Corey Wakeling


With the hum, which is hers, comes
the dislocating clavicle
which fastens to Kaspar Hauser’s tongue
in transport to trachea, but that’s not all on
if he loses his job quickly enough,
filthy bastard.
Whence abandoned train line
penetrating alpine
and fast asleep
to fasten sleep. And be her guest forevermore,
fast arriving tongue hounded by silent
fashion of the sedge unbridled
but brindle
with this impetuous drought.
– dumb prelate.
She’s never known otherwise, does not say so,
solidarity abroad
with an unjust personhood
like the ghost
who will die
a second death
in transport to trachea,
but she does not lose her
hum easily in competition with the drone.
Drought so resonant with the rustle
of stasis, which is never done,
is just unjust.
Collapse, horizon.

“Why Would a Spectral Cellar Window Turn Livid in One Corner of the Vault?”
after a John Ashbery translation of “Pourquoi une apparence de soupirail blêmirait-elle au coin de la voûte?”, the final line from Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Childhood’

Our capitals expect a national return in a shirking landscape.
North Melbourne as the international contains the face of a national.
The ribs are sparking embers in the ceiling, and so are the painters
we refused to speak of in a vaulted crystal night,
some eternal degenerations. Son of the starkest degenerate
but why it is a Germanism:
Merkel, ask the question in the mirror:
why can’t we hide all degenerates behind the Stentor steel filing cabinets and ledgers
as black-marked exceptions. How German can they be in the State of Anti-World.

If the posing lama, a darling, becomes the mirror he creates in an agora of the mind,
to which relegate the painters we can now not speak of, in the end, who are they?
In a Paris Diaspora of Melburnians often concealed,
indeed silenced, say the soup kitchens where a night’s prism is worthiest
of casual secrets if you loiter: the most alienating tactic of the mute Australians
is employed in the parks, Bois du Boulogne, say, where open posture
turns away from the abdomen in the company of true blue.
At the other, no one looks at the other.

Limestone gravel seat to the numb arses with lawn boundaries.
True blue crystal night caters to the reconciliations of posture to abdomen,
Australian to Australian, if the painters are kept cool, kept from the mirrors,
the alley of mirrors or even the mirror ball.
Legs splayed and turned away from their bellies.
How might they look at you.
What a picnic of scathing sun in the eighth circle.
Crystal ball Paris voices an expectant mute that is aspiration
that could not be ours casual, but maybe at the black tie we flout
in masquerade, wearing masks of criminal Venetians.
Australians on the piss? Tire-easy-asses.

Classism is still at war as a real or virtual referee to the contortionist mutes
who hate each other’s guts but retain their appendixes. Appendices would be
the log of their deviancy lodged in nth arrondissement.
Draconian national face in the crystal ball not in Paris but in a Melbourne
direct address. No diasporic acknowledgement feeds public appeal for the imitation
Bois du Boulogne in Coburg by Pentridge Prison’s new penthouses,
whose crow’s nests for snipers duck hunting now of appeal for the peeping toms.

But this vault here is a shame that won’t turn away in company,
always direct address and open posture and appealing for the interviews.
Sullen fucking interviews. But our ribs cannot be the shoehorns
for the porters of the imitation Bois du Boulogne, if we must eat them
to not be eaten, unless it is a lucrative Louis le Brocquy, who was never French
and appeared out of the dark at the aquarium where the divers behind him
waving at our livid children first decided he couldn’t see God anymore.

This photo of Gide:

No, this photo:

That’s not a photo.
The ducks and the interviews from above, though. Radicalise the painters, maybe.
The fatigues in the vaults gain us controversy, but they are patient.
But so are journalists. Journalists have that Blue Velvet Venetian view
from the pantry, and that is not a cellar vault.
No longer capable of freshwater fishing, the speechmakers take all day to practise
their stupendous drivel on the incidentals before the State Library,
which is not diasporic but imperial,
but at least when transparent meant the non-painters could hold their drownings
longer and the blue flowers of our immediacy gained the continent
like assignment fatigues.

The landscape makes a cowardly return, lugging its tales.

But in a cowardly stupor it admits its sociopathies.
The terror first decapitated a serpent, which became its tail. It was never “framed”
a profit. Who prophets? All the mirrors get black veils to train the young,
which is weird tendonitis connecting Fitzroy to the only time he was ever in America.
The dogs Buster Keaton tries to foist on you.
But you shouldn’t be visiting him anyhow.
You in your vault should be consigned to looking at him in the vault.
Now that’s true blue.
I asked you to knock on his window, not on his front door.
He’ll never let you have pets here in the landscape. Snakes or dogs.

The Majordomo

At last, majordomo to five years waning
without infernal curricula.
Enthralled, I want you like I wanted you then,
like the scabrous buffed into chassis: works,
unintimidated by the quash project amongst
us and in amongst us flagrant writ.

Like renovation, this is how you come to,
by the ironized street and presumed tawdriness,
means to make the rhetorical excursion
past the weathervane of skulls bloodless

but sibilant, to vision; yes, by proposition.
O pageant pomposity.

Fate coming good when the Technological Age turned Age of Sympathy
Pageant becoming
and the psychedelic headdresses
bouffant-prurient;                                                              this is my fate
they intend you cope with.
‘Veil of Tears’

flak of Ross Gibson’s bastard modernity.
This you knew renovating, mandatory ecdysis
the wonders of pellucid screens the eyes
wanton mortified Buster Keaton glaucine
yammer lids yonder. At dusk, you want him
to falsify the works again and nearby quash project
waterhole jagged, and mean.

It takes some time again to unreverence purpose
and cap five years with pop shunt of toaster,
the whistle skull amongst us the scab and scabby also.

Sundial not mysterious, 1990 we fell three jarrahs
for view of the gemstone, the avatar;
work that buff into a lather, change locus.
Watch the wind blow through love, curricula of dice.

During the German film festival her eyes drew
blood by jitter hyperventilation;
first she removed her winter coat, and then
her cardigan. Flagrant writ whole teeth,

screens shriek shredded by the smithereen instant.
Majordomo, the renovations are not complete. I am
afraid. She teases me with scorpions.

The sexologist professor in my past and during
the tortures thought children boring and the family friend
a rival, imposture of three academic certificates all juridical,
at least that was what she assumed she was in store for.

Muybridge, who proved the bison a human pig, thus
the pig human a bison, meant we royally jaundiced
the prairie, and now only the cad doffing the slippers
to take temperature of the Thames and perhaps
not likable,
a toffy cesspool considered somehow otherwise exempt.

Pulver takes the rock whence bred and savages
the face of pond’s inlet, knows not what to repeat.
Know not what to repeat and miss the stampede
of bison the hoof fulguration
otherwise missing in the confrontation dancers
of jubilee contain in syntax of so many years.

The beginning in bastardry, into which tunes
roughage. Swollen patience. Like the formerly syphilitic
at the piano,
now the bastard to the street’s ripple; tuning forks stung,
shimmer by toss of stone.

Corey Wakeling lives in Melbourne. He is the author of chapbook Gargantuan Terrier, Buggy or Dinghy (Vagabond Press, 2012) and full-length collection Goad Omen (Giramondo, 2013), and with Jeremy Balius co-edited Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land (Black Rider Press, 2013). He is reviews editor of poetry journal Rabbit, and interviews editor of Cordite.
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