To Ern Malley
Empty coffee cups – translucent in the dull afternoon
gleaming at the outlines. A page is illuminated too,
opened to Pericles – at the suggestion of adolescence
in licentious danger, a poltergeist lights on the arm
of an uncomfortable barracks chair.
These two know
about waiting for Enthusiasmos. What follows then,
if they decide not to wait? Numb the philosophy, take
nothing seriously, let the deafening void flow through
the ink unpatterned. Death and dromedaries loom on
a text desert. The ghost of each is ignored as translations
of invisible graffiti scratch at the face of a shared ego.
I am not here – don’t look this way.
in sarcasm. Nothing is acknowledged of a presence;
a prickling or raised hair on the knuckles. All the worlds
of waste-paper revived and preserved for grey pertinence.
The civilizers melt down Aztec gold for coined revenge.
The spirit chatters his amusement and the makers recoil.
Peel Caravan Park, July 19, 2010.
The disorganised July air lurks in corners
whispering secrets to sleeping air conditioners
scraping frost on a dormant red car bonnet
filling pit marks in pointless concrete slabs
Inside the ship-crate annex
it’s three degrees colder than the grave
old couples grow micro gardens
succulents, maidenhair, fat pots of carnation
With less pretence, the grim and the vacant
smoke languidly in what sun is available
A percussion of small stones under tyres
shakes the metal walls of each van
a passing noted, secretly, by all
No lamb’s blood on the sliding door
to turn this pinch faced angel away
In the middle distance a bearded man
who used to shave
framed by aluminium
this transience became permanent
Alan Fyfe was born in South Perth and studied literature and philosophy at the University of Western Australia. He writes poetry, prose fiction, and journalism and his work has been featured in a diverse range of publications, including Westerly, The Fremantle Herald Newspaper Group, and The Cottonmouth Journal. He was an inaugural editor of the UWA creative writing journal, Trove, and a prose editor for the American Web Journal, Unlikely Stories. In 2009, he won the Karl Popper Philosophy Award. Alan’s first novel, Floaters, was shortlisted for the Fremantle Press T.A.G Hungerford Award and is currently under development as a multi-media project, including a music E.P and stage show. He lives in Maylands, Western Australia, with his family.