“I once loved a hobo in the park.”
This was my friend’s mum talking, her papery face
suddenly a lantern. I kept prattling
as if she’d said something ordinary, something
not quite so aligned with my own predicament.
A hobo in the park – my inner tape recorder
got it, even if my drunk-mind didn’t.
Her eyes were the same blue as a Sydney summer,
the same eyes that once treasured society’s trash.
The stupidity of wisdom. I told my lover
once: “You’ll end up like one of those guys in the park
you know, the ones who yell at nothing and throw
bottles at people.” We were in my car, driving
across the Harbour Bridge. “I don’t care!” he said,
a fresh burst of spittle coating his week-old t-shirt
like air freshener, the cheap kind that’s labelled ‘Alpine’
in black letters, and smells even worse than shit.
It was 11:30 by the time we made it to his office,
which is either shockingly late or “Just in time
for lunch!” depending on whether your half-filled glass
contains vodka. At some point I suppose
I’ll have to stop finding him hysterical
or I’ll end up with the surname ‘Jones’
and a bedroom with a leafy vista.
I know. But my friend’s mum doesn’t lecture
because she knows the wilfulness of love,
the hurricane that howls in from nowhere,
from stillness to gale force in a breath.
Transient as we all are; voyeurs in a dream.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones