As soon as you stand outside someone’s place,
whip out your mobile camera and start taking snaps
of something in the street,
jacaranda flowers, for instance, carpeting the verge,
an ibis making love to a TV aerial,
a drunken, tilting fence,
someone starts singing loudly in a bathroom.
conversations break out in the hallway like a rash.
windows open or close,
to let you know they’re onto you
when all you’re doing is trying to compose a poem.
When did people start growing so suspicious of poets?
The fat crow caws
from the top
of the peppercorn tree
kraak kraak kraak
loud, loutish, laconic
& the bloke next door calls out
to his wife
what’s that, dear?
This time he’s really shitted off.
Had a turd of a day
and now he’s come home to find
dog poo AGAIN
on his freshly mown lawn.
His fury diarrhoeas out
of his mouth, and here we draw the veil of decorum
over the expletives to protect our readers.
A little calmer now he pulls out his pen,
he uses to write romantic missives to his love
a warning. on the nearest stobie poll,
a friendly warning
but its double-barrelled exclamation marks cannot hide his intent.
a can of beer, and plonks himself near the front window,
I don’t know how to take the mattress that’s been dumped in our driveway.
Admittedly it’s not as bad as the dead cat that was dumped in our rubbish bin.
But it’s harder to get rid of.
It’s an affront.
You eye yr neighbors suspiciously.
Suspect the crotchety old bloke across the road.
And then you do something nutty.
You drag it up the driveway and dump it on the street.
You don’t think. You react.
That little guy inside yr head.
Someone in the middle of the night drags it back.
So you ….
It’s like a tug-of-war.
So what’s yr next move?
One thing’s for certain.
Yr not going to take this lying down.
Who would do that?
Put a dead pigeon in yr rubbish bin?
If it was good enough
To put in my bin
Why wasn’t it good enough
To put in theirs?
O the stink,
The weight of it!
I shovelled it out of the bin
And tossed it,
Neck all crumpled,
Into the far right hand corner of the garden
Where it could decay
Among the cluster of leaves.
The only good thing is
It’s given me something rancorous
To write about.
have you had any incidents with neighbors or strangers re your rubbish bins?
There’s a wine called ‘Barking Mad’.
I liked it so much I bought six bottles and drank them all.
Not in one night, of course.
There have been times when I have been barking mad:
Over the insurance company’s delay in fixing my storm-damaged gate because ‘it is just a gate’,
Over next door’s yippee yappy dog who goes off when I piss under the lemon tree at night alarming the neighbours and the back lights go on to see what’s up [ Can’t a man piss in peace? ]
But mostly it’s the scammer with the heavy Slav accent who phones every few days to tell me my internet has been infected and will be turned off unless I phone a certain number.
It hasn’t been turned off yet and I haven’t phoned.
Over petrol prices that go up and down like a wild week at the Dow Jones.
I could go on but you get the idea.
Everyone is a Howard Beale barking mad at something.