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Content From Issue: Volume 5 Number 2 (August 2018)

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So

hibiscus synthesis

by Maria Sledmere

a stung mallow_milk bottle     (.)   moreish

contusions of gelatine forbidden directory

in spoken rinds, electric celery       artifice

flavour of noon.all th chartreuse

@ candied massif _ relic the relish! severed

peel of original botanist orris angelica lure

the typical style apparent to fluoresce in

topiary haze of neutral spirit//cuts to fall

an ornamental cascade of scented oils, luff

and aft as round a sail the liquid flapping

light prevails~window shake~impermanent

moment of burr in juniper cochlea it is

always moisture, message, mixolydian pour

to lycra highway_dairy chord in major

longing the spring-caught DNA daffodil

play to minor, dr00p of whey & diary clef

except the mode as glistening~handpicked

in meadows of the Actual,,overripe pinelike

the fruitier seeds make sage of taste, here

foil-curled luxuries left of lemon the pungent

art of sick linalool all mellow distilled ___

pare our way out to cirrus ++ b i t t e r seville

as leftward narrative ground to fix (?) short

cut harvest saw almonds in halves / delete

cardamom paragraphs numerous to app

lies inside <happiness> papyrus insert of

the hieroglyph kiss, its spice of blue gloaming

kindled + plagal cadence w/ twist of orange

how-to save://missing our seas and sunsets.

Published: July 2018
Maria Sledmere

will soon begin an AHRC-funded DFA in Anthropocene aesthetics, ecopoetics and the everyday at the University of Glasgow. She is a member of A+E Collective, Gilded Dirt’s founding editor, co-editor of SPAM zine and occasional music critic/collaborator. She blogs at and tweets @mariaxrose.

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So

Elegy for Microplastic

by Jack Bastock

Not dust but

skin cells that

kept their shape;


tile walls of




The average

use-span of

a plastic


sack was 20

mins. Was

it the strain?


The stretch and


stretch of a


con basket

of goods? Bads?

Hold water,


hold thorned

dropped, bowling

bowl fruit.


Latin name:




or was it


Add both to


the bag-ette

Add sharp squares

Add kilograms


Add cosmos

and see if

it will last.

Published: July 2018
Jack Bastock

is queer and does not eat animals. He studies Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne and teaches English as an additional language. Jack lives in Carlton with friends, and on the internet with you.

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So


by Marian De Saxe

This is no flash flower,

this unfolding page of text

a starfish all at sea in hard print.


Botanists call this stranger

a carrion. Its odour is unpleasant,

designed for blowflies,


not us, a tie of demand that hurts.

Glabrous, all it can do is embellish,

in an almost ordered way.


I am reminded of stacked boxes

in a factory, kilometres, all neat,

uniform, profit-making,


the stacker immiserated,

immersed in a flight of thought

against the clock.


There is another way.


In the patch this stapelia

extends a firm, scrawny arm

clutching a closed envelope

like a secret.


Only one flap of the corolla is open.

Try measure the day by how many words it takes

to float the chrysalis

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So

Those that at a distance resemble flies

by Aden Rolfe



Nothing is great

as such


only by





Nothing is similar

to anything


only by convention.




If they look more like ants than flies.

If they saw you from across the square, making notes.

If the air then grew warm with want, with anticipation.

If that’s how it started.


You said you name things according to intention.

You said ‘an organising principle emerges’.

You said ‘they move as a single body’.


If a white ant is a biter-off, a comma, a finger traced across the page.

If one follows you home and asks to come in.

If your hesitation gives the wrong impression.

If there’s no place to spit in a rich man’s house but his face.


You said you saw his cupness and his tableness.

You said they’re in the woodwork now.

You said: ‘no thoughts give them away’.


If they split into separate factions and issued a set of demands.

If they found the doors nailed shut.

If meaning depends on the truth conditions of the proposition.

If dignity depends on patience.


You said only teeth and fists clench.

You said only heads and tongues loll.

You said ‘every month has its ides’.


If you worked to get a view over the wall.

If the smoke hung like a swarm.

If you could see no further than you might throw a rock.

If there’s only one method for managing a crowd.


You said conscription is a writing with.

You said the text knows things the author doesn’t.

You said ‘no gesture without import’.


If you consider it first under the profile of redness, then as a liquid.

If the river you step into is not the one in which you stand.

If regret presumes things could’ve been different.

If everything is water.


You said thought is iterative and anguish is necessarily wet.

You said you couldn’t find the words, that the borders were porous.

You said: ‘the whole alters the parts’.


If progress is measured in mouthfuls.

If a hypothetical is predicated on a possibility.

If they ate away the foundations and unmade the category from within.

If at least they no longer belong to the emperor.

Published: July 2018
Aden Rolfe

Aden Rolfe’s debut collection of poetry and essay, False Nostalgia, won the 2017 Mary Gilmore Award and Mascara’s Best Avant-Garde Poetry Book of the Year Award. He’s currently working on his second book, The Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So


by Rory Green

sing a reverse burial

the mangrove cryptid

swallows bike frames


its exoskeletal graft

under muddied skins

some old body’s jingle


rings to nervousness

as sludge flesh tickles

a kayak’s hull agape


eyes the scout hall

in a theory of leaving

piers tremble and tip


reading out crab tracks

the membrane of marsh

accretes a wet language


stirs up dried limbs

water arcs through

metals and sediment


of a root saline sweat

stilted and panting the

golem strides inward


egests the stark past

a cellular sovereignty

mapped in tide pulse

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From: Vol.05 N.02 – Make It So


by Kate Middleton

like a ghost or a short, quick river

Martin Harrison



Replace one water with another:


the spectre of drought in Vegas:

imagine dry showers, being sanded of dirt, like

in the dystopian movies we’ve seen:

filth an extra skin to be

abraded, the porcelain of beauty mags

now only available to those

hermetically sealed in, away

from any megapolis:


the stop-start of the border river—that once

swept illegals away with its force, now

dammed into walllessness

—a stand-in for the future of water

restrictions “back home”: the dry creek bed

of childhood the longest



on talkback, news of a town committed

to underbid the restrictions enough

to donate the excess to their botanical gardens—

at last a true collaboration: the future

of beauty:


flow evaporates to standing water: to

ruffles the surface’s satin sheen,

reconjures the old crinkled shot silk of it: abundance

of light, still unfurled across its surface:

the surface, memory, shrinks

Published: July 2018
Kate Middleton

is an Australian writer. She is the author of the poetry collections Fire Season (Giramondo, 2009), awarded the Western Australian Premier’s Award for Poetry in 2009, Ephemeral Waters (Giramondo, 2013), shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s award in 2014, and Passage (Giramondo, 2017). From September 2011–September 2012 she was the inaugural Sydney City Poet.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.