Type
Poetry
Category
The internet
Poetry

Vague, or I Can’t Explain It Any Other Way

  • By Toby Fitch
  • Tribulations from the digital frontier

You have a new memory:

Every practicing psychologist ever has that

Japanese print of the Tsunami

in their office, says a poet on Facebook.

The system only dreams in total dankness.

There’s an overflow of green

apricots in the back alley where I walk

most days with my daughters to Black Star.

The sun’s not a sphere, it’s a tunnel.

I just wanna get past all the squashed hearts,

I tell my eldest. No they’re hearts of Te Fiti,

she rebukes, asking me to carry one.

Last night she had bad dreams about crocodiles

because they’re in Fantasia, dancing

with the tutu-ed hippos (they’re basically the patriarchy

and it’s definitely not like Moana). Is mummy

at work today? Yes, it’s what’s paying

for your Ginger Ninja, honey, can I have a bite?

Her fake wail rose then like a wave

over the jangle of Belly, her soft toy whale. Were there

sirens on Hawai’i after that missile text was

sent out en masse, everyone there islands at the whim of

more awesome fake forces? I wonder

what happened to whales near Japan when that

Tōhoku earthquake thrusted a mega chunk of earth up,

displacing an even more massive chunk of water

– did their sonar go haywire?

The vision on the USYD gym screens was

unclear (and nuclear) – I’d been thinking I could

make the basketball team to avoid my PhD

but then two shoes collided head-on

in a defensive scramble, lifting my left big toe

-nail from its quick. In any event,

I hadn’t read Derrida yet, and a ghost called ‘You’

called me from work to check whether I was seeing this

black sludge swallowing roads. I already had

my mouth open (not just in agony)

– I was swiping over cracks in my phone

to see if Fukushima hadn’t gone under completely

when the screen lit up, buzzed

beneath my thumb, as it does again now

with the girls around me crumbling

at Black Star, Belly jangling, a shooting pain inside my toe

where my toenail used to be entrenched:

you have a new memory.

 

 

Image: Mohd Hafizuddin Husin / flickr

 

 

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor and the author of Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012), which won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry, and Jerilderies (Vagabond Press 2014). His most recent collection is Bloomin’ Notions.

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