Poems and Peices

Here are some of my later works for your reading pleasure. If you like these, please purchase my booklets “Million Deaths” and “Unimagine”.

Acceptable Violence

When waiting at the interchange gate, in the second-semi-final against Royal Park, a team we had beaten easily during the regular football season, I was vilified by a young man who was drinking with other patrons leaning over the fence behind me. He said you’re one hell of an ugly prick 57 and my instinctive reaction was to turn and face him, yet I resisted, instantly recalling that this very same thing had happened many times in my life. The comment set off the same emotional response it always set off as I waited at the interchange gate for my interchange rotation; anger, and a deep raging desire to hurt the young man who had commented; to smash his nose flat and to stand back admiring the damage, then to come forward and kick him in the face; to observe him capitulate (as his friends watching were spitting, screaming, scratching at me behind the silence of bullet-proof glass). Later that night, whilst awake in bed, looking at a square of light on the otherwise dark bedroom wall, reflecting on the incident, I eventually fell asleep and dreamt of a vantage point above a rocky coastline; as a god-like figure. I was looking down on islands that were covered with tropical green foliage and little black ponies, before they instantaneously turned to sand and dissolved into the water, whereby I successfully reached out to my children, who had appeared, saving them from the dissolving sand islands, and the perils of the wild and vast blue ocean. It was a mistake of mine I thought, again, awake, looking at the square of light on the bedroom wall, to ever think that these comments would cease in this life. I had known for a long time these comments were easier to accept than to fight. In a moment of dirty peace only two choices arose: to accept the comments as true and correct and in fact show gratitude to the commentor who was merely pointing out a truth based on the norms and customs of western culture underwritten by the pleasure economy, or, to accept the comments as a symptom of the abuser’s inter-personal deficits, reflecting an emptiness; and deleterious mental health symptoms that the abuser hid from all his friends by projecting abuse onto others, yet to respect the very thing the abuser was fixated upon, being the noose he had thoughtfully knotted and secured to the rafters of the front paddock shed at his parents’ run down cattle property, readying himself for his own demise later that evening.

Neil Boyack © 2016

Million Deaths

At the Day of National Celebration he would edge his way into any conversation he could by pulling at his beard talking about the weather and its potentially catastrophic effects on humans, stating that most of the work, the back breaking hard work, around his massive sheep station that bordered the gentle bushy hills of the small town, was done, and that he was glad that this was done. He described the heatwave that had descended on the small country town as ferocious; more ferocious than older locals could recall, as the conversation at the pub had revealed the night before. The usually reliable river, which flowed through his huge sheep station and the town, had dried up, and there had been a million juvenile redfin and silver perch deaths producing a foul stench that hung in the town eliminating any sense of private enjoyment for townsfolk and innocent visitors stopping at the bakery for a pie or quiche. Yet the river running dry had benefits as one could drive through the ford at the old river crossing, without any problems, even in a two-wheel drive vehicle, and further, he stated, that one could drive this way at any time of day or night, after consuming any amount of beer, as the police were never there, not that he would openly encourage drink driving, but truth-be-known, he himself was a drunkard, and at that very moment was thinking about his last glass of wine the night before, in his lounge room, with his wife and children asleep, and with his hands in his pants watching silent infomercials advertising home gym equipment, then, he was thinking about his first cold beer for the day, which would be coming soon he hoped, and he found himself pretending, even feigning conversation, by nodding and agreeing most of the time, all the while running from his inner voice which was calling him an addict and a drunk, as he pulled at his beard carrying his enormous burden of secret shame. He continued to talk, standing side by side with other men, as country men do, pointing out the nagging creaks of the juvenile galahs sitting a metre or two above them in the tree, and pulling at his beard, watching the children at the Day of National Celebration. They were also eating sausages from the free public BBQ that had been organised in commemoration of Australia’s national day. The sausages had been burnt terribly as the few volunteers, the local community stalwarts, had been run off their feet, and those few English people within the sausage-eating-throng had made much of the fact that they were the white colonisers of Australia and that they loved their sausages burnt posing the improbable scenario Australians might yet believe; that all English people liked their sausages burnt. Only a fool would believe such a claim on such piss-weak evidence he said pulling at his beard, watching the harmless game of French cricket going on just beyond the BBQ, where everyone was getting a fair go and being included and given a turn, ensuring of course, there was no hurt-feelings, or indeed, no breakaways, making sure that all those with superior skill and power and dexterity were prevented from demolishing lesser lights. The men watched the volunteer face-painters, one of whom was creating an intricate work of art on a young girls’ face; an Australian landscape piece, featuring Uluru and Indigenous warrior figures on the cheek of the little girl, commemorating the dispossession of Indigenous people by white invaders at the Day of National Celebration, as the face painter stated with some gusto to all who were continually complementing her on her skill and ability. The painting motion was relaxing and therapeutic for the little girl and she fell asleep and fell from the chair onto the ground and parents waiting in line with balloons attached to strollers and eating sausages waited for her to start crying, as most little girls would have done, but she remained asleep.

Neil Boyack
© 2016

Clinical Encounters

The meeting with the client was considered extremely productive with the clinician doing a thoroughly professional job outlining all the various possibilities that may have been at play, and, all the things that may have been contributing to the depression consuming the family home within the allotted fifty five minute session; especially the unexpected and devastating loss of the client’s mother early on in life through a tragic accident on the farm; where an old brick chimney stack, from the early settler days, that the family used for an outdoor fire and BBQ area, collapsed in on her. There was also the client’s story about being lost in the shopping centre for hours when she was just a toddler whereat a kind-hearted policewoman gave her a hot jam donut through the consumption of which she sustained scolding on her lips. Caught between feelings of loss and abandonment, the client recalled these tender pictures with tears and a distant gaze. Also present at the clinical session was the client’s father, and it was noted, the client’s father was basically attentive to the family, yet socially and emotionally detached; lost, in his own black abyss of grief and chaos after the death of his life-long-love in the tragic chimney collapse. Haunting the client’s father at a more seminal level, was the fact that he had been lazy, a layabout in fact, and had put the job of demolishing the old chimney off for weeks, and weeks, and his life-long-love had become sick and tired of asking him to demolish the chimney stack, so, in a patch of insomnia which she sometimes experienced, she had started tearing the chimney down herself, until finally, the client’s father was sipping a cup of tea, looking out the kitchen window at their attractive, recently renovated rural retreat, their dream home, and he saw his beloved wife’s legs and feet protruding from the silent pile of chimney rubble. The client and the client’s father were leaning forward, waiting, for relief, a diagnosis, a decision, something of substance from the clinician delivering a path through the mist, a plan; the next step. The clinician pointed out every conceivable possibility, paraphrasing the history of the family whilst critically raising the unknown-unknowns of potentially debilitating biological factors at play, parroting it all back to the client and the client’s father from a Norwegian leather chair, with legs crossed, the clinician, colourfully interspersed with sweet adjectives and acute terminology, the issues that wracked family life, ensuring that the client and the client’s father knew the clinician had been listening.

Neil Boyack
© 2016