A Skeleton of Desire was published by Garron Publishing in October 2018 as part of their Southern-Land Poets Chapbook series.
It contains 10 poems that are mostly based on the human body in various ways – the organisation of the bones in the arms, their muscles, their development, dysfunction and recovery. Much of the imagery is derived from re-interpreting the original meanings of the latin names for body parts, diseases, and the environment they exist within.
Most of these poems have been previously published, with the five cardinal signs of inflammation and High Dependency originally appearing in the Medical Journal of Australia. Sensurious (Works on Paper) is derived from texts accompanying an exhibition of drawings by Judy Morris that were then used to create a video which was shortlisted for the Red Room Company / Royal Botanic Gardens New Shoots Poetry Prize, 2016. Dial Tone was awarded third place in the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize 2017. No Glutamate is based on a scientific paper published with Judy Morris and our colleagues about the underlying neural pathways mediating pain.
A Skeleton of Desire
Sensurious (Works on Paper)
the five cardinal signs of inflammation
Compendium of Acquisitive Myology
As a sample, here is polydactyly, originally published in Speak To Me: Conversations with the Flinders University Art Collections (Flinders University Art Museum, 2016) in response to a work by Mathius Kauage…
so I am counting on my fingers & toes & I come up with a number different from yours
so I am working on base 9 or 15 or 18 or 30 & all the calculations are comfortable in my head
so maybe I hold hidden bones in my arms or maybe not enough or maybe my muscles can extricate / duplicate / replicate my ancestral paths / shim my inheritance into perpetual motion
so tell me how it feels to lose your grip / as the world around you skittles & slews in the absence of feathers & flight & knowledge of the objects that I possess / beguile / sing & spell & sound through vagabond days & moonlit nights / as I extend my reach / articulate my command of pivot point & action & asymmetric flex
so perhaps I see more than a dream / something more than a spectre fleeing ravelled fantasy & dispute / something altogether more than escape from compression & ache & incipient airlessness
so perhaps this is the manufacture of our own reality / our amalgamation of senses / my body in contact with yours / my touch held aligned with family & friends & everyone who looks on / who watches the spaces between coming & going / spindle & blade / between smoke & wayward spark & ascent
so this must be memory in flesh / the unwritable / inside & outside the scattered words we find at our disposal
so these must be our stories that traverse earth one by one at a time / one by one by one single handsbreadth at a time