Friday, November 04, 2005

Poetry by Andrew Jackson


Since the door was locked, I’ve learnt so much.
A face can feel the sun yet forget what it's for.

Bars obscure the world, the room
to stand up, take a few steps. Legs buckle

even under the weight of a body with no soul.
At intervals I'm fed, given medication. The walls

absorb the smell of the dead who arrived earlier.
Battery is a system of power that pulls everything in.

I have no desire to lash out. The voices are calm
and impersonal. If I can be stomached, if

the risk to the population is low enough, a detached
voice might announce my release. These wings

are withered and pecked to the bone,
and see the future, like the sky, is an open

lie. Everything is a weapon.
Bleeding, refusing food, speechless, I speak

the only dialect left. Outside are people
who say they wouldn't treat an animal like this,

their faces averted like statues, ideal humans.
My life depends on you becoming something else.


You know no lens could expand wide
enough to take in the entire globe of
the tear that slides now down her face.
She’s not thinking of the sea, but still
these waves come, in them reflections
of family members, adrift, motionless.
The button’s pressed. For an instant
all you see’s a blank black screen, then
she’s back. You’ll move on, clutching
a hope you’ve not cut out too much.
But four knives make up each frame,
even though they’ll print the caption
you’ve written that speaks her name.

Andrew Jackson 2005

Andy Jackson was born in 1971, is physically extraordinary and a writer of poetry, fiction and reviews. His latest poetry collection is Aperture, which includes a CD of collaborations with musicians. He is currently working on another with an Australia Council grant, and can be virtually contacted at

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