JILL JONES


Jill Jones won the 2002 Kenneth Slessor Award for her fourth book,
Screens Jets Heaven: New and Selected Poems. Her most recent book
is Broken/Open (Salt, 2005). Her work has featured in a number of
anthologies, including The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry,
the Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature, and Over There -
Poems from Singapore and Australia
. She is co-editor, with Michael
Farrell, of Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian
Poets
(forthcoming). She teaches at the University of Adelaide.






'Ae Fond Kiss'

What you make of my marks,
scratches on exercise books,
free postcards advertising
zoos, surf boards, a hard luck story.

I've imprinted thick blue
coffee cups.
You can farewell me there
for the future's fond kiss.

In the next room
excavate vinyl rhythms,
crackling favourites,
love me do, please, love me.

If you can, feel that warm
whorled thumb
on the Princess Leia
toothbrush.

Such things
made us happy
woke us up,
a laugh mint mouth.

Fridge magnets in the shape
of panda bears,
whales, striped licorice,
memorised resin.

When you come upon me
if through dust,
hazed minutes, eons,
I know nothing as yet.

A dis-enchanted world
is truly frightening.
Play me
your song between tracks.







Figure

I'm sometimes very like me
I can't get rid of the
poor little nonsense!

I'm a strange type: travelling
all alone "to see it"

What can that self do
with such visions?

Look at everything
with eyes
skirting the obscene

Push on through
tearing the robe
exciting suspicions

And always holding a little figure
something striking
very like me






A Good Deal

Here I am in the ruins
of Pitt Street Mall
still attached to my desires.
Look in the mirrors, there's a part
of retail that won't let you alone,
there's beauty, not mine,
not yours or hers,
all the passing young women,
the walk through
the tunnel from St James
to Elizabeth Street is straight,
the shiny old tiles, the air
and attitude, still part
of my desires, Market Street slopes
down west, it's hard
to be sure how straight
anything could have been
otherwise in this crooked
old colony, a sleek bit of rough,
there's no time to lose
except every minute now gone,
there's certainly no time
for continuums but here's a good
deal hanging in the doorway
staring me back down.






Between Monuments

Wilde's sphinx has lost its balls,
two spinsters had them off.
It's covered in lipstick
and tongued daily by oscular poems.

But don't mention love
among groves where ceremonies
carry night lights and Russians hide
amongst ragged prieu dieu.

The hidden is marked with black
arcane phrases and here, like temples
backward prayers sneak past
the locks, tears and sandstone.

Could be a scene from a badly-coded novel
written under sinister trees,
pushing ways into consciousness,
if not an art of futile attention.

It could be the way rock breaks
so these caesuras, all that's left
of honour, a man's tattered self,
killed by the things he loved.

The writing comes behind
and pebbles laid by those who seek
to unlock the saviour monster,
stone that completes the clay.

Cimetière Père Lachaise



Back to Front.