Five Poems

by Mark Young

From the Portuguese

I am eating papaya from our northern garden. Military aircraft keep coming into land. War games — such an oxymoron.

The planes fly out again immediately they have been unloaded. I have put what’s left of the fruit away on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

We went north for the weekend. When I took the cat to the boarding kennels, the Showground was full of army tents & surface transport. Helicopters lined up at the airport across the road. On the highway north we passed by tanks on low-loaders, tankers of aviation fuel, all parked outside petrol stations.

But still an easy run. So too the drive south, just over 600 kilometers covered in just under seven hours. The daughter of our northern neighbor left thirty minutes after us, spent ten hours doing the same journey, trapped behind a convoy for the last half of it.

I eat some more papaya, watch another plane, ponder the etymology of bivouac & camouflage. Wonder if French is the language of war as well as of love.

The papaya came home with us seemingly unaffected by it all. Its name comes from the Portuguese. They are probably a peace-loving people.

the narrator calls on volunteers

The basic idea is pretty simple.
Scour a newspaper morgue &
make a list of thirty five otherwise
forgotten things. How clonal grade
medium & supplement should be
stored in the dark at -20°C. How
Michelangelo forced your mother
at gunpoint to help him paint the

Sistine’s ceiling. Why Apple cut
8000 jobs at Eastern Australia’s
largest grains handler. That sort
of thing. Then, & only then, will
History admit to its criminal past
& be forced to transform itself.


Whoever said that
bodies come in all

shapes & sizes was
obviously thinking

of some other body –
I haven’t been able to

find a body to come
in mine for years.

general exclusions

The concept escapes, returns
to a prototypical state. Three

parts to it — a search engine for
Polish translations, an air-filled

tympanic cavity, & a solid
cylindrical rod made out of

marzipan. As the original plans
intended, built for walking on.

with / a wink / & a nudge

Create an ideabook for your
next remodeling project. Let
Hollywood’s creative minds
fill thousands of libraries with
premium essays & articles to
assist you. Indulge in the ideo-
logical rather than the political-
economic perspective. Bring a

sublime moral spectacle to the
world. Cease to be a servant.
Help the little Eskimo rescue his
brethren in a cute puzzle game.
Don’t wear special clothes for
school. Stay gluten-free & vegan.

Mark Young’s most recent books are les échiquiers effrontés, a collection of surrealist visual poems laid out on chessboard grids, published by Luna Bisonte Prods, & The Word Factory: a miscellany, from gradient books of Finland. Due for publication are Residual sonnets from Ma Books, The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books, & an e-book, A Vicarious Life — the backing tracks, from otata.

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