Corey Wakeling: 4 poems

  Corey Wakeling

  4 poems

  JPR 07


        Where He Died
        The Missing Citations


            Where He Died

I have always thought a poem, but never this.

In the sand, a shadow of an impress where he died.
In the snow, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the dirt, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the cake batter,
a shadow of an impress where he died. In the tar,
a shadow of an impress where he died.
In the ball pit, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the gorse, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the moss, a shadow
of an impress where he died. In the mincemeat,
a shadow of an impress where he died.
In a parking lot’s dust,
a shadow of an impress where he died. In the mangled
steel and concrete of the demolition zone,
a shadow of an impress where he died.
In the spray of monkeys sheltering their young,
a shadow of an impress where he died.
In the golf green’s fairway, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the lava, a shadow of an impress
where he died. In the flames,
a shadow of an impress where he died.

But never this, I have always thought a poem.



How much of the present is a bubble
And how much a portal. The goon
Likes the matter of pearls.
What about Broome, Western Australia.
Unmourned graves list in the mud.
I disclose, like a drone’s near whirr.
Why no narrative — why no epitaphs.
You might as well ask why no heroes.
Then, the panthers dance,
and the tea leaves conspire to return
some strong imperial phone call.
Truth is: yachts and penthouses, pearls,
yachts and pearls and penthouses and
yachts. Yack-until-hoarse yack.

Out spills people’s primogeniture
                    as yachts pop.



Fowl with virtual wings dreams of rockets. Fowl can’t be owl.
Will by fossil assumes an updraft that my feathers belie as Dad cries.

A watery name spoken by a shepherd, a fisher,
and a tour guide. Can you believe that such a place resembles sun and moon

with a mine, as procrustean bus routes fumble with your fat?


Into the sea which bore his name, sucked.
Relent, lingering feathers, the particles stir.

                Original inhabitants of the remains of a caldera,
big reverse plug of stay, retrieve their name

                from the golden state.
Roast documents for the main meal,

as the dreaming fowl prepares for candied dessert.

The inventor struggles with positionality and a corrupted compass.
The struggle is simple: the golden state already adopted the sun’s name.

                Guardianship and control, with no relaxing alcohol.
It is hard being a sphere. Still, harvest comes again on time.

Those are not climate odds anyhow, icebreaker.

Listen to the whirring reeds during the worst of the typhoon.
Your hard armour of sense even laughs with bloating clouds.

                So did the briefer accommodation funded unintentionally
by a far-right think tank looking for interstate ties.


You can’t buy loyalty.
          The traffic of currency itself is loyalty, silly,
          just like that midnight binge on milk.
Flush stings the hot chest of shame.


High-speed rail distracts the question from lighting
on a Cadillac prince as the account outstands.

Be quiet before the plaque, says a distant mayor.
Prince Regent beats a closer mayor.

                Drenching the clothes in all the sweats of the town,
so many palm trees hovering.

                Fowl with virtual wings dreams of the rockets Icarus mocks in fire.
In water.

The profession even gets a different title there;
does that mean that the cosmic and the astronomic compete?


fly by constraint.


            The Missing Citations

Sometimes I want a festival of proper nouns.
But often I retract. Reason being the larger procedure.
Every finger introduced to the mechanism breaks.
By comparison, the smartphone softens at his touch.
Cuba softens too. Venezuela, though, hard as glass.

In the course of this poem’s turn, I want you to laugh.
Scanning the circumstances of address,
here I am wanting you to laugh in your reading.
Such suggests that the same chess game is never played.
Laughing not at a joke, really, but at the realisation
that you and I are much closer than we thought.

This could be Scarborough, you in wetsuit, me in jeans.
Forehead sting and the salt chap.
Bus pass buried by sand drift.
This could be as migrating clouds.

It isn’t long before the millennial transition,
which so often has the connotation
of awakening, which it never was. Connotation.
I’m not so sure we learn much here. But we are.
Sure. That puts the ochlocracy at odds with
the individual, at least for the duration of
this poem’s reading. That is my big problem.
Just think about that. My in the context of you,
the court longing for the romance it does not solicit.
Charles II, meanwhile, enjoys himself.

Instead of was it any different I say it could be different.

The fixed time that this poem takes to be read.
Initially, how many genres were thought experiments.
We drift further away from each other.
Chicken salt never the option. Tomato sauce
the demon. Some mother slaps some son
at the table for shaking the bottle, for frustration,
for spraying the contents instead of pouring them.

Droll clarity of that meandering bravado.
Things like this we share with Soviet Russia
before Krushchev. Dispensing with the centrifuge,
I lodge with Polish acquaintances.
Bed is hard, heater flickering.
Endless cheese butters anxiety.
Don’t forget the smouldering theatre.
Winnowing banner ruffles the dead show.
Near incumbency sets up a division.
Of course, she rails.
Because Dad is so much like me, I resist him, I admit.
The rest of the time we languish in the panorama,
half-drowning in our drool.
The council dwindles like a village.

Stupidity will win. Conciliation, which could start
the stirring vertigo of a uniformed riot,
looks comparatively like a stoic.
The names to support stoicism similarly reside in pages,
pages themselves which resemble conciliation.
No help in the reaction void.
I’m not saying a deep consciousness of mathematics
won’t help you, I’m just saying, instead,
at the moment,
that the urgency lies in the legs to flee.

Australian poet Corey Wakeling, 2017.

Corey Wakeling’s second full-length collection, The Alarming Conservatory, appears with Giramondo Publishing in 2017. Born in the UK, Corey grew up in Perth, Western Australia. From 2009 to early 2015, he lived in Melbourne, where he received a PhD in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne. He lives at present in the Kansai region of Japan where he teaches literature and drama at Kobe College.


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