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From: Vol.09 N.01 – A Poetics of Rights


by Jo Langdon
Rear-windscreen soars ahead in status
vehicle tint, against which letters 
in masking tape tatter: TOOT 

some tape has come away 
or a wiper obscures so that B becomes R. 

There are those who would if they could 
either way, I guess, but perhaps don’t 
know now

whether to toot. No horns sound 
across the lanes, in either case. Behind me 
the baby peels mandarins 

she won’t eat, admires her own toes
in reflection. These are

‘donut days’: no new cases 
in the garden state, and time
before the premier’s fall

from holiday
patio—time unfolding, eliding— 	
It’s true in this state

we like our racism
covert, thanks, we like it

Beyond the radio’s fizz
of numbers & brighter 
airings, the state commits

cultural genocide—another
highway cutting three minutes 
out of 800 years

or its inverse: that is to say
decimating what the colony has 

plundered, heedless/knowing/

The light is yellow is green is falling
orange across us, encapsulated 
between twisting figures

of tea-tree & box gum, detritus 
of citrus skin & pith amassing.
Arundhati R wrote the pandemic
as a portal but I don’t know how
to hold the image—where 
                                                    to meet it.

Published: August 2022
Jo Langdon

lives and writes on unceded Wadawurrung land. She is the author of two poetry collections, Snowline (Whitmore Press, 2012) and Glass Life (Five Islands Press, 2018), and was a 2018 Elizabeth Kostova Foundation fellow. Her recent writing is also published in journals including Cordite Poetry Review, Island Magazine, Meanjin and Overland.

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.