Corey Wakeling


Am supposed to – with the – cut
to ask them in forty characters
we loosed ourselves from grass grips and
told vibrations we had shaken it off.

Pool was cold
shook it all off, the cool cracked
still cold needed little attention
just a muscular contortion
really an effort, bastard came up
to me and called me by my first name.

Listed like a lawn of games
the number of contortions we would heave

suspending meant we kept bat, ball and game
we kept foot, ball and game
we kept hand, ball and game
we kept hand, hand and game.

wasn't much to it just those decades
just those matriculations on slicks of
green jagged. As boy-child, I was guided
in susurrant tones to decide carefully
what sport had caught my attention and
where exactly I saw myself on the field.
Children can be crooks. A boy once
begged me to play, took up a mitt,
awaited my throw, then dropped the mitt,
looked me in the eye and then walked away.

I have never known a social group of
parents and their friends to organise themselves
cleanly and decide on roles.

                                              – not a single stenographer
                                              – no coaches
                                              – no linesmen
                                              – no first base umpire
                                              – no real umpire
                                              – no journalists, and then, no good recordists
                                              – an audience of crooks and children.
And yet, and yet, and yet and yet, and spotted lawns, like every named star.
The lawn is the night sky. Skipping, the girl sports herself a long dress
with lace and a sun-smile for the month of November.
Skipping too, all those boxers with unbroken noses,
sweet initiates that ask – “can you watch me?” – in between we've
been asking – can you watch me – and introduce me to them?
Skipping faster, the treadmillists, the first I.C.s and the second I.C.s
and the month of November.

We are coming up to that fracture, a tunnel
of forty coloured light indicators along the passage.
We have been equipped with plastic bags and
books of matches and time enough.

Corey Wakeling is based in Melbourne, Australia. His work has appeared in Etchings, Peril, and Yomimono, & is forthcoming in The Age.

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