Type
Poetry
Category
Writing

forest hill

tall / pondering a nose scratch
the still-dark hall lies await starboard
a wan incitement to futures of regression
(we’ll sift a plastery dust of cobain chords alone,
re-vaunt his prattle perhaps)

everything was about the lack of a large hat

now flattened grass directs me.
past the lit blobs of wall post-midnight, a vain reconnaissance
of avenues hamletting the refitted butchers – teens secure
abreast stunted cherry limbs – where we all question
a growing emphasis internally: ‘when you grow up?’

you shouldn’t trust in lines. insist on the classic
frippery of a stackhatted boy, or a soundbyte boy
still high on wit & abc arabesques,
not yet worried

as oft-gazed-at windows reflect traffic-
light over moon & defy your romance distillation

chunks of smaller faddish moments were piled up in
a mountain of sexual cliché – milestones on the record
as dumb gesture, a word or two hyperbolic even amidst years
(a backseat to queensland / a trilogy of dragon questing)

            & it’s obvious. i’m unearthing the school’s time-capsule, secretly, after nightfall. the balaclava didn’t even involve a choice. i edit scathingly. i mock the other raaf kids’ dreams. i make a claggy pulp out of their failed foundation cursive. at the bubblers i consider sobbing for their facebook realities, but instead do this. i re-inter. i prance through the half-formed stimulus buildings like non-threatening catacombs. biggles-like.

funny, your shadow apes a testing rodent in such light

i like to worry the mosquitoes away with my own hand
a caress or a simple command to the dog this too says living like
no other minor-farce courting experience courting a teasing closetoyouness
it smells of ruin sometimes (& if you’re saying that to hurt me i like it,
seriously, do it again, red rover cross over)

again      uncool with every collection of coin & stamp
my growing freedom was grounded
by bic-pen blow-darts

choices were plotted as ‘outliers’ to expose for others
all the reasons you would eye people, then look down,

for always now, friends are stuck in period dress with
appropriate fringes, like elle macpherson appliquéd to some
important magazine tooth weft		knowingly touched to

for always now, friends are emceed to a hush.
quadrangle slights are all there is. just lie there
divorced & unknown. like the interlocutors
filmed in 80s hues you are or were.

i am awful disconnected      huddled in a first-person
white – aching for a goldfield souvenir, reawakening on the bus

            & no-one lives anywhere anymore. i spent the morning searching the knolls of geography. there is nothing, not a seed-scrape of the crazed backyard vegetable purveyor, no memorial to the place we found a telephone number on post-it. i dialled randomly at the phone box anyway. i said ‘who lives here?’ in order to begin the mystery again. the next clue is inside the hollow log, hidden by the patterson’s curse at the centre of the dirt-track, now developed into housing.

we attend the adult meditation on craft,
assembly, & routine,
& plan reunions

underneath
there’s a scratch of reel-to-reel flicker

a casual netball skirt whistle

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Derek Motion lives in Narrandera where he writes and works as an Arts Development Officer. He was the winner of the 2009 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize; his first collection lollyology was published in 2012.

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