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.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 92: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 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 Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan 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 Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Review Short: Iris Fan Xing’s South of Words
- Aidan Coleman Reviews New and Selected Poems of Anna Wickham
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can
- Editorial to AFRO AUSTRALIAN
- 4 Works by Guled Abdulwasi
- The Platonic Split
- you have no idea how far i swam
- To the still
- Garden of Grace
- Bloody QnA
- The Physics of Self
- Life Poem
- go ahead, call it magic
- Chalk to Charcoal
- (un) learning
- 3 Sisters
- Blood Fuel
- Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman