Legoland by Nathan Curnow

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.



they recreated Anne Frank’s hiding place
actual size built block by block
somewhere between the Lego Sphinx
and the London Bridge collapse
a secret door with enough clutch power
now the Mindstorm program’s gone rogue
Lego Robots are patrolling the park
overpowering the foreign tourists
chaos erupting at assembly points
the fracture of kingdoms and wonders
icons toppling and mini figures
babies sucking on spaceman helmets
a tsunami of bricks and disconnect
every step is a barefoot nightmare
and kids who enlist in the Robot Youth
don’t have to clean up their share
the surveillance of sensors and actuators
a laser scanning beneath the crack
the rot of stowaways hushed and hungry
the non-toxic six-stud blocks


Nathan Curnow is a writer, performer and past editor of Going Down Swinging. His poetry features in Best Australian Poems 2008, 2010 and 2013 (Black Inc) and has won numerous awards including the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize. His latest collection is RADAR, available through Walleah Press.

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