Liam Ferney lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Showing Your Arse / Bending the Rules
for Paul and Brett
you get tossed out of a black tie dinner
at the lodge because you’ve got tourettes
& its even funnier than the time you dosed
janet howard with a spiked pepsi bottle;
late in the night on the roof,
howling at the moon.
if this proves libelous i’ll offer you a settlement
sweetened with a share of the royalties
& when all this blows over drop by my pad
in the maldives and we’ll drink harvey
wallbangers getting soft on the perks of industry.
maybe in the ensuing slew of scandal and scuttlebutt
i’ll even get an opportunity to meet bob ellis,
after all it’s his ability to get pulped
that makes me jealous.
With an upward gaze he strokes his chin
in a baroque style reminding everyone
of rock and roll
booming rawlarge through
the wurlitzers of culture, a definitive Elvis
anthology. He knew where he was when
France claimed a flash Mercedes, sipping
a cigarette break latte and flicking through
the property section as though it were the form
guide detailing the hot spring carnival selection.
We don’t notice the things that are most important
to us and what‘s more a ripped Coke can blind
us with its glare
knocked out by the sun, we don’t even care.
The tvs come on in all the living rooms
& it’s the last surreptitious moments of freedom
before the parents get off their buses and
out of their cars and come home from work.
The house smells like shoes, leftover nachos
on the table, there is a complex politics to
everything the brother and sister are doing. Mum
doesn’t understand and the youngest clings to
her hem like lichen terrified by the b-grade
British kitsch of davros and his daleks.
These are myths they don’t bother recording
and it’s only later that they realise somethings
the tobacco farmers weep out their windows
their hearts wrung of tears like the last drops
of water from a stubborn tea towel they know that
one of these cold nights poor manufacturing will claim
the lightbulb in the kitchen and the draughts whistling
through the house like darts render candles inoperative.
it takes a special skill to plumb these depths late at night
looking for those treasures that lie in the wake of the task
that both philosophers and whores are apt to do and all the
time the moonlight in shafts smears your skin like the black
blood of a plague that happened in an epoch long before
you walked into a bookstore and chose camus over carver.
losing sight of the rocky beach
we float out in the
blue crystal at the edge
of a mini cove
we stayed for days in the rhythm
of the ocean tallies in
ice in plastic bags hanging
from the tree
port at night listening to one dayers
in the car the saltsound
of the ocean fresh in our ears
pushing the envelope of
bravado we swell the numbers at
the pub and take over
the pool table and the
parataxis is something you forget
about in the sun
and only remember
you wake up
kerouac-faced and champin’ at the
bit to get it all down
but no stanza will
ever take you back.
"Grunter’s gotta do,
what Grunter’s gotta do !"
the trouble with dichotomies
is that you’ll always end up on one side
of a besser brick wall with a stick of dynamite
in your hand and typing far quicker
than the words appear on your screen
the screech of a vulture or tires signals
doom and you start to count back towards
the definitive moment in you’re life when
you became that person you were today
but its retrospective and impossible like the way
I can’t remember when i started writing
in the third person like a frustrated second
rower down on game time and form
being interviewed after the game they’ve just lost
you’ve just lost the vulture swoops the holden
pounces and the dichotomies all dissolve
as you bounce off the hood the last drop of water
evaporates off your tongue and the night
falls across your eyes like an overabundant
pension of booze and pharmaceuticals-
ya dig !
Have you ever seen the rain ?
A snail’s day or the way a junkie’s eyes
scan the cab of an unlocked ute in a busy
suburban carpark reminds me of a spiky
desert lizard shuffling out from beneath
his hiding place to sun itself an hour
while twin Thunderbirds, driven by teenagers
playing the roles of impossible tragedy
and tragic impossibility, pull up head to head
on an empty road. He hands her something
wrapped in tissue paper and she smiles while
his eyes rest comfortably on an unnamed rock.
Without even thinking she gets back in the car
like an astronaut going into space, there’s some-
thing he’s forgotten, he’s never even seen her face.