Jill Jones’ most recent books are Ash is Here, So are Stars (Walleah Press, 2012), and Dark Bright Doors (Wakefield Press, 2010). In 2012 she also published Senses Working Out, as part of the Vagabond Press Rare Object chapbook series. Puncher and Wattmann will publish The Beautiful Anxiety in 2014. An e-chapbook, Even If the Signal Fails, is due soon from Black Rider Press. She won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize for Screens Jets Heaven: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2002) and the 1993 Mary Gilmore Award for The Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press, 1992). In 2009, she co-edited, with Michael Farrell, Out Of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann, 2009).
Her website is jilljones.com.au
Heat in a Room
January soaks the hill with white sky
grass writes into blood and a river of heat sings
Music loads the morning with legends
an afterimage of crowds reaching into a room
Small dried packages of territory remain unturned
there is whispering outside under the redemption of intervals
Just as silence deciphers light
exchange rates cycle gently through conversations
And days draft me, breathing extinction
my skin a chassis of orange
As for the car, it shimmers into the raging sunset
then sort of erupts
(a kind of persistent hope that nobody gets caught)
The night’s hangers are loose in the closet
sleep is a projection, part of the weightlessness
It is impending – a delicate sense of the flange
it seems as though the room is small.
To Sleep Inside Rain
A hazy field
rain cast plummeting
plunge of stone hallways
to our bed’s name
like daisies in place
if not sweet
there is daring.
Rolling into excess
thighs out of tight labels
rolling out alive
crossing light with surface
The effulgence: screen, expanse
the slightest intent
violet flower promises
That death as good as earth
a little, like sun oblivion
then lie still.
My Dreamy Epic
will always be spoken
shape : unshape
down on the lawn
my uneasy posture
teeth chattering across
ragged twilights of backyards
the body & the road
all that’s gone
minds, networks, armies
love torso & heel
on and off screen
thresholds of grass
becoming white blind sky
my cut hands
Elvis had never left the poem
the All Ords steady as rock and roll
thinking more than a flutter
O, the dreamy epic of language!
refusing to fade
tasting access, sediment
the yellow facts
fall between walls
beating of sunrise
the daily path
talking to strangers
ecstasy on a verandah
rough glitter in a country of words
the various, speaking
skin of it, life
High Wind at Kekerengu
what’s left of the air
the pressure of the blast
takes the wing energy
to move in it
AFTERNOON GREY IN afternoon sounding
not like a sign but a soughing
which is white over the night shoulder
bent with market crash not soughing
not sighing and never sign anything
you download in the grey afternoon
but let it and let it out and letting go
something with beautiful grey sounding
more beautiful that is going beautiful
in the garden is sometimes red or
sometimes pink and fall leaves all petaline
where more rain predicts more rain and rain
that is lovely letting go of something
that clicks before a storm do not click
do not buy but let go before the night
storm over your shoulder beautiful and
waiting for the moon changes its large
light that is not and not grey nor slim
not an insert not alternative not faux simple
not resounding but the coming moon
that cycles with that enduring the wind
touches and it touches where you grey
impermanent sounding sigh in a lithe
shoulder before you go down into before
you petals leaves and leaves you
from My Fugitive Votive
Day is clouds and earth in our crisp, bitter bodies,
as kids toss balls into their game. ‘Someday I’ll fly away’.
I know my old theories are ‘no longer useful’.
I’d rather it be granular, lapidary, a cut-up. Full o’flack
I must be careful as I rise into the general rain. ‘Listen,
can no method save it’, history, time, the water table.
If save not these gutters, so I love them for their trash
as our umbrellas whisk the wicked lanes.
Thunderheads sometimes intrude, lower themselves, saying
‘who can I run to, out into low sky?’, someone twists a machine,
leaves wash under green sun and processes inside me
tremble and stutter. I want to picture this, as if capturing
souls departing on wax or an old glass plate, in a garden
asking for ascent like doves, all debatable, beautiful and bruised.
& the white flowers live inside themselves, still as water
its slow ripple climbs the hill.
Closing time debates the
patterned pain nor can
songs necessary whisper
always write horizon
travelling and currents.
Take better joy.
Take water’s thousand.
This book of night stings
over wrack into my mind
can set new travelling
thus hard true.
The traffic begins its wave,
the sky is threaded with exhaust,
the blind man has a ticket, your bag
is heavy today, the traffic is beautiful
going somewhere, the sky does not move
though it seems to, the hours begin
to waver, you begin to think of effort
and time, the endless hatcheries
of capital, the blind man knows the way,
the traffic is heavy with somewhere,
the sky is beautiful though
it doesn’t seem so, the hours thread
with tickets or numbers.
The numbers are beautiful,
rolling along like waves.
And in afternoon the blind man
waits with you, the sky is endless
but it is not, the traffic is threaded
with numbers, each ticket is beautiful
within its own exhaust.
Acknowledgements on the poems:
‘Heat in a Room’ – Broken/Open, Salt, 2005
‘To Sleep Inside Rain’ – Broken/Open, Salt, 2005
‘My Dreamy Epic’ first published in Gut Cult
‘High Wind at Kekerengu’ – Dark Bright Doors, Wakefield, 2010
‘AFTERNOON GREY IN’ – Senses Working Out, Vagabond, 2012
from ‘My Fugitive Votive’ – Ash is Here, So Are Stars, Walleah, 2012
‘After Memoriams’ – Even If the Signal Fails, Black Rider, due 2013-14
‘Wave’ – The Beautiful Anxiety, Puncher & Wattmann, due 2014
My sincere thanks to Jill for sending me these amazing poems and allowing me to publish them on here.