Dan Disney was born in 1970 in East Gippsland, where he grew up. He has worked in psychiatric institutions, paddocks, warehouses, and universities, and currently divides his time between Melbourne and Seoul, where he lectures in twentieth-century poetries at Sogang University. Articles and poems appear in Antithesis, ABR, Heat, Meanjin, New Writing, Overland, Orbis Litterarum, and TEXT, and poems have recently received awards in the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize (2nd) and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize (USA). He is on the advisory board of Cordite scholarly. His first full collection of poems, and then when the, was published by John Leonard Press in 2011. 



‘only someone who already knows how to do something with it can significantly ask a name’                                                                         

 —— from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus


old buildings, falling out the sky



after the shriek of love leaves her body
                                     I’m still there, a peasant and ass
                   laboring through dark hills toward the small bright windows
                                                                        of infinity



meanwhile, afternoon seethes across           a mechanical sky
                         the tzzz-ing                             of aircon
                                                                         telling cicadas the rain

                         is a promised machine                                         falling in pieces



   ‘don’t go’, I tell
her eyes darkly flicking, a slow
                                                                           river in my shadow
                                                             listening to echoes deep in cold



(knee-high, green texta, weedy piss-stained carpark wall)

‘be the beauty you wish to see in the world’



I spent childhood in a hurricane. Hungry dogs wolved at the door.
                   Mother was an old television, father a fourth dimension. Had rain
fallen in downward lines, we’d have embraced and called it utopia
while deserts hurled themselves, sleeplessly, upon us



in the mind of the forest, the birds
             are dreams tweeting rhapsodic operas. Flowers crane
                                                                                                                            their necks, louche
and metaphorical, while history looks on and falls
             into place the way sunlight does. Morning is
                                                                         thumping overhead, quipping ‘quieten!’ to the hives
                                                                         chorusing a mist.
                                                        Thus the forest darkens, brightly



amid a copse of trees, ‘it’s not the flesh, drooped
                                                              and unblooming, but
                                                                        our bones that groan so
                                                              beneath the slump of heaven’



the wooden temple amid hoarfrost. Her voice alone, is filled
            with centuries. And when she talks, memories crowd
            her bony feet and hop like chicks
                                                                         (each sentence made of sunlight)



headline: ‘Bird of Paradise Cloned in Underworld
                                                                           (Underworld Birds Not Happy)’



clutching the finger bones of dolls dreams
                     all the doors grinning
                                   while night storms in: she’s there
                                   in the corner of her lives
                                                                                     drinking the black



                                                I was not there. The bird did nothing.

I was there pointing and the bird lifted and was then held out by air and this was called reality.



morning was a rain-smudged lens
                   focused into millennia        
                   where strangers bent an early light
                   into shape

                                              trailing the gloop of history indoors



                   new buildings, falling into the sky