Issue 16: Corey Wakeling
Gravel is Extraordinary
Mundaring, a place you don’t know stays unknown
like a quick blister. The water went slime
during those years we spent elsewhere,
spent speedily, don’t you think. It must be a jewel now,
slime ravine inside counterposed hills.
The glue we’ve anointed, thankfully we’re estranged.
We get big bucks for the glue.
Think of all the animals
that make up that vial of vanity,
by contrast with the cheap labour of your conscience.
Mundaring you knew though,
which the new person doesn’t know.
That’s what’s really good but really melancholy.
On eviction, the slime decided to live
at our old house on the hill. Emerald centre somewhere.
The yellow sandpit, trace of the pool, was evicted with
new owners, but distributes itself like a thin dust
over everything, over the entire town that never was.
Time redoubles this landscape commons
where the fridge holds both our hands, barks the dog.
I realise now that gravel is extraordinary.
Applecross especially now feels
very distant and international.
Its ghetto is a lichen that likes sand,
and quietude about class.
T-shirts bent and stretched for asymmetry,
to serve to hide your supreme distance,
mind, never forget
our mulberry-shot mouth. Cruel sprinkler set,
bubbling before breaking,
or already broken.
The height of departure becomes visible.
Talking about class with accent is enviable.
I want to be it.
I put your Simpsons cup in my mouth.
The tiny boy in the rectangular window in an infinite block.
Wanting to say distant but instead deciding on arranged visit.
Distance’s feet are in the heart. Because. The tiny boy
is your brother, he is overseas, on the phone, in the evening,
parents donning trenches inside grasp of grey mountains
sub rosa, they’re going outside to infinite blocks,
tiny boy leaping to stay. The dais of windows the lens,
and another year of your distance from a centrifuge, not to say
the clouds aren’t better because of it. It’s green, they’re grey,
they’re also grey, and boy’s red.
Yellow strip in the aperture. Turner’s volcanic ash, in a way.
But, miniatures in their windows under campaign
of rock wishing it flourished when it shivers. Undecided.
The scaffolding comes off and we live in a new block less infinite.
Boy winning. Garden gone. Geometric demands of the present,
its telescopic future, versions of time lost to time.
In time I am no doubt tinier here from over there.
The gardener sure has a nice contract.
The tiny humans beat back the eye among the rectangles.
The lens hardens to return, the growing pervasion of gable,
antennae apostrophes and fingernail piping, perversion
because the spinning of crop shortly becoming a rescue
of the interval,
because of the purple nimbus gliding,
smog and light at the crest of one of the big cities
of the big cities that perimeter whose tenure. Likely.
He’s coming as the good Australian. He’s almost John Williamson.
He has no fans in Western Sydney. There are actually zero.
But you’re ancient, with tomorrow a bare prospect.
Palmyra shows its passport without hesitating, but with
a new disappearing act.
I will cryogenically freeze the Big Day Out’s aluminium fibres
to be sure. Wet lozenge eyes writhing as a sign of seeing.
Who is the first dramaturg of your dreams?
Ask room’s view for Vorstellung, beginning a second rejection.
Crooning shale, meaning peace in the delay,
acid rain for breakfast, something no one talks about anymore,
and when they die they cry a lot about it,
especially about the isolation and the kippers.
If only they liked toast or coffee more, or
wearing the heirloom toupees for introspective
bunraku. Instead, drab suits to get there early.
Feeling today is like an enormous gourmet letter to recover vision,
like ʊ, because relearning your language
gives birth to another script. David and I inadvertently restaged
the Trojan War on butcher paper in primary school recess.
Air was mostly good then. The biochemical factory in secret
your tissue-paper skin discovers, and the decision
to make the trip back to a foundation
that was established as a landing strip for return
keeps us wanting with that name “home”,
the rent due, for example, the squat dismantled.
1983, Chalk Farm, London, the wishes
are sweetest drugs disguised as island fruit.
Did the Basques pull first towards wild berry,
wild grain, or chalk cliff?
Feeling at home only in conspiracy, white gum fringe,
and the tax refrain with inheritance that sustains
the idle fear, at home in the expensive unspoken politics,
and I’m thinking championship swimming
and a smooth body for preference.
Towards being literate in a compendium of cocktails
to suffer clarity less. A crater in the unwelcome deduced
by quick excernment, corn fields whacked by wind
and sprinting towards Australia.
Is it always or must always be the envy tree,
by extension the pulley, conspiracy of the simian vine?
Doubt is the sweetest friend, always social.
Questions for bleeding lunchtime jaffle sandwich
to find intervals in the social. The ribs of the machine,
the pinched lips, the escaping gelatinous
sauce, a sesame seed crust,
the plastic plate, the red catering
napkin, gleeful sunshine to dry the cheeks,
salt and vinegar chips, juice. Enid Blyton near, blight
throttling privacy’s shade with clown, the eucalypt.
He was always older than us and drove a Mercedes very quickly
out of his drive to scare the magpies. Then his inventions cooled
and aerobics abrograted electrolyte famine enough for dynasty.
Perth is better for our wariness, our cashless familiarity.
Invincible gravel for plucky strides when we leave
and try to forget the always older, just enjoy the song of dirt.
Will they always live longer than us, though,
the water being hotter than before? Getting scalded now especially.
Autumn’s increase, the increase in ground litter.
Tomorrow’s fire biding, and I just got my first pay cheque,
so we’ll get pizza for the convenience. I ran over a dog on my way
home, though. Taking it too easy. A lone dairy cow saw it happen,
their last during the taxation. Someone’s pet.
I put him on a soft bed of leaves next to the driveway I hope
leads to memory. But who knows. It was dark
and could have been my lost Jack Russell from years ago,
come back for mortal confirmation that we had known each other.
But, for whom: bleakness succoured by this sweet mystery
gabs for discount codes from anonymous mundi.
Tiny in the fire, tiny on the dais,
the Hills like sprouts. But whose fucking Elysium is it.
You call home that suspicious brig built on stolen money,
but the quiet was so wonderful
and game theory so novel, I thought the whole
of interior architecture in every sense
would allow and sustain reconstellation in those moments
of exile inside. They were very probably only seconds.
But now the diamond truck is dyspeptic and the whirlwind
cancerous. Dogs are still sentimental,
and swimming pools are scarcer.
Never fear the smooth body, though,
it thrills itself for a long entertainment, and warmth
is still warm even in a fool’s constellation. Men and women
as ducks, filling human reliance upon some new exploitative
dream of slavery. Chlorine tries to stick,
but really only hovers. Sport is the crypt of myth.
Don’t fool yourselves. Appreciate the structure that comes
from your banter, not banter about banter.
How many times in the pre-Medieval did Ireland
receive the abandoned like a scholarship. Smooth mammal,
another’s memories are your heritage.
Remembrance of miniatures bites the hands with the freeze required
to, so for now let’s eat the pizza slow
and drive home faster.
Corey Wakeling is an Australian poet, author of Gargantuan Terrier, Buggy or Dinghy (Vagabond Press, 2012), Goad Omen (Giramondo, 2013), and The Alarming Conservatory (forthcoming Giramondo), co-editor of Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land (Black Rider Press, 2013). Corey is also a critic, writing on experimental performance and poetics, publishing essays in journals such as TDR: The Drama Review, Performance Research, Westerly, Southerly, and Cordite Poetry Review. Corey lives in Nishinomiya, Japan.
Copyright © 2016 by Corey Wakeling, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.