Tuesday, 26 February 2013


I can taste blood. This headache
is worse than my usual hangover.

Where is the meat from the wet hollow
in the right side of my tongue?
And the inside of the right cheek?
Both pieces gone. Did I swallow them?
Aching everywhere. Exhaustion.
Anna's voice gently tells of another seizure.
She sounds upset. All I can do is groan
and whisper Oh no, then wind back
the clock thirty-odd years, until curling up
like an embryo seeking safety the way
it once was. Crying because it all seems
so shameful, pathetic. Nose is blocked,
moustache and beard stiff from the bleeding,
upturned bedside table, smashed lamp.
Her darling face comes into focus.

Time to shower, breakfast, psyche myself
into a Head Of Department again.

Friday, 22 February 2013


We all were parts in a muted mayhem.
Heads in the flow and contra-flow, eddy and ebb.
So many SALE! signs there was no room
for merchandise.  A surge seemed to aim me exactly
where I wanted to be. At the intersection’s edge
came the detonation of an amplified and syncopated
fiddle-guitar duo. I wondered why nobody
took any notice. Perhaps because they were accustomed
to ignoring asterisks of alcoholics usually to be found here.
But the crowd itself was intoxicated beyond the point
of oblivion. And I am addicted to observing. Inquisitive.
Contemplative. Apart. And the music carried us all
like serous fluid in a central nervous system. We were ions
crossing spaces, passing through entrances programmed
to let us in or out. Destined for where all would
make a difference. Checkouts. Customer service desks.
Taxis. Bus terminals. Home, the door we must unlock.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Why is it difficult to sign this cheque?
My hand has to be forced to form the mark.

Identity is precarious after the diagnosis
has sunk in. If the woman at the checkout
glances up she will see uncertainty and fear.

When this feeling has gone away
will I write my name differently?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


I thought we were complicit in a game that always paused
while we slipstreamed individual ambitions. But not today.
You linger after early morning tea, instead of breaking the tie.
I cannot handle another beginning; the anticipation of times
when commitment binds us more painfully than we deserve.
Now is a razor's edge between sweet dreams and sharp reality.

Friday, 1 February 2013


Fitzroy Street of flat-packed shops and cutout people
juxtapose without the echoes of their footsteps or speech.
I can concentrate on how I lift my knees or place each foot
to shift my gravity, making a cyclist veer and whizz close to my ear

He can’t touch me. I’m not here

Nor are we all, unless fashion compels us to adopt its visibility,
becoming re-born at an age so ripe it would do somebody good to
give us a kiss; don’t miss this chance, ladies. Bite me now, this instant,
or forever keep your peace....
....too late, suckers, I’m around the corner. Traffic lights four square,
the cafe CB2. Remarkable how incognito I can be, fluidly negotiating kerbs,
members of the young mum’s mafia, and clusters of alcoholics

There is neither warning of the absence seizure that comes next, nor memory
of the street I walked along to come home. Only post-ictal confusion

And now I sit, plastic crates taking up the legroom under the table where
my i-Mac waits to be re-booted. The Apple logo has been bitten.
Was it Eve? Why was she not there to enjoy me in Fitzroy Street?

Hey Eve! I’m still willing to be led astray,
even though you missed me earlier today

Perhaps I will listen to Mozart’s Concerto in D for Two Pianos,
take my medication, and set the Nokia’s alarm for eight, day five

Yep. Decision made.