Three nights of frazzled sleep
crammed into four hours on the couch
mellowed by malbec, merlot, mataro
an afternoon of tasting platters & wine samplings
at Penny’s Hill where black-faced sheep slumbered
under the oak; now you slumber so gently:
sweet Lethe has taken your troubles over the border;
you will awaken and forget
I had my big guns ready.
The script already rehearsed in my head.
There were some epithets to let fly.
Rebuttals for any diffidence.
I was asking my mercurial mate a favour
one he might bridle at
though I had both barrels loaded
‘after all I’d done for you….’
the rifle was cocked and ready.
I was Chuck Norris, Vin Diesel, Dirty Harry
rolled into one.
When I got him on the phone
and asked, he rolled over like a cat.
I was a little disappointed.
You inherit another day.
So what are you going to do with it?
Sift through it for cigarette butts?
Scrambled messages on billboards?
What you gunna do?
Rehearse it like a song you’re going to record?
Look it straight in the eye?
Shoulder your way through it like an NRL star?
Squeeze the juice right out of it?
Hitch a ride on it?
Or lean against it like a lamp post and watch it amble by?
You inherit another day.
So what you gunna do?
I’ve been wandering a little
My ego’s so brittle
My plasma is coming apart
It’s so debilitating
When you’re disintegrating
I’m going back to the start
From across the room
Eyeballed me on the 10 inch screen,
It’s tracery of veins
A network of canals, the orange-red sphere
the red planet
With a bright yellow centre.
Now, said the ophthalmologist,
Pointing out the dark smudges across its surface
Let’s look for signs of cataracts
And macular degeneration.
She eyed my eyeball closely.
I sat forward and awaited the verdict.
* photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Tight-fisted , they are hard
as knuckles and spoiling
for a fight
as they tumble like marbles
on to the floor , little green foot-
balls begging me
to sink the boot in ;
even under the knife
they are tough
as nails covering themselves
in layers like Chinese
boxes or onions ;
they leap around
in the saucepan like
boxers’ fists ;
ten minutes later
I swallow them ; anything
Summer-times I grow feral
Shed my suit of civility
& head into the backyard
Where I pee like an animal
But that saccadic screech
From the crab apple tree
& razor-winged birds flashing by
Threatening life and limb
& certain other appendages
Send me scurrying back
Where I l lift the lid & pee inside
Like polite people do.
She crams characters
Into her novels like clowns
Jammed in jalopies