Jocelyn Deane

Los Angeles de la Historia 

They drive through the freshly minted suburbs. He notes, on the lawns of at least 3 properties,
healthy dogs. Firing to the road, a Jack Russell, high pitched, until a man in a crew-cut from
inside the new bungalow roars. He grips his left hand/ cane- the atoms will split, they’re
going to split, they’re going. They are kind people, the drivers. Everyone is already there. He
would have missed it if they hadn’t found him. He chews gum, stammers a “Cowabunga
dude” in new English. He is retrieving the Paris Arcades from a friend’s party he forgot. His
hand quakes in solidarity with the plates. There was a lost aquatic land- one hashish
connoisseur in a diner said- that sunk off the coast, and California was built on its tears/
tearing. He asks if it’s possible could we kindly stop here briefly. They look between each
other, say please Doctor no more than 15 minutes carefully. The angels stretch to the sea
before him, on grids — you imagine rhizomes/ branches, tapering to a single pin-head. That
is where the powers of air meet; he stares at the starry sky, his loafers — the Planetarium is
closed. They are G-d’s sentences, delivered in cursive, capitalised. He thinks of a noir name
he could use, embroiled in a mystery about the construction of freeways: Walter White —
yes, good… — and the glass road. Walter White and the Long Farewell to Arms. Walter
White starring in “A bird in the hand”. The planetarium is closed: he turns from Arcturus, he
thinks, to a bare tree in the parking lot, overlooking a Chevrolet, to the point the branch ends,
like a finger nail. Barely an atom. A tiny hole in space, through which the Messiah might yet
walk, as a Hollywood premier. He remembers stopping off at Casablanca, briefly, after
escaping. Sorry Doctor, says one of the drivers, tapping their watch. I am not no chicken, he
says, running a hand through white hair, looking at the planetarium. Here is looking at you,
my child. They drive. A wind blows in the stars, in the smog. 

Stichomancy/“And another thing…”

For Charles Evans

was a book
you’d leaf through
in random multiples: you’d
choose a page toward
the end, divide it
by- insert variable- recite
a sentence out loud, to predict… You’d
skip to the milk-bar to buy
mixers, open 
the pages – (did you 
know a copy of Poems
On Various Subjects Religious
and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley was
bound in human skin? It
was given to a library as 
a gift) – and study the definitions
of skein: knotted yarns, twisted
lots, an arrow of geese 
in flight.

Josie/Jocelyn Deane was born in London, 1993, before moving to Australia in 2001. Their writing has appeared in Cordite, Australian Poetry anthology, Southerly, among others. They live/work in Melbourne.

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