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You sit down to write a report entitled,
“How is it possible for one person to kill another?”
An hour later you wander off into the streets,
leaving a blank page pocked with dark nothings.

You see people cover coughs, remove glasses,
wave goodbyes, adjust headsets, thumb mobiles,
stub out cigarettes and arrange hair in ways that
suggest intimate worlds and private moments.

Almost every action unaware,
an unnoticed use of the hands.

You wonder how many more steps
in the direction of unconsciousness
would be required for one of those pairs of hands
to be raised against another.

You fall into the hole
between the hand and the heart
and stay there
because it is easier than answering such questions.

Australian born Richard James Allen has published nine books as a poet, fiction, performance writer and editor, most recently The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl & Schlesinger). His writing has appeared widely in magazines, journals, anthologies and online. A multi-award-winning poet, performer, choreographer, film and new media maker, and scholar.

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Tamryn Bennett is an Australian writer and visual artist currently living in Mexico. Since 2004 she has exhibited artists books (Showers and Clearing and Polaroids and Postcards) illustrations and comics in Sydney, Melbourne and Mexico. Her poetry, illustrations and articles have appeared in Five Bells, Nth Degree, Mascara Literary Review and various academic publications. She has a PhD in ‘Comics Poetry’ from The University of New South Wales and when in Sydney was Art & Publications Director for The Red Room Company.

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  • Richard James Allen January 19, 2013, 8:35 am

    Thanks for re-posting my poem, Tamryn, nice site! Cheers, Richard

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