Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two weeks ago I drove the Jag up to Thredbo from Melbourne and stayed a week. Then drove down through Jindabyne (country Michael knew well) to Canberra, where I stayed two days. This little jaunt would have cost more than Michael would have seen in a year when he was alive. What follows is not an example of the stunning lyricism of which he was capable. It is more close to a facsimile of his last day and experience on earth.

THAT WHICH WE CALL A ROSE

Black greyed into white a nightmare of bicycling
Over childhood roads harried peaceless
Tomorrow came a mirage packed in hypodermic
The city we lived in then was not of your making
It was built by sculptors in the narcotic rooms of Stanley St
We solved time an error in judgement
It was stolen by the bosses and marketed as the eight hour day

Waking under a bridge in Canberra to chill scrawl
Seeing the designs we had painted on its concrete like gnawed fresco
Venice with merchants feasting while Cimabue sank deeper into cobweb

As the sun approached in skin boats
Back in the world Ric and George on the morgue lists of morning
One dead of hunger the other of overdose their ideals precluded them
From the Great Society they are with the angels now

I dreamt of satori a sudden crystal wherein civilisation was seen
More truly than with cameras but it was your world not ours
Yours is a glut of martyrs money and carbon monoxide
I dreamt of next week perhaps then we would eat again
Sleep in a house again
Perhaps we could wake to find humanity where at present
Freedom is obsolete and honour a heresy. Innocently
I dreamt that madness passes like a dream.

~ Michael Dransfield.

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