Going to and leaving scuffed planets, she drove her nail across a cake
of soap. Waves peeled off Bondi. Cafes continued in fine, hip disinterest.
She scrubbed the table, then, and fell into hot traffic. It was a kind of
legalised man slaughter: the archaic, better rested, individual, circumstantial,
ontological, piecemeal (we were drowning between two life savers, flags
primary colours. Used car sales. To think, the kids swum up through the
passenger-side window. Both had moustaches. Salesmen quick phrases slugs
squeezed out of envelopes soft packs and packages stitched canvas or cotton
from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, waxy blood-coloured signatures stitching
books with dental floss.) Her teeth were smashed! Getting up, she swore
bloody at cars and limped to the corner store and ordered two ice creams …
Sydney staged a fight/stayed one night
sun cream pale arms and the power of injunction, punctuation, apostrophe.
It was an apostrophe! A secular ecstasy on the sand! A round fat cut glistened
on her elbow though this was pantomime, a port of inconsistent sailor jokes.
Blue jokes in overalls and the blue bay in the mouth of a strangled burglar.
(Thieves know the tip-toe and the train line, the blue- grey rock the blue
shadow.) To dress in hot disguise with a clean white house dressed in a blue-
black suit pocket of business cards islands the coast of corn coloured light
over lawn from oblong windows. Houses ocean liners dogs slept all next day
boats putter argyle strides emerge with nine irons zippers up smirks and
milking demonstration in men’s shoes – steak dragging great clouds of
fragrance out back into George like muddy explorers. Elderly, their arms
wrinkled as udders, outraged and chatting politely to high school kids in
grape or pea green uniforms. Sydney – so very young, so very old, newly
discovered planet. How do we get our head around it? The heavy high
watermark of the harbour celebrity residence coordination in Glebe book
binding us here and there a foot facial relapse three days each morning in
a pair of Reeboks laces so long it takes a half hour to trace my way to the
universe and maths of chance time and let’s, oysters.
38.0: SYDNEYPoetry Editor: Astrid Lorange
Released: 1 May 2012
Index of poems
Cover images: Vernon Ah Kee and Kim Rugg