Octopus Ink at Dawn
I’m in the garden on a bench with green leaves
dripping diamonds of lemon sun.
Grandfather’s beard is growing on the fence and I’ve
Put out the umbrella I found at Bunnings.
It’s my red Japanese parasol that I pretend with.
A bee is buzzing somewhere, and I take photos of
Myself looking back at a phone to see someone new.
I think about making one of them my new profile pic
When the kitchen bench begins to swarm. I look
Back and I’m standing there, dress round my ankles
Not wearing any underwear. Thankfully, it’s all in my mind
But I’m by the sink; it’s true I shouldn’t try to think
So much when I should be sleeping, but I tell myself
The morning glow will soon wear off and while
I’m here smoking I can still feel the night snow.
A night of ploughing through the sleet at my computer
Makes me realise there’s jewels in my eyes, but
Then I cough and wonder how soon my last little
Breath might come, and how silly it would seem then for
Me to be sitting here singing about dream dragons.
On the news last night was a boy down the road
And a girl in a barrel, and I’ve put too much lemon
In my whiskey sour. It’s awful, but not like that.
I want to live but still be awake for tomorrow in this brand
New day. I might find another way to see the trees
Through the sun. But now it’s way past dawn and
The fire breathing clouds keep on hanging
Beyond the tree that keeps on waving,
And butterflies are still light and flying around
In the shining sun. It makes me like it here
Sitting and thinking on octopus ink,
Hoping I won’t take my last breath till
The very last run of the clock that is turning
Around and around like a kaleidoscope
Spinning down into a rabbit hole at the
Bottom of the garden. I’ve got to realise
Something surely. So I’ve got sage clouds burning,
And incense sticks are sending clouds to the
Sky to smudge the dark rain away.
‘I love you anyway,’ I say to the tentacles,
Eely snakes swirling across the blue horizon.
I pray to them, a poet caught in a too hot
Fire that floats in the gentle yellow wings
Of flying insects before anyone knew they
Were born: just a well worn truth, I guess,
A fact of nature and a limitless plate of
Blue where alligators pounced on a swimmer
Who never knew that the water hid a hungry
Limb that was ready for a person such as you.
And I knew that I was you too.
Like the coo of a pigeon in distant lemonade,
All that was missing was the image of your cry.
But I really must go now even though it’s
A veritable shame, as sad as the bees and the crow
That caws all alone, a flapping black omen of morning.
no work today but dystopia flagellation
coming in close to home,
Kate Durbin stethoscope
toming on a throne for a seat
for an ‘I’ for an iPrincess
fat red lips
smeared frog green;
trout blood wax layered about
sigh – still life bowl
where all the refuse goes
Seraphim stickers I watch
close up, flying
into churn of phosphorescent
tubes of web worms’ hole
draining down heaven’s
sick day today
raster ray babes diagnosing
disease with electron gun parody
mutilated dolls, doppelganger
wishing back into being
little mermaid complete
another video to pastiche:
Lara Glenum’s orange fish
swim on Paris Hilton hair
with Ariel standing over her doctor’s
corpse: sea foam, daughter of air
reaching for dry land –
she revived during the dissection
to see two self-sliced
legs live streaming for her defection
Megan Anning is an Australian writer who is fascinated by Bohemianism and the romantic idea of the ‘starving artist’. Her stories and poetry often incorporate intertextuality and have appeared in Text Journal, FIVE:2:ONE, October Hill Magazine, The Citron Review, The Closed Eye Open, The Dope Fiend Daily and The West End Magazine. She has an MA in Creative Writing and is completing her first novel as part of her PhD at Griffith University, Queensland.