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Facing the Demon of Noontide
by Ian Irvine (Hobson)
Full edition first published by Booksurge (USA), 2000, copyright, all rights reserved. [This e-book sample edition by Mercurius Publishing (Australia) 2013.]
Acknowledgements: Many of the poems in this collection have been performed live in various public arenas in Australian: e.g. pubs, night-clubs, universities, folk festivals, on radio, community T.V., art openings, etc. From 1998 to 2012 over forty poems from the full publication were published in various Australian and international poetry magazines and internet journals, including: [PRINT] Best Australian Poems (2005), Agenda Contemporary Australian Poetry (2005); Scintillae 2012; Envoi 150th Gala Edition; The Seventh Quarry; The New England Review; Vernacular; Australian Writers' Journal and Lotus Magazine. Also, [Online] Eclectica; Conspire; Blur; Ozlit; SALT [special online edition]; ACME poetry and plumbing supplies; Bonfire; Oblique; Curiosity's Escape; Paradigm Shift; Grape Poetry; Gravity; Island Life; Flies on the Ceiling; Apollo Online; Cyber-Oasis; Chaos Theory; Papyrus; Freezone; Writer's Hood; Kinte Space and The Rose and the Thorn. A number of the poems have also placed highly in literary competitions.
Table of Contents
1. Landscape and Belonging 2. Intimate Politics 3. The Problematics of Self 4. Desire 5. Disenchantment: Confronting the Jettatori 6. The Ongara Sequence 7. The Indonesian Sequence 8. Invocation: Creation Myths
Mr. Newton’s Universe The Universe once crystal spheres, once musical in substance harmonic in effect once composed, of matter and desire once unmoving sacrality now inanimate matter, extended form, spinning to infinity ... and we mere bodies, mere solids of terrestrial chaos. All mystery divorced from blood and bone; the gods withdraw, the faeries lumber home, and dragons, speared from the sky. Nothing truly lives In Mr. Newton’s Universe. Newtonian Physics
‘Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other. If you press a stone with your finger, the finger is as much pressed by the stone.’ Newton.
I cannot quite believe gravity is more than physical you see, heaviness, lightness what are these to me? if not certain seasons of the soul.
The Method The chicken is dead Mr Bacon. Why preserve its misery? No matter, the method rumbles on, a juggernaut, a bulldozer, a panzer tank, a transport plane: the method rumbles on. Unborn angels weep the flat earth bleeds but the method rumbles on Hiroshima, Nagasaki the method flattens all possibilities Dachau, Auschwitz, the method smothers all rebellion. The chicken is dead Mr. Bacon. Why preserve its misery?
They'd like to jab her full of drugs They call her crazy and jab her full of drugs, due to the suicide attempt with 22 tranquillisers in a sweltering caravan: picture pinks and violet-greys and vomit on the sheets. Mother and child. They'd like to place her in a psychiatric ward, ‘Group,’ and eternity sleep, ‘Just like her sister.’ but only sixteen and strewn helter-po among the pots and pans with bloated limbs and angular fears. She’s only sixteen and she’d love to die has slash marks, whitely on her wrists after schooldays and the last sugar-book rejection, herotriggered despair, dark hold, we all know hate her for being so vulnerable. She has folded shoulders, frail chest, face ivory-white, terror’s paint; remembers tiled corridors mostly reds and filtered whites buzz-bombs of the brain and moth’s wings across the T.V. sets of infancy ... Look at this place, this place in which she lives this cramped hovel! This place where spectres hang like posters at the foot of her bed. And she’s sitting here with us and when she talks about men, leaving her, like her daddy did when she was three about three years before her mother tried to kill her sister with a knife, about ten years before her mother saw train carriages swarming with maggots
and put a freshly cut pigs leg - wet with salty blood under the blanket of her daughter’s bed, about thirteen years after her father, whom she can’t remember, started beating her, grey morning sun, blood-stained moon, after, or during, the torment of her birth, at Caesar's hands ... They'd like to jab her full of drugs, make her attend group, then, maybe, give her SHOCK TREATMENT at age twenty three. They call her crazy and jab her full of drugs.
Youth Dies in Police Manhunt What you see, cool, uncluttered in the swell-festering night, what turn of ivory lip, creole lingers in the pig-slain icon of our schools, our blue-stone denigration of youth? Let us construct the body-live the corpuscles of the hunted, let us jowl and string the chords, the flex of industry’s denial, the spittle of the mogul king, let us see the act ... the gigantic bird, the beating of air, the frantic blue sky the deafening retorts, the hunters on the rope-tight wire, the circling blues, puffy-faced steps scenting bliss release, freedom from the couth-city sins - until the next time. Let us hear the shots! He is fair game, innocent or not matters not, this is sacrifice, a public purging, participate the priests are moving in - fear them know fear, the criminal, the dark father is to die - high the T.V. swirl, the black-resounding orchestra, the hammering reward. Look at his death uncensored, this is what policemen can do. T.V. dinner sighs ... For today our substitute Satan has died
the fantasy is of the dream haze, sequence on sequence, he’s coming, he’s coming and he never arrives, we supermen have killed him, bashed him, lashed him, stopped him from arriving, from doing what he did.
But, my blue coated priests, I am not thankful.
The Problematics of Self
Simulacra and Narcissism Mirrors on miles of corridors of glass. If I stare long enough at the image of my self the flesh of identity (blood, bone, muscle and breathe) becomes molten, turns to glass and colour on glass and flat form and the I vanishes. Paradoxically, on the curve of this disappearance the ultimate triumph of the simulacra I feel stoic, comfortable, and awash in a certain easiness of power. Liberated, emboldened, disembodied, self-absorbed, I face the world of tree, cloud, croft and tablature of time Self thus evolved, constructed and arranged becomes, a little black hole drawing butterfly, scent of spring and liqueur of trust - even colour from the sun's bright day into new dimensions of bug or virus intent on pulling life and zest into the other world of echo, media and system. There is a cacophony now, here on the other side, closing doors of mind, bolt and neurons, magnetised to the hum of interpreting, in long sigh of maze, each soft glimmer of matter's resonance. I submit like everybody else, to the drift-tide of easy-paced days, suburban trees ignoring splashed colour of rose or daisy, lily or cactus flower now - like rainbow and eagle-soar - converted ad hoc and abstract into history my history, what else?
Onlooker to the Body Onlooker to the body that so pretty will descend a dim path to retrieve a butterfly that like fear trembles ever lower and recreates these prisons, these bars, these snares, these snares will one day seize you darkly and collapse the ladders of hurt. Onlooker to the armoured heart, its wraiths of terror - craftsmen of the season’s stare its mirrored apparitions, its chemistry of despair. And gently she will dance, and gladly she will fall, wide-eyed, the paint of terror flaking from those rooms where children drowned at noon. Onlooker to the body that so pretty will descend a dim path to treasures of the heart.
Cockroach (Crèche Blues) Locked out, alone, full of ache, yawning, stretching into pain, silence humming like a missile crying, crying, crying, ‘til my stomach ruptures, and the muscles knot and twist, ‘til the tears like rock behind my eyeballs lodge, ‘til my hands like hardening clay begin to stiffen and refuse to move ... I am changing into a cockroach, dark, black, shelled against the predatory cold. I will scuttle for love. Watch me, I will scuttle for love.
Fluid Nightmares I run, from the absolute darkness of objects, their personalities rupture the weary day, my face in the blasted mirror crumbles away. I fumble with the mirror’s frame. This solitude is not courageous, thin white fingers bleed for vampires. I shouldn’t think alone life invariably defeats me. The vice around my middle has tightened perceptibly today I put the stereo on loud I think gentle thoughts a fire kindles feebly in my groin. Life is dissolving, black energies hunch or jeer: I am in horror of things. Life is a breathtaking nightmare.
Greeting to you, sun of the seasons, as you travel the skies on high, with your strong steps on the wing of the heights; you are the happy mother of the stars. [Scottish Gaelic folk prayer. ]
Life’s stillness like a crystal in the sunlight has come upon me quite by accident/design. I move unfettered as the last purple glint of day fades strangely into darkness. Mystery. This thought: dipped in a magic potion ...
The Tyrant’s Den
I had an instant foreboding that we were going to find ourselves face to face with some barbarous being of colossal strength and ferocity, uncivilised and unprincipled. [Homer, The Odyssey]
This is the tyrant’s den see, the blood of children, the howl of mocking ghosts here we are gutted and strewn here, in the early hours of life. The Cyclops is bigger than the world, he swallows little boys he swallows little girls listen, to a far off dungeon roar a skull goes crashing to the dungeon floor. This is the tyrant’s den his madness is a substance, a bruise inside your heart, he reads your entrails speaks to you in dreams look, his black eyes fix you to the wheel. This is the tyrant’s den.
Birth Go ruined heart, torn and shredded wounded beyond soft Egyptian balm. Go prosaic heart, the flat horizon never was your home, your home is the deserted temple. Go listless thing, pale creature, the life bolt has been numbed. Go little heart, to where the water spirits paint in cardinal green … Go there and eat an ivy leaf ... the world will sing. Go to the house of madness and praise the clawing moon, demand her favours slip from the plain of grace, and by the dusky earth be swallowed pay your ancient dues. And there before the Capricornian surge you will be born, spat upon the earth naked in the rosy dawn black and blue, bruised from life’s first struggle.
Lying Words Nothing more to do but sigh and wait for death and each black worm that wriggles on your breath? well leave him be he is but a brother now to me exhausted, hungry, forced to show his face before his turn pushed to the outer a poet, an outcast of his kind I will do nothing to him I will not harm him I will not sanction one small triumph over death … For in your belly more than in your breath his kin, his tribe, his nation busily construct a civilisation.
Human After All The lady thinks I’m weird assumes my former perversions are lifetime flaws she studies me like a scientist like I’m an alien or a devil from hell She will grow blind concentrating like that ... An Aristotelian mind smoothly into numbers, formulae binary codes .... that sum ME up! I squeak a solicitation, the Muse-nurse is puzzled later she’ll be giving, warm convinced I’m human after all.
Undeveloped Film The photograph will turn out well Persephone It will capture grey concrete and harsh lines It will colour and make poignant your sadness It will preserve your smile, unveil your soul Don’t we both believe in worms and magic and the sacred heat of idle pleasure? Don’t we both hear music only after the band has ceased its imperfect tune? I want to show you landscapes green and glistening sliding beneath the wings of travel I want to tell you fantastic stories then watch you laugh, wanting to believe. The photograph will turn out well Persephone.
Passion is a Dying Bird Lost all the colours of my imagination, can’t visualise an epic scene, Sheets of grey, instead of fields of green the Underworld is only seismic rock instead of Kingdoms of the Dead, and weeping souls enlocked; instead of necromantic shrines and huge man eating dogs; only seismic rock. And sometimes you are not quite in my arms and our passion is a dying bird a vanishing paradise and I rub my blood-shot eyes and dream of turbulence and big-eyed witches and incense, and dark-skinned women, and madness And then I make to go, and straightway seized straightway, torn asunder thumped between the temples cracked upon the spine You have left already.
Goddess of the Spring For now, the meadows that will soon be dry and thirsty are in a kind of green celebration, they are virile, moist, warm, rising from their winter’s sleep and dancing in the sunlight. The pipers are the birds, the wind is a flute, softly present in the humid air The trees, frogs, lambs and insects are divine musicians, humming or keeping the rhythm Here in this quickening air of morning it seems to me that you are their conductor your heart their drumbeat coming as if from a far distance across those other meadows of memory and desire And for all the motions and agitations of spring There is a kind of stillness between us that is four seasons old.
Disenchantment: Visions of the Jettatori
Dibbuk and Man In grey fields diluted by uneasy reds and patches of Universal black, we have made our homes We are prey to some dibbuk or other and with our illness and our blind numbed sensorium we scratch out a life among mountains of garbage and hope, we press our groins against numb flesh and our dibbuks feed us images of unreal delight, we are predator and prey victor and victim dibbuk and man. Yes, we have bought all manner of illusions with our currency of pain and no matter the hollowed shells of friends or the feeble groans of lovers we will spend and spend the scarlet notes to buy relief to purchase our reprieve from truth The girl with seaweed hair and strawberry lips will one day strike you down - if you are lucky. She will kiss away the dibbuk’s sweating greed, the urges that tangle and fascinate and draw you toward a shadow court ... she will animate your thick and leathered skin she will activate the Elan Vitale ...
La Neante Soundless world, cold and sunless who has led us here heavy of heart? Like pilgrims We walk the long dusty road to a former paradise The five rungs are twisted now, mere wreckage garnished by bodies rotting carcasses once the abode of souls. Our footsteps haunt a narrow alleyway then here, at the Ruined Centre we swing upon a diabolic scene It bursts all heady on the senses eyes, ears, nose and skin ... Oh Mercy! The Rotting God! Now every poison thought and bitter wish begins to swell and sing inside our skin soon the Spleen shall rupture we shall see dark swarms of seeding boredom. There is nothing here for man or beast, La Neante, just the acrid stench of a long dead civilisation, And each corpse, once a cell of God now a feast for the Anima Mundi here at least nature has a victory of sorts. And manikins, strange stuffed clowns of painted cloth are propped about the reeking God and insects big as rats, scuttle too and fro all ghastly shiny black. No doubt they ply a healthy trade. Oh Mercy! Set the sun to perish! Bring down the Night! A man can only bear so much sorrow.
The West (Culture of Death) Like pillars of salt in the century storm, the aristocrats disintegrate, Clock sez: run-down, shut-down ennui. Hearts stumble to lethargic middle age fingers crush the first spring rose If only we could feel, we say Numbness, bland mendacity, anxiety, weakness ... Ennui, you are our authority you are our guru. This is a toxic state, time like a hammer bruises, abuses and pacifies our whispering doubts This is the culture of death. Aching flesh, aching heart until the love-wash takes it all away You! Yeh you! ... you can be my ritual. The witches sing, The wizards chant This is the culture of death.
The Gods Abandon Us The Gods abandon us and we disintegrate heavy handed glutted with metaphors self-recriminating, tying sisters, brothers, lover to the gallows Look at us! Scratching at the boils of Nietzsche The Gods abandon us.
Poppies of Forgetfulness Her whispers in underground car-parks from the grey cracks of shunted memory, are drowned and dulled by the opiates for pain. The king too is dead and the lizards and roos of his kingdom, dead or struck black-dumb, and the bells of the urban gods are a drill to our ears a bleach to our coloured hopes, drifting, drifting. .... there are no stars no green twinklings, no brown-red thunders of desire, I am hungry without need of food, weary without need of sleep, cold without need of heat, and they have made me so, made me so weak. You poets and songsters of a brighter God or Muse, guard your spirit well, and every sweet nibbling of her ear the crazy men of silence are ever drawing near ill with longing, cool with science, hot with unspent lust, you are set to pay that all the moons of time have fled, that all the soft words of spring are just a nuisance to their ears. Look! The grey forests, the numb streams the poppies of forgetfulness have done their job too well, and hidden in the warm blankets of Night I have cursed a slaughter to great to comprehend ... The Great Rivers no longer weep, the once sighing mountains, so much photographic rock! Cold hearts of men in a world too numb to feel. Orpheus, Eurydice is dead, and with her every warm beast, every dancing sun, children hide your faces well the king and queen are dead, no more magic in the world, no more elves at play, just instruments and books, ploughing great gaping holes in everything that’s left Go find a flower of sorrow, and build for it an early grave worship it well, a ruined dolman, a reminder of what was.
In Rhea’s Tomb Ring the bells! the four season’s know a place of sunshine and delight of ripe fruits, year long of winter fires on ancient hills of autumn leaves as red as blood. It is a place of night and day where magic beasts are wont to play and four winds sing her blessings. And to that valley, all hearts tethered with desire must go And to that grove I have of late been drawn by woe And to her arms all hungry for the living breath the skin upon me crawls. In Rhea’s tomb I speak in gladdened rhyme and gather leaves of song and like an ancient man I feel alive ... and there among the smoky incense I chat with fallen gods. She is white as leprosy but suffers not, nor smiles fade from her face her eyes see through the world her lips all stirrings of desire ever warm, ever welcoming. Ring the bells! the twelve beasts know a place The seasons know a name In Rhea’s Tomb.
I Live Among the Stars
I live among the stars and feed upon the ebbing tide I whisper out of darkness Mad, toothless ... wild of eye I sleep up on the craggy rocks battered by the hungry wind no prison can hold me you know who I am! No prison, no paltry chains of man. I live among the stars I whisper out of darkness and the green haze of morning I am a beggar with a wand of bamboo You madmen! you madmen! I am kin to you. I see visions I climb up on the moon She is mare and owl and screeches out a tune of life and death ... I treasure death’s tune friend, educator! The sea-rocks make me shiver the beach a long and tufty scar Mother earth! Mother earth! I am yours to breath with life I do not repent! I am bone and dust and pine sap and worms inside a spine. I speak with the dead shudder if you must ... the dead are only dust? but in the dead I trust, Bloody my lips, spin a circle round me thrice In the dead I trust. Shallow world, I left you through the years a garland and a frost I fear nothing, neither dead or alive I whisper from the rafters and the dank cave still from the black cracks of weathered stone You will not search for me I will search for you!
Frida Kahloe Frida Kahloe, painful child, awesome child, she took Mexico and gave it birth, wrapped it in greens and browns and killed the pope ... a great heart beating at his feet Frida Kahloe, Frida Kahloe for every human soul it beat, raw, exposed, fodder for the hungry wolves, she knew well enough the border of her land the border of her soul. The engines could not seduce her. Let us recall native hands and Mayan ruins and the quickening ardour of passion. Awesome woman. And Rivera painting murals kneeling before industry and death She knew well enough ... That stern gaze, that stern beauty saw to the rot of things, saw without any chance escape ... Frida, girl with the Mask of Death Who could claim her theirs? Who could claim her theirs? No one, no one dare. The frame is soaked in blood, and Dorothy still falling, falling, and the white towers ... and the cotton clouds, but, the frame is soaked in blood, sing a spell Frida, sing a spell, before you paint ... the dead remain and Four Inhabitants of Mexico, a passion down the drain ... raw nerves raw nerves leaping at the page. She cut off her hair, and the locks became a menagerie, a charm against Ennui, the nice folk daren’t go near, the pastel nobility, the abstract monarchy of art ... aborted, aborted, aborted, stern smiles at their grief, she knew, she knew a thousand snakes, a thousand more totem creatures, charms, charms.
Frida Kahloe, awesome woman, awesome woman with her parrots and owls, monkeys and trowels She gave birth to Mexico ... listen carefully, listen carefully, the earth breast beats, cactus at our feet, blood tumbling to the plain, Frida Kahloe.
The Indonesian Sequence
The Dragon Sleeps Thunder in the vast heavens out at sea a light shuffles into tomorrow waves break on Turtle Island, young lovers decorate the darkness between two worlds. In the gardens of hotels exclusive Westerners sit hypnotised by the blueness of sex videos The Dragon sleeps.
The Ghost of Sanur Beach Sad-eyed girls sell post-cards for 1,000 rp just down the beach just along the evolutionary ladder, and, just across the water, in the Philippines or Thailand sad-eyed girls sell their bodies for U.S. dollars for vegetables and rice for their infant children and, just off the coast just South of here in Australia, in St. Kilda, sad-eyed girls sell their souls for heroin, for mortgages, for one last chance at love for relief, for eternal nothingness for dim recollections of Sanur Beach.
Tuyul (Bali Mother) Hush, blackness sweeps over land and sea. Listen! the wanton lady walks from dusk to dawn ghastly white, naked seeking out her prey Tuyul, bane of mere mortals stealer and tempter of souls great Dark Queen of a formless world. Money rot, money rot, money rot. Greed beyond all measure of propriety passionate, choking greed ... Tuyul, you gave your only child. Unhappy spirit, you have a ghost's floating walk bug-eyed mistress of the grave sweet sad seductress of the moon man You are Bali now.
The Weeping Idol (Majority World Dreaming) The idol weeps under strange modern skies, things creep from green canopies and feed the salty tears of ruin things creep with mechanical limbs and narrow eyes - the times are out of joint. The Idol cracks on a pedestal of dreams the village maidens trade mother love for currencies hard as bitten nails Sri Dewi goes the way of all the bright young moons fiercely to extinction, to the endless night of a Western winter. The Idol weeps tells her tale to the nature Gods of old they cradle her in memories and she sees all things past, present, future ... The Idol weeps under strange modern skies this is the Age of Iron. (Inspired by a Balinese painting)
Bird of Memory I am your Bird of Memory plumed, proud, ancient perched upon your knee I wake you from a premature sleep I sing you songs from the world’s first morning I strut and trill the half-moon is my witness Once you fed me fish and in return I brought you flowers from the sun we were lovers of the dawn remember? I am your Bird of Memory. (Inspired by a Balinese Painting.)
The Ongara Sequence
The Circular House He grew tomatoes in the desert ‘Miraculous’ the locals said, and they all had a look at his plump, firm, January tomatoes ‘It’s a jungle of red and green,’ I said ‘You just need a Missus now,’ He rode a mountain bike and wore a huge Mexican hat. The locals got used to him, he was going to build a circular house. We spent days on the foundations - the mixer spat the dummy, the measurements had to be precise the house was fifteen foot across. Some local writer came to assess the venture and the greater venture examined the sheltered spot smiled at the symbolism. My daughter loved the concrete, the grey wetness of it all. She’d mumble like a tradesman after each load: ‘Settin' smooth dad, yup, settin' smooth,’ She wanted to swim in the concrete. I’d answer her, ‘Yup settin' smooth, settin' smooth ...' James would just smile anxiously and scurry for the tape measure. (dedicated to J.P.G.)
The Dam That Never Filled: Summer Ted across the road loves dogs and guns so he says he’s a big man, overweight? sure but that’s not important, an ex-bikie. One day he’s gonna build a ten foot fence all round his block, reinforced too - that’s a lot of money a kilometre of fencing. ‘Pigs out, dogs in!’ he says. Marg, his girlfriend, is very thin, she’s into rice and astrology herbalism and iridology she used to be into ‘The Dead Kennedy’s’ ‘The Clash’ and ‘The Jam’ she gave us her old tapes. The two of them make quite a couple. When they first came to Ongara they lived in a caravan for an entire summer ... that takes a special kind of courage. Now they live in a shed ... nice enough too, comfortable and a great view of the plains to the North. Some nights we just sit in their shed drinking and smoking talking about snakes and bikes tractors and blue mallee dogs and Chinese bush. Sometimes Ted and Marg pop over here for water, or a lift in to town, a fiver ‘til dole day or just to talk. Ted sold his black jeep and built a dam, the local dam builders convinced him of a spot WATER and GOLD. They said. ‘Bad spot, it’ll never fill,’ I said.
Bill the true colonial said ‘It’ll never bloody fill ...’ But they had it dug anyway, no gold, and ... waiting for the rains. The rains came and went ... a black snake drank from a puddle just inside the door of their shed ... a beekeeper colonised the treetops ‘Blue Mallee makes for top quality honey’ he said. Postscript I heard they sold their block at the end of winter made a small profit too - they deserved it. Took their dogs and their dreams and left the half empty dam and the bees and the unfound gold and the house sight. Ted was paranoid about the Circular House he told people it was Alan's ‘sacrificial altar’ he didn’t like Alan.
Postmodern Pioneers We were pioneers came with caravans, water containers, drums an old school bus - blue and battered Made our home on a desolate hillside. We watched the summer storms saw the little puffs of smoke far off in the distance saw the black clouds thunder overhead - all ‘show’ in summer, never much rain. Had a shack transplanted an old building office five squares - good enough. We made placards, ‘Do Not Enter.’ ‘Trespassers Prosecuted’ ‘Piss off’ was what we meant. We worked on tomato fields and in factories talked about getting off the dole for good growing passionfruit, garlic, roses, grapes cactus We planned to start a band and sing about life I planned to write poetry a film script ... a novel … We all wanted to live far away from Civilisation. Seven post-industrial Thoreaus
In the summer the heat was incredible we’d bathe in muddy dams, swatting wasps as we entered or left the water ‘Watch out for the yabbies kids!’ and hard-baked cracked clay and quartz for soil we scrounged ash, horse manure, pig manure, sand And the trees began to thrive - figs, peaches, citrus, almonds pomegranates ... nectarines
Self-sufficient dreams. And the locals helped us out tractors, mud brick machines, mixers, grapevines, rainwater tanks ‘Sand ‘em down, then concrete the bottoms, good as bloody new!’ My daughter liked that idea. We bought shovels, irrigation pipes pumps, old plumbing parts all sorts - a big copper water heater 30 dollars from Inglewood Shirl, a wood stove. Evan spent the summer in a hammock we were going to live far from civilisation.
That Place is Cursed Strange woman in the house we used to know ... That place is cursed! strange dead-eyed man in the house we used to own Cursed I tell you! Doppelgangers, looking after our gardens, our trees our trees? Is that the same fig we planted with loving hands? the same peach, the same plum the same apple? Look at them now ... dwarf-like, stunted, thirsty surrounded, outgunned, by battalions of evil-looking weeds, and a blasted slope falls quietly to the road barren with too much sun the soul simply withers away ennui the demon of noontide. Look ... two frightened looking kids ... and the hillside seems darker than I remember strange clouds nestle in the dry leaves of dry trees, stronger than the ones seized you and me ... and broke us in two ... our wounded son our wounded daughter.
‘Did you get many snakes up here by the house?’ ‘No not really ... the odd one, sure.’ ‘It’s swarming with them now.’
That place is cursed.
Author Bio (as at May 2013)
Dr. Ian Irvine (Hobson) is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, writer and non-fiction writer. His work has featured in publications as diverse as Humanitas (USA), The Antigonish Review (Canada), Tears in the Fence (UK), Linq (Australia) and Takahe (NZ), among many others. His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies: Best Australian Poems 2005 (Black Ink Books), Agenda: ‘Australian Edition’, 2005 and Fire (UK) ‘Special International Double Edition’, 2008. He is the author of three books and co-editor of three journals. Ian currently teaches in the Professional Writing and Editing program at BRIT (Bendigo, Australia) as well as the same program at Victoria University, St. Albans, Melbourne. He has also taught history and social theory at La Trobe University (Bendigo, Australia) and holds a PhD for his work on creative, normative and dysfunctional forms of alienation and morbid ennui.
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