Jessika Tong

The red dirt street and the slaughter house

It goes up daily those frights
Of being displayed those much
Practiced joys turned in the mouth
By a bleak hook on this
Street you know of its kind the rough map
Of a tongue nailed to the land the
Early lessons in graveyards
Picking through red dirt clavicle, mandibles, and
Fanning breast plate there is no
Other colour to see but red, and of course the world
Will never again be this old and bones will always be
An obstacle nothing-much-to-no-one
But a carving knife, a slaughter house
A red dirt street, a red dirt world
Where eyes in their gauzy pockets roll and throats are cut.




You cannot leave Ilsentein not
By road by street by box you
Cannot leave its thick brush of wet
Pine the white stoned boundary where
People flare, tulip-like mouths, a flushing
Pool baring rotting pickets for teeth

You cannot leave Ilsentein pull
Your legs, on spikes, up its hills to
Be swallowed by those browning shortcuts
Traffic does not make it this far mountain
Air is bad, full of dandelion seeds and wishes
Glittering men and women all with sugar in their pockets.




Jessika grew up on the Northern Island of New Zealand and has spent much of her adult life in Central and South East Queensland. Jessika has appeared within various literary journals including The Age, The Australian Literature Review, The Westerly, Wet Ink, Tears in the Fence (UK) and Verandah22. Her first collection, The Anatomy of Blue was released in 2008 by SunLine Press.

One response to “Jessika Tong

  1. Pingback: Stylus Poetry Journal #37 – Street/Life « Another Lost Shark

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