A century scribbling auditory signatures,
slithering decade of cords uncoiling, smacking
a wooden floor. Charger heartbeat. Crack a spiderwebbed
screen whispers when it lands. All the muffled electric
car terror humming to life. A drone’s witch-like
passing. In the oceans, nuclear propulsion bubbling,
plastic waves pushing against each other, squealing
from their mute gyre, the final croak
birds gawk from gummed stomachs.
Two tongues weaving language, the tread tyres
make on a newly laid road, on dust
crushed from recently broken mountains.
Motorised transport, the skateboard, the bicycle
their footpath stalking. The solicitude voices offer,
the way they seem to be, always in the air, waiting.

What it takes to break the auditory atmosphere,
blast of exit velocity. Headphones invading
an ear canal: opinion, aggrieved sound waves,
stolen music, speculations and conspiracies, forgotten
murders. The reason everyone has a lyric tattooed
on their side, upside down it looks like noise, it’s what I say
with my body — blip, blip, Casio third key from the right —
play it again, play it again so we remember to laugh this time.

Rico Craig

Rico Craig is a poet, writer and workshop facilitator. Bone Ink (UWAP), his first poetry collection, was winner of the 2017 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2018. His recent collections Our Tongues Are Songs (2021) and Nekhau (2022) are published by Recent Work Press.

More by Rico Craig ›

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