It seems romantic, looking back
on it, the withdrawing of 50¢
over the counter, before eftpos, I suppose,
to have enough for cigarettes.
It had back-story, engraved, or
engineered, as when a writer’s past
helps the reader grasp
the sardines, and half
eaten lifestyle salvaged
from dumpsters with the lumps of bread
I got free at the soup kitchen
under the overpass. I always took
the speciality loaves donated from
the supermarkets. They were unsliced,
leavened, and never in plastic,
and usually close enough to fresh
to eat un-toasted. Also, I ate… my
vitality was fluid, thats, never mind,
in this memory, I’m standing in line, with a 65¢
withdrawal slip, and a masculine dollah something
in my pocket, so dead broke, and still getting
wasted! Substance over love. Yet
the memory of it
is that I had sufficient store of each.
Love, food, sunshine, the rent, somehow,
when the time came to exit
that, sever, finally, the needs of that existence,
when the time came to leave, all that I had written,
up till then, was put in a drum for burning.
It was autumn, the drum was over by the feijoas,
on the square of pale grass made by the caravan,
the sea was less than thirty metres away
throwing up post-swell odours of rotting
weed and salted limestone bull kelp.
I tipped out two sacks of papers, fire-engine
red scholastic exercise books, the too hastily
bound A4 manuscripts, and scraps of exegetically
impossible to interpret commando failures,
soaked it with meths, and bent in
to the drum with a lit match, and BOOM!
Far king me! blown back on my arse,
burnt eyebrows, nose hair, lashes,
fringe sizzle; hairs on the flame hand;
singed, and pumping capillaries, ALIVE!