Corey Wakeling

O-Bon’s Daimonji

Higashi-Ichido Road, past Kyoto University
through the Torii, up to the Yoshida Shrine.
I remember the fires but do you remember the
darkness? It wasn’t just night, it was
the quiet lights of Ginkakujichō in the
distance beneath the first character of
your surname: dai, Ō, (大). To think a gold temple
remained unsullied underneath. That
never crossed our minds. The pit of rising
gray beneath us as we clutched together
in the cold, just as we clutched like chicks
by the hot springs of Kusatsu. It wasn’t
just night, it was the dimmed glimmer
of Jōdoji Nishidachō and Jōdoji Kamibachō,
grey-amber beneath the first character
of your name: dai, Ō, (大). The old bamboo and
matsu needed to light those fires. One
wonders how many families and how
many tonnes. Ayu’s family members
don’t live down there, do they? They were
probably underneath the burning
of the sailing boat. And what a boat. Of bamboo
and matsu, staring back, afire, across the mountains,
across all of Kyoto, glaring at the first character
of your two-character surname: dai, Ō, (大).

May Day

The day to fan one’s ghosts.
New to Walpurgisnacht. But, there, twisting
cinders of the poor, char spittle, wisps of hair
smoke. Billowing like green grass. Not in Europe.
Big page piece. Furniture is rolled onto the lawn,
sat beside some familiar lamps, familiar books,
pride gasping for air as if gills had been grown
for the first time. Tonnes of herring under Saturn.

An ash tray, sat upon a small column of aluminium.
Cigarettes are approximately sixteen dollars a pack. Ash
my head, black gold. Finding errors. Grammar is Asperger’s.
Moustaches disappear in awkward social gestures. Speaking
binary to the ghosts. “Getting known.” Krapp would have
disappeared on May Day surrounded by the insurgent
recordings had he been able. Just corridors adjacent. His
wheelchair won’t fit through. Mostly cupboards and closets
of old things like a suit jacket with tails and a broken suitcase.

That furniture, though. It’s made to bear the weather, to
stay resistant to the rain. Twenty-two degrees and sunny
but the climate is different some other place. It’s the
weather that the furniture – the hulk the Prince of Wales’ wheel, the
Mae West lips sofa, the old esquisse of a band of rats, the
“dress of fleas” bookcase collapsing into the carpet, the falsely tall
Perseus of black hairs – will be tested for. There is no union to
defend us or for us to threaten.

Two Mays previous we’d been walking the narrow streets
of Lyme Regis where George used to dream of setting his ships
to the ocean to sail. Like a ghost, he traced the beach edge. In
his fish and chips, which we devoured like rodents, we found
scraps of his map wheezed onto old parchment which was
translucent enough that we could hold it up to our eye and
look out at the diaphanous shoreline and see his diagram.
I found my father again in a pint of ale but that happens anyway.
Not to be scoffed at, the Otter ale, another good rodent,
fastened me into the wavering skin of sand, mud, and green
black earth that would launch me back to a cold page.

It’s not a day to drink ale. I found a good replacement
the other day but can’t find the name. The name, like
the labouring journalist, is forgotten, but the taste
left upon their leaving remains. All the leavings that
help us up. Help us with proper nouns. Dad prefers Swan
Draught there or Guinness here. We took photos of
all those diagrams of shoreline, launching pad, tavern,
cobbled street, ghostly wanderers, wisps of cirrocumulus cloud
portending a difficult year before the next May Day.
Sebald with two graphite walking sticks covered the
country completely. Planted a shorn Black Forest somewhere
near the pigeon shit of Bridport. Furniture left on the
lawn is not the evacuation of the landed gentry, is not their
rushing back to the Mother Country – North Queensland,
to escape immigration – is not their putrid waste. The
furniture is the seat, the hanger, the reflection, the
challenge, the refraction, and the availability. The curatorship
of ghosts, the knocking of smugglers underneath the
floorboards, the history of managers, the soft carpet,
the wine spilled, the leavings of a front door.

Corey Wakeling is a writer of poetry and prose from Melbourne, Australia. He has been published in Otoliths, Etchings, Everyday Genius, Yomimono, Australian Art Monthly, Peril, 543, and The Age.
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Blogger cj said...

rockin and weird Wortho. Just how I like my poetry... Cj

1:21 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

Cheers CJ.

9:25 PM  

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