Pam Brown

S u s c e p t i b i l i t y   s o n g


                       past one a.m.
                               you will have gone to bed


                       the night like a night
                                                 some moonlight
                                                 some indigo to black

                       sporadic traffic swoosh
                                               no slower than the day

                       television streaming

                       an average drama
                               sound down low
                                               subtitles on

                       not watching

                       reading bits of a book
                                & making notes


                       the blurb –
                           ‘the discarded ideograms of history’

                       what kind of ideograms
                                                                            it’s poetry
                                                                      it’ll be symbols

                       one stanza          explains
                               ‘In a movie
                               rain on a
                               window means grief’

                       not actually ideogrammatic
                                                          (ezra’s dictum)

                       in a short poem
                       ‘riding an escalator’
                                   symbolises the unintended

                       yes   ok

                                   ‘discarded’ is good too


                       discarding the discarded
                                               tired of the past

                               finished with recounting


                       though utterly bored
                               with the ‘present’,
                       I  can erase
                       remembered moments

                               which is kind of ‘as well as’
                                       remembered moments

                       setting fire to a bale
                       under the holiday-let cabin

                       forget it

                       never retrace steps
                                                 cancel    the lot

                       buying drugs
                                   outside some smelly pub
                       crammed with bleating students

                       fending off creeps

                       bit-part Bruce from ‘Bellbird’
                                         (old aussie tv show)

                       I think his name
                                  was ‘Bruce’ –

                       he liked
                                  to pick on women
                                        who, he said,
                       ‘just needed a good fuck’

                       he was only ever
                             in one episode


                       the past
                                         is stifling

                       I was susceptible
                       to it

                                         until now


                       out early
                                  saturday morning

                       an atomic tangerine
                           (could be ‘fiery rose’)
                       tetra pak u-shaped
                                         a k a ‘bendy’
                       plus a few
                             straight neon green

                       orange & black
                                      card & plastic
                                batteries package

                       old splat bit blue balloon
                       old splat bit pink balloon
                       old splat bit pearly white

                       silver wire coathangers

                       in the lane
                                  casual anthropocenism

                       should scare quote that

                       & then declare
                                                   to the term

                       (donna haraway’s trouble)


                       how did that pop up?

                       add some rum

                       ‘my memory’?

                       yes   thanks
                                      & ice


                       two things people say –

                       ‘vague memory’
                       ‘it was just a dream’


                       memory’s so strange
                             it’s mostly useless

                       ‘driven to abstraction’
                                   (rosemary waldrop


                       ‘after after finitude’
                                 (justin clemens says)


                       your dog can remember more than you think


                                   to forget?

                                   it was what it was


                       ‘interstitial thinking’
                                 morphs to ‘hyperstitial’
                                                in a manifesto
                                                          by ANON

                       why even consider
                       keeping up?


                       ‘I know more
                       than I can fit into thought’
                                              (ellen van neerven)


                       a film critic
                       remembers a dream –
                       ‘a piece of furniture in a furniture movie’

                       an urge
                       to impart
                       that great line,
                       I want to have dreamed it myself


                       did she say
                                  ‘shame is my sticky thug’

                                      was it another dream


                                by the back window
                       a corner spider
                         coats an insect in spittle
                                to dissolve it for digestion

                       on the couch again
                                                    a bit later

                       switch to iView
                                              local politics
                       catch up on question time

                                      aussie noun

                       ambivalent about it

                       the house
                       is now
                       in session

                                    not our house


                       the dream diarist film critic
                                            is a Godard fan


                       in my dream
                           Andy says
                       he’s the guy we give our terrorist love to’

                       that sounds
                               like Andy
                       experimental    political    pop


                       Fonzy –
                       the Fonze on tv

                       what decade?

                       & Fonzy’s
                       a games arcade in darlinghurst
                                            run by local crims


                       ‘you can always order
                                                                 biopsy breakfast’
                       says the joker behind the counter
                                          (in the dream)


                       dream movie maker

                       ‘age is something that doesn’t matter,
                                          unless you are a cheese’
                                                        (luis buñuel)


                       but you have to chuckle


                       every film
                       is a foreign film


                       new cloud types
                             dramatic photos –
                       ‘undulatus asperatus’
                             looks dangerous

                       by the way
                                   making apps
                                   isn’t science
                       just an info phase
                       we’re going through


                       adding Susan’s reading
                                          to my ipod
                       its inbuilt
                       is imminent
                       ahh        the precarity!
                                        will it fail
                       before i hear Susan?


                       taking down the guitar
                           to wang wang wang
                         into a neuro diversity
                              meditation session


                       the sun has shone
                                for the first time
                                         in a month


                       ‘thanks very mush’
                                begins my email
                             to the proofs editor


                       the road transit authority
                            has covered the signs
                                  with grey burlap
                                  in maddox street

                       which way to turn
                       to get to
                       the outer suburbs?


                       in your spam –

                       alert: someone has just run
                       a full background check
                       on you

                       we witnessed
                       the loss of your hopes
                                          just then


                       can’t go there anymore
                       to ‘memory’    (as topic)


                       film,           a refuge

                       the cinema
                       is always as perfect
                                    as it can be

                              in banality


                       turning up
                       the next program

                            on climate change & conflict


                       my gestures
                                      seem insignificant

                       all I can do


                       a shimmering mirage of flame
                            a thick brume of sandy dust

                       a fresh water lake
                                    almost totally dry

                       not leafy trees


                       old growth remnants

                                    sassafras shelf
                                  blackwood resin
                                timber soup ladle

                       dreamed up
                       in the souvenir shop

                       is that Benjaminian?

                       already ingrained
                                (off joke)


                       the message
                                  from the plastisphere

                       might as well
                             eat our own bags straight up
                       we’ll be eating them eventually


                       lost interest now

                       perfectly banal

                       contemporary enough

                       it is what it is

                       being beside yourself





Pam Brown‘s most recent publications are Missing up (Vagabond Press 2015), & a folio of collage & other graphics, Westernity (Stale Objects dePress, 2016). She lives in Alexandria, Sydney.