Can someone feel like a car?
A burnt out car?
That’s how he feels at the moment.
Run down. Abandoned. Torched.
Oh, he’s bit of a drama queen, he knows
But it helps if you’re a poet.
Conveyancers, Real Estate Agents, Bank Managers
& the endless decluttering.
He always wanted to be a minimalist
So now he is.
And that countdown. Prisoners on Death Row
Must feel it.
The drama queen again.
Less than three weeks now.
He better get on with it and stop blogging!
I was walking through the new state-of-the-art library
Looking for a book of poems, any book of poems.
It was like looking for dodos in the zoo
or passenger pigeons in the sky.
Do you still keep poetry books? I asked the librarian.
I’m not sure , she said.
She had to do a search
Then called the chief librarian who came with a swagger
Looking for that rarest thing— a poetry book.
Here, she said. Here they are.
They were squeezed Between ‘War’ and ‘Sports’,
The whole Western World’s canon reduced
to ten books on a tiny shelf.
And the ultimate irony?
There were more books on extinct animals than poetry.
do you see evidence of the death of poetry?
when’s the last time you bought a poetry book? or borrowed one?
I am reading a manual called ‘The Kite and the String’
Because I have trouble getting my thoughts
off the ground;
They run away from me like that fifty dollar note
The wind caught while I was crossing
the main road;
the writer taught the need to ‘abandon’ and ‘control’;
a kite that lifts and a string that unspools just enough to let the kite
fly happily along
but not so much that it gets caught
In power-lines or entangled in its own tail.
I like that very much.
The kite is the thought
and the string the firm hand of the poet
that keep that thought aloft
The factory’s closed, he said.
Closed? As in Closed Down?
No, the security guy chuckled. Closed for repairs, renovations.
I had been going there for years, churning out my poetry, those little dispatches from the frontiers of perception. Lately however the software had stopped working, the hardware was getting cranky too.
Someone had noticed.
When will it be re-opened? I asked.
Soon, he said. We’ve got people working on it. You work here or something?
You could say that. Guess I need a break too just as much as the machines. Thanks anyway.
He watched me go as I trudged down the street. I gave him a little wave just before I turned the corner.
I saw a sparrow hop across the carpet
in the library
toward the Express Collection Shelf.
I flicked my head
like an illusionist’s cape
& it was gone.
I went back to the article about Stevie Van Zandt
& his Summer of Sorcery Tour
& the sparrow
With another flick of my head
into a series of tan dots — & dashes.
Time to head off
to the optometrist again.
I was down in the dumps when someone praised
A recent poem of mine.
I know we should be immune to Praise
But it’s hard not to be lifted
Like a hot air balloon
Above the petty doubts and grievances
That beset us all
And to bask in the warm sun of appreciation
Knowing that, yeh, we’re okay,
We’re going to get there
We are not alone.
Hope is the helium that keeps us aloft.
can you think of an occasion when praise made a difference in your life?
what is the helium that keeps you aloft?
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.