walking bernadette mayer

By | 1 September 2023

at dee’s we read dickinson
then do a sound meditation
then read her again
it puts me in my place
i needa brush my teeth
i bought greek biscuits and
kombucha in a wine bottle
labelled backyard bubblegum
sian brings geelong pinot
on the tram home my teeth hurt
dee’s friend has a well decorated
apartment hi res images he
prints at officeworks in expensive
frames— he works nights
i have work in the morning
i need to shower and rest
but i’m restless like a biscuit
dipped in chocolate then in nuts
for the taste i’m banking on the night
as usual to exist
a man on the tram says this
is us, right?
i like to kiss your face
i like to ride in the night
under harsh fluorescents
i’m in a bay window in the front carriage
heat is publishing five of my
poems from brooklyn new york
to seddon melbourne— bernadette
mayer is from brooklyn
which i didn’t think of when i
was there or the other day
when she died—
i have not enough toothpaste
bought a tube at cheaper buy miles
flavour lemon myrtle
watched shawshank redemption
with melody— the prisoners found
freedom in music
passing naughtons one more
stop then walk to haines st
where i am still lucky enough
to be living
you calm me down but it’s
complicated— i’m a little
fiendish i want so badly
to be brushing my teeth and in bed
alone to think i love my phone
to type in as a treat channelling
bernadette as best i can midwinter
mid spring mid menagerie
i swig the wine in the safe neighbourhood
the school smells like flowers
do you like poetry well you like
me— suddenly ‘you’ i’m addressing,
is it? i told ‘them’ i’m
addressing ‘poetry’: o, POETRY
how are YOU going? walking alone
needing vaguely to shit and brush
my teeth shame is wasted time
i love my friends my two
strong legs the size of pictures
wall hanging pictures
i’m in a haze
haranguing myself into the picture
i too am a tree only little
only with fourteen branches
and one apparent centre
a playground passes me by
when i was a boy i wanted to
build playgrounds for a living
so that’s what i do with my life now
and i can hurt people too
and i try now to be good and real
o pavement pavarotti
doing a line of cocaine off nefertiti
o nefertiti i never knew thee
homegrown as i am an armchair
a daybed a snail a sticker on
a computer i channel a bridge
not whitmanian the moon is indifferent
a snooker team from queensland
mocks me it is almost cold i am
almost home the home of my
friends i’m sitting— the plants
are watered the carpets are vacuumed
i need coffee and dish soap i have
toothpaste and protein cookies
this is the future fourteen branches
like fourteen pub crawls are you with me
baby i see you in ohio and so
you see a car is nice to me so
is another car i’m typing writing
right into slumbering traffic
ahh be done with me
when you are done with me

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