perhaps you should be. A fisherman, a poet, a chef
a priest, a politician of the sort you’ve watch Howard spin.
Block, prevaricate, sidestep your way into achieving
little more than shelter from the fallout.
Each of you freefall into the most important
decisions: children, jobs, which way the bed faces,
all these points of difference you gotta have.
Friendship and courage and whatever you’re going
to cook for tea – these choices mount up like newspapers.
I watched you all, but settled on a soul to crack open.
I had chosen him because in this house of his there was writing.
On every wall he played this paperchase, for each game
a fresh square is used. For drawing the Wog and the Dago
and other taunts from his childhood into the open,
he used a green pen. His mother had said they were jealous.
I watching him in winter as he snapped his icy fingers
around the words that blamed his life on each and
every other. I bricked in the quiet about his ears;
I did need six years to contruct and build the cone
of silent transference. When he had placed his
every dumb reasoning elsewhere, he felt that he was
alive again, forgiven for not struggling
against the undertow. Certainty is favourable;
unfortunately, massive overconfidence is not.
A survival trait learned from family who are not an excuse
any more. He wore his assurance as a false receipt,
for an advertisement in his pocket that sang his own
praises. The devil is not impressed by how fast
you can swim along with the current.
Today's poem is based on suggestions from ten people:
- @jayjaycee1: "perhaps you should be a fisherman" (Natalie Babbitt, Jack Plank Tells Tales)
- @slimejam: “He snapped his icy fingers” (Daisy Meadows, ‘Nicole the Beach Fairy - Rainbow Magic #78)
- @jellyjellyfish: "You gotta have friendship and courage and whatever!" (Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life)
- @ernmalleyscat: "In this house of his there was writing on every wall" (John Galsworthy, The Forsyte saga)
- @matchtrick: "For each game a fresh square is used for drawing the Wog" (Joyce Thorpe, B.A., Successful Parties & Social Evenings)
- @eglantinescake: "We've watched Howard spin, block, prevaricate, sidestep..." (David Marr, Quarterly Essay: His Master's Voice)
- @mike_sh: "Unfortunately, massive overconfidence is not a survival trait" (Garth Nix, A Confusion of Princes)
- @crazybrave: "a false receipt for an advertisement in his pocket" (Delia Falconer, Sydney)
- @timsterne: "I did need six years to construct and to build the Cone" (Thomas Bernhard, Correction)
- @marklawrence: "he felt that he was alive again, forgiven" (Peter Temple, The Broken Shore)