Bleeding Soles

by Jennifer MacKenzie

                                                        there has to be a spine
                                                        thumbs in the sandy river bed
 grains through fingers
 zombie twilight crowd
 deep sepia blue
 of ceaseless hammering
                                                        in this vertiginous delirium
                                                        can I colour-wheel my country?
                                                        go wobbly-wobbly take a boat
 to your country
 epiphanic floor
 on the scooter arms fly
 octopus flying passion of
                                                        bleeding soles
                                                        sliced soles of calamitous war
                                                        take instead my fingertips
                                                        angelic floor

* in this scene from Akram Khan’s Desh, the focus is on the trauma of the civil war in Bangla Desh in 1971.

Jennifer Mackenzie is a poet and reviewer, focusing on writing from and about the Asian region. Since the publication of Borobudur (Transit Lounge 2009) she has presented her work at a number of conferences and festivals, including the Ubud, Irrawaddy and Makassar festivals.  She has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Marten Bequest Poetry Scholarship, and the Felix Meyer travelling scholarship from the University of Melbourne. Although mainly focused (or you could say obsessed) with Indonesia, she has also written on China, where she worked for three years, and in 2016 enjoyed a writing residency at Seoul Artspace, Yeonhui. She also works as an occasional editor for The Lontar Foundation in Jakarta. Her most recent book is Navigable Ink,  (Transit Lounge 2020).

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