Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

'Advantages of Stopovers', a new poem by Michael Farrell

September 2019, no. 414

'Advantages of Stopovers', a new poem by Michael Farrell

September 2019, no. 414

Writing a line, as if from bed, on a lovely, handmade
organ based on Gerald Murnane, the Goroke novelist
last seen pouring a glass of amber silk and swaying
imperceptibly enough to be called coincidental to Hot
Chocolate. I would not be the writer I am if I forebore to
mention the snowy peaks outside, being an analogy of
actual peaks. You see me out there gesturing at their
anti-poetic line, my hand perhaps making a mosquitoey
movement in the air, a veritable range-splainer or
Attenborough in Asia  Sentences erode like


ripped earth, as if an editor or technological malfunction
(how can a malfunction be bad when it sounds so good?
you can’t spell a-b-c-d without b-a-d) were large yellow
machinery with the name Cat, or Komatsu. Do you
believe like me, in a different way, in Spinoza, in deco-
nstruction? It is not, to return to the trope of the hand-
made musical instrument, as if wood is dead, I mean
wood as word or key. Call science (but how? where?)
romantic then, I may add there are rows of yellowing as-
pen in clear view like I might – going blonde in midlife


  It started with a kiss and if a lengthy
trial must be undergone, it is not too shabby a thing to
wake in a room like this. What, I’ve been asked is the
tension between a sentence and a stanza? (Or you might
say: between a block of flats and a plaza.) This is a
question for the infinite forest to ignore, but I must give
it some thought, in order not to begin to sound like a
mechanical monkey, however cute, based on Broken Hill
essayist Evan de K – not their real name, last seen drop-
ping a dingleberry into someone’s coffee, perhaps at the


height of their humour, and irony  So I begin to chop
in earnest as if I earn money from making salad, or it’s
my passion: lettuce under the knife, just needing freshly
roasted advice to bring its yellowing heart back to life
  Should prose rhyme? Another question I’ve never been
asked, but on a night when you know that sleep will make
you ill, and road fatality statistics arise like clapped-in
topiary at an impatient neocon convention – I’d marry
Time, but I just turned seventeen and by the next day
the voice on the radio says it doesn’t remember me

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.