—Human Room*

southling, southern or caged
moving, howled soul         
your great entrance your       
in bodying
shimmer spine chested       
with a single colonesque       
of woods, the spine flows
leaden head of rapture                  

enclosing nothing               
and a worldless                            

splice, cross your dainty claws what's
through crowds of scrape and scraped
fangs rooted

creamed ebony flush     splits finish
spectral                                    fibres
into song that scream
of raging grasp that split gargling
baseless into an arc
not eyes hands, only feet grab
jaw unleashes against us

 *Francis Bacon, "Study of a Baboon" (1953)


Stuart Cooke is a poet, translator and critic based in Queensland, Australia, where he lectures at Griffith University. His books include the poetry collections Opera (2016) and Edge Music (2011) and a critical work, Speaking the Earth's Languages: a theory for Australian-Chilean postcolonial poetics (2013). His translation of Gianni Siccardi's The Blackbird is forthcoming.

Barzakh Mag