review and is a 2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk fellow. More by Panda Wong › 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?