Two Poems by Alison Whittaker


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sparse shit poem

Heard you
    Got you
            at the sting.

            Offered you
            as a salve.
                   Offered us
                   as bad salvation.

Offered back
as stand-in
turbine. heartbeat
‘lectrons for y’nation.

don’t @ me

curated tweets

Blak women are
powerful, overworked and under-praised
Bilingual and trilingual
I’m getting roots in
Sustain me, sustain me

No suspicious circumstances
Significant overrepresentation
What’s native title worth
In a compromised position to sovereignty?
Significant underrepresentation?
No contact with the family?

Individual pathology
Inquest into the death of
2 in every 25

This hurts
When kids are locked up

Taught through brutality
How disposable they are
Threat to private property

Joyous precious worthy. I’m not
crying – you’re crying

I’m not booking flights at my hotdesk
I’m not calling mum at my hotdesk

Love this country or leave it so
Free domestic flights for First Nations?
A whole plane full of terrified people in plaid
staring ever forward
Their model of shame on ours
Oh and wildflowers on the train

My hot take?
Blak women have not been silent
Huge if true.

These poems appear in The Lifted Brow #33. Get your copy here.

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet living and writing on Gadigal and Wangal lands. Her debut collection Lemons in the Chicken Wire was shortlisted for the Scanlon Prize and was awarded the 2015 State Library of Queensland’s black&write! fellowship.