Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Boundary Rider

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Boundary Rider

Article excerpt

he knows this

the boundary: there's so much

the skyline; sometimes it's beautiful

in forgotten corners

until he becomes separate

here he's not lonely

more family

sometimes there are dingoes

of the fence

over and over; he makes sure

carries on beyond

distance it spills over

the way it trembles

of his eyes

from nothing/no-one

there are roos, emus, crows

than he's ever known

growling from the other side

he checks the fence

there are no holes

once there was a boy/ whose parents kept him alone/ in/ a room/ for thirty six days/ they pushed bits of food/ under/ the door/ whatever would fit/ in/ an envelope/ a slice of bread/ a Jacobs cracker/ the police came/ about a different matter/ and wanted to know/ what was/ on/ the other side/ of the locked door/ they could smell/ something bad/ they didn't expect/ such bitter shreds/ of humanity/ the level of excrement/ the staring emaciated child/ some of them/ were frightened by it/ the child/ had forgotten/ fear/ and much else

now he has forgotten

all he remembers

country by boat: the endless water

here everything

here he belongs

his horse's hooves make small

he is only one

as they travel

the skin and bones of animals/ humans

skeletons of plants

the orphanage

is coming to this

and then the endless dust

is buried in dust

to nothing/ no-one

of many stories

shapes of sound

the packed earth

the delicate

shift slightly under their weight

once there was a girl who lived with her mob/ in/ the desert/ there were many children/ they played together/ amongst/ the distance/ all the noises they heard/ were little until/ some people came and took/ the girl away/ they put her/ in/ a house/ with/ some strangers/ she didn't like the inside/ it made her breathing hard/ she ran/ she tried/ to get home/ but she didn't make it all the way/ through/ the desert/ her body disappeared/ into/ the dingoes and crows/ her bones settled/ in/ the dust

sometimes the wind

into devils

to him

it in

is all

everything is only

the air in his lungs

he in his skin

when it comes out

interior he hears

spins the dust

it sticks

he breathes

he knows this

he is/ there is

temporarily contained

the earth in its orbit

his blood is red

but in his dark

how black it is

once there were some humpies/ that settled/ in/ the desert/the long bent branches/ the gunya bark/ sunshine dinged/ against/ the hanging silver pans/ the men sang/ around/ the fires outside/ the skin of their palms was/ rough and hard but gold dust glittered/ in/ the dirt/ under/ their nails/ when the men left/ the air/ inside/ the huts was no longer formed/ into/ words/ the roofs tumbled/ into/ the dust/ the skeletal branches/ the crumbling bark/ until there were only small squares of debris/ circles of stone/ the sparse maps/ of long-ago lives


comes over

it leaps up

and changes

it makes his insides

on the other side

it is dark now

shifting slightly

they scratch their skin

his horses hooves travel

the sun

to his side

from the horizon

the world


of the planet

but people are still

in their sleep

they grind their teeth

the packed earth

Alison Flett

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