To sit on a milker’s stool in the entry
to your cottage, with the fallen carnations
and Fitzroy’s bitumen smell rising up like a cordon
between your disposal and your neighbours.
Here we are in fame state.
You turn the man in mustard trenchcoat away unmoving,
an interrogation on your constancy in this place
of a mode, this tableau of the spectres of Fitzroy lighting
their swollen heads lifted from the gutters
to haunt and doorknock once more. And would trams stop?
The storm of yesterday evening split the beech
at the edge of the garden beds, its slag remains,
bar the black stick, a vermiculate wool blanket and sparrow fluff.
Some are left that chirp above in the alcove
between gable and outside; frozen, you turn the man in mustard
trenchcoat away, this time snagging his shoelaces
which tangle through the hodgepodge paving of the sentinel’s station.
You’re an ankle-snapping dog in lieu of a dog leaving its catch
to blanch and encrust in the sun, and little wants burial.
Your mother says you look like a whale carcass, though to hear her
would mean to hear her over the din of Radio Fassbinder,
colluding where gas colludes,
replying where those whose abidance in silence is not revolutionary.
From the radio ebbs places confirming your stool
before the stoop, deaf to the fall of carnations
and the rising mists of roadwork.
Albert Tucker’s Fitzroy
1 February 2012