Fête accompli

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 ›

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