Are you lost? he asks.
I don’t know, I say. I think so.
What’s that bracelet around your ankle?
Oh that, it’s a monitoring device in case I get lost.
So are you?
I guess so. I was wandering like Wordsworth. Only he saw daffodils.
So what do you see?
I was just looking at the windy lake, how the waves arch like dolphins through the water and i thought of that song
The one that goes: ‘I wish I could swim like dolphins can swim’
You see that?
Yes, don’t you? Excuse me, that’s my phone ringing. I really have to take this. Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m coming right now. I have to go, I say.
So you’re okay then?
Yes, Someone’s waiting for me, waiting out the front.
That’s good. Anyone you know?
Yes, someone I know very well. But it’s okay.. He found me. We lose each other from time to time.
Soon as I get home, I’ll lock myself in. for the night. That’s when my mother used to wander too. It’s for my own good.
Whenever the bowl
is boring, bland, stale , stodgy.
I bring out
those frisky little pellets
zest and zing
that put the sing
in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop
nifty little metaphors for writing
that needs an uplift
a whiff of lightness.
that needs to find its funny bone.
open up its Id,
roll like a dog
the muck and merriment
Harvesting the cane would do it, so would elite tennis,
pounding the pool for Australia,
all fodder for the physio:
you lie prostrate on the plinth,
narrow as an ironing board
head down in the gap,
arms at yr sides, feet fastened at the base —
a cozy crucifixion,
planking for Jesus,
while muscles are massaged, kneaded.
coaxed into submission,
the little pummeling fists of current bringing you
to the shores of bliss
I wish I could come up with something,
I really do.
I mean how long can it take for inspiration to strike?
Do I have to stand outside in an electrical storm under the tallest Norfolk pine to be struck?
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
I know slouching around doesn’t help or reading Beth’s poem on Cheetos and working up an appetite for snack foods won’t do it either.
Maybe if I played with my Rubik’s Cube like Maro does might do it — loosen up a few brain cells.
Perhaps if I go outside and wail beneath the full moon like uncle did before they took him away.
God, there must be something.
They still do ECT, don’t they?
That’s what happened to uncle. He saw God, angels, the whole shebang then settled down among the fairies at the bottom of the garden.
But he found something. He wasn’t wracked anymore. He found quiescence. If you got that, you don’t need anything else.
Shit, did I just write all that?
I wonder if spiders
in their webs
‘bout me & you
nattering away in the moonlight
in neat little haiku
you with your cigs
me with my brew
of jasmine tea
spinning our memories
of how things might be
or would they instead
taking a jaundiced view
spin snarky little
I reckon if someone calls a book, ‘Come Closer and Listen’ they ought to have something to say.
Something vital, urgent, new. Provocative.
I leaned real close and listened. I wanted to be shocked out of my stodginess.
Take something away, to share with my mates at the pub Friday night.
But there was nothing.
Admittedly the poems are well crafted, And there are a few good ones
and even one stand-out poem but that’s it in 60 + pages.
But really it’s the same old stuff as in the previous 10 books.
God help us, we;re all in danger of repeating ourselves and if I do I pray someone
calls me out.
But it’s like I said of the Seinfeld book.
You coulda done better, Charles. You coulda done better.
Five skips in a row
is a thing
referring to skimming a flat rock
across the smooth
surface of a lake;
is that bamboo toothbrush
I used this morning
light as those balsa wood gliders
I flew as a kid
over the paddocks
behind the school;
and those opening chords of ‘Sugar, Sugar’
like being tasered
+pic courtesy of Wikipedia
for the ears
of Gilberto Medina,
the 69 year old foreman
of the laundry room
at the Hotel Pierre
who could detect a problem with a machine
by a slight variation
in its hum;
if I could have listened to the hum
of my relationships
I might still have been with my ex,
avoided an eight year trainwreck
I was warned about
attentive to the dangers of the cult I was in
but as it is
what hope had I?
I’ve always had a tin ear.
- pic courtesy of Unsplash by pieter-van-noorden
When my writing ‘seizes up’ like my laptop
when it gets too stiff, formal, clunky
I call in my little imp
that firecracker of mischief
to get in amongst the words
like a dog
amongst the sheep
to shake them out of their torpor,
their locked in state,
nip a few ankles if necessary
give them the run-around
so everything’s loosened, wide awake,
I can call him off
& when the dust settles the poem settles too
into something like
relaxed, loose, easy.
Those rosemary & garlic sausages
to ‘beef up’ the barbie
in case the eye fillets weren’t enough
to stink out the fridge:
‘the beasts revenge’ ;
so when we took them to your place and you declared
your barbie was ‘lamb intolerant’
we hit a snag
so when I said, I’m going to have to put them in your fridge
I thought you would say,
my fridge is ‘lamb intolerant’
but you never did;
in spite of those setbacks
we had a pretty good evening
though when we left we forgot to take home
so we hope you enjoy them
in one form or another
and no, we do not need them back