T.A.N.T.R.U.M. / Kathryn Hummel

The incoherent!
Described as Ginsbergesque
Even if it’s charisma-less.

That was her name (when
she kept it in a cage
when she kept it well-
restrained
where it tipped the lash of
real)

Outside it cuts
a sincere gash
a putrid fish
would smell as bad

as the petals of her
petulance.

But this is (not) her, this thing
beyond, this monster Scorpion
desert-bred anger-fed
generationless
found out exposed
by ethnographer’s quill
the oil spill that resists
regret.

This thing is loving tasteless-
ness
a cardboard cut-out de-skinned
drum, a poison
pagan persistence

killing work
selling soul, solving puzzle
after puzzle
by pushing all

away
and off the table.

And the years will show
as time narrates
its cleft 
its cloven hoof
on history’s crumb-dusted
roof
the nightly carnivals, their 
bright charades
of love as war

easier

than same gerund
to same.



Dr Kathryn Hummel  is a writer and researcher whose creative and scholarly works have been widely published/presented/translated/anthologised/recognised. Currently, she edits non-fiction and travel writing for Australia’s Verity La. Kathryn’s fifth volume of poetry is forthcoming with Singapore’s Math Paper Press and her sixth and seventh with London’s Prote(s)xt Books.  

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