17 Clive Faust

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[The New Australian Poetry. page 213]

Clive Faust


come together slowly,
off each other dis-
not with the scent but what it means
to smell of sickness just like that; se-
duction’s preliminary in-
duction, be-fore dreams
of saliva. Yet
their hungers are what disgust us, peri-
stalsis mucus-wet, might be
our bellies, pricks, testes,
like water bags on wet poles. The dogs
are doggy themselves, slap tongues around
like water off wet washing.
And trot off for a piss in the park.

[The New Australian Poetry, page 214]

Clive Faust


Wanted, the truth to be finite and end,
the end to be endless.

Impossible — we have it
as it has always been,

There’re spots of rust on the car
where I scratched it. The rain has been falling
several days. Rust dries
like fine powder.

                                T’ stop
things that start with the rust, with
a rest from labour —

a whole lifetime
updating renovation!

                                Choose slow:
inept for your life period,
or work to make it livable, re-

stored. The damp rot
is coming up to meet books
not their contents as this’s


They get
some understanding going,
for sex in the pavilion after,
on plank floors.
                            The what

[The New Australian Poetry, page 215]

Clive Faust

not known too closely
but understood if the effect
not known too closely.

it is a drab activity — joy
raised up like a sweat, no
truth separate
at rest from
commerce, com-
                  Her human
smell is uncomfortable,
ours only comfortable
as our body is, the comfort is
its own not ours.
demands all it can,
takes what it must, not too
close to the bone, to the
skin it strokes
sweating as in a vision.


                                      I thought of how
elusive behaviour is to any reading,
even when we have one, put together
up close to the one use. She spoke, grinned,
terminated a friendship that hadn’t started,
hinting it could start now. Easy
you gestalt the must-have-beens. Both’s
motives fall in place,
                                      both’s. Then

did she love me, I her,
                                          had we some darker

[The New Australian Poetry, page 216]

Clive Faust

substitute for such ‘love’?
                                                What consequence anyhow
if she’d not said just how much she was
mad crazy for me, when I said nothing?

‘Years will show what that meant.”
after youth, of youth truths believed,
when we know how much loss there is,
                                                                      how little
we miss finally what’s lost.
                                                I come in now;
close the flywire door, bang it to wedge it shut.
The crickets’re flicking chirrup into the dust.
Out through the wire mesh it’s the half-dark.


You want t’ live here, with me? I’ve got this place
be-spoke, tailored to my measurements — watch
your head.
                      Perhaps we should talk about
accommodation, the mode of, who
would need to live most with whom.

Please, please — you get it right though, how
much you could stand
in a sleepout to your measurements. If you’d

want it as much as I want you —
however much that is; and which of them,
the one wanting more or less would be the stronger.


Caution: entrance too tight
For manoeuvre. Hessian bags wrapped round freight.

[The New Australian Poetry, page 217]

Clive Faust

To cover the plates of the floor
From skidding, raw laid to steel raw.

Undocked from other harbours.
Staple and bulk
The commerce, warehouse to reimburse
For other motions, at journeying decks.

So cramp space to corner — weight,
The tally-dump, what you have bought
With a little, what were to state
But didn’t:
                      their maliced right.