MTC Cronin and Peter Boyle


The butterfly opens its sojourn
in the camelized province of fire-ants.
This is the kind of country
where a divining rod gives up the ghost.
Even mosquitoes have gone home for the winter.
Little purple book lost in the rain,
how I long for your vanished script.
Your warped paper returns
as sunlight coracles, as flotillas of moths.
Trapped once in the narrow khaki of my authors’ dreaming,
smart-assed misfits,
I travel beyond them
relaxed in my own steady sadness.
Buffoons and madmen, and all
conscripts of the great Pacific war,
we are almost at home now:
three more grains shining in a dust-storm,
our too real loveless Continent.


General and mark of the sea.
Background and burned.
There, hanging, the balancing act
     in something which reminds his shoulders
               to swing.
Amputating one arm from the other
      and the abecedarian
                from spelling.
Even inside the dead, his jacket,
     supplementarily good and thought about.
Far from the corollary
      and the tide-gate which stopped
                their hands.
For Vallejo’s jacket is the half
      in its boiling state, what might
                put an end to
the blooming and blowing and blushing.
No more will go astray!
He who seeks a movable grave in its arms
      will fool the buffoon.
And especially this comb and tuft
      will rattle and snap.
For nothing every condition.
Every bent form at the foot of certain ideas.
Loose animal casing on the outer!
There is a giant application to supply
      with response.
Are these your people?
Are the juices from the gravalaxy
      covering your accelerating sleeves?


It’s true. You are.
It’s not true that you are not.
Your horror is truly horrific
though you have communicated it improperly.
It’s true that you are now
historical having lost all your tomorrows
in this game that we that remain
are still playing.
People here are smoking and drinking.
Eating sugar that’s been hardened to last.
No one wants to find you really
but are happy to look for you
in the words you left behind.
People like puzzles. Up to a point.
Beyond that their humanness
degenerates into a search for what’s true
in what’s not.
For it’s simply not true that you are.
However horrible.
It’s true Mr Pessoa that you are not.


There’s only one set of orders that won’t kill you:
Leave them (literally) to their own devices.
Their desire to be forgiven is superfluous.
Never set them straight.
Their attraction to obliquity is about art, politics
     & fucking.
(Three things they think worth ‘talking about’.)
Little do they know they are allowed not to like it.
Never enlighten them as to the true meaning of advice.
It is entirely possible they will find understanding
     under a stone.
Smiling like a baby, a cute one, I might add –
If a poet is the cause of one case of ‘cultural disconnect’
in his lifetime he has succeeded
     (especially if he has disconnected a critic).
There is only one set of orders that won’t kill you:
Write yours here.

MTC Cronin has published numerous collections of poetry (including several in translation) and has co-written a number of volumes with fellow-Australian poet, Peter Boyle. She currently lives, with her partner and three young daughters, on an organic farm (specializing in fresh Spanish produce) situated in Maleny (Queensland), Australia.

Peter Boyle lives in Sydney. His latest collection of poetry, Museum of Space, was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Award. He is currently completing a long work The Apocrypha of William O'Shaunessy, fictive translations of imagined classical texts.

Boyle and Cronin are working on a series of volumes ghost-written by the elusive Thean Morris Caelli. The first volume in the collection is due out shortly with Shearsman Books in the UK under the title How Does a Man Who is Dead Reinvent His Body? The Belated Love Poems of Thean Morris Caelli. The poems above are taken from this body of work.

previous page     contents     next page



Post a Comment

<< Home