Cover Smitten Validated

home!, in the whiskey rubber looseness
of the first hour after work, seated softly
and alert, because of where I live,
a patched compartment, a hive of the unemployed
and the left behind elderly. a desert without oasis,
except for the band, from somewhere above me;
home of the prostitute and boy-pimp, the Agency
suspects, men, trans-everything genuflecting
in oral obedience. the place a poet arrives
to romanticise his alcoherent-holiism,
tapping the he-did-it book cover, smitten.
validated. the sky is a cheap malt colour, half smog,
and I’m one cone into the evening, and three hours
from the five minute taxi to the gloryhole.
I burn slowly, whole, a warm even melt
looking for poems in everything; a Nature magazine,
a Reuters year book, Magnum, where I was headed,
where . I am . not . together enough, to assemble and shop
my portfolio around. my eye is as good, I know
. how . to be invisible, and the source
and the centre of a Shoot, but I come on
like a belt that is either a hole
short at the long end, or too little
to tuck under the thing keeps
the tongue flat…and if you’re beginning
to like me, the scent of my candle,
I push back, belch a little black, a burnt
wick taste, an adoptee’s defence mechanism,
this flickering is reflected in this poem
always needing a modification…
I spent the day in the basement
of a skyscraper, in the diesel fumes of loading,
wheeling office furniture, boxes of miscellany
into a truck, my job was to wheel the stuff
from the service lift along the shinny concrete
to the driver, who is also the stacker, plugging
every gap, not a foot space goes wasted. he doesn’t
look much, brown, coughing smoker,
but this takes a clear focused intelligence,
and his mood is upbeat, for 10, 11 hours of it.

Sydney 1994

2 thoughts on “Cover Smitten Validated

  1. Love these ‘rapping’ views of yours, Dean, of past life and celebratory labour…’alcoherent-holiism’, what a splendour of a word’!

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