Q, Without My Female Typist

31 July 2012

          I believe I was the first to see the possibility of pulling up the
            timber and opening up this land.

                                        -J. Bjelke-Petersen.


At the window ledge, meadow-edge, misreading Tranströmer:
‘The mind wind walks in the pine forest’.

wind
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
mind

w nd     ow          l
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
m   d     ow

Raven     shoe
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
     v          sh

Tyres through tableland rain, away from the eye and cow-
lick. Perception of desert: p [arched, enlarged ____________ =

hawk orbit, camel gallop . . . . Hums settled in the 1880’s
to pan, to concentrate bits . . . . . . . . . to criticise severely . . .

A map in the dictionary: Ayr. Alice. Lana. Tara. Lucinda. Julia
Creek. Longreach. Eagleby. WhoWillPlayWithMe. Browns
Plains. Texas. Incontinence. Tambourine. Biddaddaba. Black-

all. Banana. Comet. Dingo. Dundoo. Hungerford. War-
wick. Archer Bend. Marian. Saddle Hill. Laura. Blackwater.
Whitewood. Beaudesert{from beau desir: beautiful wish}.

Surprised by my wife, sprung at the map. A split-
second to read her face: Are you homesick?

Quail Pie. Welsh Rarebit. Scone. Lamington. Lavender Bags.
Jack’s Verandah. Queen Anne’s Lace. Spongecake. Honey
Jumbles. Iced Vo-Vo.

She calls me Pu-pu, slang for bunny.
Daddy flatten rabbit so garden grow. I show her

photos. The belletrist in chaps and plastic sheriff
badge: Winner, Beaudesert Show, Best Cowboy, 1980.

Albert and Logan asleep in their beds, murmuring masculine
river names.

Footfalls rattle the dwelling on stilts, stable
as an upside-down cake, candles for pillars.

Lightning’s echo and impossible wattage.
White fields.

In the lull we collect hail for the freezer, count the rainbow
lorikeet feathers the wind will keep.

The belle, the tryst that isn’t. To woo: we draw eyes on our
helmets to trick mother plover, shy of eye. See also, swoop.

Picnic: the make of her bike.
Her eraser: an Ideal Rabbit, or Rabbit Ideal. To recall.

                                                  °

Fearing the Indonesian Invasion of Quilpie, King Bobcat
stockpiles tins of beans, automatic weapons, wine. He tinkles
Vic Hislop. A shark in the canal, a dental profile in a string of
young ankles. A fin diminishing in the true blue.

Muir slices his paddlesteamer in two, naming one half,
The Scottish Prince — soon wrecked on the Southport bar,
not far from The Walrus: our first paddlewheel steamship

distillery. Bring the sugar aboard, dance the molasses, then a
fiery, white spirit. For colour, add caramel. Age for as little as
possible. Sell Walrus Rum up and down the River Barrow.

So suddenly I was the owner of a bulldozer. Rather than let it sit idle, I
took it down to a small property . . . covered by large trees, hundreds . .

The belletrist pines on a ridge, in a salmon flat in TwoWrongs,
to slalom (a race against time over a zigzag course), from the
Norwegian\sloping track\ Off with the glasses. On go
the goggles. See double. To trumpet: see trumpet, too, The

-lonius. Meanwhile, back at Quasi-Triangle, the ‘bleeding
obvious’ is bottlenecking in my tonsils, sprouting a crown:
Best Coward, 2000. Country music made me do it—get some
sand in my shoe, tie it up with wire.

                                                  °

Is it a cocka-tiel, or –two? That’s not
a wife. This is a wife: juggler of whippersnippers. She is my
Red-rumped Parrot, slang for slang. She calls me

Stubble Quail: one who tends or drives cattle, part
-icipant in rodeos, frontier cha-cha. Today you would see a huge
area covered with brigalow. Not tomorrow. One of many men

without their mothers. The tail of the Q the loop of the lasso
(when he’s in a fight). Taboo. Cuckoo! Cuckolded by my lie.
True Owl’s decoy eyes misinterpret signs{stop, smoke}

having pulled the trees I bulldozed them into huge piles for burning . . .
crowds of people had been turning up to watch . . . so impressed by what

they saw that before I finished clearing that paddock
my bulldozer had been hired for my first two jobs.

This pre-dates Florence, female typist: konekirjoittajatar.

a good example of how you can sell people
an idea if you can demonstrate to them how it works.

                                                  °

Homesick: Unsound jodhpur-longing. Gravestone Slalom.
Jupiter Island. Lush littoral rainforest covered much of Surfers.

Being Eagle,
I am barely holding on
to the tail of a rat.
To be honest,
I cannot find
a use for it. Can you?

I’m asking you, riflebird, common white-eared monarch, pow . .

          rfu          ow
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
powe       l             l

QPF


Acknowledgements
The italicized couplets are taken from Derek Townsend’s biography of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Don’t You Worry About That!: The Joh Bjelke-Petersen Memoirs, Angus and Robertson, 1990. The line,‘The wind walks in the pine forest’, is from Samuel Charters translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s poem, Baltics, Oyez Press, 1975.


A note on the poem
Angela’s inventories opened up multiple possibilities for exploring Queensland and my perspective to it. My response touches on anecdotal, political, and environmental dimensions. It plays with the dangers of nomenclature, anthropomorphism and zoomorphism. It is poly-vocal, but it remains unclear where one voice ends and another begins, indicating a porous membrane of responsibility, and an inherited and perpetuated legacy of masculine destruction. I borrow from the biography of a former Qld premier. There is some cultural punning also, including a handful of phrases from the John Williamson song, ‘True Blue’. This is not meant to offend, but to entertain.

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