Tip-Top: The Tipping Spot

It was the beginning of the redo.
I’d blown my photographic
career, sold my gear
in desperation. I was about to come
off fifteen years of partying
and I didn’t know it
but had unconsciously begun
to prepare
myself physically by cycling
across the city twice a day.

I wore white overalls— when I got to
the factory, and a hair net,
and a beard mask for when I hid the goatee
booze pimples
and I liked the sanitised doors
at the gumboot foot bath,
it reminded me of something science fiction;
and it was like the double doors of dim red
darkrooms—but the opposite;
my job was to monitor sticks—we rotated,
but the sticks are what I remember,
loading them into the magazine
above the circular stainless tubs
watching, for jams, blanks, and doubles

which occasionally I’d let go, imagining
the child
unwrapping the Jelly Tip
ice cream and discovering
siamese sticks…

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