I want to rip off your clothing,
want to get at yr cranberry and oat cookies,
dunk them in my coffee,
orgasm in my mouth,
like I want to unzip bananas,
tear off the cellophane cover my New Yorker
comes in each week;
why do I always want to unpack things?
I would like to unpack your heart,
see where it went wrong between us,
why it went downhill so doggedly
after the lightness of those early years;
I want to crack open the kernel of existence.
I don’t want to die like Grant Beaumont yesterday
57 years after his three kids disappeared from
a busy suburban beach in Adelaide on Australia Day
The Memory Paradox.
Not all words get through.
2.5 million gigabytes of memory
count for nought if words are stopped at the gate
The meaning of ‘lambent, for instance,
or the tricky title
of that Tony Joe White song,
the best cover Elvis ever did.
Not even the name of the new friend we made
at Church last Sunday,
starting with J: Jordan? Josh? Jaidin?
My daughter doesn’t remember either.
Maybe it’s a family thing.
Why do some words get blocked, while millions of others
The mind has a mind of its own.
*pic courtesy of pinterest
I sometimes wonder who he was, that man who called at our place a few years after dad had died and mum had moved into a nursing home.
Did mum have a secret life?
We all need someone or something to keep us afloat.
Listen to the sea , my granddad said
as we stood on the soft white sand .
And he clamped the shell to my ear
like a mobile phone . Listen , he said ,
listen . And we grew silent . It was
at first like listening to a garbled
conversation or the radio between
stations but then it settled — and I could
hear inside this shell which wound back
inside itself like a spiral staircase
the whoosh and wash of a distant sea —
for this one was silent —- and for a moment
it was as if I were an astronomer
listening in through his radio telescope
to the hum of the universe
She wasn’t really a bum.
She had a name.
She had a face too
but she asked me not to
But what really attracted her to me
was she was reading a book.
You don’t really associate street people
And it was a big book.
Like a Russian novel.
Dostoevsky or Tolstoy maybe.
But it was a home grown novelist.
a true story about a girl called Jessica.
She was on page 237 and she was only halfway
We talked briefly.
I put some coins in her cap and left her to it
on the cold sidewalk.
I would like to have known her story
but you can’t be intrusive.
What is the cat looking for under the gate?
Perhaps the old tom two doors down trudging across the road like a sloppy sentence.
Perhaps the purr that left her mysteriously six months ago.
Or maybe she’s dreaming of the Krazy Kat cartoons she loved read to her as a kitten.
Or what the rest of her siblings are up to at the Pet Barn and whether they landed on her feet like her when she was adopted.
Or maybe she’s just curious. She’s a cat after all.
Who has written these poems ?
as I browse through the pages
of this commonplace book.
I have neglected to name their authors.
There’s one about
Tennessee Fainting Goats
which calls to mind
my ‘Cows in a Paddock’ ;
another about women in a junkshop staring through a window
at the rain
‘where a taxi as yellow as a forsythia
is turning a corner’,
and a snippet about snow over Xmas and New Year
hanging around long after
‘like the drunk at the bar
who needs to go home’
Could any of these be mine?
But the one about the fortune cookie is Ed’s.
It’s got his mark all over it.
But the others? I just don’t know.
Could I be that good?
I don’t think so.
Where is Raymond?
Everyone loves Raymond.
But no one is saying.
Christine is gone too.
But no one is asking after her.
It’s Raymond we love,
Raymond the Joker,
the Energiser Bunny that kept
the whole thing humming,
the convivialist who could talk
to children, animals.
Why, he could talk to a stone
& it’d open up.
Did he blot his copybook?
Perhaps he ran off with Christine,
some wag suggests.
The world just seems smaller
Something is bothering
round and round
a solipsistic fluff
driving us round the bend.
She worries the others.
A few days later
when we let her out she resumes
then huddles beneath
the bird bath
and will not move.
We shift her.
She crawls under a bush
hard to reach.
The cat who often bothers the chooks
leaves her alone.
That night it rains and rains.
In the morning
she is bedraggled
I lift her into the earth.
There isn’t much of her.
The chooks settle after that.
So do we.
There used to be a man, a hobo, who drifted in to our town.
He was selling peepholes from a brown burlap bag.
It was like a lucky dip.
You gave him a few coins and you’d reach in
& pull out a peephole.
You might get lucky, the man said.
You might pick out the one that looks into the universe the moment it was born
or the one that sees who took the Beaumont children
from Glenelg Beach on New Year Day, 1966.
Everyone wanted to know that, especially the parents.
But mostly we got ones that looked at the tree behind it or a flock of black clouds roaming like sheep
in the pasture of the sky.
One day he fell asleep against an old gum in the park
and we looked through his peepholes.
They were all the same,
None peered into a secret place.
They all looked at what was the other side of the peephole.
The man began to wake up.
We shoved the peepholes in his bag and ran off.
We didn’t need a peephole to see through him..