Born in Suva, Fiji, Sudesh Mishra is Professor in Literature at the University of the South Pacific.  He has previously worked at universities in Australia (Flinders University, Deakin University) and Britain (University of Stirling). He has been the recipient of an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Harri Jones Memorial Prize for Poetry, an Asialink Residency in India, the Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara Fellowship (Otago University) and an Erskine Canterbury Fellowship (Canterbury University).  He is the author of five books of poems, including Tandava (Meanjin Press: Melbourne University, 1992), Diaspora and the Difficult Art of Dying(Otago UP, 2002) and The Lives of Coat Hangers (Otago UP, 2016).  He has completed a draft of his sixth volume.

The Canals of Venice

In my brain, I think, I see the canals of Venice.  I picture a gondolier dipping an inky oar as he passes under a bridge into a garden of sighs.  The vision is counterfeit and it fills me with the disgust.  I turn disgust into an object of contemplation and come up with a trope: a cranium crammed with corrupted flesh.  Maggots browse through both hemispheres, exhaling wormholes.  I pass dreamily through one into an astral frogspawn.  I begin to grasp the aesthetics of honeycombs and catacombs.  I remember the taste of memory and its testament to rust.  When I was six, I got hold of a clump of purple yarn and unraveled it speedily.  I wanted to see the end of it, its limit, but the more I reeled it out, the clumpier it grew in my grip.  I never riddled it out for the life of me, but the child did.  Spin, my dying brain, your deathless yarn.