I move through a slanting, footpaths erupting roots through bricks near the mad old bus stop. I used to know what I was thinking, now it’s a field, inside, is it green, or grey water, horsing, gridding, heavens bent through the fleck. Sometimes I wonder if I’m drinking the wrong water, the other day I read I had a sort of degree, but I ain’t, no way Hose-Bloody-Zay. Please, I-am-not-a-doctor, I’m too unfashionable for that. Even in Sydney when days get cuter than cop cars, as the city train smells of its electricity and cut-up vinyl, makes you want to chisel rocks with letters, makes you think, placing As while breathing Hawkesbury sandstone, oh gritty gritty something, don’t let go. But from Greenhill Road I can see a Dark Grey Outline, gums on the Toorak Gardens horizon after rain pins on Portrush, windy, juggle juggle, that’s the bus tyres. Tickets are eaten, baskets savaged, cars dinking in line. It seems average but sounds pushy out the window, my eyes scram down choosing the wet leaf blown onto a white roundabout. Something I learned when I was young, shape is serious matter. I am not what I’m supposed to be. Light is spring silver and escapes my language, in the next lane ‘fragile goods’. Outside a North Terrace carpark is the The Ha-Ha Arrow, pointing white blue charge grips, tinker tinker bus blows money, odd jangles of student housing, arrivals not quite fusion (Go Backwards). The second lift won’t stop at the fifth floor, ‘it’s worth reporting’. What, corridors? In here, it’s ice white as carpet, closing time. If you don’t approve, or burn, ‘therefore’. Perhaps I am Missing Pages Out Of My Life. I’ve always been flaky, lost and shaky, but never ‘ponderous’ over my territory, that takes planning. It’s always been weather not geosophy (that’s so fashionable! yeah?). I’m delicate, sandy, unknown, please, or ‘to not know’, falling without finding. But what am I thinking, of giving up the desk, going off-road, gravelling, dirt thrash? Why not, given the green’s mixed up, weather rattled, promises running off leaves as prediction pouring through vents. The creeks are high, snake tongues, feathers, water calls, absolutely and briefly, tomorrow forks but for now full cold moon and wrestling night. I have dreamed green tiles, walls, gaps, dirty grassy penalty signs, curves, yes, finally, pink ankle and all this air, all this. If I’m not what I’m supposed to be then why all this certainty, how do I escape its cackling old Sprache? Night in Frome Road is there at its hour, cold erupting through asphalt, sight and feeling mashed with my flaking alphabets.
Jill Jones’ most recent book is Dark Bright Doors (Wakefield Press). She also co-edited with Michael Farrell Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets. Her work features in The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry and Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature.
© Jill Jones
Overland 204−spring 2011, pp. 116−118
Like this piece? Subscribe!
Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.
Subscribe | Renew | Donate November 9–16 to support progressive literary culture for another year – and for the chance to win magnificent prizes!