Abstract: Contemporary Australian poet Gig Ryan’s early work explores lyric romance between zombie-like subjects and survivors. Bringing the zombie into contact with the lyric, this work raises questions about how the subject feels their transition into posthuman states of being in Anthropocene neoliberalism. Often neglected from discussions of zombie capitalism, poetry written in the 1970s and 1980s presents anxieties that existed for the first generation of youth culture in neoliberalist late capitalism. Ryan’s punk, anti-ballad confrontations with the Orphic lyric such as the well-known poem “If I Had a Gun” indict its alignment with a broader metaphysics of dead bodies lyricised in romantic code. As a result, by her mid-career period, Ryan has developed a Eurydicean counter-lyric in which the lyric speaker assails the violence of patriarchal romance, and the masculine-feminine divisions that sustain it, through post-punk negativity.

Keywords: Gig Ryan, zombies, neoliberalism, Orphic lyric, punk, post-punk

Copyright © Corey Wakeling 2018. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.