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'30.11.12', a new poem by Ken Bolton

Reviewed by
June 2013, no. 352

'30.11.12', a new poem by Ken Bolton

Reviewed by
June 2013, no. 352

What am I going to write here?
Something, I hope. A year
or so since I last launched out


in my usual spot

and stopped, because I didn’t
want the usual
– which
after all this time with
nothing else happening
I miss.  I hear
a high-pitched scattered voice,
look up,
& see an image that makes me think
‘I wonder how X
is going?’ – someone
I haven’t seen for a while –
a blonde woman sways
distractedly, near the till,
asking a question. But not
of me. I think she is enjoying
the air conditioning, the
sudden sense of choice. Her relief –
at the prospect of rest.
My walk here
blocked for a moment
by a girl – ex-
pensive shopping bags in
one hand mobile phone to ear
in the other – so that I thought briefly
How can anyone bear
to appear so girly?
Realising
by reflex, that How can anyone bear
to walk out like him
(say)?
is a question
some woman might ask
with regard to me –
dressed, after all,
‘like a styleless yak’,
to quote Paul Keating
(not a woman, tho women
liked him. I liked him). 
Maybe she has something
great in that bag,
the girl,
that on another day
I will applaud,
registering a kind of intelligence
I don’t have or
rarely access. Lunch hour –
& Tempo seems filled, nearly,
with women, mostly older than me.
A free concert, maybe, in the offing.
The Adelaide String Quartet
resides out back.
Soon I will hear a bell tinkling,
announcing the doors’ having opened.
I look about briefly –
too blind, in this light,
to read the paper – too blind
with these eyes
, is more the case:
an eye operation in
10 days time.
 ____After which –
all will be revealed, maybe. 
I hope I am not plunged-in-darkness –
never to see that girl again,
for example, in her
short summer frock
of dove grey, telephone
to her ear, moving dreamily,
an image, now, I love –
or the delightfully styleless yak
I see amble past … 


& whom I join, my lunch
(half) hour up – (gone?)  ((done?))


II

‘X’ was someone smarter than me
in most respects
that count – thin,
drank a little too much,
coped, made a difference, as they say.


Thumbnail image: Yaks! bdirth, Flickr (CC by 2.0)