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3 Poems by Corey Wakeling

The Renaissance

The better part of a plotting fulcrum
joined to the bean spasms of all these futurists,
I kiss your nipples and run my soft nails
like a death row comb through your hair.
The Mussolini balcony swelters like
swine crackling, your wreaths of rosemary
do nothing to transform pig’s head.
Rome did protest its masquerade of pork,
plus its goat shins, though not to entertain
the depths of the apartment tenancy
which swallows all, with a fondness for
buried parchments, may the tenant eat the magpie
ideograms of the leadlights glowing on the limina.

I kiss the only soft part of you the belly and touch
the refusal spot, thence the collapse of the rhododendron
and the bougainvillea
of the aesthetics of the Renaissance.

I see carabanieri turning their berets in the reverse,
in remembrance of their leviathan swallowed by an offshore vortex.
The rat’s head ocarina whistles like your grit teeth,
your face is red and green behind the leadlight
of a mallee gum copse and I am in retreat in Bacchus Marsh.
One under thus city bound, the king floats like a cretin ghost
pointing out the call numbers to the histories of secret smugglers,
thus I love the Korean libraries and fall in love
with your immaculate teeth and your eyes of mother-of-pearl.

The coup of murals and the plague of rats,
the coo of the rat ocarina and the formal woman
presented as vellum for the single Chinese character: 愛
There is to be no ceiling, rather an avenue of basements,
and invitations come in the form of call numbers.
The library at Otaru served sake from an ideogram barrel
between which no rat could subsist since the hay
of their packages is gone, and there’s no forgetting the lull
in visitors when we lay beside each other amongst
the lived hardbacks and ink stains and steal the corner
of a quidam’s writing room.


In the suburbs of Melbourne there is a mission
but those who scratch scramble in bouleversement,
I would lookalike and advance guard from
the cottage reticula but of the vista
and North Melbourne remains the bitten nails
of apprenticeships interrogated, thus no place.
The lines and lines of them preceding Langer
administer the secret power coupler of elm and possum
carcass, the brick smokestacks do not stroke the panther
lest woken, and Ned Kelly lookalikes, their cheeks resembling
the sunset, are tin and rivets. Like Ned Kelly lookalikes
the horses of jaunty children and the secular pageant
of dark ponies by new homes, loosening the sheet metal
from and booming through a darkening night, the little voices
subscribe communitarians in representative colours to
the vigil of the slumberous fountain.
You’re swelling with abashment. Even the eyes colour red.
You swoon like a coastal paperbark, forever swooning
with golden cheek to sandy ground. Above bedtime.

And whose genius led you to strip the verandahs
of townhouses and choke the frangipanis, force the
home dwellers into costumes of the antediluvian,
the Pre-Socratic steel and sunset of the cheeks,
the abashments of the flint stones of congregation
and its cocked skeleton of the compass white gum,
but the Nolan impersonator or hallway proletariat,
glum with saucy invention chalked onto slate, for
you to find, for your anticipation, for you to build
your retreat on, an advance guard dispersing
and fornicating like a hurricane of wild ponies.
That impersonating genius has led you to further
accomplishment considering the weekend apprenticeship,
where your lunch hours are spent intimate with
a girl of unrecited dreams, aromas
of cooked jarrahwood clinging to the heirloom suits
of adopted strangers, though their wet whispers
cool the embarrassment of the bare skulls you’ve opened.
Yes, your dream with a spider inside is yellow love.

Destination Coleridge

Flames to appease me now,
liquefying the stage tarpaulin,
dead larch looks like a knee bone
with a doorway beneath. What is
a larch? And then I saw Coleridge
there in the field
scraping mud from his boots
before hitting the slops. Your
sister with blonde hair and
black eyebrows. Each dot is
a flame of reason to appease visions
of the button nose, the slops
of cornbread or polenta, viz.
the avalanche
season during which we try
to breakfast. See my contention
then? Coleridge in peacock hat
scraping the mud from his
gumboots before analysing
the cows.

So he hid his nude indoors
to burn his paperbacks,
drunk on brandy, flambéing
the fruit cake in prematurity
like a nude paperback read
in furtive disinterest but parsed
all the same for the sake
of viper education. And the little boy
we would like for his nutrients
gasps tangled in an anaconda
or hemp rope. See him if you
but head through the Jacobean
doorway drifting in senescence
to a lean, past the honest sketches
to a sitting room cleared for this purpose.

Kensington similarities hang the boy
by the ankle like a hammock, to be
given the slideshow of your sister’s
faces. No silhouette permitted
on the island. And if thrust to the muddy
paddock without gumboots,
pushed through the mud by a boot
into the next to confront your films
afire, the nude indoors of indefatigable
invitation, they would not duck
to see you swinging by the heel,
though you might see Coleridge scraping
the concrete from his rubber boots,
gazing past the beef into the peacocks.

The larches convene on the miner’s cottage
with patio aslant approaching the penultimate
ecdysis. The indoor nude won’t evaporate
where the fruitcake sabotages the hammock.
Corey Wakeling lives in Melbourne, Australia. His work has appeared in numerous Australian and international journals, newspapers, and anthologies, with new work appearing in Jacket2, Famous Reporter, The Australian Book Review, Handsome Journal, Big Lucks, Overland, Southerly, Geek Mook, Cordite, and Best Australian Poems 2011. He is a PhD candidate and tutor at the University of Melbourne.