Notes for a Prospectus

By | 2 February 2005

(for david egan)

1. after months at sea re-
hearsing the property rites / a shotgun
barrel like a dark
clockface surrounded by vegetation
                        & laughed silently
the time of appeasement has
            passed–bulletholes & bridal
                         after the silent advocacy
was spent under vows working a borehole
line by scant line.       a too-severe
symmetry of design / forecasting the
                         long dry season
                         & no truant memory
            as seeds of dolomite
                                     sewn into the
black stream irrigating a dust-
worn image of the one-who-owns & the

2. maddened by the flat outlands thirsty for
altitude & spirit-levels / the
            thorn bursts into rain darkening
teeth in bloodsweat weather

northwest from kamilaroi country
to port-of-bourke
                         a string of muddy
waterholes gateway to the
compass-dark & needle-eyed

the hugely mortal beast
                        sleeps under
                        petrified scales–
                        its dream
                        over the plains
                        salt nebula
                        burning the scrub

3. breakneck after the fall
gutting the run-through
cattle grid & cyclone wire–late warning

across three “states”

the stormeye gathers
red soil
into its ferment–tearing up the
paralytic lakebeds
in a cumulus of bloodlust

& the fire wrapping the air about it into a
thick with crazed insects

4. dunes of rusted steel in full glare of the sun beating
on the old dry wrecks behind the viaduct
broken by seas of emptiness
                         blood-alcohol & flocks of white
sulphur-crested cockatoos
screeching at sunset out along kaputa road
grey-red from scrub fires
a hundred kilometres away
                         artifice & truth melt
into one another in a vista that
dies out between pine trees as night & the access road
descend. though “nothing will have been proved”
                        we are digging a hole
into which all the arrangements can be
upended & buried
facing the dark parentheses
after the words are spent–as though the gesture itself
were an ultimatum

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