LEANNE DUNIC


Leanne Dunic is a multi-disciplinary artist and a writer. Being of mixed race,
much of Leanne's work possesses hybrid-identity themes. Leanne is the 2015
winner of the Alice Munro Short Story Prize. She hopes to spend half her time
in British Columbia, and the other half in Asia, but this is not yet the case.
Leanne is the singer/guitarist of the band, Deep Cove, and has been artist-
in-residence at Grey Projects. Visit her at www.leannedunic.com. The excerpt
below is from 1 1, forthcoming from BookThug/Math Paper Press in 2017.






A salary man crouches to the foot of a maple at Inokashira Koen. Lips an inch above earth, he whispers truths untold. Sorrows network roots, journey past the water table, clay and sediment, beyond the mantle to the magma core. Above the crust, a palmate leaf releases a distressed molecule of oxygen.

The Park Board vacillates whether or not to cut down the wiry, most likely diseased, Acer.


*

Subduction, a crustal plate descends beneath another.

*

This place is supposed to be rife with ghosts and I have hardly encountered one. In parts of Singapore, there is a feeling of age, an implication of haunting. Only at night, I am visited. It is brief, and no ghost is seen, but rather, felt.

I want to turn off this ghost. I know it's not you.

*

King Crimson's Red album. The title reminds me of maple leaves, Mao Tse Tung, the rising sun. You. The last song on repeat. Starless: the longest and final track on the album, clocking in at 12:15. The group disbanded afterwards, making Starless the culmination of the best phase of their existence. (Of course, there was a King Crimson to remerge later, but who likes that incarnation?)

The fan quivers above me. From my window, illuminated haze obscures the night sky.

*

I haven't seen any mosquitoes, nor have I been bitten, yet throughout the city there are adverts warning of dengue fever. Do The Mozzie Wipeout. Our Lives. Our Fight.

*

In my dream, you declare Iíll always know where to find you.

*

Fault, when masses of rock have moved past one another.

*

Substantial time is spent in the shower. Nights, a palm-sized lizard accompanies me. His near-translucent skin adapts to bathroom tiles. I've named him Mao. His unearthly mechanism is hard to register. I presume Mao is doing his part to fight Dengue Fever.

*

If I gave this man my spine he'd grunt while forcing shoulders back. Mumble that I sit too much, unaware of where I've been, where I'm trying to go. Instead, he knuckles tendons, tender arches. Sole maps disclose memories, habits, nerves distended from fissures within. Stimulate crystal pointed organs, glands. A vast unnerving. Reflex, I contain. Yes, I'm deceptive — in voluntary restraint. Hand shields eyes as if it could quell throbs. Air-conditioned chills. Heat swells, cold brittles. Good Morning towel spread, I cross arms (such positioning why I sleep with fists). Mahjong tiles click from the room beside. Whine of ache drowns the chirp of Mandarin and casual gambling. He shouts numbers into his phone. Declares I'm rubbing the Fortune God's leg! Misses his luck by one digit. Where there is nothing there is everything. White ointment draws greasy circles on calves.

Must be healthy. Didn't flinch.

*

Incredible, how a day can suddenly turn overcast and violent, as if the heavens collapsed. Torrents of rain smash streets, threads of lightning split sky. Luminous wisps. A gigantic flash, arcing bolts leap and vanish. Relentless rain. A resounding crash.

*

A sunbeam on grass, a mynah bird holds wings extended, as if in mid-flight, frozen aground.



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