Jane Kim works at the Museum of Contemporary Art and is inspired by paintings, ceramics and music – a lot of which figures in her poetry. This is her first time published. Jane studied a B.A. Communications at the University of Technology, Sydney.



Mother’s Prose

I’m deft to hold her head and pluck
those grey hairs, to deceive people into thinking she’s young and
take endless care in finding more wires amongst the black,
to find the talking points over the past 24 years and remember that when
her mother was here, she was hit across the face.

Is this how we do things (?) move to different
countries and have a kid Aunt
receive her spirit – a warm feeling that died to meet her husband at
death bed. I still don’t know what no one
wants to say about their parents and some day, she won’t
be around to give in to a book.

I’ve found her youth written blue
in a puzzle box comprising of 1000 pieces and I think she feels
the truth in my face. She’ll knit matching jumpers though hers
will always have a trim & mine kept simple to highlight skin.


The Ocean will be a Desert

I talked across the table
to her best face, with glasses &
velvet blazer – she’s got so many of those, but this time
it’s political.

I tell her I’m scared because I know
she’d be a lot worse in my seat.
She’s one of those

comforted by risks others take.
It takes a human
then, not less, to fight against guilt. So it’s two rights:

the first being stability
& the next, the need to live a chance life.

What time is it?

For the next lunch, whoever owes a soup dish or sandwich, I’ll
tell her about my father who never turns on or off a light. Would much
prefer to sit in a dark house with the soccer and instant coffee.

And then there was the strange little dog, given to us.
Died in the yard
on my mother’s birthday. I found her curled

over the drain and felt the rabbit fur scarf wrapped around my neck. Those eyes

weren’t shut, I backed into the house.

We went to dinner very quiet, at a Chinese restaurant and ate a lot.
For my mother’s 45th.