Published in Overland Issue Print Issue 199 Winter 2010 Main Posts / Writing forest hill Derek Motion 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 Derek Motion 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. More by Derek Motion Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?