Jill Jones’s latest books is Broken/Open (Salt, 2005), which was short-listed for The Age Book of the Year 2005, and three chapbooks: Fold Unfold (Vagabond, 2005). In 2003 her fourth book, Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems, won the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. She has collaborated with photographer Annette Willis on a number of projects. She has been a film reviewer, journalist, book editor and arts administrator.




What Is This?

While we’re talking light passes, though it’s easy to ignore
its radiant shift. We’re neither passengers nor eternal,
though we trip on each other’s recall, there’s another history
being rearranged in shades drawn on ground.
I say, it’s how you think in circles, wanting to merge rather than mark.
(The four corners of a centre tremble as they touch space.)

Our argument may ignite small layers or return to its great elasticity,
it’s no more than extending a mirror into the existence of zero.
But I can do nothing unless I lose my own track in land that made the curve
neither fleeting nor continuing, but always shown on ground.

Here are the difficulties – of clusters, pebbles, mind moon, that great
vacant sign, an eternal jewel, the head’s empty bucket, containing
all things, yet without rearranging itself within clarity’s blue shadow.

The light     of your fingers     skin under sky.

– after Lightpool series, Salvatori Gerardi


Matching Colours In a Flame

Is it the way silence peels away the hours
or light inches too near to death?
(It gets closer to take hold of my hands)

I will not worry over the heat
but go out into the angle of a demand.

How a door shouts or afternoon is lacking
when meanings double and nights increase
or clouds break your face, imperfect and happy.



City birds are living on their coast
of roads and industrial cranking
among the blinking dive of motors.
It’s all leaky rather than transparent
like the earth hum’s low and constant herz.

An unknown screech comes
from middle distance
and means little from a window
even if you’re well.

There’s been turnover since the shooting
the café now sells furniture
and amongst papaya, cardboard boxes
limp greens on pallets, the pickings
are as daily as the leaded and diesel
descending those old forgotten miles
above. In the midst
here’s king pigeon, sparrows, starlings
the old world rubbish sticking
in the claw, buggy feathers and shit splat
dodging all the colour of skies.

And parrots hang from spring
when ancient honey
sings within a callistemon’s
brief and red hours.