The women look

24 December 2013

At first, a quivering. There is no before time.
Theres always a place to name.
Seemingly static, everything moves. Cosmic walls
bear witness. The dust speaks before we hear it and
grit grows in the head. (The women look).
They are the same women; it is only the slant
of the sun that casts their shadows.

                       The car pulls in. Men polish its curving lines.
                       Blue body. He cried, the mechanic, when
                       the Delage swanned into his eyes. Forgotten
                       in a fairy tale, he found it in his memory.
                       Brushing off the grime, three brothers
                       fought over that car. The mechanic
                       turned the page. Boom, boom.

Whilst shaving, Father OShea missed some bristle
in the crease of his nose. Now, every morning when he shaves,
the artist remembers the priest - the grammarian.
(The women look). Lift. Perhaps there is an answer behind the vapour.
Iridescent beetles roll dung balls in the artists brain the shining car;
the cluster of bristles; a single golden hair. The wind winds up.

                       The men and women are on the mountainside.
                       Theres talk of group marriages.
                       Were the never-visited communes
                       of my younger days, imitating?
                       A choice one man, many wives.
                       Or: nine women, nine men, one team, procreating.
                       Australia. (The women look).

Squinnying, the oracle guides a thought
down the wormhole of uncertainty, willing himself
to see round corners. He sees cul-de-sacs
encircled by rubber heads. (The women look).
A curtain twitches. Dont look; you will be punished.
The penalty two severed fingers.
Crescendo. A skeleton is born.

                       The cul-de-sac is quiet. Tall as men, the heads ruminate.
                       Further off, stone faces parade single file
                       on a path of blind approval. They must not look.
                       Slowly, rubber heads swivel on plinths, thoughts
                       snagging on the brambles of their minds.
                       Dont touch. Dont touch.
                       Gossips in the new town flex itchy fingers.

Winding down to Cromwell; his grandfathers middle name.
Straw hair, matted across the writers crown, conceals
royal schemes below her skull. Gleaned from reality,
the sorcerer cannot stomach the tale. Dont write like that!
You will spend six years in the wilderness.
So, the pen is on the throne, alone on a velvet cushion.
Dont tell me about your cousin or your best friends mother!

                       We are in the rooms. The rooms house the
                       special ones. The mechanic brought the Delage
                       to the red room. It stood in the painting, wheels
                       at rest on a leopard skin. He cries for the bonnet - the long lines,
                       the smooth surface, the curving blue beauty.
                       He drops to his knees before the grille, lauding
                       the might of the car, his god.

She let him in. Crossing the Atlantic took her home. (The
women look). Cockroaches are the inevitable outcome
of bleeding eyes at Darlington station, its circular windows
inviting flux and the mastery of a drilling imagination.
The vacuum freezes, chisels its shoulders, finds its tongue.
Backbone. I have the whales vertebra. I know the story
and from where the bone was cleaved. I have it to worship.

                       No myth. The artists father cut out the vertebrae
                       on the beach. Three grey bones dwell in the houses
                       of his children and stand as riddles for visiting quizzers.
                       One bone got requisitioned for the ending of missionaries
                       when mongooses scented the sunsnakes. (The women look).
                       Still standing in water, the plane tree points to the book.
                       We have come to the gate and the wind is dead.


Fabian Peake. November 2013.