John Kinsella
Utterance: Graphology 7 (A Draft)
for Peter Larkin

"...pastoral is not capable of definition by reference to any
essential quality..."

-- W.W. Greg, Pastoral Poetry & Pastoral Drama

With the route
decided on they set out,
rigorously noting

Long on one of his walks
pressed absorbent
surfaces, code-switching

& uttering names of place
realised in moments
of inculcation:

Beverley & York & the Streets
of Scarborough impressing
themselves on maps

the persona grew up with,
though "here" it's more built-up
& the gaps between signposts

are shorter: a wandering voice,
a pair of blue eyes
instanced in the brief parish:

"When Elfride fell asleep
that night she was loving
the writer of the letter,

but thinking of the writer
of that article." Associating
sentential features

against a spreading sky -
yes, & even "condoning
the jaw's lexis", despite

the stilled floater, iconic
in the screen's simulated
movements. The flows. The flows.

Butcher recommends: punctuation
at the end changed to fit
surrounding sentence, e.g. so that

sen-tence does not end
with a comma
(Displayed quotations)

what each writer in a tryst
might be inscribing to each other,
"nonnulli sensus",

as if on cheap paper
this might be a rustic
correspondence -

transcribe is a better word
as visual encryptions of speech
temporality of the word,

despite the claims
of oral traditions
& "signatures" of scr[y]pt,

& ersatz reading
of personality traits
through handwriting

like the choir monks
of Rievaulx when the Abbey
was at its peak

& not remotely sublime,
in fact sublimity
being the antithesis

of good management
& sound latrines:
Cistercians, Prynne,

& parallel poetries
(----- Message Text -----)
"which is mere conjecture"

yes, Eliot of course,
but direct engagement?
Peripheral recognition?

An intrusive "critical voice"
"the latent matrix"(?)

per the intrusion
of the

into the poem. Clarify
the specially-read
persona - i.d. -

anti-lyrical notary
adding up an-Other,
or creating

a central register
to fringe against. The machinery,
the gauche illumination.

All is annotation
to the project
of validating presence:

script as the precursor
of immortality - spiritualists
busy about the cabinet

as automatically
two pens utter loudly
& softly, faintly

& darkly. I undo
the utterance
& contradict.

The typeface
is voice, significantly
other & not the speaker,

or singer, or utterer.
But handwriting
can't quite get free

of itself. Which manuscript
do we take. Valid number?
The proof is [in] the theorem.

Graphology dressed as closure.
It comes after the drafts.
As if that process is complete.

There is sheep shit
& it sticks to the soles
of your shoes.

Fills the tread.
Black-faced sheep shaggy with tails
& not like the tight-wooled merino

whose shit is often
hard & black
where the I comes from.

And there is a picture of a paddock
which is like a field though might
be bigger given the general expanse

& Fuji colour has it deeper than any
blue this part of the world could muster.
Maybe it's something to do with Chernobyl.

Shouldn't eat the mushrooms in Eastern Europe
& maybe even Germany they say. Coating
everything with pesticide the South West

Australians are proud
of their clean, vigorous,
and robust food.

But a victim
of its own analysis,
it becomes draft.

I read somewhere
or maybe I said it first or

or imagined myself
to have done so that
Aboriginal sand paintings

are the most permanent
kind of art. Sand as script.
Though it is recalled now

that the remark was made
by an audience member

after a paper
was given at Klagenfurt
Uni, Austria.