Joan Fleming

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Joan Fleming

All-time record exceeded in historic heatwave

August in Madrid,
                          the days
slug along and fry.
I am impossible as
                                        a good
                                             right sea
– a corrugated shopfront
against thieves. The real sea
is hours away and gagging,
tang on the air as a fat hose blasts
                                                                  our marks
from the sidewalk: spittle, dog mess, spilled
cerveza from where we took                            our joy
in the furnace. I walk the streets in squint.                  The dark sun
of a jamon swings in someone’s fist.
A man without a roof throws a watch at a rubbish bin and it bursts into
                                                                                                          its pieces.

Drought summer

Songs about low rivers
are songs about girls who wanted

I take my yearning down to the only
scrap of city that keeps its turtles

A grid of twelve ceaseless fountains
salutes a current
                             in dwindle

Once my vision of my life encompassed
no body of water I could not

Now, I forbid myself a furthering
Think of the horseman, says my love
                             I do

Yesterday, someone well-meaning
handed me a peach wrapped double
                             in plastic

The day is like an oven I’ve just opened
I cannot do little

Joan Fleming reads “All-time record exceeded in historic heatwave”

Joan Fleming reads “Drought Summer”

Joan Fleming’s forthcoming third collection, Hot Perpetual Half-Light Winter, is a dystopian verse novel exploring ritual and the limits of language in the ruins of ecological collapse. Joan holds a PhD in ethnopoetics from Monash University, Melbourne, and is the New Zealand/Aotearoa Commissioning Editor for Cordite Poetry Review.