Flies – Pt II

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This day, like others in the house

away from the wind

is filled with small plotlines

 

Squashed by a clap of the hands in an hour

as the pen scribbles out the point

 

Plotline, space, plotline, space

one fly killed, space, ten flies killed

 

A walk around the block

(a purpose slotted into a space)

 

The flies appear aimless, but they’re not

 I appear full of purpose, but

 

 I find

the day whittled away

with only squashed flies to show for it.

Continue reading

The Picture in Front

This one day a woman
sick of arranging cutlery and laundry
thought to wave a napkin in the air
hail the sky and be whisked

Away
(if only to the neighbouring town)

Finding herself in an empty café
she was caught staring outside
an anchor, centre of the town
Unfamiliar

But what a fine shape! and noble!
Her eyes stuck

Out came a pen and a glass of water
the napkin, too

So the anchor was drawn with it,
the differently coloured bridges
and differently coloured houses.

Flicking her hair in youthful artistry
(she imagined)

The woman stayed put in the town
a day, a month, a year.

Everyone there
lit candles and put music on before dinner.

Cinnamon salt

I sat in pulsing silence

a drip of sweat over sunscreened cheek

of just-before-1pm

 

The temple was red

and “mom, it smells like old indian people”

came floating through the open door

 

Incense went stick upon stick

from an endless donation box to Confucius

and other gods

 

I didn’t know

but I did remove my shoes;

flat leather plates with thinning straps

 

Sitting, exhausted

on a tiled step of tourist history

 

I could tell, after ten minutes

another bunch of americans had gathered near

“oh look shhhh! she’s praying!”

 

Maybe I was

maybe the ignorant tourist was praying

in an ancient temple devoted to gods and figures of eternal wisdom and power

she didn’t know or understand

 

Still I breathed in the perfume dust,

knowing there’s always

the beach

 

From kneeling to swimming

it’s a 4km pilgrimage from here

so the sign says

 

I’ll go now

I’ll wash away the sweat and sins

by sea

Evening seminar

She was talking up to the ceiling
orange LED reflected in her teeth
 
I felt like – what did you say?
oh yes, Youth Group
the hall reminded you of Youth Group
 
Not that I was ever there in the first place
another girl’s past splayed out before me
 
The topic was colour
and my back ached like stone
 
Light danced like a junior-school disco
my friend in glasses smiled meekly

Rubbing her hand
across the circular table
 
We were somewhat stale, or grown up
 
Before leaving
I took a sip of water,
then a gulp,
then poured the glass over myself
 
Ran head up
dripping from the theatre