“A Language we will always remember”; or… ‘the parody of you and me’ – complexity, colour, sensation and what’s said: Michael Farrell’s thempark (Book Thug, 2011)
by Matthew Hall
the arc high malletting through onyx: plush toys & the excitation. the ventral sights. “test your strength” and never winning, fair in the civilized remnants of what past?
as we are want to be reminded, ‘we don’t need another hero’ here; it is an address of absence, unvoiced in the assemblage of spirited divergence, the tailended day punctuated by globule lights, colourwheeling the imagination back to the volume of sensibility in a promissory tract, feedback lopping the charnel air, that husk-singed scent, the entwining of content confectionarily mimes the imprint of loss, the colours, the winnowing punctuated faces, the darkness. the ceremonial ritual of trying to remember a night in the flash of colours as a sudden kind of seeing, that he, in spectacle, spots leaking light, leaking in a pearly acquiesce, that twine as ‘terza rima’, your fibre songs, all is carnivalesque where wind teeth chatter. that material in reverse not perishable in the raft of discard but strophic, an origami through the vocable, crash in my mouth … appreciating the piled up world around me, that, bakhtinesque reverie, of curt epigraphs and skies waterbrushed by cockatoos, and the lights, the pornography of sentiment, in a scythe cut never, by that halogen degree, colours bearing all, but the universality of hearing with this volume. It is the jouissance of perception, that sweet taste… my doss, that looming mnemonic precision that does not entail the necessity of reverence in the long glance, but in the bell march is the footfall of chthonic tracts, learned and unlearned like braided and unbraided sisal twine; memory cords entailed by past twists and turns, every mirrored self distorting. when homesteading drives in delight bigtopping up at the edge of day, and the curious eyes of childhood peering down gasoline winded alleys for a sight, at the edge of town, a prodigious vision beyond reach of the imagination… and would the Australian landscape be seen as such? recollection entails no certitude. both nowhere and here the cordage of the child abounds in these poems, and “concepts of landscape remain central to the mythologies of a purported Australian identity.” there is also the argotic broken utterance blowflying the vocables. the sardonic depiction of nationalisms, a zealotic portrayal almost Nolanesque. Instepping through American history. though Australian, without reverie, or effrontery. the contrafactive and parabasic stance of other poems, Ashberrying their way in, embedding a further sense of dwelling as a self-sealed category, but in essence: made. statuary. a construct of affects and percepts, & in darkness morning and the fibre song not evocation, but connotative memory, abrasive yet unifying, a truth to landscape, in the growth and want for the abundance of spirit.
This zoo has no rules but we bring them anyways. hesitancy. all splendor that sights its costume, all excitement unified to presence, what aches under inverted commas. how it changed, outstretched. plasticine and candy and the encaustic texture of mouthpiecing cries, joyous, an afterthought for nameless sugar in a palace starved for elocution. but also, and calculatedly, a meager withdrawal, a subtlety, oh Michael, to awake in your music, post-operative. T. Raworth: subtlety is only what you see looking around inside your head with a torch: beating your radar pulse there to yourself and back and describing the journey. the echolaic qualities of memory.
so now, Michael, where else do we begin?