‘I Love You’ and ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ Meet at Daisy Bates’

4 May 2016

A solid phrase can be hard to grasp. I can say
it and mean it here but not there, where Daisy Bates
is a conduit. Places where Peter Allen irons the Dadaist blue
skies, with the Nolans and a few wet chooks. Toast’s popping
up, kettles are boiling, books are being taken off the shelf
to whack things with. Sidney Nolan’s just out of sight
painting a brolga in a miner’s helmet. Daisy Bates is a
word atmosphere. (You are in Pasto; you are in Cartagena.)
There
are a lot of tracks out there made by humans. The
unsaid is circling; being circled. A lion of some kind (or
labrador) lies by the fire. Knowledge settles in. It comes from
the one who runs the Post Office. A postcard for the
kids in the Qantas ad. You can try to hang on
to that word but it’s gone. The toaster’s Daisy Bates. The
table’s Daisy Bates. It was a season in hell, with smoke
and the smell of rancid water. Breaker Morant flies over in
a labrador. ‘I’ve been a gal on the town, but now.’
‘I love you’ flies over in a giant wet cat. It
gives an impression of rain to the town below. The toast’s
veiled on the Edwardian rack, the kettle wears mustard riding gloves
‘I Still Call Australia Home’ evokes Daisy Bates at the pianola

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