Try a Madeleine, Marcel says.
It worked for me.
So I do
Opening up the family tree
As far back as my grandma
That little old lady
Who sat me on her lap
told me stories
In the park
& always wore widow-weeds
who happily each Xmas,
Chopped the chooks’
run around the yard
do you have memories of your grandma?
- photo by Alexandre Godreau from Unsplash
Whenever my mother got in a state, she’d declare, “I feel like the wreck of the Hesperus, the Titanic and the Lusitania all rolled into one,” careful to keep things chronological. The old people they sure knew how to lay things on thick. But least they taught us the art of melodrama and not a little history.
* do you recall any sayings your parents or grandparents had?
I was reading a poem by Weldon Kees —
Does anyone read Weldon Kees nowadays? —
About Boris, ‘the fatalist parrot’ who fell off
I thought of old Schooner in his cage in the
Drive thru bottle shop at Magnums at McLaren Vale.
At least he had some life in him unlike Boris
Who ‘watched the traffic flow, unheeding’.
You’d say ‘hello’ to Schooner. He wouldn’t say anything
But once you got your purchase and went to go,
He’d say ‘See Ya’ real chipper like. You’d wave back
And give him the thumbs up and if he could Schooner
Would reciprocate. He had a fan when it was hot and
A lamp for when it was cold and a little mirror to see
what a handsome chap he was. He looked well fed.
At least he didn’t pace up and down like a lion in a cage.
Whenever I have a glass now at Magnums I raise it
To old Schooner.
All quiet on the Western Front? I asked one of the security guards who had been involved in an incident ten minutes before.
Yes, he said but you could tell he was a little jumpy.
He and two of his mates had wrestled to the ground an ice addict who was bothering one of the patrons.
Amongst much kicking, punching and hurling of abuse, he was shoved out of the library.
I pulled out my phone to take a film. One of the guards seeing me, said: No. Put it away, mate.
So I did.
I wish it were as easy to put away some of the stuff that is out there but it isn’t. It isn’t.
What is your wish? said the genie.
A cadaver of red, please.
A cadaver of red? Don’t you mean a cask or bottle? Or perhaps a magnum? I’ve had a glass or three myself. I’m feeling generous. How about a jeroboam — I’ve never granted one of them — or, maybe even, a nebuchednezzar?
No, thanks, mate. A cadaver of red, said the lazy vampire
There was a man in our street who had an apparition in the middle of an afternoon.
He was driving on a country road where on a whim he took a detour. His wife was beside him. They drove down the avenues and streets and occasional crescents till they realised they were caught in an infinity loop. The man began to panic. It was like that time he was stuck in a lift. He could feel his heart fibrillating, his bladder wanting to burst, his vision blurring but he held this from his wife who would accuse him of weakness.
That’s when he saw it, the apparition. It came for him, lumbering down some labyrinth in his brain, a Minotaur bristly and bellowing, big as a tank, barging into him. His heart stopped.
His wife never knew what happened but she found her way out.
A bird flew in my mouth.
I gulped in horror.
If it were a mozzie,
But a bird
A wattlebird at that.
It panicked in the echo chamber of my mouth.
I wrestled it with both hands
Trying to pry it loose.
Suddenly it plopped out like a fish.
It staggered in the air.
I staggered along the path.
A bird in the mouth is worth two in the bush.
My friend quipped.
So how was it? he asked.
Surreal, I clucked. Surreal