Homo Suburbiensis

1 February 2014

With a phrase from Franz Wright’s ‘Another Working Dawn’

you’re dreaming still : soaring high above an endless city : your view
slantwise : your back to the dawning sun : the streets are empty :
the high-wires knotted with pigeons : you’re dreaming still :
of absent friends : of your own domestic library : its drowsy aroma :
the piles of weighty hardcovers you’ve acquired : there’s nothing
for it : but to turn yourself out into the streets : post-boxes
gagging junk mail : newspapers lying at the streetsides : unexploded :
even the notorious guard-dogs, the most predictably vehement
of them, have developed inhibitions in the night : which means
nothing : you’re dreaming still : meat-hooks in the soft ham
of your ankles : scraping the pavement : a dreadful rasp : that wakes
the neighbours : that wakes the whole indecent postcode :
clammy in their bed-sheets : from their dreamless sleep :
or sleepless dreams : one way or another, they’re dreaming still :
late night programming flickering inside their eyelids : station ads :
infotainment : the exposed breast they didn’t kiss : aged sixteen :
that wakens them : with a hankering for pavlova : it doesn’t matter :
you’re streets away : in an avenue of enthusiastic bottlebrush :
that sheds its eyelashes onto your shoulders : where some ghost :
some lost child or teen suicide : agitates a swing in the soldiers’
memorial gardens : rattling its chains : with a lightness that counters
the heft of gravity : its tension on the swing : its catenary fullness :
puddles in the gutters shiver : attuned to some resonance
beneath your hearing : suffering it like a skin : some gristle
in the teeth of the fault-line : on a corner a broken bird : dishevelled :
its eyes screwed shut : it’s dreaming still : wheeling high above
this vast suburbia : paved with rooftops : its view slantwise :
far beyond the curvature of the earth :

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