Sandpaper

Sandpaper

On your street do you remember
that rundown old house
which wasn’t very old really
but it was run down and you thought it would be
majestic
sandpapered and repainted in a form that suits your
prejudices?

And you thought,
it has no one to care for it,
what a project, really,
what a project just for me.
So you quietly went in and snooped around
thinking no one was home or caring or was home to care
about matters like what belongs to whom, when, and under which circumstances
changed.

How peaceful it was to go there into
that rundown old house which wasn’t really
yours until you
started going there all the time because it would be
majestic
sandpapered and repainted
in your own image!

And no one ever came, so one weekend you stealed your way through
Bunnings looking over your shoulder because you had a
plan and people with plans are always watched by the happy sausage sizzle people raising
money for charity at Bunnings.
So, okay, you didn’t literally steal, but it’s kind of disingenuous to say so, don’t you think,
since you sure as fuck did in the intransitive sense steal your way through Bunnings,
you fucking stealer?

And then you got that
sandpaper
home from Bunnings except you didn’t take (steal) it home
to your real home, where the happy sausage sizzle people at
Bunnings think you live when you’re not
stealing for the benefit of your
majestic new project
(which after all just needs a little
sandpaper and repainting).

Breath of fresh air!
You’ve been coming here now for some time and it is yours, of course, and now you have
sandpaper and paint from Bunnings! Finders keepers, right, and anyway remind me
what is nine tenths of the law,
after all?

You put on your nice gardening hat, you know the one I mean,
everyone in the street saw you wear it day in and day out,
it was straw and floral and you looked so down-to-earth in that wonderful summer gardening hat as you
ripped down the green vines that had grown there since before anyone could remember and started
sandpapering.

And in other neighbourhoods people might have minded their own business but this was more
friendly-like and so you inspired your friends
or whatever you call them when you inspire your neighbours to come
invade a property that looks like it could use
sandpapering and repainting
to suit the neighbourhood’s
brand.

Like a messiah you handed out unlimited
sandpaper and paint that you acquired while stealing your way through
Bunnings and lo the happy sausage sizzle people are your neighbours too so here they are with
sandpaper and paint to do work on
that rundown old house
which wasn’t very old really
but it was rundown and you thought it would be
majestic
sandpapered and repainted in a form that suits your
resale.

On your street do you remember that time when all the people from
Bunnings and all your other neighbours stole into that
majestic rundown house to start
sandpapering and repainting until
blood ran from the walls and pooled around the bottoms of everyone’s Bunning ladders?

When enough of what had been before was sandpapered away so the sandpaper turned
pink with life that stole forth and—
hark!
What is that noise from above and all around a
high frequency chorus uplifting a neighbourhood acting as one to
sandpaper and repaint all that doesn’t fit while a
low frequency bass kicks in from far underground
its promise of throbbing communal co-engagement in harmony with
high resale value.

High resale value! So singeth the soprano seraphim.
Communal co-engagement! Also augur the alto authorities.
Sandpaper, sandpaper, sandpaper the happy sausage sizzle people scrape
the last vestiges of dead peeling paint so like
skin onto the ground where the blood pools sanguine singing.

Sandpaper sandpaper! SANDPAPER SANDPAPER!
All the good neighbours have started and can’t stop
ripping away at what has stood not very long
because SANDPAPER SANDPAPER makes such a good song!

And soon the skin of the house is all gone, is all gone!
Yet what is skin but a silence
between a song and a song!

On your street do you remember
that rundown old house where all your old neighbours
who aren’t really very old are still
sandpapering and repainting through all the blood and bone
not all of which you stole from
Bunnings?