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WILCANNIA 19.07.2010

 

ON THE ROAD TO WILCANNIA: THREE POEMS

(1) This being Sunday

Tony arrives in his white shirt
The journos, for their part, are not quite expectant
But thrilled nonetheless at their self-appointed centrality:
It is us, it is us, we make and break, we decide

It’s a crossing day, we call it that
A day of crossings
(Call me darling and I may do something unexpected)

Wilcannia awaits or is that the place we just passed through

All thought is hackneyed thought
Tired as lizards
Thin, flat as pieces of abandoned skin

Heat waves sweep the north
Fires blaze suddenly

We do not know where affections will lead
Sudden shifts of loyalty
New attachments
Sudden abandonments

We never made it to the waters of the spa
The receptionist was also the technician
She ran
She ran with her dog at heel: ‘Ah, exercise, it is all the thing’
Mud fled from her heels

The town seethed all night, a sort of hidden violence
An engine revs
Heavy metal

Heavy metal spells something
We just don’t know what

(2) And they came …

To think of them crawling all over this land
An opal here, a glimpse of green
Signifying copper or some other treasure trove of deceit

I tell you
I tell you
I know no longer what writing is

Thoughts are like floury fruit
No bite, no tang or texture
Music a mere jiggling of the feet
When silver spurs are absent

(3) On the road to Wilcannia

I want something silent
I want something not just hushed but totally silent

For the moment there’s a big left curve
Not that we shall call this a day of correction

Love can strike unexpectedly
Creep through the sliding window
Speak in several close-lipped messages

The last of the Gilgandra bananas is eaten
The skipping receptionist a fading memory
200 km done for the day
Caltigeena Creek
MacCullough’s last resting place
Foot hard to the floor
The last booming cloud given over to the grey consistency of rain

The drummer strikes a blow
Yet what remains in my heart remains unspoken
Like a bowl of breakfast cereal

The country breathes like slow-breathing lungs
A cavity both vast and restricted
A red unflooded gutter
Tempos alegria

The growths that grow along the tongue and in the guts
All the unsaid things
All the things we truly cannot stomach

The voice drones on to the sound of the mouth organ:
Filo filo amoroso
Filo filo insenso

18 7 2010