Splint, Tech & Untitled by Alice Chalmers

Splint, Tech & Untitled by Alice Chalmers


gateways to disbelief

the impossible magic of yr own body

i steal out to the back paddock

i wait in stealth for the first

promise of pleasure

-im dashed

& certain of failure i make that

body of mine

a small ruined crumple

hard up

and splint it to that moment

healing all wrong

a false bone

which fuses slow at the join

and hurts in the winter



tic tacs tremble in pockets

techtonic plated

i stew in my own gravity

buckle under hum

of large machinery

powerline giants descend in me

my automatic whir.

a current, uncomfortable,

dulls with distance

insisting i am anxiety

but troubles the ground for

a release

i release into pockets,


in social situations that don't

have rules

i am ruled by physical laws like you

release in you

my untuned hum

my vibrational legacy catatonic,

atomic cacophony to calm, i

spend my errant electrons

into your body

i expel myself

i quit at matter

can i lie in your bed after,

a limp breadpile,

slackened into wall-whir

of your bedroom appliances



i woke up four or so hours after the dawn and your hand was touching small parts of my body. easily the most impressive parts of the daylight are when i see so clearly i could scrape the distance off each object with a wet edge, a lick of eyeball to pry the surface. submerged, bodily, below yours, i am out of integrity with objects. i cannot tell the time. i don’t know the difference, i can’t wake or care. the curtain is a kind of time, tallies me with streaks of light like day-lines counted across my body. i am a signifier of the ageing day yet i cannot get apart from it. am i a skylight in the centre of a round room, sunken living area, couched hard feelings swept inward like a stirred ocean.

how many hoarded boxes of regret does it take to get down from there. hello superiority complex, fixed in the stars, coddled by a throttling sensation co-opted in the womb. i am round-about about it. i’ll scuttle. crab-wise and shelled i wait for them to get closer. i pick up a half-eaten plate of eggs. the eggs of a century of longing. which is only a century long because i’m such a drama queen.

i am king of everything i am the half-dead ant on the lowest hill; mound-mounted monument to exhaustion. sweet destiny, i can call this life a soul’s purpose so then i don’t have to try. i can cloak it in anything, soft greens of mosses, a night coat twinkle, piece of the daylight disguise for my security illusions. i delight in it. the paradox of entry - i am on my way out as we speak, the hairs on my head give up their pigment; a circular way of saying “i am linear”.

line-building with you. we wrapped all the lengths in a circle so that we could see it the way it makes sense. i knew you in a past life or the future, or knowing you now preserve time in a physical form, split the distance. a spring on either side of us, a gentle squeeze together, cosmic wrappings on internal takeover - hey, you have taken over my body, i like these moments where i am a seaslime ensconced in you. i am part of the particular though, i give a weight to myself then. i can throw my form, in a particular light. particular-feeling. broken daylight caught in the arm of a clock. you set timers. you set them and they go off anyway and we go on diving. even my own bedroom, sets off a collection of buzzing familiars - times you chose my face over facing time. times i built you a continuum.

is this formless task a tight tender present. am i writing a gift to you or do i lightly press myself for more truths. am i ending on an ocean, planked out at sea, merely a sign for you from deadwood; i drift and drift and can’t find a landing. i gift and gift and can’t find a name for myself. is this why i don’t give you something to call me. just call me my name, call me love, darling, ocean flame. i can’t speak it, it veils an empty mood: let’s escape form together, i am a twelfth house sun. after all i barely know you. i love you, after all i love you. let’s go into the sea

i wouldn’t know how to tell you anyway besides with my body. i am a body after all. big love finds a vessel, i am physical. dirt-king magics give rise to me, i read and ripen. how dangerous to live in a skin - i might split at any second. give great fruit, go to seed, gorgeous grey-area. gag-revival. so inspired to write you, i can’t even thread the cheese evenly, there is no adventure like the promise of a new word for love. romantically, i am dignified in that. but i spout a tough waterfall of reassembled simile, smile for you in silence while you ask me what i’m thinking. i’m a bucketful of romo, babe you must know a frustrated poet. fistful of sweaty lines lean like lame offerings - like my limp floral arrangement?

i’ve sworn it, i’m thwarted, i said it already. i cheapen it with words, i worry it open. how heavy the lens. your several sworn allies haven’t met me yet. wakefully, waiting for you to make me smaller, stretching new rope. i can’t make you a container because you’re so big. i must count you as an equal since you stare back into me. i back into walls just to feel you pushing. now i’m gushing now you know what i’m like when i talk about you.

A Bonus work from Alice is available on our Patreon.


Executive Producers

Daniel Henson

Karolina Ristevski

Sue White

March Editorial

March Editorial

Modo Ego Sum Liberum by Marcus Fessler

Modo Ego Sum Liberum by Marcus Fessler