F IRST PUBLISHED BY RETORT MAGAZINE, ON MAY 22ND, 2004
poems from The Sprung Histories
(xi) Andre the Giant
Hulk proportioned, minus the green tinge, how does a mother feed ten children in one? More than “stinking meat” to his fans – big boned teenage boys parking car noses with milk can muscles, tuned into Sat arvos & WWF match ups against Big John Stud; the pallid collapse of dead flesh. Smoothed over asexual hideousness in obese Western boys.
As (you) wish?
A giant’s final poetry. Hidden behind the cheeses & wine at the cave’s end, A Princess Bride. His lines ended in The Simpson’s mockery, celebrity funerals we hardly knew him.
Wait a minute…has anybody got a peanut?
(xii) Vivian Bullwinkle
They who save lives can never understand how they are taken. Tide pull of khaki men & rigid ammo belts so anti-cummerbund. Quick as dance steps, counter-sprung floors of golden sand, death’s a stage trapdoor for most, nurses, soldiers & salt coffins soak up jungle’s exhausted heat. Stay dead by your sisters till the sun’s blood pressure drops.
We want (you) as a new recruit.
Live to tell the tale. Escape, be captured again, keep the secret inside you in utero. Let history write you out, become someone’s footnote in his or her thesis & pass.
Decline that Australian beach obsession.
A womaniser of kingdoms, flitted from one engagement to another, draining dowries like uncut wine in the post-Alexandrian classical age carve up. Frenetic, pinball wizard with sword for hire, undiagnosed ADD child opened negotiations for Greece Pty. Ltd. to become a Roman subsidiary. Tactical dervish bewildered legions, phalanxes, wives, rules.
Have (you) had a pyrrhic victory?
A chaotic end was justified: some sideshow in Argos & a well-timed roof tile thrown by the Argives’ best old woman. Hit the mark too, ended his career as military magician.
Everyone’s ambition: become an adjective.
(xiv) Leni Reifenstahl
Susan Sontag dissed her. Took stock footage of the twentieth century’s sculptured, athletic, Nazi iconography & documented eugenics think tank – not a big fish as nutters go but someone had too break UFA’s glass ceiling: detect professional jealousy? Leni, more googled? Bra ads, new totalitarianism these days: vis a vis fascism from girls is okay?
Triumph of (you)r will.
Our culture’s body language still defers to Hitler. In photos & essays he still dominates! Should have photographed the abominable snowman instead; shot warm & fuzzy hues.
Alas, “Every woman adores a fascist”, sad, but true.
(xvii) Forty Seven Ronin
The house of Asano spilled its guts over an impromptu dais after its true samurai spirit hacked at the protocol droid’s head. The shogunate palace so…Jabba the Hutt’s smugglers lair diorama with action figures & C3PO left in shiny bronze bits again. Pop culture’s ritual suicide began in 18th century Kill Bill fashion. History folded like hot steel.
What code do (you) follow?
Kira’s coal blackened head sat up as funeral bust on Asano’s grave. A treasury of loyal hearts disembowelled snowflake bellies melting over floors & performing arts turned on.
Cinema is so much BS (bushidõ).
(xviii) Donald Campbell
Bluebird pushed envelope of sixties’ plastic Beatles wig style curvature to the limit. In pre – ‘extreme games’ age of aggressive backyard hobbies & elbow grease, world marks broken as sound barriers or peace treaties. Jets ruled in air & on water, bombing & speed records tumbled in Asia, Australia, azure kingfishers skimmed salt lakes path finding for glory.
(You) steer a boat through its arse.
He ended as blue heron; photo stills & airborne poetry. Cut the meniscus of speed
& water on Lake Coniston & two years later they rehydrated his body re: Sea Monkey.
Sixties lesson: don’t screw up your nose at anything.
© Brett Dionysius
B. R. Dionysius directed the Queensland Poetry Festival from 1997-2001 and is currently the editor of papertiger: new world poetry #04. In 1998 he was awarded the Harri Jones Memorial Prize for Poetry by the University of Newcastle. He has co-authored an artists’ book, The Barflies’ Chorus (Lyre Bird Press, 1995) and two solo collections of poetry, Fatherlands (Five Islands Press, 2000) and Bacchanalia (Interactive Press, 2002). He won the ‘Best Unpublished Poetry Manuscript – Queensland category’ in the IP Picks 2002 Awards for Bacchanalia, was short-listed in the 2002 Mary Gilmore Poetry Prize for Fatherlands. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.