Poetry I’d Handled Till It Softened

& Would Not Stand On Its Own

That’s me, at the Mirror of Remembrance,
I’m wearing a snakeskin cap, I think
it is real, it says leather on the label,
it states, in tart magenta-pink
embroidery: ‘Skin’. Not sure what it is
alluding to, but as I revisit old poems
short of being finished it won’t feature again,
it was simply a starting point, I want to blend
these reasonably accurate reflections
into one account, and see if you can spot
the join marks, like the transvestite prostitutes
you could hire to study the phenomena,
see where it is that a woman’s breastful
body becomes a dude again. One evening
a tall brown sheman came out of the
doorway shadows from the top-middle
of William St., into Darlinghurst, came out
from the group of fee-males and crouched
in front of me, stoping me, and grabbed my balls
and cock in both hands. All I’d done
was smile, and nod as I walked downhill
toward them, nothing acknowledged in that.
This criminal offence, if I’d complained
of the gentle but secure clasp in her long look,
could put her in lock-up, it qualified him
for a beating were it some one less
my tangent nature. They were forbidden
solicitation, apparently they could be there,
available, for the science of the joining of two things.
His hands, her, she completely held my genitals
a squatting six feet of maori athletic
in a tight fitting dress, cigarette in her lips,
the smoke lit orange and grey and red,
while inconceivable consciousness, like vapours
from a water heated, mingled or pickled
or looked for the notes reincarnated
Awareness sends organised systems
into a human knowing of car horns
sirens braking and acceleration,
the Consciousness, or better, Recognition,
worse for wear, my dehydrated mind
perceiving rounds without a world, growing firm
in her hankering, my hands tangy
with the smoked joint, just starting on the
first cigarette, I wasn’t going to pay her
for anything, but she knew that feeling
me firming looking into my reddened
socket’s dopy grin, nothing said, gives it
one last shake and says a noise not unfriendly
and not unlike a hiss. Story it is,
happened it did, gone, those times, I’m glad.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Poetry I’d Handled Till It Softened”

  1. Great title, Dean, and ‘sheman’ hadn’t heard of that word before. Oh the cross, young lives nailed to it, what a dark place even in the Sydney sun of afternoon…the whole episode reminds of me of walks along Auckland’s K. Rd, especially in the 70s, 80s. What a story, and as ever, a fine retelling of it!

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