Monday, January 13, 2014

Month of Poetry #12: An attitude of existence

There was no dramatic rollercoaster down
to the first night on cardboard in the park.
Instead, homelessness was a deep mouth
pooling with salt at a slow river's end.
It was in his nature: believing what he did
was the only possible thing he could have done.
He lay passive in the gentle stream of shit
that flowed across his face: a fly in the temple
of unlucky ointment, a spy in the house of
excrement. Never raged against drowning.
When his enrolment form slipped the administrative
cracks instead of marching to university
he simply never went back.  When unpaid bills
broke in on love, he fated the passion failed.
The last piece of camel spine: a studio squat,
toilet-less and borrowed from artist on leave
was never meant to last. When the painter
returned, he did not mention the real-estate
shaped hole in his universe. And so he
was sunk down to wherever it was,
grown impossible with acceptance.
Cold, under the stars, but unprotesting
he ran his eyes over The Adventures of Augie March
until the sun sank offshore. Later in the evening
his friends would circle in on a net of texts,
sluice him squinting to his feet.
He would look at each of them in turn, unsurprised.

Includes suggestions from:

@JayJayCee1: down to wherever it was (Herbjorg Wassmo, Dina's Son)
@timsterne: a spy in the house of excrement (Helen Garner, The Feel of Steel)
@ernmalleyscat: offshore later in the evening

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