Published in Overland Issue 212 Spring 2013 Uncategorized Fête accompli Joel Scott Watching into a window, thinking what a movie is outside of its soundtrack. Digging through the ocean depths, sabres rustle in the algae spawn. Golf balls the size of hailstones rain down. Names enter into search engines and return as if unchanged. Tasks to be completed: Make a vocabulary and see that it is instituted. Make a list of words not to use. Everything is in reflux. The burnt pages of the liquid amber tree. The eu calyptus olives, swinging a billycan like a rock starring in the latest nighttime. Blooms of flora glut, the fields as sick as the guts of a cauliflower, slicking petrochemicals into the saucepan, under close observation, the cucumber attempts to pass as a zucchini – Italian Overcoat. Fabricating mne monics out of fine linen, beautiful guilt-lines on the shoulders. Filling out the uni-form: your name, your date and place of birth, mother’s mädchen name, fa thoming johnny depp, thinking: what’s his french like? Prising the strands from the body, playing coits, thinking about the crudity of that name, dipping car rots in the french onion, cubes of ‘tasty’ cheese nest ling in the salad, caterpillars jiggling along, coming out the other side as butter, on a crisp slice of toast, to yours and mine, the future still to come, like a marble in a spray can, your catseyes reflecting back at me across the bedspread, four-lane highways, extending gratitude across the economic plateaux, as one and another fall off, platsching into the lake, dying for a chance, glass ing their rivals at the bar, guarding the autonomy of their partners. S/he seems like trouble, and you think it over as if it is a question of making a decision, and then snuggle across, and ask to borrow a jumper. Select ed hommes pull over police cars, play their service revolvers like glockenspiels, then hot-foot it, top and tail, for the hills are alive, lichen lying on the rock- faces, recognised by the software, small lines rent gently into the calcite, lining your digestive system like a candy-striped coat, the sleeves glissando to allow the passage of arms. The third world thralls. Enormous ships birth into harbour like lizards. Dungareed men from another persecuted minority turn up, wanting to know, what is the fastest way to the train station, but unable to understand the an swer, taking gestures on faith, good work if you can get it? Peeling notes from their pockets, and tucking them under the collar of whichever cute local hunk, making eyes for them, wearing glasses around their necks, holes drilled through the lids for the string, together sentences are a kind of embarrassing dancing no matter how talented, the traditional forms reveal themselves to be as arbitrary as goats, doing as you wi sh, which is a good thing, all things considered. For we could be forced into bandages, shots ringing their neighbours to complain about the new arrivals, forming communities of exclusion, like contractions, O, I did nt see you there, squeezing out another littlun, sending them off to the new world to become civil, tho what horror film is this? Stagger, stagger, staggering. Knocking back another shot of mercury and clamp ing down your teeth on a fresh leech, wearing a quarter of an orange peel as a mouthguard for the bog fight, atomised mandarin silking in your folds, and you have folds, you have cultivated them in the petri dishes, snugglepot and cuddlepie, a whole sub urban mythology of plant beings. plans a through e fail, and the only option is to pull tea cosies onto all of the children and send them to the beach for fire wood, and will they come home? will they bucolise the landscape with their little branches? you can bank on it, safe as home invasions, on the floor, my recur sion in childhood, the elision involved in chiding, choosing a part, nerving the person next to you, buy ing a bedspread, reading books as if they were a kind of tooth floss, the frontal cloves, simmering down, de ciding not to duel in the morning, deriding your new squeeze’s family, while your head, a lonesome tumble weed in the garden, strangely, by the train tracks, nigh t can fall at any time, celestial monarchy, mon coeur mon key, aping the actions of our preceding generation, in a mirror, look, it looks as if I am jumping, out of the phant om window panes, just a fractal of the effort required to date a plant, each one calling the other blossom to be ‘cute’, giving each other grammatical challenges, planning a game show, in which people wear oversized, culturally in appropriate suits of themselves, trying either to make some thing rich, or make it rich, either way, the animals have interred the frame, they worked it out, and are using our kitschy faiblesses to bribe the undertakers, nicking another set of cutlery, strapping the forks to their ho oves and guffawing raucously as they imitate our nice ties, asking for salt, taking a pawful, but you’ve had a gut ful of this stuff, thinking about how image is just a mis spelt anagram of mirage, walking further in the December heat, making sure the landscape remains gender neutral, the gumnuts developing small tumours as you inspect with your broccolised fingers, choleric, but who would nt be a little pissy on their death bed, railing against the side of the cot, spraying the wall out of a champagne bot tle, one last hurrah, this time inviting all of your friends, sitting down on the reluctance-clouds. Joel Scott Joel Scott is a poet and translator from Sydney who now lives in Berlin. He has published the chapbooks DIARY FARM (Vagabond Press, 2014) and BILDVERBOT (cross nougat press, 2017). His translation of volume two of Peter Weiss’s The Aesthetics of Resistance will be published by Duke University Press in 2020. More by Joel Scott 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 27 January 2023 Cartoons In attacking us, they bring us together Sam Wallman 'What these bosses don't understand is that in attacking us, they bring us together.' (Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Svitzer Rally November 2022) 2 First published in Overland Issue 228 24 January 202325 January 2023 Politics The end of the politics of care Giovanni Tiso The daily spectacle of televised briefings was not unique to New Zealand, and it may simply be the case that Ardern thrived when given the opportunity to speak to the public directly—in other words, that she was better than others at it. Alternatively, we could say that her rhetoric found in the pandemic the ground on which to turn into concrete action. Either way, the benefits we derived in terms of lives saved from the remarkable extension of that social license are literally incalculable.