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J A C K E T   #   E L E V E N   |    A P R I L   2 0 0 0  


Martin Harrison

for Ron Baron


Stacking a found thing

It could be anywhere

But why not anywhere

like a willy-willy
a spiral of dust
on the dirt road
by the rocks


To the old station's house
round the bend and over the ridge
watching out for corrugations,
protruding, eroded stones

washed out enough
to smash the big end under
a boutique city car:
slow down, take care.

High blue sky with wind,
dust blowing over rocks.
Clouds racing, making dark seas
out of fluctuating ridges -

a cloud coming up over the skyline
like a wave breaking
onto a wave-platform. It changes

this small flat world's dimensions.
Fluctus. Ictus. The sea.


The mind's invisible. It's air.
It's just being-here, whatever
you take for granted as part
of a step, a glance, a quick
trip in which you forget most
of what happens, but remember
a few things here and there:
sure, it's space, parrots calling, light,
at the back of a memory which
is never anything save memory,
a memory always coming into place
like a flood roars over sand when
there's heavy rain, or like the way

there's a perfect equation between
emptiness and space and thought.


Because of the need for colour
and an image which stays in the mind:
not 'this lizard' on 'this stone,' nor
a  lizard skittering on the brick steps,
nor just grey-green then pink.
This need for colour saturates the eye
with its requirements: try being
abstract with it, and you miss
wind-noise, your shadow, the
nervous tic of the lizard
running under shaking lavender
by the steps which lead from the patio.

In this, no thing is either big or small.


You travel invisibly, whirling,
blustering, tearing things apart,
a vortex in grass flattened out
as if a derro's slept there overnight.
You're a corkscrew of dust and grit,
top-heavy like someone tottering
on high heels they cannot wear.
Flailing about, hands writhing in the air,
you are like someone hit by a spray
of machine gun bullets whose body
is tossed this way, that way, as
it's torn apart, blood-drops spinning
and spattering in the air, until
whoever it is - that crim, that psycho youth -
collapses like torn, subjected newspaper
blown about in a subway passage,
trodden underfoot. A scream, a groan:
a fear we all run from, a near miss.


A scoop of dust
on the dirt road,
a shape like a dune's,
a snake's head rising.

A small moment, as
the wind lifts the surface,
scalpels up these tiny
gashes of smoke.


J A C K E T  # 11 
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