American Creek I

i. By American Creek there�s a fig tree that�s been chopped off at the waist. Nothing but a brown stump remains. it�s the reason for my suburb�s name. & as for mine, you ask? Ralph will do. Mr Malvern to their friends at school. I watch them walk down O�Brien�s Rd. Reflected in the Fairlane�s rear-view. ii. Hit by a wave of International Roast I navigate classrooms, bells. Verna. Mrs Malvern. Here they come, late as usual. Somehow excusable. This public high school�s last summer day. Relief like the change that brought The hot rain. The creek swells under the old iron foot bridge. I watch it. iii. The school yard�s dense with bodies as the fog on Mt Nebo, youngest of the city volcanos, the one that feeds into American Creek. It�s flooding. Call me Clint. No, I am the eldest. It�s okay. Happens all the time. Well, there�s the bell. I�d better run. Got our big assembly today. Sure. Bye. iv. I can feel the nettle, stuck in my leg. The only one I missed at the post- raid leech & scratch inspections. JR. Jason Malvern. Securing the sting�s perimeter, through the grey cotton of my shorts. That�s better. I have to cut a fresh trail through jungle � up at the source of American Creek. v. The creek�s steam mingles with our cigarettes, Joni, me and Star. Durry sisters, too cool for North Beach, or school. The rock bulges out under me like a wedding dress, creamed. Watching the water swirl. �Hey Jess,� says Star, passing me the burning stick, �we get your mum this year.� vi. They don�t believe in fairies but I do. There�s fairies in American Creek & I�ve seen them, too, in Beaton Park. Don�t laugh at me like that. You�re all the same. Alice is the name. Do you play music? No? Me, flugel horn. I also compete in orienteering. Good for the calf muscles. Little Atheltics. vii Betty Boo, just doin� the do. Here is my frown. My mood is like that sky after rain, like the swollen veins of American Creek. Why do I have to go to school? I�d like to skate away the summer, attend gigs. Mind you, I do get away with a lot. This isn�t Ghost World. Yes, it�s Betty. Seeya.


Bob Bunyip said…
I've got a new toy:

1449, creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," from kryk (c.1230), probably from O.N. kriki "nook," perhaps infl. by Anglo-Fr. crique, itself from a Scand. source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook. Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1577, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in Amer.Eng. (1622). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often esp. "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol." The Creek Indian tribe or confederation (1725) was named for the geographical feature. Native name is Muskogee.

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