Mudlark Poster No. 33 (2001)

John Brennen

Carrington to Shore

solvitur ambulando

in lieu of an intro

Letter to Hugo from Carrington
Crab Hunting from Carrington
Moonlight Revues from Carrington
Log Rhythms from Carrington
Smoke Signals from Carrington
Managing from Carrington
Letter to Dr Every from Carrington
Threat of Calm from Carrington
Weighing Up from Carrington
Warding Off from Carrington
Running the Belt from Carrington
Open Hearted from Carrington
On Deck from Carrington

John Brennen: "i live in sydney. cook for strangers. on sunday we're cooking for the laconic bob dylan. anyway my poems get published in mags with names such as BREW and STREWTH! broadcast on public radio and issued on cd's by the band Crow – LI-LO-ING and PLAY FOR LOVE. for better or worse richard hugo 'triggered' the poem off. what do you think?"

Letter to Hugo from Carrington

dear Dick: we have no mountains here
no way of knowing the unexpected thrill
of better weather fooling our hearts
people come here to leave our leaders
tell everyone how close elsewhere is
the river makes visitors cross over
to walk through my door i lose
poems and sleepless nights in the bar
does anyone need anything to shred
memory collared by a sudden event
are we any better when you're not alive
a new weed shows up in my garden
with the relief of seasonable change
my ticket is in my pocket

Crab Hunting from Carrington

dear Glenn: you can catch crabs here
small mangrove at the end of our street
the locals move slow and know where
you live spring can't strip winter off altogether
murderous nights still the bars are full of plans
for ghosts to out number guilt though in a pinch
everyone would violently stick together and drink
to every painful moment when they saved
their jobs it was a celebration of survival
music and bar-b-ques spelled how grand
big spirit is i'm just getting this now the depth
you travel when friends are in your heart
i'm going inside to swing open the doors
kneel back and sing everyone to the path
of your golden child my lungs are full

Moonlight Revues from Carrington

dear Peter: the cracks bank up and storms peter out
before we find relief our main street is blocked off
we're not fussed we're ready time is weird here
you can always buy alcohol the other shops close before
we get home or wake from exuberance i want to rush
to any counter demand my friends be served
counter revolutionary treats to last any war i'm wearing
shirts that surprise no one colour all wrong for camouflage
flagged for a target i'm struck by weathered requests
hands are out for the taking i've waved off being bothered
saluting an end to visions we all need a bash regret's
a curse of departure violent silencing of horizons
the indifference of melancholy surrounds our point
dawn has cracked us open here's to it throwing up cheers

Log Rhythms from Carrington

dear Ben: winter rolls in without a word our smoke
looks for every crack if only for a whisper
from a westerly that turns everyone's back
we got a new road bypassing the desperation
all swamp before sailors began dumping ballast
and a port load of leave their green awareness
was looking for the clap isolated in horizon
we've got more barstools than population
everyone can stand when the Pirates play at home
and cheer that it is all locked up more rounds
than games the backyard has been carpeted we await
your welcome all planks revealed how greatly i felt
when you dived through mists of Ha Long Bay came up
for friendship i have a photograph of our feet

Smoke Signals from Carrington

dear Simon: towers are full of blocked views dissension
is one eye cocked arms sweep up reasoning
point out obviousness the little we can realise
when hats stand at attention doorways offering
entreaties we're indisputable coughing up stances
the publican had to drive
me out of there
my wallet ran out of answers
dropped off to say it is here
night doubles with arrival
we've cut another door into the house
another way to be on my knees
errors sum our deflection clean up
when mystery affords us getting it all

Managing from Carrington

dear Tod: the cat has claimed me
its paws push against my chest
i don't want to leave this island
tin roofs relieve
everyone's scream in the playground
the cleanest kid stands out you know
they'll just say hello every greeting
desperate for luck when he shouts
"just tuck yr dick under your belt"
we hold our pain reckon a day
that glows with choice i turn 'round
for them to see who i'm not
reflection makes out the rest
hard edged we're falling in view

Letter to Dr Every from Carrington

dear Bob: autumn's taken off the trees are embarrassed
show their age you cop the bare results
we couldn't find camp hollywood the cutting
was cleared for houses to sack the stars
blast furnace number one lost its roar
he was found our side of the bridge
came to short of a job
still drunk asking who has the lease
monuments leave heroes in darkness
cowards run ahead suffering expands
with escape relentless winds rattle
our future the annual fair strung up banners
sold us fortune tellers in a pickle
we're dancing in line for the lucky dip

Threat of Calm from Carrington

dear Jem: the air's not right summer's
thick with rage spectacles jam
cross roads hypocrites
act their face lost to stance
i've cut off my tongue
questions collapsed
your own consideration subtleties
rejected the rear view enthralls
our muscles of agreement
have gone all out for silence
weeping figs whistle or break down
together inflamed with alarm
ignites our apprehension
i'm back burning for confusion

Weighing Up from Carrington

dear Tony: tonight's silence is brutal the alarm
garbage forms ghettos in this kind of weather
Carrington holds up together gossips blow dry
weeds under our windows jazz happens
those impossible couch days when we sank
night piling empties full of a leap
into our arms striking Maitland women baking
sausage rolls using mint and pine nuts
so good we blocked off the street had Hawaiian steaks
thrown at our hearts were charged with the joy
when the gas was lost our tears electrocuted
the darkness he left with a chicken and salad days
composted next to the dunny we pick out
sore eyes winking at the breeze

Warding Off from Carrington

dear Sarah: spring dries off winter's stink belts
lines of night shivering poise on top flowers
snap summoning us desiring depth
i lean take desire laying paths
to desire get mugged here they'll ring everyone why
when dry answers wash the colour out
splayed hands drag in middle stream
a Venice sun empties over your shoulder
i rip off fences for the fire place hang by
my fingertips swing over the yards
dead grass sticks in the tread we slide
from the terminal faced with a tangent
scrubbed on laughter dusk puts colours
back together i'm pulling the covers up

Running the Belt from Carrington

dear Antony: to some a rash embarrassment
life saving in between conversations
that market the percentage of failure
you called my survival when i needled
death strapped in for a last nod you belted
me ashore through a swell of care
tested i ride your answers like shore dumpers
collapsing back into now when breath
is taken in sheared risking sentimentality
we surprised the sun once more
the black humour of Onebygamba is lost
their only laugh was my hitch hiking
signs asking three ways or celibacy
answers come after the lift of love

Open Hearted from Carrington

dear Katrina: this is all we have your death
shined us out our scars bare no value
i remember my head in your lap
promising to keep your heart alive
Carrington slays strangers
when they knock without hope
selling jumpers for a taxi home
you answered every day to your blue fingertips
how did it feel to know your heart leaked
in a world that blots without regard
how does life ring now you're dead
we climb smaller peaks believe
we're scaling your heights
life holds back only the living struck by you

On Deck from Carrington

dear Jackson: turned to knocked off
the sun's a Jaffa when you write
home we're between the flags
Bondi dries on our backs sharp as salt
i dive off arm chairs swim across carpet
save my words until a sentence breaks
gulls squawk over spat chips
Bondi Buddha the bow sprays a prism of family
the head hangs at sea i've risked
injecting smiles that shower no one
bleeding blue for a nod you came mad
with love let ashore today bucks up a full kick
school's too hot and the last tango's in town
the harbour master has given the all clear

Copyright © Mudlark 2001
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