Raven Malley: When He Was Maximised

26 November 2005
(a lost etheric poem by Ethel Malley, reconstructed by Raven Malley)

You were frequently covered by heavy sky.
This sight of you at your superficial lowest
I've limited to dreams, intruder
at the entry of order.
Then ignorance relaunched its vista of another day
adapted to further muddy waters.

Kestrel concepts are without faith
bread and fish, miracles, shutdowns.
You, expert of pentagrammed desires
the magical resistance to lazy newspapers
of the white man, greyed the centre
as destiny swans the calm, smoothly.

Silken eyes excluded me, the girl
as interlocutors thrummelled basalt coasts
at the order of a love of mine
Although these prognoses are executed
in no place, writing is the incomplete
its ends interrogate the temporary ones.

The symbols were obvious, despite doors.
In the park, I skipped to disapproval of birds
nipples of iron oxidising under the kiss
loaned for the weekend
while new people leaked, disjointed and broken
gripping with knotted hands
cloud and bugle in oblique Footscray.
Outside the torn quartz of the plaza
elephants contorted walls
and vapid monstrances were raised in protection.

In the hour of the fist and ribaldry
these Chinese horizontal lines ran tangent
to the rainbow.
We visualized a flash of folding sideshows
to the east of these diversions.

One hour was more intelligent than most
its pulse like a raised registry.
Then it was good bye to forms
the dumb version drowned in a green lagoon
while cancellations caught in night's red tape
the rig of an echo generation.

Promise of new configurations became pride
estimated dreams replacing
and houses of slaughter.
Declarations and agreements
about the squalor of order
flanked the water with blue angels
their dark hats fitted with false grams.

I remember the clear dark, its luminous thorn.
Density as desire, it burned bright, briefly.

Solidity for the prudent!
We were wraiths carrying scandals of data
in excess, you and I, squeezing the buttock
of newspapers and sucking florentines
siding with the etceteras, cultivating deflections
into a lake of colours that breath of rosy losses
whose tracks gather at the moved mountain
along toxic modulations
fish moving to the will of crossed objectives
limitless remorse like a gold mine.

A universe of birth marks blooms
in the face of old aches.
Nature's green centuries assemble in chains
off centre from time's convex.
They will taunt for the duration.
We can only be ordered as we are
spectators shanked to ibises along a dead Nile.

Vacancy, then you offered the guide
announced as a sale of mechanics
during hours of obligation.
O Denunciations! The hidden screw
continuous its moves. As such it is pitiless
even for one who vacillates within the dance.

Words are praise of morning's magpie
above facile flocks and wingtips.
There's a red wound at the edge
a slip in the outfield, jittery as history.
The imperial fog of the new poets
and furies, their eyes bandaged by procedures
against incredible slatterns.

There's a state of hardness whose tastes
move more bitter than you, my brother.
We appreciated the double, its deceptive number
on the gothic distance, crenellated
for beauty and then the sky.
Old protests are the first place
we learnt to speak the obvious.

The structure of your voice had no place
in that age of notionless men.
Codified ectoplasm snuck onto gibberish walls
between an oasis and the next mirage.
The single clerk of metamorphosis
started up the cobbled hill to the castle
all those collated images preserving
the languish in centres of Europe
and the right to be sad till his own burial.

Forgets sins which run between our hands.
The gum's tears are also true
while the wily spider
turns aphorisms on any newcomer.
Despite the thrill of the cock that is nightmare
I continue your rhythm, images and measures.

Brother, I have often stumbled into erasure
the trash of existence piles into inevitable
graphic conclusions
My evasions burst their basins.
I lived a grey shade suburb
moulded on rust, on clutter without act.
I duplicated the infinite.
Beyond, bird flown.

RAVEN MALLEY is the daughter of Ethel Malley. She lived for most of the 1970s in a commune on the North Coast, Woomynlaynd, but after finally learning how to spell she moved back to Croydon and has devoted herself to re-inventing the lost works of her mother, who she believes was wrongly characterised as a suburban philistine due to a forged letter. Raven is writing a potentially explosive expose of the true Malley behind the ectoplasm, which asks “who really wrote Ern's poems?”

As reported on Cordite News Explosion, we are humbled and disappointed to announce that this poem was in fact written by Jill Jones.

This entry was posted in 24: CHILDREN OF MALLEY and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

About Jill Jones

Jill Jones was born in Sydney and has lived in Adelaide since 2008. Her latest book is Acrobat Music: New and Selected Poems, published in 2023. Other recent books include Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, A History Of What I’ll Become, shortlisted for the 2021 Kenneth Slessor Award and the 2022 John Bray Award, and Viva the Real, shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work is widely published in Australia and internationally and has been translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, French, Italian, Czech, Macedonian and Spanish. She currently writes and teaches freelance, and previously has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.

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