by Kathryn Hummel

Published in Issue No. 249 ~ February, 2018

This is my luggage. I would hesitate to call it baggage.

Like stones of less than twenty kilo, each piece rolls

too fast to generate capsules or prostrate memory.

Debris can be blown off quickly. The first contains

various skins a Japanese boy once taught me how to

compress, before he thanked me for my kindness. Like

the mobile device I use to roam, my case is cracked.

Like an e-passport, it’s free from the marks that mask

my incompetence re. falling. My core work is navigation

via the ornamental compass attached to a strap I

seldom fasten. You might guess I am the second

Nelson, though it’s my right foot, third eye, that are

missing. I have mastered the art of writing while

running—not so much looking before lunging. This

approach benefits the poems. Please do not hold me

against my handwriting, or the six leaves left that I’m

not smoking. Flung this way about, you too, I am certain,

would find it hard to keep your lines from bursting.

account_box More About

Kathryn Hummel is a writer, researcher and poet: the author of Poems from Here, The Bangalore Set, The Body That Holds and splashback (forthcoming). Her new media/poetry, non-fiction, fiction, photography and scholarly research has been published and presented worldwide (Meanjin, Cordite, Rabbit, The Letters Page, Prelude, PopMatters, Gulf Times, Himal Southasian), and recognised with a Pushcart Prize nomination and the Dorothy Porter Prize at the Melbourne Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Awards. Kathryn holds a PhD for studies in narrative ethnography, lives intermittently in South Asia and edits 'Travel. Write. Translation' with Verity La. Her activities can be tracked @