Les in Real Life,
The book of Les’ s poetry just fell off the desk
onto the polished wood floor.
At 783 pages it created quite a bang.
The millipede on the wall twitched.
The fluff sausage dogs in the corner jumped.
Les in real life was as hefty as his ‘Collected’.
He wrote poems celebrating the fat, his tribe,
including Quintets For Robert Morley,
the bushy-browed, triple-chinned English actor.
with the plummy voice.
There’s nothing plummy about our Les’s poetry.
It is wide of girth as Les himself, capacious,
containing jokes, puns, outlandish rhymes,
skew whiff metaphors., and clever insights.
It is written in Aussie English.
I bent down, picked dear old Les off the floor.
No need to go to gym tomorrow
lugging Les around.,
Iron Man isn’t up to it today.
You can tell by the way he slopes around
in his baggy shorts and tee
dazed like he’s been smoking weed.
He dawdles a lot between reps.
Guzzles the urine coloured liquid to replace the energy he hasn’t used.
Plays with the machines like a cat with a mouse.
Jabbers at Stella how she isn’t doing it right,
to anyone really with a loose ear.
Truly he is more motor-mouth than Iron Man.
I don’t speak Chinese.
Nor do I speak Russian
though I do speak Latin
[three years at Uni]
though no one speaks it anymore
nor do I speak Crow
like those blokes at the gym
who ‘follow’ the Adelaide Crows footy team,
speak the arcana of the game,
the iconography of past champions,
the minutiae of every quarter,
pumping statistics rather than iron.
I’m on the outer of the inner circle
though I get far more gym done.
I like a poem with muscle
a poem with vim and vigor
I like a poem with its hand
firmly on the trigger
Love a poem low and lusty
a poem that readily scans
the sort of poem that you hear
at a poetry slam
I like to flex my muscles,
says the tree,
waving its branches
I’m coming at you,
wait and see!
You’re on, I say,
just back from gym,
in an adrenaline
I’m going out
on a limb.
I engage it
in an arm wrestle.
Round one to me,
I’ve been taking myself to the cinema again
watching brooding masterpieces like ‘The Dry,’
learning to play Scrabble by myself but not too often
as I’m a bad loser; giving my self-esteem a face lift,
shed a few kilos, muscled up, become sharper;
I post more , comment more especially on posts
that comment on mine: the noble art of reciprocity;
but, most of all, I move more easily in the world.
have got to know myself more, and know in spite
of slurs like ‘nutcase’ and ‘creepy lizard’ I’m not
such a bad guy
It’s not the big ones
like walking on water
that interest me
But the little ones
like walking freely,
doing gym again
being able to hear
without ear surgery,
able to love again
without the king’s men
to put me together;
the body’s palliative care unit
working in unison.
It was not a black cat
But a red rooster
That crossed my path this morning
On my way to gym.
As it waddled past the car
Oblivious to the honour
I had accorded it.
Why the rooster crossed the road
I do not know
Though it waddled
It had the whole day
In front of it
Provided it did not cross
Too many roads.