Publication Date
Publication Status
Out of print
Poetry by individual poets
Trim Size
216 x 140mm



These poems are traces and markings through continuous topographies – streets, shores, bodies. They offer an experience of language underway, of jumping into the midst. Their shifts and discontinuities open up spaces through the immediate, memory, the personal, the difficulties of being situated or identified. Many of them are shards, borrowings and reshapings of forms, overheard dialogue and writings and art by others, signs and relics of the concrete world, tensions in a moment, the overturning of the ordinary like a leaf, and the resistance of playing at edges.

Jones uses the soundtracks of modern lives – weather and television, music and journeys – as she negotiates difficult harbours and debatable terrains with perhaps more tenderness than previously in these times which seem broken and open. The poems are also voicings of a self under pressure, or close to breaking into the open, imagined, uncertain. They juggle a distrust of too many explanations and a wanting to know, to investigate through word magic and formal strategies.

More than ever, locations and displacements interest this poet, the incompleteness of all journeys, gaps and mistakes, where gaps are not empty, where absence is presence. The moves in the book work at times against Jones’ usual reception as an urban poet with a broader mapping than before. Some of the writing is sparser and more open, the meditative lyricism is tempered with a humorous scepticism and argument, the poems more intuitive. Longer sequences and serial poems blend the topical and musical with a subtlety of feeling, an ear for taut lineation strung together on a thread of three or four presiding images. ‘The pages colour with the various, speaking skin of it, life.’

Praise for this Book

‘In the last few years, Australian poet Jill Jones has emerged as a writer of extraordinary fluency and richness. These new poems, often trance-like and fragmentary, grow from a deep sense of temporal process and the mobility of feeling. They capture the quick and the pulse of the world around them. If they are hard to define, that is because Jones gathers words and speech on the move. If they are hard to resist, that is because there is, unusual in contemporary poetry, a genuine tenderness and intimacy in her writing. What results is a poetry both subtle and very beautiful, both inward and intensely aware of the objective world.’ —Martin Harrison

‘Jill Jones‚ poems are trusting, human and exact. They anticipate possibility, the invisible, sometimes abrupt edges of comprehension, while inviting alert contact with the material world. This work is sharp, sassy and maturely anti-romantic, sorting the strengths of contemporary Australian poetry.’ —Peter Minter