This piece is published in partnership with Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS). DARTS invited participant writers to  reflect on the Stories from the Future project, which gathers culturally and/or linguistically diverse creatives from across Australia to imagine equitable alternative futures for the arts. This project is a partnership between DARTS, the University of Sydney and state partners and receives core support from the Australia Council for the Arts, City of Parramatta Council and Liverpool City Council.



Circles are strangely omniscient.
If you walk its line long enough you will revisit the same rap, the same spit.
I used to draw them with a compass perfectly equidistant
from white lines,
invisible but telling, curves that kept going,
perennial silences that knew their boundaries.

Play a note.
A darbake perhaps, of clay and goat skin and arabesque shapes
and soliloquies on repeat.
I play a tune,
boundless, resounding in a circle avalanche.

Let me construct it for you,
it goes like this— H E G E M O N Y— S I L E N C E S.
This is the sound of breaking bad,
The sound of breaking good?

In a circle, we are together
dots holding hands, notations on a musical score,
movement in time beautifully synced,
with a tabla and qanun—an eastern flavour.

My tongue vernacular composed with other rhythms,
Songs of acculturated dissent.
Say what you want. It’s a safe place. Sometimes.


Daniel Sleiman

Author: Daniel Sleiman

Daniel Sleiman is Lebanese Australian writer, radio producer and poet based in Canberra.

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