Issue 9: Jal Nicholl

You’ve heard the saying

“ladies first”; well here it’s the elderly

walking on birds

mais l’art n'est pas beau pour etre difficile

realising an affluent society

into the limitless future. Elitist MC:

“the problem with democracy

everybody wanna front”


Young feller wanted to see the big city

but father said No

so before the South Gate he walked to and fro

then home to goodwife so often

it roused the Authorities.

under interrogation, admits “I was all of a dither…”

but seeing as he showed such filial piety

they brought him before the King

who made him Prime Minister


Look, here’s 3 pigs approaching a plate

of pork. It (cannibalism)

isn’t disgusting to them. Just so

everybody has different feelings, different preferences

yeah yeah, people are lazy

can’t be allowed free access to money

that or they're grasping

the horns of a bull

that's trying to gore them like

riding a bicycle

that makes them feel morally superior

or maybe just “doing it tough”

in their 16th year at uni

and although the same may not be naturally or

irredeemably racist, even so

in an age of strife like sticks to like, like

sticks to a bagworm’s cocoon

And so the game continues until

all agents are happy, the equilibrium outcome

Elegant hands

“Go jerk off”, in french


the ashtray, in seoul

I saw your disease

in a herbalist's window in melbourne, meaning

it's been around for some time, and can be cured

the messiah was then just a few days old

Now I have to go back to this foreign place

the octopus of

the previous lunation


where I once accepted

more change than was due

of a witch impersonating a shopkeeper

and return the difference

Plug it in

to a search engine

to check if it’s original

and watch it go

like a child in a plane anxious and excited

to be visiting a place green skied in his dreams

held like a baby in long arms

of relatives he hasn't met yet

in a picturebook or a natural language

out of the many in which the forms are enmeshed

just so, every scoliosis has

a unique compensation pattern

in order to treat it you must

ascend from an underworld of questionnaires

with the knowledge of your Metabolic Type™

Jal Nicholl combines elements of the Melbourne and Adelaide accents, often inconsistently; he'll probably be saying ‘castle’ with a short A soon. The poems appear in many journals and tend to come in seasonal efflorescences. Jal is writing his coming-of-age thesis on the phenomenology of customer relations.