His Quarter

28 October 2013

If you’ve heard of me it was a rumour.
I have never been distinguished
in the foreground or against a backdrop
and the beggars are out in force tonight
as I am in the cut-glass air
on the street where tables flourish on footpaths
and blue smoke rises like the end of thought.

Here, where the lost seek restitution
and the monied, overheard, can plot
a new assault on real estate,
I drift and sometimes take a seat
as unoccupied as a vacant wish,
and lift a lighter to a cigarette,
the flame as brief as an epitaph.

Being incognito and unknown
the options dictate I should sit,
my prowl from place to another place
cruelling a clung-to outside hope
that one who imagines me may stop
knowing to lose the sense of the street
is to lose the appetite for life.


This poem first appeared in The Apparition At Large, Black Pepper, 2006.

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