30.11.12

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)
Published in June 2013 no. 352
Ken Bolton

Ken Bolton

Ken Bolton lives in Adelaide where he manages the Australian Experimental Art Foundation’s Dark Horsey bookshop. His most recent collections are A Whistled Bit Of Bop (Vagabond Press, 2010) and Sly Mongoose (Puncher & Wattmann, 2011).  Shearsman (UK) issued his Selected Poems in 2013.  He edited Homage to John Forbes (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2002). His art criticism has been collected under the title Art Writing (Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, 2009) and can be read here. (Photograph by Bianca Barling)

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