Friday, September 28, 2012

Mis-step: a poem after the death of Jill Meagher

We saw her repeated face
wrinkled round poles, clicked across screens.
One out of so many, and
suddenly more familiar:
more like everything
I have ever done.

Regret gnawed at my inattention
to every missing face
the dismissal of old or unwell
those with no one to laminate
their care. Who takes down
the posters, afterwards?

My trudge to work wore its
cowlike track, frayed
the same groove in library carpet.
Students hunched, studying
the view past wedding dresses
squinting faces into pixels.

Every day we have gone out,
gone home, snipped seconds
up like chance is a pair of scissors. 
Love can't assume each kiss
is the last event of a warm mouth:
we would shred, exhausted.

I woke to find we were to carry
a brick of morning news
and sky like grey cake.
What cannot be reversed will be

I had half-waited for the magic ending
a dirty tired face streaked with relief
to tell us at the last minute
it didn't really happen:
this mis-step
of time.

Rest in peace, Jill Meagher.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Poems in the wild #26

Poem #26 (5 of spades) was released in Aesop's Attic bookstore in Kyneton. I'd never been here before, and it's rather a good spot (2nd hand and new books). I was rather hungover, but the second breakfast was starting to kick in.

Cats only smile when
they're upside down
but those cheerful dogs
split into grins at the 
dropsloop sideways
of brown and pink jaw.
Everything happens
so much if you're
a dog or a human so 
we may as well just unfurl
our tongues because
who can really be content
to only smile upside down?

This poem came from watching @jellyjellyfish and @pmatessi talk about the very useful @DogSolutions tweets. Dogs, they wise.

Poems in the wild #25

Poem #25 (5 of clubs) was released in the Lake Daylesford Book Barn, while the hilarious owners had shouted conversations (one of them was upstairs). I've been coming to this book store since I was about 6 years old.

Muscles on string
like a leather puppet
mum always said
if youse'll only
eat like a sparra
youse'll end up
beaten up by some
bastard built like
a brick angus bull
shithouse like that.
Hard to knock down
a stray red light herd
no steer can swerve that

This poem is inspired by @ernmalleyscat's tweet: "Little nuggety bloke on the bus with semi-pro tat right down his arm 'R.I.P. SPARRA'"

There was a girl at my high school who was known as Sparra because her mum said she ate like a bird.

Poems in the wild #24

Poem #24 (Queen of diamonds) was released in The Known World bookstore in Ballarat. It's rather a lovely spot, and I found a BB book I didn't have! Everybody wins.

Brakes on for so long
we put it into neutral
turned the goddamn off.
"I'll walk up and see, if
you get moving, pull into Compton."
Thrumming in the wings of
hot metal buzzing on all sides
white lines like flypaper. I
as the door opens
sweat beads on your lip.
"Middle aged men
on the phone
sitting on the curb.
Something's going on."
By the time our wheels creak on
the gutters are cleared.

This poem is inspired from a tweet by @foundpoems RT'd from @jessicaverdi: "Middle aged men on the phone sitting on the curb. Something's going on."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Poems in the wild #23

Poem #23 (3 of diamonds) was released on a yarn-bombed bike rack in Lygon Street, near Grinders.

the neatest bird of a lady, fishes
desire and chips from a Bain-Marie
to a Northland scrubby table. Safe in the
hold, she tucks one lifeless napkin
onto her hunched blouse and polishes
time slowly with another
as if honoring the chef with her attentions.
it shrinks the chaos back from one chair
passes by the pankration of prams.

This poem harks back a bit to Month of Poetry; as I asked Twitter for a line to play around with (because thinking up stuff on your own is for suckers).

@scooter_lass replied with " 'the desire to hold onto time as it passes' via The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows - anchorage." Which for some reason reminded me of a tiny old lady I saw eating the biggest plate of  fish and chips I'd ever seen at Northland one lunchtime, behaving as if she was at a top restaurant rather than surrounded by all the horrors of a shopping centre food court on a Saturday. I took the suggested line and made it one the first word of the start of each line.