Put Your Helmet On

By | 1 February 2016

get your chewing Gum. get Time like a Man in a tin
Frock. in the Field, the naked Butterfly is fending off
the Microscope. a giant Sunflower is roaring Seeds at
the Enemy. it’s Autumn, and the carrot Pickers bend
over. I’ve a Sip of old Religion and it tastes like Paint
Everything is being sucked in. the Apocalypse will be
blue and yellow with a bottled Accent. Years on the
debating Team funnelled into a shouting Match with a
Machine. the Nuns admire my bolt Cutters, the Goats
my Boxers. We had stolen Something, it was the
Anniversary. We had our gold Gloves on, and a hotted
up Wheelbarrow. it was Then or Now. it was There or
Nowhere. it was listen like a Wattle or talk like a Sap
the Ferry the first Conveyance, where We lost a Body or
Two. curious, the English spoken on It. Tourists
Observers of Penguins. Suits worn to genet Plays speak
of going over a Hill, and finding one Tree. There was a
lot of Desert to fang across. Bikes, Dust, Letters from
Doters. They were Poetry, but I had to find … You’d
driven here in a State of Loveliness, but were then
advised of Infidelity, Treason, Infanticide and the
Shooting of a Horse. of a great many dishonourable
Fights. a Silo suffered, some wild Girls started a Ranch
Someone else wanted to go Home. mow the Lawn to
Kingdom come, You thought. the Turkey in the trinket
Shop gobbled under its Breath. We were starting to
situate Ourselves on the Show. I had Walnuts to pelt or
nibble. there were four drag Queens sitting on my Chest
not my Idea of Heaven either. yet We were slowly
annexing History, converging on the peppercorn
Grove that marked the Spot. the Patterning was enlarging
there were no major Poems on Dolphins as far as We
could tell, but with our Teeth in our Ears to stop the
Tears, We weren’t the best Judges. We tried pouring
cheap Plonk on the Soil. We set up Camp. We tried to
read the Grass and our Stock tried to eat it. the Ride was
slow and dangerous. You took your Frock off and I tried
to like You out of it. You ate Mushrooms out of the
Ground now We had fallen in Love: it was Summer. We
had reverted to Diesel; We wrote up Suicides as Cases
and found Everyone living shallow. there were three
drag Queens sitting on my Chest, and Everything an
Oyster or Chisel. the Bus wouldn’t start, there was Beer
and Donuts on the Floor, which wasn’t the best Policy
the Paintings told me More than your Dreams ever did
your Painting of the dead Neighbour, your Painting of
the polar Bear with scared Eyes. a Spanner came in handy
at the Gates. She did not have all her Arm, and the Rocks
hid potential Mercenaries, Windfallers and bull Ants of
the human Type. it had not rained for ninety-eight Days
this was on the Outside. We began to trust those We
knew from the bowling Alleys. We began to talk Tactics
Ideas, ‘What we wanted’. We agreed it was the long
Game. We wanted to still be there in the Morning. I
sewed a Pocket on your Shirt and took ten per cent of
Everything that You put in it. I wrote a Book about lou Reed
to keep me occupied on Lookout. I had been given a lot
of Information about lou Reed from an indiscreet
Source. my Agent suggested We call it a Novel and
change the Name to michael Stipe. I remembered
michael Stipe eating beer-soaked Donuts off a bus
Floor with two drag Queens on his Back. We posed as
Couriers. We drove the whole Way with our Eyes on the
Road. We failed to see the hitching Skeleton. We saw no
wind Farms of chivalric Beauty. We licked the Lizards
and went on, bad Memories of bad Furniture and give
way Signs. Everything within the World is round: every
Move is a Turn. I know that cricket Ground, that rodeo
Site, those lovely tan and white Kangaroos (part Dingo)
the Tank is leaking, We’ll be ill for Days. stay in the Air
as long as You can. burn a grass Circle around You. put
your best Eggs in the Pine. some Parts of my Brain that I
wouldn’t miss. What would You do if your Mother
married a police Inspector when You were just coming
into your Delinquency? declaim Modernists on the
Beach I suppose: to the Lighthouse a Plum, a black
Bough. but We are Nowhere yet, as long as We can see
Houses, Cars. I think about the town Option, as two
Ducks stripe my Vision. yet I know the Hut burnt down
before I was born, don’t I? We have Bases all over the
State. I think of going Somewhere with a Mob, merging
into it: think of hiding under Wildflowers, or using
Bellbirds to tune into the Bush. These are the Uses of
Poetry. it makes You warm, it replaces Cinema, it helps
You put Words between Self and Heart. there’s no
original Poem, it’s all Sequel as far back as We can
remember. We embrace this, for the Loneliness is hard
Enough. the Souls of our Cats power the Gloveboxes
the Souls of our Dogs the Guidebooks. our Vehicles
and Minds are parallel Worlds where the Dead live
You’re bent over at the Creek, pretending to pick
Blackberries but crying. the Radio is pumping ‘Gold’
I can’t help thinking of morning Tea and the Rations
and putting my Frypan in a Mynah’s flight Path, but
instead retrieve the Tofu from the Boot. You make
savoury Lamingtons using Miso and I feel Time go back
or sideways like an elbowed Head. We recede North
making Strudel while driving. the onion Vines thicken
their Bulbs whack against the Windshield. it’s a
Sanctuary of sorts, but so many Escapees, Manatees and
Derros live here, It can also be a bit hairy. palm Readers
yell our Fortunes at Us but We only show them the
Backs of our Hands. We’re only an Etching we yell back
an Etching of multiple Jeans and fluffy Jackets. We’re
Metaphors, Messengers, Hieroglyphs. though We might
bring or mean Nothing but Damage, it’s not Something
We’d give up to Anyone differently iffy. those still wearing
their full ethical banana Skin like They’re god’s
Breakfast can implode on their own. let’s see Who
dissolves if it ever rains, Who breaks up first if it
hurricanes. weather or be weathered. the Stars are not a
Target. if We yearn it’s for the tomato Fields We were
born in. a Cup of Surf and a kelp Biscuit. ave Tarantula
sitting on the Shells that They paid Us. when We get
cracking We’re like a six-legged crow Race: two Feet
on Salt, two more on Glass and two on Sandpaper. a drag
queen Skull in our Lapel for Luck. Lice our Jockeys

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