A week of poems: Joan Fleming’s ‘The mattress’

 

 

 

 

The mattress

 

The mattress

dumped

several hot

winters ago

on the dune

is a fantastical

ruin

postgraduate

art students

fevering

in the coastal

cities

with their backs

to the reddirt

desert

the thing

is being

eaten by

fantasise

of making

such an object

with its look

of casual

devastation

its tessellate

padding

its industrial

stitching

its coil

and cushion

insides

rupturing

gorgeously

its once-

whiteness

scuppered

its purpose

brindling

its sense of history

dense

yet

without

statement

(perfect)

anything

is possible

in the white

cube

of the gallery

(not so much

in Nyirripi

Yuendumu

Papunya

Kintore)

between

the sorry

camp

and the

kardiya

houses

Art Mattress

disintegrates

and convolutes

without

audience

back at camp

the wire

bedframe

serves

as a butcher’s table

then later

we sleep

on it

 

©Joan Fleming

 

 

 

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