Life of the party

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Life of the Party

I took colour
as all music was plastic, wood and guts.
It was a kind of marriage
as all our paper is solvent-soaked trees.

This Green does not bleach under sun
or shrink at turpentine …
so I affirm.
It is a question of your weight in oath, our hope
is a foolish thing, footpath weed;
a scrappy, staunch verdure.

You download a membership form
it is a small, pay-by-Visa contract
that required a globe of years.
My first meeting greeting is almost hummed, vestment of thongs,
rough hands shake across meeting room circles of disposable chairs.
Avocado oils, unleavened bread and cheap coffee —
we are the sum of our pacts.

It was children, work and disease
the bravery of enough
a small sense of festivity at the local bowling club.

Each sandbar is cracking treaty, apricot prayers
beneath the acclamations of mangrove.
The word forest is wrapped in awe
something stands yet
above a world laid flat
in a simulacrum of obeisance.
We are not mountains
and our fundraising stall promises just this.

I vote for moss, mulga …
balms in the fall
the promise of high tide
and day spent with my feet.
Brown, Milne, Rhiannon:
the glint in slurry, flares,
silver-lorikeets above trammelled stone blocks.
It is some small thing
to pledge to oxygen.
Remnants remain
their busy immobility
turns our eyes
and bankrolls the world.
Greedy leaves bend the sun, we sleep
in eucalypt shadow.

Maps obfuscate with blue —
blistered roads are gold and silver tinted ordure which take us
nowhere (gleeless s-bend),
new necessity of the struggled middle class.

Scatter the ashes of foolish want
my name is my injury
phosphor collage
scowl and mindshell
that sinuses up our dirty power-in-a-bucket boss flips.
We drink rivers, seas … strange,
strong air.
Attain power, mortgages, partners and pale
with grief, almost whispered
tamed malls, greybell hats. We are fire-folk.
The nesting magpies of our lips
smouldered hope strawberry breast, the stairs of despair.
Healing by the rage of belts
poisoned feasts burn in new deserts.
Palms are not menorahs; the X of sunlight through a squint is no cross.

Our kind of faith will fail if humans crash
busy big think
played out in municipal plans and roadside bluster.
We are yet to know its seasons
you joke about everGreens
but ideas are febrile things
that rarely live to see the frost.
We pay by our hands
invest in future futures
clip the hedge funds
and letterbox fans of pamphlets
to the covenant of next days.


San Francisco does not disappoint,
except in larger ways. The harbour does Tai Chi as
ragged eucalypts occupy each line of defence.

Pagans and denim lotharios called 'Dick',
waiters under the lamps of look,
cowboy hats gargle —
a boisterous new Jesus and Beige.
San Francisco does not night, she ducks …
behaviour is not shutting down.

On Haight I see him,
drizzling grey ponytail, blade shades
babyboom — cool —
his electric wheelchair modified with chopper handles.

Tax deductions.
Donate your car to St Vinnies.
Homeless guy reading Home
--------at the Tenderloin, homeless gal shaves her legs
----------------homeless guy changing a into smart blue uniform …
everyone has a Plan.


Les Wicks' website

Les WicksLes Wicks has been published in 11 countries and in seven languages. He runs Meuse Press, which focuses on poetry outreach projects. His seventh, most recent book of poetry is Stories of the Feet (Five Islands, 2004).




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Existing comments

Thanks ES for today's poems. An exciting facility with language, especially the amazing range of idiom and image they draw on.
Joe Castley | 08 April 2008


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