Afterwards, Jiah Khan slung her red silk dupatta
from a ceiling joist in her Juhu beach apartment,
my viral-stricken buck rattled to sleep curled by
my bed, and I woke to the cold body of silence –
Distant, untouchable night is stooping
over fingers of street-lights
that push her away. And the children of night?
The children of night are in hiding
It’s the stale argument once again
of course, old verbal horse,
about that ethnic fairy land
and all the dark-brown banksia men
Did I fly there? I may have flown there.
Maybe in something with the specifications of a crop-duster.
The Sugar Coast. Everything comes with a name. A name and a nickname.
The Soaked Coast. Bundy. Blue rustle of cane. Home to Rum City Wrecking.
When the talk is of angels
it’s tempting to think of them on the cold lake
small swan-shaped slivers of ice.... (read more)
Because in a foreign city even at eight
he needs the familiar nearby, to hitch
the gaze like the reins of that lacquered
horse to a fixed spot, in order to let loose,
Under the bathroom light I examine every particle of you.
A taxonomist with a specimen, I trail through
the topography of your naked back, classifying
whorls and curlicues. These signs lie beneath our daily clothing
What am I going to write here?
Something, I hope. A year
or so since I last launched out
Years ago when John Forbes praised
my later work, he said my Problem
of Evil was influenced by Tranter’s
Red Movie, and being younger and furiouser,
I rang Forbes and explained P. of E.
I wish I had been painted by Millais. Maybe not as Ophelia in a tepid bath.
Perhaps as Lady Macbeth. Or Titania. Or Portia. Not Brutus’s Portia. Portia from
The Merchant of Venice. I used to make you sit on a little wooden stool and pretend
you were painting me. Stroke after stroke rasping against the canvas. I would