20160413

Owen Bullock



erode
for Cori

she folds her body forward
eyes fall into rivers
her head rests on the mountain
hair streams down its sides
teeth clatter through valleys
legs split into fissures
toes roll in a rill
she lets out three final breaths
and a crack spreads across the synclines
     of her face



A little less erasure
inspired by Alan Loney’s ‘The erasure tapes’

The words of the ancestors could cuff me that’s the main a fist meant you were stronger ‘I can still hit harder than you ya knaw’ a father said to his son and nothing not the tablecloth never changed in gingham with dust honoured creases stains nor the broken window because a shoe after tormenting a sister nor the perspex homemade doubleglazing could let in or out love

*

Relations things to abuse to compare to contrast which usually means abuse oh i was only saying oh i was only pointing out and you are pointed out and slowly you learn nothing personal the universe is not personal if there was a god which is a higher self it wouldn’t be personal the higher self is not personal it is higher it could not have come earlier

*

I’m a first edition it’s been said before not by me that’s the difference i’ll fight to avoid expectations of being understood i’m a first edition don’t blake me on this but i’ll fall as well death and i-know-nothing-about-menopause taboo subjects i-know-nothing-about-menopause more than death should we have a symposium on the subject do you think my guides

*

I can’t tell the story of my life it implicates others i must assume silence a way of retelling by not repeating the story into a story which believes its own history a belief is an opinion i wouldn’t want to be judged by what on earth does my writing have to do with me you fantasise asking a poet this question and blocking your ears to his shrieks as he follows you to the door

*
He gave her the money she wasted bizarrely assuaged his guilt at her previous misdemeanour which he nevertheless punished these are the days of points of view the assertion of one thing not the denial of another it’s hard to live this rule we discuss and chart add to our ‘knowledge’ only what i can do is knowledge can i learn by heart without you suspecting me of being him

*

You thought you had to speak became hung up you could have stayed silent though they wouldn’t have been impressed you might have cultivated a teaching then again then again you have to speak to be silent and so i won’t eat in order to eat and i won’t run in order to run the voice when coming out of a cold can sing like leonard cohen for just a few minutes which is a shrill

*

What size father what recorded what unstated like his medals and embroidery what he left in the mattress already counted in the wardrobe no naval suit thrown out years ago to moths the mantelpiece a photo number four kept the naval record written on cloth in case they fell overboard showed he never changed his rank number two holds it for all to see and i go to him soon

*

He converges on the future writing down what he will have achieved by then achieves it which is evidence of the power of the moment it’s not that the future doesn’t have a choice could still intervene with death on some day the list will end years of being thrown overboard at dawn prepare him well for what lies ahead in the sea where he can breathe as he never would

*

Where cows and goats graze patterns of energy will one day include measured thought what neurotheologists are working on comes back to cricket in the summer love solitude grass swishing wet ankles and under under is why it’s possible mycorrhizal telephones whisper minerals through the forest if this wasn’t true i wouldn’t believe it or tell you what i can and marvel

*

Intertextually refers to experienced before possibly the self’s own text metaphor beguiles like the bent stick in the water and like the bent stick in the water can’t escape the fact that in the water the stick is the same as usual whatever effects the water has i can’t cry enough for the drowning the way i opened my eyes under water and saw that he was gone the mentor brother father

*

We didn’t move into a new house it was as greatgrandfather built except the laundry lost and birds made a hole under the guttering right through to granite all is rubble despite that raising and plastering what’s gone before just as real butterflies seen in the garden where towards the end of life he prepared herbs for the ground that we would walk and search what he did

*

They gave everything that can be said in both sets of dna the multiplication of the set the intersection with your set the modifying effect i forgot the presence of others changed behaviour for good i stopped believing dwelt on only two instructions which seemed enough but they need someone and something to unravel on or messages won’t get through to infinite possible spaces

*

Skin off many times but i was the same i tell the future a story it laughs the identical way when i thought things were changing i’m the one who’s changing we’re the child that doesn’t watch itself and takes photos catalogues and forgets trying not to tell the future the same joke we don’t want to hear predictable laughter what else can we do but heal skin and slower than we want



Owen Bullock's publications include urban haiku (Recent Work Press, Canberra, 2015), breakfast with epiphanies (Oceanbooks, NZ, 2012) and sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (Steele Roberts, NZ, 2010). He won the Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for Poetry 2015. He is a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.
 
 
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