Two people in a garage

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_____

Trenchcoat

I wore fine, grey
Katherine Hepburn trousers
but my cheekbones were apples —
I had to try harder. I joined the trail


of turpentine and cigarettes. My shoes
clicked on the wooden boards. Traces
of blood beaded on the glass.
I nearly drowned in fulfilment, surfacing
like a batfish gaping at scraps.
My first lover, we lay
without love while
overdubbed guitars spiralled into the air,
sad like op shop ladies
beautiful like the blues.
I watched how you did things, took
your chief weapon, strode
into a dark corner
and fell face down off my life.
Two weeks with you: a love affair
without love —
you, it
sensations that halt sensation.


Work

No words only our breathing — two people
in a garage. Workbenched, love-bolted.
Quiet flits like wood dust. Rough surfaces
catch small sounds. My father and me,
constructing memories. He glues,
mixing resins with medical art. I carve
aluminium, butter-soft, young.
My vice holds a Chinese pictogram
with a promise of luck. I urge my fretsaw
carefully through the maze.
The tools are a language
he will teach me to speak:
screwdriver-hammer-longnosepliers
unused like spices, twinned
to the wall, shadowing themselves.
I coast on a lull, the air sawdust-spattered.
Soon, I will lose the Chinese pendant
and he will finish building a boat.
He will leave me with a brass fob-watch that
has stopped then
turn his attention to a project with no name.


Autobiography in six lines

I walk down the street and get mugged by five punks
__suddenly my legs fall off
and a brick falls from the sky and hits me on the head
__ and I go blind and I think
I don't like this street much and then I think
__ there's safety in numbers
so as long as I keep all my selves to myself
__ I'll never be alone
and I can always count on solitude and things
__ happening for a reason so
I knew you came along to remind me of something
__ some reason to lose my head and give in again
now people approach me and make comments
__ about my shoes; how they like them
where I got them and I say: that's not a shoe
__ that's a small dog down there
and more bricks fall but this time I move well aside
__ and nothing hits me and with my shoes
although legless, I walk away

 

 

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Existing comments

So dense with meaning and feeling Debbie. Every single word enormous with it. Think I need to read the three poems many times to understand. Love and best wishes to you Meredith
Meredith langford | 14 February 2016


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