Published in Overland Issue Poetry in Lockdown Poetry Excerpt from 'salt' Andrew Brooks We huddle under the eaves while it rains hard and you whisper something in my ear and it feels so good and I want to stay here a little longer but we have to make a run for it. The pavement is cracked and slippery so we take half steps in a bid not to lose control of our own bodies. Later I go to the gym and lift small weights above my head. I’m very weak so I put the weights down and just lift my arms above my head in time with my slow, deliberate breaths. I look ridiculous but it’s a good way to pass the time. We cram into a small, dank room and take our places on the carpet among the papers and trash. Slowly we start to take apart an IKEA bookshelf, making stacks of the chipped and warped MDF panels. We make a plan even though we know it’s futile and then we get drunk. On the way home I think about the fate of the hypocrites in Dante’s hell who are defeated and worn down by having to journey while wearing robes of lead that cloak their eyes. I worry that this too will be my fate. J Clo visits and we go to the beach and eat Thai and talk about M.I.A. At his talk the next day he says it’s as simple and as difficult as finding a way to block all the routes they use. I read Hartman on the train on my way to work. She argues that we must mistranslate the concept of the general strike so as to not forget those battles waged in the realm of social reproduction, the resistances of those who fail to be recognised by the category of worker, struggles large and small. When I get home I put a big pot of lentils on the stove, adding salt and a dried chilli and a bay leaf and clove of garlic and some pepper corns to the pot. We bump into Bianca and Grace outside Charlie’s show. Inside, a sheer yellow curtain divides the room in two. It’s a delicate threshold that feels good to pass through. The work is small and slow and kind of sexy. We sit on the floor of the gallery and have a makeshift picnic. When we go we leave a few pepitas on the floor as an offering. While we wait, I think about this line by Moten: ‘communism is how you get nasty with enjoyment.’ Later, we go dancing and afterwards I try to hold onto the warmth of our collective body. Read the rest of Poetry in Lockdown, edited by Toby Fitch and Melody Paloma If you enjoyed this special edition, subscribe and receive a year’s worth of print issues, the online magazine, special editions and discounted entry to our literary competitions Andrew Brooks Andrew Brooks is a lecturer in media cultures at UNSW. He is one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate and a co-editor of Rosa Press. He lives on unceded Wangal country. More by Andrew Brooks 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 3 First published in Overland Issue 228 1 February 20233 February 2023 Reviews This is where the rat bastard poem comes in Dan Hogan Rats will be found wherever nonsense presented as sense becomes the authority. Such is the cornerstone of anything organised along lines of capital: bureaucracies, workplace hierarchies, real estate, aspiration culture, institutions, ruling class artifice, governments, etcetera. Wherever there is capital there are rats—hoarding creatures, capital’s henchmen. First published in Overland Issue 228 16 December 202225 January 2023 Poetry Poetry | Wombats shit candy Michael Farrell To avoid treading on a snake, I stepped on a land mine. Did this really happen, in my dream? No. Is it a fiction, then? Yes and no. The time I spend looking for socks is insignificant: lie, irony, or philosophy? Wombats shit candy. Joke – hallucination? This is in fact a truth claim. My poems: litanies of truth claims.