Ern Malley Addresses Vladimir Ilyich Lenin:
We are stardust,
We are golden,
And we got to get ourselves
Back to the garden,
– Joni Mitchell, ‘Woodstock’ (1969 song)
I remonstrate with you mon frere, mon petit,
Comrade, when I recollect that stray remark of Keats –
Spoken as the shadow fell, spoken as the vision of alveoli
Blossomed in the coral garden of his brain,
As their red bloom brambled and rose
To form gleaming threads of scarlet upon his lips,
Binding him ever more brightly to his eclipse.
His words fell, as oaken leaves became a crimson couch,
As the nightingale sang of surrender sweet.
Never, he said, Let your heart ope with the spring flowers
An inch of love is an inch of ashes.
Measure by incremental measure, I, like you,
Am steeped in this life too deep. I wade a wash
Of carbuncular sea. I have inculcated
Constellations of tubercle bacilli with verse,
And worse salted entire potentialities
Of Truth and Beauty with my tears.
O my impossible, incognisant, apocryphal love!
I have always distrusted your Apollonian speech.
You were to be Epoch Maker
Instead, you became he who does not mean a thing.
Autumn leaves decay as nightingales decay.
Poor Fanny Bawne, and her many sisters, wither
In the timeless flame of your disregard.
My voice peals out Bounty, Youth, Beauty and Truth.
Dear friend, this is how it ends, you sealed like
Sleeping Beauty in your mausoleum of glass.
And me, I’m mired in earth.
Here lies one whose name flowered
But briefly, in dirt.
Is it Keats who calls?
Ernest Lalor Malley, come on down
And down and down and down I came
Falling like floating.
It was like hitting the sky backwards,
On this my return to the garden.
- 94: EARTHSUBMIT to M Takolander 93: PEACHCOMING SOONwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones