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Tableland Phantoms

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    Tableland PhantomsA Suite of Poems

    Brentley Frazer

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    Books by BrentleyPostHuman Musings ~ new poems (Digital) 2013

    Memories like Angels At A Ball Tripping Over Their Gowns 2007

    The Dead Girl Suite ~ poems (Digital) 2006Major League Philosophy 101 ~ poems (Digital) 2005

    Brilliant Future an antinovel (with Fakie Wilde) 2004

    A Dark Samadhi ~ poems & microtexts 2003

    The Book Of Such ~ a suite of poems (Digital) 1997

    Fugue ~ poems 1996

    Oneirodynia ~ poems 1995

    Blood Psalms ~ poems 1993

    Opera of Destruction ~ poems 1991

    Ens Causa Sui

    Several texts or versions of texts from this collection have previously appeared in LiNQ(Australia).

    This collection first published digitally by Retort Books 2013

    Copyright: Brentley Frazer 2013

    All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this bookmay be reproduced in any manner whatsoever [including photocopying, electronicarchiving, scanning] without written permission from the publisher, except in the caseof brief quotations embodied in critical or scholarly articles and reviews.

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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    Tableland Phantoms

    You walk alone

    with the Ghost of Time...~Men at Work

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    Labor Pains

    Winding up the Palmerston into the mists of Milla Millasigns loom out: WARNING HEADLIGHTS ON : HEAVYFOG. And the fuzz comes in long after you realise that theradio has gone. I'm looking for a metaphor, the way the roadrolls, like a wet dialogue of tongues; then I come across acaravan twisted in a ditch.

    A man standing on the edge says he's already called for help.I drive by, curiosity pressed up against the glass; shave twenty

    off the speedo, you can get nowhere fast.

    Higher into the Tablelands with a dog and my mother's galah;earlier, on the hands-free she quoted a poem she'd seen inBarcaldine...there's nothing there but eight pubs, a museum and theTree of Knowledge, poisoned in protest.

    It goes like this, she said, it'swritten by a socialist, which, as

    kids, they taught us to distrust.

    'After God made the rattlesnake the toad and the vampire, hehad some awful substance left with which he made a scab. Ascab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a watersogged brain and a combination backbone of jelly and glue.Where other people have their hearts he carries a tumour ofrotten principles.'

    You don't vote Labor, do you, Bren? I tell you, they're using theworking class agenda to further corporate rule.

    No, Mum, I laughed, I don't vote at all.

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    Irukandji Sails

    A Ranger foundfour hundred ghost netson a seventy kilometre stretchof beach, south of Aurukun.Says the local women, with the subterfuge ofmoonlight sharks, collect them to make art fortourists.

    Goes on to mention they've been substituting

    Pandanas leaves and Flax cactus with the strings.Countless generations of knowledge, an ancestralunderstanding of ora trapped in a nylon paradox,drowned sh and hundred year old turtles, mereempty shells in days.

    They drift over from Acheh, down into SouthernIndonesia, tumble ashore...as though the ocean

    tossed up her hair, some of them ve k's long,like immense Irukandji, or underwater sails.

    He'd just come from a conference up The Cape,listened to some bureaucrats act concerned, saidhe may's well believe a mystic who claims to be clonedfrom a semen spill on the Shroud of Turin, that, thosedamn men from Canberra, nothin' but spin-doctors,spectators, a catastrophe of television cameras,

    and worthless.

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    I'm living in a shedon the banks of Lake Tinaroo.The second night saw me nearlymurdered by a Brown. I got up from thedesk to smoke a cigarette, opened up a doorin the northern wall, swung it wide for freshair--and the snake reared up, three feet tallalive with a thousand eyes of dew.A sorcerer from the grass it struck as I leapt back,

    vociferous as a whore, and it fell short, with a slaplike someone had dropped a book.From atop the fridge I watched it curse in reptile slang,turn and silently slide out again.

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    Where Kulara Sleeps

    The animus of dead timber-getters reectsin the eyes of raptors from the phantom limbsof Tinaroo. Down where Old Boar Pocket Road

    becomes a boat-ramp, a triptych of Bush StoneCurlews frozen in grotesque poses, arose as Iapproached and oated above the lake witheerie screams.

    Can't decide if I want to drown myself with whiskey

    or jump from a bridge. I tiptoe like those curious birdsalong the fence. Below the calm the town of Kulara,overwhelmed in nineteen fty three, also some heavymachinery the legend says, though no maps exist,and the locals don't know much.

    I asked an old man in a canoe if he knew whereKulara slept, if he could point me in the right direction

    but he said he'd never heard of it, but reckoned

    there are dark shapes beneath the water, toward the falls,and pointed beyond a thicket of dead trees full ofhawks; and off he went, the water performingsomersaults behind him as he rowed.

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    Night Tiger

    Numb, now.

    The mountain effervescence, waking in clouds, alone inparadise.

    Countless King Parrots in a tree right outside this morning. AsI rolled up the shed door they set in ight, cries rolling downto the lake. After awhile you lose yourself in the silence, theabsence of the world, all the noise and enticements.

    Run and you will die tired, written in the sky, with an aeroplane.I was sharing with a Night Tiger...I could hear him movingalong the beams. Spotted him on the roof, through corrugatedbreglass chasing frogs...counted four skins of varyinglengths...worried that he didn't like me moving in. There hewas last night, stretched out under the lamp on my desk. Iwent, fetched my Father, who adores snakes, speaks of them

    with great fondness in his voice, simply picks them up...but hecouldn't, he said, have this one scaring guests, so he got all AlQaeda, beheaded him, with a shovel.

    We marvelled how it still slid its head across the cement,fanging the air, wild reptile eyes going out.

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    With The Wind, Cellphone Reception,And Random Memories

    I feel like a terrible Thespian, or maybe a greatcomedian playing a retarded character, like FreddyBenson. Other-days I feel like that guy who shothimself during The Watchmenlike an octopus in atank of lobsters. I never meant to write my life into asocial satire who was it that said you seek your ownDeath, and your failed acts are the most successful.iI've written my ownMein Kampfwhile in the asylum.

    You must want to live, as I held you under youcontinued to struggle.ii

    I want to get a tattoo that says dedicated esh rebelsagainst the virtual class, a homage, nostalgia for theremaindered entrailsiii --and then I watched myself

    become like that dead junky we found in a disusedhat factory as kids. (If you imagine a tepid greenswamp in a tropical forest with crocodiles all roundthe edges and weird trees pushing up through reeds,sighing as they droop into the water except you'rein an old warehouse and there is a dead guy who hasrotted, a lot, and hes lying in a pool of stinking goreand because of the heat strange puffs of orangefungus have sprouted up through the oorboards,rats eating the blooms.)Who said the poacher that shoots at rabbits scares big

    game away?iv

    Was it Lawrence Jamieson or was it that dancer in thered-light in Amsterdam?I dont remember.

    What does it matter anyway, she said, in herpenthouse suite, dragging her hand along the edge ofthe broken piano, that look in her eyes the gaze of ananimal, a prophet, or an indifferent rockstar gettinghead from another groupie, shouted something like

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    dont black lung me bone-horn - and then jumpedfrom the hotel balcony.

    As Freddy stuck his cock in the mess Lawrence wouldhave said Ruprecht, do you want the genital cuff?

    She squealed my clitoris does not look like a parrotstongue!

    Or, at least thats how I imagined it, that Frenchmodel in the Pijp district, high on y agaric at

    fteen her agent gave her wings, like Angelina


    needsanother mirror, a million dollar deal with a glossymagazine fell naked still in heels, a last curtain callfor the voyeurs on the street. Its all fun and gamesuntil someone has to get another skin graft.

    Occasionally an aspiring Vogue operative stops by indesigner jeans to pay her respects, owers wilted onthe desolate empty desk, and the concierge says shesdeparted has left no addressesvi and they leave withone of the guys who hustle the corner, Freddy I betAnd we loved to dance... we wanted to be professionals,isn't that silly? vii He is saying this as they walk away.

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    This suite of poems I composed in the last months of 2010 whileliving in a tin shed on the banks of Lake Tinaroo in the Atherton

    Tablelands, North Queensland, Australia.

    Lake Tinaroo is an articial lake. When the valley was ooded in1953 an entire town was submerged. The name of this town wasKulara.

    Labor Pains

    The 'Palmerston' is a highway. Access to the Atherton Tablelands is

    via the Palmerston Highway. Milla Milla is a township in thetablelands. My mother inspired this poem when she told me on thetelephone that she had just returned from Barcaldine. She actuallydid read the poem over the phone, which she saw in the museumand wrote down, thinking I'd appreciate it.

    Barcaldine is a small town in central Queensland. Barcaldine playeda signicant role in the Australian Labour Movement and isconsidered the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party. There is/wasa tree there called The Tree of Knowledge under which striking workers

    held their meetings. This tree was poisoned in 2006 by partiesunknown.

    Irukandji Sails

    Irukandji are deadly box jellysh which haunt the oceans in NorthQueensland.

    This poem was inspired by a conversation I overheard in a pub in the

    township of Yungarburra. As I understood it, the vocal man Ioverheard worked as a Ranger in the Cape York Peninsula.

    By Southern Indonesia I mean Australia.

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    For those unfamiliar with Australia, a Brown, or King Brown, is ahighly venomous snake.

    Night Tiger

    A Night Tiger is a Tiger Snake which hunts at night. This appears tobe local vernacular.

    With The Wind Cellphone Reception And Random Memories

    This poem later evolved into a longer poem titled Freddy Benson InAmsterdam which is included in my forthcoming collectionPostHuman Musings. The lines about the French model falling to herdeath from a hotel balcony while on hallucinogens is a story that wasin the press while I was in Amsterdam in 2009. The original storyclaimed that the model shouted 'I can y' and leapt out the window.With The Wind evolved from journal notes written during this trip.

    i Cf Baudrillard Seduction Death in Samarkand

    ii Cf - Those who want to live, let them ght, and those who do notwant to ght in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampfiii Cf - The Hyper-Texted Body, Or Nietzsche Gets A Modem - ArthurKroker and Michael Weinsteiniv Lawrence Jamieson a high society con-man, played by MichaelCaine. Freddy Benson was played by Steve Martin a lower classconman who believed the sympathy angle of pretending atintellectual disability would win him the competition to extract

    50,000 dollars from an apparently innocent and unsuspecting Heiress Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 1988v For this text, while it does contains several vague post-romanticgestures, (yet does endeavor to purposefully avoid any modernistclich), I have substituted the character Narcissus with the nameAngelina.vi The Wasteland T.S Eliot, line 181vii Freddy Benson Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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