Great Torc by Tracy Ryan

As an extension of Arc’s Canada-Australia joint issue with Australia’s Cordite magazine, over the next several weeks, Arc will be publishing online selected pieces from Australian poets — this is in addition to the Australian poetry published in print in Arc 77. For the Arc-Cordite joint issue, each magazine handed the editorial responsibilities over to the other: so that Cordite filled Arc #77 (and these these webpages) with nothing but Australian poetry, prose and artwork; Arc did the same for Cordite (Arc’s part of this partnership will be published online at Cordite in December 2014). Our intent in this partnership is to showcase and cross-pollinate poetics between Australia and Canada and to share with a broader audience poetry that may be little known outside of home borders.


Great Torc

Find after find
but this is the big one
now under glass
in the museum

it yanks at your neck
as if it could beckon
recognition of kin
even when common

a girl says Look
a giant’s bracelet
Cunt-ring her boyfriend
tosses back

like everyone else
you’re drawn to it
absence of head & shoulders
makes it ominous

suspended in black
to set off fine work
in an otherwise gross
full kilo of gold & silver

weight you grasp only
as wearer
heavy the way
they say crowns are

open at throat
if throat were there
that gap a joke
it’s flesh     not torc

that’s taken off

Tracy Ryan was born in Western Australia but has also lived for long periods in the USA, the UK & Ireland. Her most recent book of poems is Unearthed (Fremantle Press, 2013) and her most recent novel is Claustrophobia (Transit Lounge, 2014).

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