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
                                                                       comfortably

                       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’

                       so,
                       explanatory
                       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

                                               *

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

                       or
                       also
                               which is kind of ‘as well as’
                               erase
                                       remembered moments

                       like
                       setting fire to a bale
                       under the holiday-let cabin

                       forget it

                       never retrace steps
                                                 cancel    the lot

                       forget
                       buying drugs
                                   outside some smelly pub
                       crammed with bleating students

                       forget
                       fending off creeps

                       like
                       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
                                                    straws
                       in
                       ‘time-honoured’
                       polypropylene

                       orange & black
                                      card & plastic
                                batteries package

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

                       several
                       silver wire coathangers

                       in the lane
                                  everyday
                                  casual anthropocenism

                       should scare quote that

                       & then declare
                                 resistance
                                                   to the term

                       (donna haraway’s trouble)

                                               *

                       how did that pop up?

                       add some rum

                       what
                       is
                       ‘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
                                                             says)

                                               *

                       ‘after after finitude’
                                 (justin clemens says)

                                               *

                       your dog can remember more than you think

                                               *

                       healthy
                                   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

                       partyroom
                                      aussie noun

                       ambivalent about it

                       the house
                       is now
                       in session

                       parliament
                                    not our house

                                               *

                       the dream diarist film critic
                                            is a Godard fan

                                               *

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

                       yep
                       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
                                            surrealist

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

                       that’s
                       actually
                       cheesy

                       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
                       obsolescence
                       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

                       even
                              in banality

                                               *

                       turning up
                       the next program

                            on climate change & conflict

                                                           devastation

                       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

                       sticks
                       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
                                                           anyway

                                               *

                       lost interest now

                       perfectly banal

                       yet
                       contemporary enough

                       it is what it is

                                                   that’s
                       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.