Saturday night jukebox

big o on saturday
night jukebox the
wireless warbling
burbling a sweet
desertion above
the hiss of greasy

fry a floury knead
of pizza wheeling
awkward waxing
outside a rank of
gloomy farm utes
wide-eyed gazing
down a rainy main
street only a lonely
hound dog howling
crooning a primal
lovelust upwards
towards a doughy
round of moon.

Of course, you know little of the fact that —
by night — I don a mask and moonlight,
alternately, as a prince and beggar. And
on other nights, as a Bengal tiger with flames
in place of claws. You do not see me firstly
as pure animal, then as pure machine.
The words alone — and the words must be alone —
are themselves the pearl of great price. And
I have made ready to sell all my belongings,
to set out into the field to dig the night.
Of course, you know little of the thousand dark,
wind-riven nights on which I was alone —
bruised, blundering through the field.
Blundering, and yet gentle with the grasses,
folding each leaf down with measured caution.
Of course, you cannot know this —
you may only follow with telltale footsteps
through the darkness, unearthing reams
where you pass, where you fold them
down again. This is the dream. And the dream
from which you will waken. I will become
pure machine: lit from within by oil — golden oil,
oil of night. I will powder the field for treasure,
forgetting — perhaps — that the field itself
is priceless — the mother of all pearls.
I will blunder and yet be gentle, and yet
raise it up into darkness on flaming claws.

Thom SullivanThom Sullivan is a 26-year-old recent Arts/Law graduate and poet who lives in the Adelaide Hills.


Topic tags: Thom Sullivan, Jukebox, Oneiric, new australian poems



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