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  • "The Killing State"/The Murdering State, and: A Place in the Sun, and: Red and Black, and: Birth of a Nation: "Legal Lynching"(Shame, shame on you, Georgia)
  • John Kinsella (bio)

"The Killing State"/The Murdering State

By the grace of goes the grace of grace,by pain of passing by pain of pain,            painfrom life to life-to-death,the whole tone scaleof passing stateto state

what's worn to see our comfort note discomfort'send results this roll this role to play to show one's handits powerful grip to placate hate builtin relatives, friends and workmatesof the dead

requiringneedrequiring help from selves

help from wish to makepain to speechto words on a script

or script on a pageto any words over-heard

into fleshtattoo through afterlifeor no life [End Page 49]

a tattoo to carrydefinitions of painas far as their



body gestures(reconfigurings)before witnessesseeing the job done how the job needs to be done.

        Examples samples        exports imports        palm shelter orchids flowering        temple        tickle of the palm,        greased wheel of spectacle.

        Inside the belly        packages of powder        acid-bathed        and caveat.        A burst suffering—also pain—        to bring back to life to finish.

        Conversion. Why not God        in the afterglow of a life still wanted?        That other self        not recognised.        Begrudged the peace-making        with maker only there for victims' loss?

Cauterise and placateremove all reasonable doubt [End Page 50] have pain count or no pain countpartially or leaping the gapleaping the riveras it meanders through the heart of the land that isthe state andtakes water like bloodto the ocean spreadingworld and culture and technologyof quick crossings anywhere,locating devices while musing among cloudsor driving fast, sedately.The ferryman knows his quota, and gags on gender:

hanginggassinginjectingshootingelectrocuting ("frying")

which gerund takes the cake,which gerund satisfies the stomach for race and predilection?which gerund makes for closure? [End Page 51]

A Place in the Sun

A place in the sunis hard wonby bloodties and shininglights on the hill.

A place in the sunis hard woncompelledby factory-madebeautyand attention.

A place in the sunis hard wonwhen Godlingers oncold and harsh,there in the cell.

A place in the sunis hard wonby bloodties and shininglights on the hill.

The mass murderer who left his gunin a banksia tree down the road from us—a childhoodemphasis, he worked with my fatherwho always said, "He was a bit simple, and tormentedby some of his workmates." [I am guessing the speciesof tree, but it's likely up therein the black sand of the hill, all limestonebeneath, where zamia palms and banksiasand gnarled eucalypts grew to look out [End Page 52]

over the river, all gone now—the trees and scrub—and the river has been killed brought back to life killedbrought back to life, but neverresurrected.]        My fatherwho held his workmates backwhen they wanted to tormenthim like the cat thrown in sumpoil. His funny talk, they said.His "hair lip."

Passing the killing under tableushering lip service to crime solvingcrime solutionelectrolysis of dysfunctionin salt mines of disconnection(and killing performs in the driest places,in the wettest places, overcomeby desire)        whereno death sentence no sentienceremains on booksinscriptiondistractioncollective advocacy

summons vengeance eating and prayerhesitating to ensure the difference: civilised and

but then againreconfiguring states of natureechelons of savagerywould take the brutal routenevermindnomenclature and the cold hard specificity of legalese orbrute reality of metaphor. [End Page 53]

              How now the State of Michigan          with its abolition of 1847? Its no state killings        since 1830? Not even the treasonous have burnt.      The killer murdering the murderer unkilled. Thorn in side.    Life filters through and birds fly easier. Dogs bark, cats prowl. Languagedoes its tricks. Once, one was bludgeoned unraveling of pathetic fallacy.

Unwriteable, forgotten...


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pp. 49-59
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