Monday, February 15, 2010

Brennan's Plan

Dear Anthony,
I blame you and that young man from Stradbroke Island. Tell me, is he really a poet ?Some says he’s a tailor-fisherman, others that he does repairs on the sand buggies the tailor tourists use each winter when the green-backs are running. You forgot to account for my patience, my way with tangles, when you dropped that tab of home-cooked Tasmanian Bikers’ acid into my glass of sparkling mineral water at the bar of Kelly’s Head Hotel in Castlemaine. There’s go to be more organisation in this operation. These abalone diver tactics are going to bring the CSIRO crashing down on us with the Special Branch.
As it happened I was still tripping wildly at the Melbourne airport when I ran into Peter Carey.  He walked up and said ‘That looks like the face of experience’  In my state of mind all I could manage by way of a reply was:  “They have kidnapped Chris Wallace Crabbe and Bruno Leti.”  He laughed his head off at first but calmed down and started looking at me, gazing into my eyes. Then, looking down, he said “O Fuck”  “Who, how, when and the fuck Why?”  I was going to say “Because you keep writing about Waggafish in code,” but instead I told him the whole story.  I’m sorry Anthony, I weakened for a few minutes. Carey started saying “What the hell are you talking about?”
I told him the how you rang Rodney Hall, interrupting his flute practise and breaking the seal of his embouchure, then impersonated David Malouf. Carey was alarmed at first, but with the long beak of a novelist, wanted to come in on the deal.  I told him we would have to buy a Fisher and Paykel heavy duty freezer first before we made a move.  Maybe with his experience with used cars he could help steal an old Holden ute.  He said “Don't be an idiot, I'll buy the damn thing outright!”  I told him one of the conditions of the ransom was we had to deliver the waggaflesh in a freezer on the back of a 1954 Holden ute, and that the kidnappers wouldn’t hand over Wallace-Crabbe unless we carried out every demand without missing one component in their ridiculous plan.
I'll have to write again in a while, I can see Bill Wisley, (they call him Cranky Bloill these days.) He's hammering something onto the wharf, and you know what that means: Planks! I'd better see if I can gain some control while Olson and Blodget are pulling up the crab traps. Maybe Bill will listen to me and stop feeding Wallace Crabbe pigeon peas and hemp-seed. Maybe he'll stop shaving the lemons, maybe he'll swear at a lower volume. Hell, he might even play Chris Wallace Crabbe some Lucinda Williams or Drag The River.
Christopher Brennan

Dear Christopher
the acid was a gift from an 87 year-old BSA fanatic from the vintage bike weekend in Castlemaine. He handed it to me wrapped in a perished square of oilskin, backhand-style, in the manner of a black John Forbes jibe.
I was hoping you might come clean about the real story behind your book
Towards the Source. I know that it was a direct reference to European Carp
and their red advance towards the upper reaches of the Murrumbidgee,
but you insisted, even on your bed of death, that it was all about poetry.
The game is up Brennan. 
As for Peter Carey - you should have seen him on the book show the other night, in conversation with Ian McKewan. He harbours such contempt that even
the pancake studio makeup couldn't disguise the red veins bursting at his temples;
when the name Murray Bail was dropped like a Jimmy Sharman hopeful.
Forget about Carey. Ever since he dragged that glass church down the Bellinger River
he’s been swatting at ghosts.

The Wallace-Crabbe issue is another matter. Of course, having Chris out of the way
saves me from having to hire one of the Gypsy Jokers or Life & Death guys
from the Windsor chapter. The 1%'ers come in handy. As for Leti, he's been hand-fed
 like a gang-gang by the Pollock-Krasner foundation for too long. It will do him good
to starve in a hole with a blindfold and a wire-mesh mouthguard for a while.
The holden ute is a great idea. Get Carey to fork out for a 1974 canary yellow Monaro with twin black GT stripes and cut it back into a ute.  It will be perfect. Remember
when you took me and my friend Rick Shephard to Akuna Bay that stalled wet night

and forced us to watch the hairtail boiling near the rocks? You sang "We must use
Trace for the Hairies" and then imitated a lyre bird sawing itself out of a fern.

Good times, but they're over. Get back to me with the truth about Towards
the Source!! Bill Wisely will stuff crabs into the poets traps and blame it on providence. Wallace-Crabbe will peck at splinters on the wharf. Leti can watch the paint dry
on the upper decks of angophoras. 
I'm off to the Canungra pub, where the Sargeant at Arms of the Beenleigh chapter
of the Finks wants to talk about ransom money and chain punishment.
You don't want to be late for these meetings.
The truth, Brennan, or the deal is off.

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