It had been on the vacant lot next to the church
For over half a year and no one in all that time
Could rustle up enough motivation to mow the lawn
Or clear it of rubbish. I thought of calling
The number on the back a few times but just couldn’t
Get motivated enough to ring or attend one
Of their weekly meetings & I thought about something
A friend had said about running a Special Olympics
For the Motivationally Challenged but the problem
With that, I said, was that nobody would bother
To turn up. I thought then of the historically highly
Motivated: Hitler, Stalin, the rapacious bankers, Isis
And concluded that a low motivated populace isn’t
Necessarily a bad thing.
As soon as you walk in you see them paraded
along the walls
exemplars of Beauty and Strength:
Warnie unleashing a leg spinner,
Its eye on middle stump, Krygios rocketing another ball
past his opponent,
Thorpie diving into glory,
even one of cane growers in Queensland,
big blocky blokes in blue singlets
bringing in the harvest;
of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics.
But my humerus and hamstrings
were playing up.
On good days
I can do almost anything, but
on bad ones I can barely put one foot in front
of the other, bounce a ball
let alone slam it down centre court
at 200 kph
and the only way I could get in a pool is to fall in it.
You had to fore warn people.
It was not a good look.
Scabs and bruises on the upper lip
Sores on the nose
So you said, “bar room brawl”
Half jokingly, “but you should have seen
The other fellow.”
It was more dramatic, more grunge-romantic
Than humdrum “cold sores.”
There’s something about a cold, starlit night that gets me going: the glitter of the galaxies, the pixie dust of the Milky Way, the motherly eye of the moon, the peace, a full stomach. I drift to the back of the yard past the reach of the kitchen light and stand by the lemon tree — I’m told it’s always good to do it there. My flanks begin to shudder as I unzip and I piss like a stallion, throw my head back and neigh.
You open your mouth. A pink hippo comes out. You scratch your ear, a purple gorilla. You blow your nose, a polka dot egret. You pass wind, an emerald marmoset. You wonder what will come next. You go to the toilet. You piss piranhas. Defecate falcons. Can I have some more you ask the anaesthetist but the anaesthetist has gone, the effects wearing off just as an oleaginous eel slithers from the long wound in your leg from which the surgeon removed veins for your blocked arteries.
I wrote a poem once about a bath.
How you emerge from one
‘rosy-skinned and luminous as if
Fresh from a voyage’.
I had a sleep like that last night and wrote this poem.
You’re a writer.
You wake up with something to say.
Already you feel the wind beneath your wings.
You hop into your little plane
And putter up into the sky
Where you write your happy haiku
Before the breeze blows it away.
Like water trickling
down a sink I find myself