Dan Disney

 Dan Dis­ney was born in 1970 in East Gipp­s­land, where he grew up. He has worked in psy­chi­atric insti­tu­tions, pad­docks, ware­houses, and uni­ver­si­ties, and cur­rently divides his time between Mel­bourne and Seoul, where he lec­tures in twentieth-century poet­ries at Sogang Uni­ver­sity. Arti­cles and poems appear in Antithe­sis, ABR, Heat, Mean­jin, New Writ­ing, Over­land, Orbis Lit­ter­arum, and TEXT, and poems have recently received awards in the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize (2nd) and the Dorothy Sar­gent Rosen­berg Prize (USA). He is on the advi­sory board of Cordite schol­arly. His first full col­lec­tion of poems, and then when the, was pub­lished by John Leonard Press in 2011. 



‘only some­one who already knows how to do some­thing with it can sig­nif­i­cantly ask a name’                                                                         

 —— from Wittgenstein’s Trac­ta­tus


old build­ings, falling out the sky



after the shriek of love leaves her body
                                     I’m still there, a peas­ant and ass
                   labor­ing through dark hills toward the small bright win­dows
                                                                        of infinity



mean­while, after­noon seethes across           a mechan­i­cal sky
                         the tzzz-ing                             of air­con
                                                                         telling cicadas the rain

                         is a promised machine                                         falling in pieces



   ‘don’t go’, I tell
her eyes darkly flick­ing, a slow
                                                                           river in my shadow
                                                             lis­ten­ing to echoes deep in cold



(knee-high, green texta, weedy piss-stained carpark wall)

‘be the beauty you wish to see in the world’



I spent child­hood in a hur­ri­cane. Hun­gry dogs wolved at the door.
                   Mother was an old tele­vi­sion, father a fourth dimen­sion. Had rain
fallen in down­ward lines, we’d have embraced and called it utopia
while deserts hurled them­selves, sleep­lessly, upon us



in the mind of the for­est, the birds
             are dreams tweet­ing rhap­sodic operas. Flow­ers crane
                                                                                                                            their necks, louche
and metaphor­i­cal, while his­tory looks on and falls
             into place the way sun­light does. Morn­ing is
                                                                         thump­ing over­head, quip­ping ‘qui­eten!’ to the hives
                                                                         cho­rus­ing a mist.
                                                        Thus the for­est dark­ens, brightly



amid a copse of trees, ‘it’s not the flesh, drooped
                                                              and unbloom­ing, but
                                                                        our bones that groan so
                                                              beneath the slump of heaven’



the wooden tem­ple amid hoar­frost. Her voice alone, is filled
            with cen­turies. And when she talks, mem­o­ries crowd
            her bony feet and hop like chicks
                                                                         (each sen­tence made of sunlight)



head­line: ‘Bird of Par­adise Cloned in Under­world
                                                                           (Under­world Birds Not Happy)’



clutch­ing the fin­ger bones of dolls dreams
                     all the doors grin­ning
                                   while night storms in: she’s there
                                   in the cor­ner of her lives
                                                                                     drink­ing the black



                                                I was not there. The bird did nothing.

I was there point­ing and the bird lifted and was then held out by air and this was called real­ity.



morn­ing was a rain-smudged lens
                   focused into mil­len­nia        
                   where strangers bent an early light
                   into shape

                                              trail­ing the gloop of his­tory indoors



                   new build­ings, falling into the sky