Pam Brown: 50-50

Prospects

I’ve lost
the fortune-cookie message
& cannot remember my fate

am I instantly
concerned & thinking
a continual thought ?

where is it ? where is it ?
do I possess
„my life’s ambition“ ?

or, propelled by
the force of habit
I sit to think ?

to make what wants to be
& not to embody the past
by entering its world-to-come

instead
to page-down this century
as did, once, R. Mutt.

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City

A yearned-for somewhere
adverb-physically
as lost as now
gazing across
the chunky valley
to a hill
of quivering lights –

There is no
destination –
just a place
no site
not olympic
village site
not harbourside
casino site
nor section
of expressway
just east
of where
coincidence
has determined
your residence
in a city
you returned to
to remember
why you left –

Inventing
nostalgia
for elsewhere –
you’ll live there
in the future –

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Leaning

I could watch
a fire bird
nature program
or let it run,
ignore it        & lean
from the window
into the giddying view –
so dense is the air
above the traffic
in Flinders Street
six lanes wide
& the static city
towers beyond
a dirty patch
of olive &    other
greens        that is
Hyde Park

or spend some minutes
scratching library labels
from the spines
of out-of-print
obscurities
in this
double-divan situation,
a sort of
irksome Larkin-land –
the bedsit odours,
cheese on toast
& floor polish

phagophobic ravers
stagger off at dawn,
drug-whacked
& whooping.
remnants shove
the milk-crate
from corner
to squalid corner
trailing the cask
in a torpor
behind the 24-hour
Shell Select,
another day
slides slowly on,
another effulgent sunset
sharpens streaming
red-dot tail-lights,
little beacons
passing through.

Divider Line

Hypnotic

Hypnotise me
screen

wheel in the oxygen –
to renovate
this
up late-for-nothing
curfew-silenced
night

no new runway’s
sonic roar
& it feels
like            only two
dimensions
like
a counterfeit night –
a mock-up,
a shape-shifter’s smidgin
of lifelikeness

intoxicate me
little disc,
you’re insomnia’s
whimsical remedy
& a fugitive I
by three o’clock

but
what is time
to the melancholic ?

& what’s to
accomplish ?

Divider Line

Vapours

little delirium the first

a woozy clarity
adorns
all liars –
sucking
a nettle lozenge
in peril
of being
found out
(the lowest fear)
& so intensely
self-enclosed
maybe        you’ll
implode,
your
diction’s
eccentricities
increase
with each fresh glass
of vile verdelho
& you make
a dark confession
I’d prefer
not knowing

little delirium the second

is nearly
as bad as
a eurovision song contest –
an awful something
grips the crowd
which, turning ugly,
boos
a feathery-minded
politician
announcing
his proleptic vision
to a world
of shrunken
bandwidths
where
everyone’s called
‚andrew‘
& you have to
bring a plate

little delirium the third

a Tibetan jalopy
rolls across
the silvery sky,
the Sea of Tranquillity
fibrillates
& those
algae-coloured
hormones
make you sick,
your stability
collapses
like a stinking
puffy fungus

Divider Line

Squint

weather
empties itself
gradually
out of the painter
like
pilfered obliquities

the huge gauze
of formalism
lifts

breathing
takes over
as random flukes
& tiny asperities
invent
a parameter,
a flight path,
an almost
aerial city

in this absence
of semaphore
which colour
makes the code ?

These poems will be appearing in a collection called „50-50“ published by Little Esther in late winter 1997.

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