Published in Overland Issue The Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize · Uncategorized Co-winner: Cut up song Andrew Booth Run it for me Bub. Run the song. That song I cut up, the one the ladies sing. Yes Gran. Again? You sure? You OK? Yes Bub. Sure. I’m a bit cold. Light the fire? Cup of tea? Thanks Bub. Crockery clatters. Why’d you cut it up Gran, the song? It was wrong. They got it all wrong. It was the wrong song. You could then, it was going around. Nineteen seventy seven. You could just cut things up. Rearrange the pieces. Writers were doing it, like collage. Line up the bits any way you like. Juxtapose. Use judgement. So I cut it up. Put it back together again. You see things weren’t there before. Get something new. Were you a scientist then Gran, an inventor? Ha! No. They thought I was mad. But they gave me a grant. One hundred and eight pieces. I just threw them up in the air again and again until I got it right. We won a prize. I was avant-garde. Play it for me now Bub? OK Gran. You comfortable? Yeah Bub. Kindling takes. Fire brightens. A choir of spectral voices ululates an incantation from beyond. us sing advance us sing advance let us rich and rare strains then let us sing free golden soil and wealth then us sing advance in joyful strains with courage let us combine joyful strains then let us history’s page then let us with hearts and hands then boundless plains our land abounds strains then let us rich and rare us sing advance us sing advance free with courage let us gifts of beauty in history’s page let us golden soil and wealth of ours renowned of all boundless plains to share then let us combine all combine in joyful strains in nature’s gifts in history’s page us sing advance every stage advance then let us (voices rise) let us sing us all combine then us sing advance us sing advance us sing advance all combine with courage let us Choir stops. Fire cracks. Sparks fly. Gran? Softer, Gran? Gran sleeps. Gran dreams? Us sing advance? Cut up song. Image: ‘Collage-062’ / flickr Andrew Booth Born in Sydney, Indigenous writer Andrew Booth has had a diverse senior executive career in the public sector. Subsequently he freelanced as a government adviser in Australia and then in the South Pacific where, in a case of mistaken identity, he was once shot at. He took up writing full time in 2012 and won the Queensland Literary Awards 2015 David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer with his first book, an experimental novel, The First Octoroon or Report of an Experimental Child which will be published by University of Queensland Press in 2017. Andrew spends his time reading, writing and fishing. More by Andrew Booth › 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 1 December 20231 December 2023 · History ‘We’re doing everything but treaty’: Law reform and sovereign refusal in the colonial debtscape Maria Giannacopoulos I coined the concept of the colonial debtscape while working to understand the relation between debt and sovereignty in the wake of the 2007 Global Financial crisis. Despite the referendum held in Greece in 2015 where the people voted against austerity, austerity as punishment, was imposed anyway. As this was a colonising move, that is, the imposition of an external and foreign law on local populations against their will, it was to Aboriginal scholars here that I turned to begin to put the pieces together. First published in Overland Issue 228 30 November 202330 November 2023 · Urbanism The Plains exposes the psychic terrain of Victoria’s highways Fred Pryce The Plains charts the psychic terrain of the freeway in miniature, peeling back the lid of the private vehicle to expose just one of the millions of dramas taking place in simultaneity, severed from one another yet still part of the same city-wide traffic ballet.