A m o c k e r y
like a confession * as usual it begins as description sheet lightning streaks across the corner missenden & king wide open doors leach humidity 'FREE BYO' the sign on the plate glass hovering fruitflies sup the juices hoisin splash spots your blouse full to belching in Dumpling Hut beery hotfaced & beaming — you philosophise the wornout 'how to live' theme redundant wheezing (you're 'positing') no stopping it * a looming solution - 'jump off the bridge' (unsaid) * why is that not funny? * assembling your disapproval heap we argue over nothing much but it * another go another irritant — nativists voguing around scribbly barks honouring an old as new 'Australianness' * now you're really starting to get on my nerves * another beer? * there are times when everything's been said (note propensity for sulking) put a lid on it? * I just noticed you're wearing your save the mangroves badge (cheer up strategy) * workaday life can be pretty dull pretty workaday humdrum oh fuck! they should just PRINT MORE MONEY! * & technically does 'Australianness' need double ns? * any love? moving against one another rubbing up checking over the shoulder any love any where any way huh it isn't love it isn't art it's shit pretty much anyone? * ( personally of course I regret everything not a word not a deed not a thought not a need not a grief not a joy not a girl not a boy not a doubt not a trust not a scorn not a lust not a hope not a fear not a smile not a tear not a name not a face no time no place that I do not regret exceedingly an ordure from beginning to end ) * then it seems that the gesture determines the document time (it's a worry) if, as the internet poet says, the first thing a poem communicates is communicability then what? * some poetry is very good at futility * it mostly futile but it's also 'something to do' echo echo echo * was an era doomed in a moment? when punk & disco refused any dialectical synthesis oh era equals 'Mariah Carey'? * storm over going home bye bye dumpling * zip past the emergency assembly point so far so good living here over half a decade & no emergencies b-double stuck in the bus lane king street chock full mr whippy's nightmarish greensleeves whirls on the wind — driven nuts for forty years by that carnival sound loop any wonder everyone seems a bit jittery * it's here climate change it is here hotter inside than outside * remember the joneses? now neighbours resent neighbours' better carbon outputs — aircons cars pvc pool toys plane trip emissions * the seasons might need a change of name how then to say 'the sexiest summer was' 'the sexiest summer of my life' fervid tongues wet bellies lovers the sexiest summers of our lives * just before hiv * these days the coffee machines of some burbia or urbania keep couples coupled if that's what's happened? * in stanmore just off crystal street olympia yellow — Helen's kitchen ceiling dreamy skylight crossed by big aluminium abdomens, incoming planes she says for the government it's another bad week & it's only tuesday * we're talking about the past having no influence like some disastrous Great Leap Forward political convention means nothing now there's a saying in russia — the past is unpredictable * historians cobweb your wounds * I it's not the end of capitalism though I might have said it was ... I surely did or hoped it was * I broke the miniature ninukshuk extra bad luck * & seventy percent of the coral is dead * to the reminiscery tae visit the wee spurrit o'yae scots grandmither bit na relief 'ere och woe betide th' ebbing tide aye * a real place called river nith in the northern & eastern parts of the upper west district * aren't the good times a-comin' soon * up the country newly electrified sections of the fence keep things in order keep things in the paspalum a dingo howling at dusk if we're lucky * two streets from a wetland i.e. a couple of recycled storm water ponds introduced species enjoying a respite from rubbish dumps * ah wondrous contaminated planet * it's all groundwork from here on * the modem's in the wardrobe the memory is full what is to be done? * born dual (gemini) I can operate in the margins but, like Mel Chin, (conceptual artist) be ever wary of being placed there by anything in the centre that maintains power by colonizing its perimeter pause that's unlikely to happen, whose poetry's ever popular? (though others may wish to 'take note') * & a hundred schools of thought contend * you're making a mockery * we HAVE food, not like we're starving here * too many horrendous 'incidents' in the world-at-large * such regret * a lot of the time * & now or near to now in the last month another friend leaves too early at 40 in querétaro Luis Alberto Arellano poet born into the Age of Discrepancies so wry — your cryptic wit & pasquinade in québec & us (oh) so wise — kind of — in our poor second & third languages nothing in english in that little town, soupe à l'oignon ice wine & french everything farewell dear Luis * we're going on, me & the living friends outside a coburg cakeshop seduced by pigeons she loves pigeons 'like a Jungian would' * new year's day begins a second later a leap second for atomic time I walked round there on the first of january round the corner from south dowling street methadone centre a bedraggled jacaranda late to flower, still purpling the concrete & crumpled can glitter no water view & almost as dead as sausalito I walked round there last april Etel Adnan 'divides her time' between sausalito & paris paris a no brainer (that sounds 'american') * It is always 4 PM, the hour I kissed a poster (etel adnan) * now in the new year 2018 fresh time have I used my extra second * momentarily let's turn to something futury * maybe not let's not * in this hemisphere * on tv news emergency workers say they are tired of pulling people from car wrecks with mobile phones embedded in their bodies * a lunatic drives a speeding car straight into lunchtime crowds in central Melbourne across the river the international tennis competition continues unawares * the world-at-large * I think I'll just sit here & read * it's probably ok to ask a perec question 'approaches to what?' * approaches to lower case world far from the middling case where the semi colons are kept (;) * having a coke with you goes round & round the internet until the very end mindful poetry colouring book's orange green red white stripes of universal seven elevens * folkstar acoustic tales from hal an tow jolly rumbalo mr minit repairs hemp sandles quick turnaround * why don't we do it all again? why don't we just? * the world's physical stuff remains physical my poem not transformative I guess I could say 'that's materiality for you' it be as ephemeral as instagram as a whisper as a wink * recurring heatwaves (it's here) placing pots under chairs & table shade french tarragon hydrangea I tend hydrangea reluctantly intimation - the protestant gardens of childhood unlike hypoestes phyllostachya a k a madagascan polka dot plant I'll shelter willingly the sun so fierce & no breeze garden's not too messy today but it can be * two bees working on unidentified groundcover a cricket in the mint pot lone blue banded bee selects pink begonia, how modest sweeping away dead leaves purple & red petals avoid all ants * my ears are as long as Buddha's * glammed up for nothing false positive * talking to myself again lying on a little mustard green ottoman under the window that gives a view of a window of the house next door the world's physical stuff just sticks there nothing's moving * tomorrow I should still be here then on wednesday to chinatown to buy goodwill symbols & small gifts for the year of the rooster * almost february again (I'm not ready)
Pam Brown is an occasional editor & reviewer & an author of various books, chapbooks, pamphlets & e-books. Her most recent book of poetry is Missing up (Vagabond Press 2015). Stale Objects dePress published a folio of her collage & other graphics, Westernity, in 2016. She lives in Sydney, Australia.