20110826

Michael Farrell


Penny-farthing Polo Playoff


They sell out the MCG like it ’ s a backyard . Twenty - four penny - farthings and their riders chasing a ball in a celebration of this great Persian game – that we improved . Young guys do bike tricks outside : who cares ? We ’ re there to support the nation . They ’ re playing over flowers , over daffodils , drawings of flaming daffodils , everyone ’ s got one . Playing over bones , over nuggets of gold , saying sorry , sorry , gold . What an amazing sight ! The players in their bloomers ! Playing to win , like the ball ’ s a Tasmanian Tiger , or maybe a baby ’ s head . What or who is murdering ‘ the poems ’ ? If there were ‘ more ’ , would the word ‘ more ’ be dead ? Penny - farthings were among the first nouns introduced into this country . ‘ Polo ’ was a verb then , a kerb . At half - time they reenact Gallipoli : scenes from the movie ; I am riding Mark Lee , I just have to get my bike to pout . There ’ s an ascent of the ridges of the MCG . There ’ s a bullets in the water scene . . . one of the bikes get ’ s mistaken for a boatload of refugees . It ’ s very realistic . The flag is flying . Someone sets fire to the grass , and the government buys $ 6 billion worth of Coca - Cola to put it out with . The MCG ants become super - ants , and hijack the penny - farthings , and blow themselves up , and almost kill the game . But luckily there ’ s a bunch of beach volleyballers on leave from Afghanistan , and they ’ ve brought all their coathangers with them , so soon enough there ’ s a new troupe of d . i . y . bikes and substitute beach - fit riders for us – and the enemy team . Because we share for the good of the game ; and after the game we turn the penny - farthings into cages.


Such is Life


You ’ re the fastest girl in the school & your favourite drink ’ s sugared to kill an ant . I ’ m here in love with you , I think . But isn ’ t that me , yelling someone else ’ s name , riding into police bullets ? No – I ’ m walking , silently ( conceptually ) – the crackle of paper bark muted in the interests of visual impact . Everyone looks on me as salvation , a rehab Tristram Shandy . Is the everyday of importance to your work ? The awful smell of off yoghurt , the uncleaned ‘ fridga ’ itself , the butter melted on the stove that ’ s used as a bench , the relentless shadow of the neighbour ’ s cat . My name ’ s tattooed on your arm . I ’ m not afraid of face powder . At the laundroteria , we ’ re a family of ghosts . We talk like never before . They ’ ve taken my house and plonked it in a fake Perth suburb with real English trees . A South African called ‘ Rooster ’ comes around to ease the loneliness , but the sex is no pleasure . Office politics takes time to mature . . . the first thirty days are like a bike with dirty gears . I call your name through the washing machine glass , & see something strange approaching . It ’ s my older , painted self . Don ’ t grow old inside your helmet . Have my hankie , my blood . Preserve yr misspellings : they ’ re the real you . I ’ m in a relationship with my editor : it ’ s a bad pattern . They ’ re suffering from Australian deficiencies & cancers , but their skin is tres smooth . Come back – & we can try childhood again . I ’ ll be like your original mother would ’ ve been if she could ’ ve been ; God help me – let it go slower this time , like a race on limited oxygen . I love oxygen . . . I love anything ambos give me ; it ’ s midnight , they . . . No parole , huh ? Why did you beat your girlfriend ? We ’ re playing ‘ bird scrabble ’ in the shade of the incongruous statues , but it isn ’ t the statues I ’ m worried about . It ’ s not the condescension of the guards either . How do you feel when everyone gets out of your way , so that you can have your own ‘ blind space ’ ? I was watching the camp , when I came out of the tent with a hatchet , hitting at you . . . sand was flying into your eyes from nowhere ; I was holding your hand by the fire , while your hair burned . ( The researcher cries in the library as a means of detachment . ) The daily misalliance – the recovery . All the different kinds of names . Privilege means never having to resort to anything , it ’ s like having opinions without thinking , or eating figs in the shop as a democratic gesture : we all do it . Not as ourselves , but as ghosts . It ’ s a dance party , that ’ s all . The mirrors show you unloved & alone , but here you are , under the sprinklers , someone ’ s arms around you – maybe mine , maybe the last female bushranger ’ s . It ’ s a nice night , I say , sleep on the balcony . In the dream , when I dial triple 0 , I can ’ t remember my address .


Ecriture


Is not that . Poems like d . . . a . . . g . . . u . . . e . . . r . . . r . . . e . . . o . . . t . . . y . . . p . . . e . . . s : there must be more to life . While the blood moves are hound the body . Abstractions unappreciated by jugglers ( are not perhaps abstractions ) . I had a sound in my mouth , but felt my mouth fading away – I had to spit it out . It sounded like ‘ grammatical ambiguity ’ , a ritual practised by dams in catholic New South ( when I lived there , at least ) . Applaud not Apple Computers , but rather foreign leaders , whose policies affect us not a witty bone – Harwood and Wright were both ones for bones [ B 1 s ] : a count against them in my death - before - portraiture book , my hybrid numbers and letters – how many letters in the word 1 ? One . The dead walk up and down Little George Street singing ballads of Old Fitzroy : ‘ Oh there once was a clothing shop here , my love / Where I would trade an ounce of heroin for a leather glove ’ . Is it possible you have no needs ? Then the priest might as well take up a presidency in Preston , and slide down High Street on the tongue of the Bite - You - Men . That ’ s where the back room comes in [dark room ? ‘ Straight ’ E [ ne ] d ] . When you don ’ t want anyone around , not the prompts of the player who had this lap ( top ) previous . Won ’ t someone riddle me the speech of this meddlesome schizophone ? It ’ s probably noodles ; one of my weak points . My father said ‘ blips are lubricious ’ – but I think he meant plebs . Carts are horses , as has been hazarded before . All a - neigh , kid , kid : all a - neigh - neigh - ho . Antroduce me , please , to the slighted tapir . Gnome ; I ’ m her steak. Even beer will diss a peer , if it means a better trading outcome , inner land of . You can see I ’ ve lost some , missed some , eked a way through . What an ado ! I was Bruced / I Bruced – not in a writing sense – but I ’ ve a Bruce on my drews An ’ it wasn ’ t from playing marshmallow with the Poo Chance twins . Is this Pro ’ s and will he be back for it ? I . . . Chucked & c . Pussy , that was the name of the house , and the gardener , their name was , I think , I - Kill - U . An American name anyway . I was riding this interesting thing about : Double Dada , I think it was , several other things ; chanting like a pig on Neighbours : Quadruple Dada . We just liked the sound of it , so we fostered it on the kids and stuck candles in their lobstered hands , like it was a ritual , and we weren ’ t taking them back to the ineffable , pursuant on a light dinner of Herb ’ s . Gravy sticks . Carrot skins . Have you ever come off your bike onto a road of hard carrots ? With your head stridingly in a cloud of enjambics , if there is such a lesbotic concept ? Lurking in the near - sky . . . I . e . , not high .



Michael Farrell coedited (with Jill Jones) Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets; his latest publication is thempark (Book Thug).
 
 
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