Sn–ow never falls in the Land of Altona but he has been here for 5 000 years & when
she looks over the spent grey towers he silvers up the dull    spins her truth like an
MGM twister    there! the men rowing    there! Miss Gulch on her cackling bike    &
then! the C-R-A-S-H    & back down to earth    {her head always hurts when this part
occurs}    & there! the house but something’s not right    & the midgets & monkeys &
feet sticking out & the world gone too bright & poor old Hickory needs a heart    {but
locked in his pocket a lottery card    50 protons positive! positive!    a magical jackpot
perfect subplot    she says it okay    why not}

          we work well together    you downstairs with your oscillating
          curves    me upstairs with my nerves    we work until winter
          until you change   ‘malleable’ > ‘frangible’    it seems like a
          temperature thing    13° & you start to get brittle    go a little
          bit cold    I see it unfold    you fighting the fight    one day so
          nice the next not so quite    & I don’t really mind whatever you
          do or wherever is ‘Home’ to you    in the script it is written
          you are mine & I’d given up hope & I never thought & the fact 
              remains & so on & so on etc    what can I say but ‘a star’ has
          arrived    you with your brand new Technicolor heart    what
          can I say but before the lights    before all those opening days
          & nights    I lived out my life till then in black & white



Jordie Albiston has published nine poetry collections and a handbook on poetic form. Jordie possesses an ongoing preoccupation with mathematical constructs and constraints, and the possibilities offered in terms of poetic structure. Her work has won many awards, including the Mary Gilmore Award and the 2010 NSW Premier’s Prize. She lives in Melbourne.

​‘tin’ is part of Jordie’s forthcoming collection element, in which the first section of each poem begins with its element’s chemical symbol and has a word count equivalent to its element’s atomic weight, and the second section has a word count equivalent to its element’s atomic radius.