New Poetry with Audio!
James Stuart is a Sydney-based poet. He was recipient of the Young Adult Australian Poetry Fellowship in 2002. “The gods of fornication” is from the series The Homeless Gods.
we know how to become
in the hot body show
- Salt n Pepa
At the Kinselas nightclub dawn cracks
its first joke. Kylie Minogue sings
Step back in time then thanks
the songwriters for their work.
Outside the bathroom a sleeveless boy
in army slacks wins “The campest voice of the night.”
You know what’s sad, he pronounces.
Bali, that’s what.
A couple of hundred bodies decorate
the dance-floor above him
with 4/4 movement and a fine powder
of which the scent eludes me amidst the lemonade.
A woman, strapped to the chest with an explosive
leather number, runs a palm over the stubble of her boy’s
shaved head; he slides up her skirt
igniting the night-life. The televisions
replay the aftermath: the burning bombed
shanty-club district; a weeping boy in a terry-towelling hat
wheeling away from a circle of arms. The commentary
’s out of touch, out of sound.
A Maori stumbles into a girl at the bar and repeats
the national ceremony. Pin this sprig of wattle to your lapel
as a tribute to the dead. I’m sorry you’ve spilt your drink.
We’re all in this together.
In amongst the crisp, pounding sound, Warwick, who’s just
been faux-break-dancing as a tribute to pastiche
and abandon, sits down with me to argue installation art
; and abandon. We attempt to represent
limbo; there and then; a Destiny’s Child track
cuts in with its own my own diamonds
own my own rings; Jen, the birthday girl,
grabs my hand and escorts
me out into the remix; another leather-
strapped girl, and co.,
rotates through the entrance atrium,
sparks straight for the Leopard Skin Lounge;
Adam returns to our table
with a round of vodka-and-cranberries
so tasty we propose a toast
to being above it all.
The gods of fornication
The Southern right whales caress the currents
between here and the cold waters, flowing
with the temperature. They cavort in the wider
ocean, effecting barrel rolls in song.
Surfers emulate such actions with wild
whoops at the sharp end of the swell.
The theologians understand that these gods
travel with sex at the crest of their cerebrum.
Their thousand mile orgasm endures
for months, and is rarely filmed or heard.
Occasionally, the whales dock in the harbour
to fuck, and humans congregate and watch.