Clown Loach

Lucas Smith


after Michael Farrell


this is the fish that plays dead on the neon gravel

falter feeder land grab to the under gravel filter

then this: Whiskers, java fern, Anubia sp.

If rhizome, then eternity. And sex is left on land

But, if roots and flowers, pollen swims. No doubt

our positivist overlords have prepared

some scientific explanation for the persistence

of aquaria. A problem of pure finger (    )

Paradigm A is sitting in a tree watching fish

Pardigm D is one of the fish only. Don’t forget

Paradigm Before and Paradigm Christ.

There! The bottomfeeder wakes and mosies on

past plastic plants and plecostomus. Will

(      ) help when the filter either fails or never stops?


Lucas Smith is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for Australian Studies. His writing has appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, The Lifted Brow, Australian Book Review, Cordite, Gargouille, Santa Clara Review and several others.

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