Visions of Monet

Are people looking at me strangely
Or is it only my eyes
I like to make strangers of my friends
Recalling only faceless people with indeterminate outlines
I have visions of Monet
Vivid and emotive yet nondescript
Where I don’t remember any details
The twitch in the top corner of your lip
A hook tooth grin from the man selling ice cream cones
or cup
Out the back of a dirty van
We question the sanitation but not our sanity
Buying two soft serves each
One dipped to wear melted chocolate waistcoat
The other with questionably coloured sprinkles and crushed peanuts
You joke that they should offer a meat shavings topping
Or skin flakes from the sunburned beachers backs
We know the white slop contains ground up chicken feet
We don’t speak of that
It was only a rumour everyone on the sand talked of
When you come across cartilage you spit it out discreetly
Fearing the embarrassment of something that isn’t your fault
It rained and we jumped on the bus
In my mind we were dancing on the roof and the driver shouted like Our mothers when we did the same in our beds
I hold dear these fabrications of mine
Of us amidst some frolicking fabric fantasy
Under the sheets with my heart jumping
We did not jump though
Sitting at the fingerprint window
In front of the obnoxious back door
That kicks the seat swinging open
Where the heater rests underneath
Above us a persistent leak
Drops fell onto your head and you put out your tongue
To taste aluminium shavings and not worry about metal poisoning
The bars under the seat around the heater heat scalding
The number of times I’ve left the skin of my calf behind
Goes unnumbered yet still I persist in taking tally
I swear some skin is left behind
Sticking to the slightly rusted stainless steel piping
That feels breakable if I was one of those sushi stuffed sumos
Now we know why no one sits here
A slow torture comprising a torrent of stale gutter water
With a side of burnt leg hairs
I wonder how you remember this day
Would our stories be the same similar in detail
A facsimile or facade
Nameless friend
I have visions of Monet
Though now you and I dance a waltz to Satie
I read you O’Hara and my favourite parts of Walden over mulled wines midwinter
You dance along the living room carpet for me
Edgar gets his canvas and oils to cast you in one of his immortal performances
Colouring you with pinks though you hate to feel beautiful
Colouring you with youth though you scorn it
Colouring you with all the nuances of your dance you never see
I’ve worked to paint the stock-pile of my mind
To accurately depict once befores
They have no borders only the acid wash of ill-prepared preservation
I’ve scraped the layers to fall away like discarded scales from some luminescent sphinx
I can not discern ordepictt the scenes now
Left with a growing pile of destroyed art
Laughing about the frailty of my remembering

An Unimpeded View of The Distance

**Written for my sister’s wedding**

I wish you both an unimpeded view of the distance
That you will both become a muse for one another
Amuse one another
Do so much for one another
That you become one
Lost without the other

Every morning will you wake next to inspiration
where there is only one side of the bed
Name it your shared space
Where the night before you built tiny word mountains 
In the creases of the pillow cases
And these words start to mean the world
And shape your sleep
And you become solaced in dreams which are there when you’re together

There will be moments too large
complicated
convoluted
contrived
To be wholly a part of
So decide now to share the burden between the two of you
Then unknowingly agree to forget half of the half you were in charge of
And then argue over the minute inconsequential details you both forget

It’s really no ones fault

You’ll find a way to blame one or other of your brothers or mothers or fathers

But before that
In the morning muttering into the bottom of an empty coffee mug
Playing out the matted images masticating in your mind

You realise you were wrong

At breakfast feeling sorry about it all you wrap your arms around them
From behind while they sit at the table
You kiss the top of their head
Rest your hand atop their shoulder for a while longer than you normally would Letting them know what’s on your mind without useless words of explanation

They understand
They understand like those times when
Somebody is saying something
questionable
moronic
sardonic
et. al
On and on at a dinner party
You both shoot sideways eye glances to one another
One out the left eye 
The other out the right eye
You realise you’ve obtained a telepathy granted only by the most deep set love
The corners of both your mouths turn upwards
On the same side as your sideways eye glancing

And you get home later and laugh fits about it
And for many years after
And you wrap your arms around them from behind as they stand at the kitchen counter looking into the sink for no particular reason

They turn to hold you and you look up at them looking down
before getting told to brush your teeth
Because you ate the seafood platter that night
It’s pong is pungent flowing like effluent waste
Straight to the sea of your downturned face
But you say it in less words and more like a reeling grimace
The gag catching in your throat
More like holy shit

You yell after them
‘Don’t leave the water running when you’re brushing because you know that annoys me and the water bill has been steadily increasing’

They’ll laugh 
Walk out of the room
Flip you off 
Then pull a face that says
‘You better shut the hell up because I still love you
But maybe not in five minutes if you keep on like that’

You’ll throw your hands up despairingly
‘Woe is me I’m only thinking about the utility bill’

Maybe you both fall asleep silently that night
But I pray that you wake next to inspiration
Where the morning is new and the scents are more akin to freshly mown fields Heavy with dew and not a garlic laden seafood stew

At breakfast you go and you wrap your arms around them from behind
Rest a while with your head on theirs
Content that they are there

I wish you an unimpeded view of the distance

Richmond Crescent

Richmond crescent is a place I’ve made up
Imagined
Stolen
Remembered by accident
Stumbled over in quiet thought
What brought this name to me?
Richmond crescent
It sounds right
I will die here
This is where my wife and I will live
Maybe I’ll change my name to Kyle Richmond
Later in life to hide from stalkers
They’ll name the street after me
For my contributions to the community
Fundraisers and potlucks and backyard barbeques
Secret suburban parties where we put our keys in the bowl
I get to take my neighbour’s wife for a go
Watching mine being unlocked with the keys to our house
Then I take the husband for a round
I’ll never live here though
Instead I will exist as tarmac and weatherboard houses
Children on bicycles
Children selling pinecones for two dollars a bag
On the sidewalk
One will ask the other why they call this place
Richmond crescent
Another will put on his best Jamaican accent
‘Coz they Rich mon!’
They laugh how children do
You don’t understand their humour
You just want pinecones
To support young entrepreneurs
With bicycles and skinned knees and snotty faces
Remember I don’t live here
This place doesn’t exist
I will die with Richmond Crescent

Pocket Book

I’ve adopted the habit of judging my books
On how well they fit my coats inside pocket
The cover is only important in it’s proportions
Relative to a fabric square
Certain brands have become safe
Staple choices by virtue of there perfect uniformity
Moulding to my breast
I always need a book with me
This pocket lays over my heart
It will protect me from crazed handgun assaults
On these gentrified streets filled with dissatisfied bores
With useless degrees and coffee stained teeth
The bullet reads till page 289 before thinking
‘This particular translation of Proust staggers on uncomfortably’
It stops its death path of burning paper & melting ink
To find Proust prose it can truly bury itself in
I tell the bullet that ‘Murakami and Mitchell have melted holes through my wallet
Perhaps you will find solace at the end of a smoke trail there’
I then complain that this book was borrowed from the library
I’d have to pay the damages fine
I’d also only read to page 79
‘You don’t miss much’ the bullet replies
‘Imagine if Da Vinci had painted the Mona Lisa surrounded by crowds of faces
Telling you, “Pay attention only to that woman, the others are not important”‘
The bullet shifts uncomfortably inside my chest
‘I do not know where to read nothing is left between the lines.
This book is described with distraction, and I now search to reclaim lost time’
I do not listen to the bullet
Refusing myself to see the flaws of this translation
Blinded as I am by the quiet satisfaction of its binding sliding
With pure unadulterated bareback entry
Into my inside breast pocket
The air escaping from about it
My pleasure sigh eruption
The only other copy I find is too large
Though written with vastly superior prose
My pocket will not take it though
I must move on to find another soft rectangle comforter for my heart
To beat against as I move about town hoping to appear sophisticated
Hoping to not be shot

Falling For Fiction

If you’ve been on your own for over a year
You’ll know what it’s like to fall in love
Every week with a different he or she
When it’s especially bad
It’s twice a week
Including faces on the TV and character descriptions in fiction
You hunt through for sex scenes and symbols to vicariously exist in
On the edges of madness
Stir crazy threatening mutiny
Your sanity and friends having deserted you
The only crew you have left are
Crew cut t-shirts and crew cut hair-styles
And you don’t really know what crew cut means
But the shirt fits
The hair is tidy
There’s no one to dress up for
The mirror agrees
You don’t like it when the mirror talks back though
You’d prefer another face to appear over your shoulder to straighten your collar
Leaving a lip graze on your necklace
You’ll constantly check over that shoulder waiting for a face to materialise
Waiting for somebody else to watch your back for you
Hello?
You’ll whisper and silence
I don’t know any more you’ll say
Tripping from craning your neck
To see your shoulder blades
Tight from slumping over the desk
You imagine writing letters
Romantic letters
Not just letters but words
Poetry
Time immortal
Immortal beloveds
Ink is not so precious now you’ll think
Because I only need to write
I
Not we nor us nor you nor ours
Postage is cheap
Supplies are scarcely needed
You fall in love twice a week with your TV
With an imaginary life-sized life
We will have two dogs
A paddock to lay picnics out
Under the willow
They’ll laugh and brush away leaves from your lap rustled from the tree
You feign to pull away mocking indignation at being mothered
Don’t smother me you’ll say
Then realise you’re sat inside your head eye delusions
Grandeur
Wanting to swallow poison
Bury your head inside of books in place of the oven
Drown in pages instead of the bathtub
Slash your expectations and decapitate the monster of self-fulfilment
To die for love is not romantic
Love is romantic
Life is lonely