After each useless, ephemeral voyage I return
to the house
and its quay; I circle the edge before skittling
off to the suburbs.
Come to me, I cry, fat plastic and screaming sail,
shining, golden city
cramped and seeping music! Tonight
my heart’s emptier than a harbour.
I gulp down your murky cocktails
of diesel and suit.
I drink, drown and return
sharp as a note, sharp
as a particular location in space
of one million locations – one
of one trillion locations in space.
I watch the melody collapse
– looming, stretched, blasting –
it flattens me and I’m spat
out the other side
into pure noise, pure scrunching and there’s Sydney,
the wet black face,
the burning beer intoxicated with its own
Ragged music blows in from the desert,
from the sea;
ragged sheet music catches
on a barb. Sydney’s
a barb on a rusted wire;
it pierces currents, leaks tetanus;
it’s the time of day towards which
we tumble inexorably,
away from which we surge, searching.
38.0: SYDNEYPoetry Editor: Astrid Lorange
Released: 1 May 2012
Index of poems
Cover images: Vernon Ah Kee and Kim Rugg