Thursday, June 12, 2014

In memoriam Niall Lucy

Poem by John, posted by Tracy

You can also read John's commemorative prose piece about Niall in The West Australian.

Pomo Elegy for Niall Lucy

Textures of low-fi
magnify space;
closure an error
of programming.

You get these jokes,
irreverent as Venice,
drinking over tables,
crooning dirges, hair

shining like shook foil
without God-fearing overtones.
But spirit — spirit in buckets,
winklepicker semantics.

I sit in a poorly-lit room
and see glitz on windows,
the scales of justice
reverberating Nick Cave.

All those overlays...
in there, indelible.
And death is more than:
an embedding no military

will ever get hold of,
no rightwing shockjock
bed down; I’m with you
all the way. Out of it.

You trashed the door
of the mining boom
and went straight
to the basement:

reclaimed The Cliffe
for music, those early tapes
resonating louder than pinballs.
The jarrah house that stands

as urban-rural element
in the folklore of rock,
your occasional drives
into the bush, giving

the nod to bushrangers.
And when all hell broke
loose, you compiled
the mix-tape par excellence.

Bartleby is the script,
and the obsessive Ahab
a trick of light off Fremantle.
Elvis was glorious in rhinestones,

but a Freo sunset... those pines.
But you’ve played the album,
written the liner notes: I’ll call
you out, litcrit’s ultimate

frontman! In this fiction
a poem is neon smoke,
and the rhythm section
never claims a Beat.

But it’s as true as Bon
belting it out by the sea,
the navigation lights off Fremantle,
the drinkers’ raucous chorus.

And I never had the chance
to tell you that I know who Pynchon is,
and where he hangs out...
those corner shops of Westralia.

John Kinsella

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