Poems by Jill Jones

Photo by Annette Willis.

The Morning, Not the Movie
I cherished my non sequiturs
spent more time out of my head
in half-baked theorising
or a vagrant continuity glitch
and some gawky deaths
like, the sex-drugs billets-doux
of a simple girls-night-out
that transience, routine backdrops
tracks up and down stairs
a corridor corpse and a bare-arsed man
in the courtyard, bawling
I’ve never enjoyed
waiting for people to do drugs
there was just enough chundering
even with my chaotic heartbeat
my pulsating deep-strange entity
you put yourself into
the post-punk river of traffic
or hug escalators with some
heavily ruffled drag performer
after another schooey of new
is just the beginning
of the set-up
of alien friend technology
and the drama hug
call me sensation-seeker, in and out of
and afterwards on Bondi bleary
crammed early with desolate drams
or the garish argue
and sand squeaks in the cold
save me the movie star looks
I defy that and horizons
before, there’s a lot of chumps
to be juggled: scroungers, pushers
liars, twerps, the proverbial
and her lips feeling weird
your friend’s sister
in the unforgiving forest of light
“some lifestyle choices,” says
the addict with answers
and that girl under-acting
in tights reading crime fiction
like it was situationist slapstick
under a Henson image in
someone’s mother’s apartment
where among the sounds
of electronic bleeps it’s getting
gritty across the surfaces
it’s too early to muse
on what is to die
in this grunted spring
of ageing activist cameos
and expensive graffiti art-spray
in each sequence we walk away
night to morning where
there are no tunes just waves
and a pat-pat hug-hug
instead of 2am strife
to pay for our confession, and the go
(who dies with their speech uninjured
must live on in a special time capsule)
don’t go gushing
and don’t go
allow me another version
of the “fuck you” song
and try a little tenderness



Blue Lines
It’s not the birds that are spectres,
they come in afternoon, true,
swing by the air, song-filled passes,
that branches come to ground, falling
with dryness and shadows, remembering
midnights rather than afternoons,
declining drugs rather than passing shots
to make shadows in the lens that swings
the casual reach through spectacle
of shadows on a dance floor and wings
flashing off drags, or you, queer bird,
dropping each sequence twisting in and out
of presence, the dry air that falls like a truism
once you’ve left the afternoon filling
its own spectre of west light and husks
of autumn that birds let fall, that grounds
fill as fallen, dance for earthed shadows,
the passing sequence husked with
casual twists of a lens through its stops
as if the machinery could drag light back
again, dancing jewels, red and green feathers
flashing a pass, a queer shot the sun’s moment
holds, not yet declining.

First published in The Age newspaper, April 9, 2011.



“It Wasn’t Anywhere”
It wasn’t anywhere I lived
exactly, it was more like time
full of laser dust, celebrity footballers
a zone of affable ravage
of being blinded afterwards.
We were always looking for surfaces
even as small as a credit card
and all this accompanied
by plainsong beaten at angles
through drum machines
and consequences.
Light rose like seraphim
which seems a lazy way
to put it now, at this filthy distance.
The nights preferred their ruck
and maul with averages
in drinks, sex in the broom closet
ancient fairies hot with farragoes
and heels on concrete.
What can a small town do
apart from suffer when we’d turn
inward on our germs and genius
or learn to measure things in parallel.
Let’s make sure the terms are clear
at least in a monetary sense.
You can dance down the field
in rugger bugger kit
even now, no-one thinks it queer
unless you kiss.
My tongue was bitter
and the gain did not last.
The fractals on the wall looked great
but they weren’t the only
theory you bought me.

Senses Working Out, Vagabond Press Rare Object Series, 2012.