Issue 21: Jen Crawford

Let’s get this bread

As soft as a baby as unable to run. Of all the mum not to disoleate. To forestall being in a traction poetics. Auction-wise, viscosity in poise. Whosoever shall form a trolley full of goggles shall find patty walls provided for in the ordnance. In the laundry with one foot in the hall. The same station is speaking: it’s the shinning dishwasher. Use a liquid liquid extractor to announce the have 20-30% of the time or be still there in the bidding, going in there in a hedged-off courtyard, going in hard rice soft rice spears dripping the action of a natural agency.  Flung round in a violent action. That grammar doesn’t go back get go have I got it buy a steamer soften gravel like slipper gonna hug you without a sole. Grain down. Steam and eat your way out.


Only the unborn foal knows the name of the fly. That’s the rub & the buzz inside the great taut pudding. That’s the snowball algorithm for his seemingly wilfully failing to appear to be handmade. Most of the narration’s added in post-production, the post of an antarctic suburb corner held for arrivals both by the mailbox and the paling still a tree. I lay him down on the changing table. I feel strongly I mustn’t remind him of where he’s been, that if I protect his fontanelle it won’t be with my hands. That’ll be the trick right through: to be on one side or the other of the calving, every time. Together on one side, & failing that, ventouse, grappling hook, tightrope, failing that, total immersion mega-slushee under the stars. You do know that hum. Look up & dive, no need for recall.

A flitch of bacon

How can I love when the one who sits behind me folding plastic bags for three-quarters of an hour is the librarian herself? Yet others continue to study. Four thousand flitches lie flat, cold fat stripped from the bone. Love has nothing to do with it, she says of her forty-six years of ballet lessons. I pay my fees. I feel the pinch, and so I go. A stalactite, the hanging flitch, white as fat, stone.

 Join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep

My mum gave us this picture book by a Swedish behavioural scientist, which is supposed to put the baby to sleep. I gave it back. The rabbit is drawn in coloured pencil and he looks unwell, like someone who's been smoking a dozen cones a day since 2004 but hasn't slept since deciding to quit after breaking a rib coughing. The book warns you off reading the book to someone who's driving. Then the rabbit's mum takes him on a long journey to see Uncle Yawn. I do feel a bit sorry about uncles, but in the sense of general regret, not in the sense of personal responsibility. My memory of being hypnotised in 1988 by Bert Potter the communist free-love therapist who turned out to be a paedophile is surprisingly clear. There were a hundred people in the room, and nothing happened, except sun came in through the trees and the big bay windows onto the cushions and the groups of quiet, cuddled up people. My parents were taking the risk of love. Bert talked slowly about a beach, and the water line, and a stone, and a box. I breastfeed my son to sleep, which not everyone recommends. And sometimes we go out into the backyard and talk to cockatoos or look for the moon instead, and everyone in the world is awake.

Jen Crawford is the author of eight poetry books and chapbooks,including Koel (Cordite Books, 2016). She is the co-editor of Poet-to-Poet: Contemporary Women Poets from Japan with Rina Kikuchi (Recent Work Press, 2017). She teaches and researches within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra.

Copyright © 2018 by Jen Crawford, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.