Man with secret lives



Selected poems



Cat and man


he, the cat on my lap

me, the man with the cat on his lap

yellow light sliding through window


in the blank tv screen

i see leaves outside

they reach inside


the cat stops cleaning

i stop thinking


he, the cat on my lap

me, the man with the cat on my lap

are silent and still


the cat on the lap vanishes

the man with no cat on his lap vanishes


so do the sofa walls roof cushions books



that which was known is not known for —


the knower has vanished also




Man with secret lives


I visit McDonald's and talk knowingly with the staff.

I have a comb-over.

Evenings, I drink large quantities of stout.

I am good at yoga.


I meet women and men for sex in their cars.

I give motivational talks in boardrooms.

I'm Mike Jagger, psychiatric nurse.


I have failed at every task


When I drink coffee I roll it over my tongue and remember

how I grew the beans myself

on my own plantations in Guatamala.

I hope my secret family there is doing well.


I captain this battleship in tight formation with destroyers and frigates.


My contemporary dance company is in constant demand.

We travel to festivals in Europe, driving audiences wild.


I am a busy man but I sleep well.

I walk daily in green forests and absorb the auras of giant trees.

I wake early and clean the floors of filthy kitchens.


My hand is steady.

My eye is true.

My hearing accurate.

I remember everything and forget what I choose.


I tell only the truth.






If I keep searching, I'll find her

among these black umbrellas

and bright parasols.


She's here somewhere.

Black birds are calling us both,

so I know where she is headed.


Down this autumnal path, between these trees

with an easy gate opening before us to a gentle decline,

a coast and a beach and a ship with black sails hoist,

an attentive crew and a following breeze.


We'll step aboard, leave land,

follow the sea's blind arrows

to an horizon rolling before,

where boundlessness will be ours.






Topic tags: David Lander, poetry



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Existing comments

Crikey !! Captivatingly creative !! Poetic process that belongs to so few !!
john frawley | 20 June 2018

Thanks. Insightful. Tight.
Peter Goers | 21 June 2018


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