Notes for a Prospectus

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
            gowns
                         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
one-who-must-be-obeyed

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
nevernever
compass-dark & needle-eyed

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

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

across three “states”

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

& the fire wrapping the air about it into a
whirlwind
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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