poetry

that afternoon

we sat on the bank
father. son. river. rod.
3 ducks watch us,
they wait for knuckles of bread
we throw out for carp.

β€œyaa! piss off!” – my father’s arms
writhe in the wind like an angry officer.
i hoist my box of orange juice
i take a swig.
vodka swirls
like a warm hand into my chest.

before our expedition…
i hid in the car, and
my father was the lookout.
the rear door left open,
a suspicious window.
i drained juice from the carton,
my fingers unscrewing caps
a thousand thoughts whirred
in my head as i mixed the booze.

the ducks became bored and left.
my bait starts to swirl in the distance,
a fistful of bread
with a hook in it (half immersed).

β€œyou see that?”
my father starts to twitch, jiggle,
his hands bubble up through the
arms of the camping chair.

rotating bait equals a fish, gently
gnawing, picking, probing
underneath our excitement.

β€œhave another drink Dad!”
β€œn-n-not now, i have to watch your bait.”
his eyes cut through the afternoon air,
heads of trees watch us,
insects trickle in the distance.

the bait stops.
my father sighs, his shoulders sag
like branches of an old tree,
he has a drink.

it is the last time i will see him,
i crack open a volume of poetry,
ducks chuckle further down the river.

we exchange poems, metaphors, stories
embalmed in the loam of our language.
vodka sways through our sentences,
no more bites.

the moment is perfect.
well, almost. maybe if there was
a bronze body dancing in
my father’s hands?

night draws over us
like a heavy curtain.
our sighs parallel,
our hands collect rods and bags.
two chairs jut out of my arms
like old telescopes.

β€œyou good to go?”
i nod, and we trundle back on
the mud path
where our memories
lie buried.

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Thoughts

hunting for foibles

This morning as sit in my humble apartment with thrown-together furniture. I begin to think it’s time I went for a drive. Not a normal drive to get things done. I’m not on my way somewhere (say for example, to buy groceries) and the drive is the process in between me and my destination. Today I’m on more of an adventurous exploit. I consider myself an urban explorer. My motorcycle as my battle-scarred sword wading through the leaves of trial and mystery.

I’m on a mission to look for second-hand, antique, worn-out, dusty stores. The kind of places where they still sell creased vinyls and you spot the withered chain-smoking lady who grins at you for the first minute, and then ploughs back into her Mills & Boon. Some stores are in neat, clean, radio-friendly malls. They have crisp advertisements that bounce into your field of view, coupled with cheshire-induced salesmen who greet you at the door.

I want the opposite. I need an adventure. I want to be weaving through three suburbs before I find my burnout bookstore. Perhaps half my problem is I’m a poet looking for a sense of personality in the architecture, rather than a marketed allure of value.

Yesterday I found such a secondhand bookstore, to be honest. The shelves were only half the width of the size of the books and as a result the books kept falling off the shelf (every odd hour). The labels read Mystery, Crime, or Action and were written and stuck there probably a decade ago. The ink have taken it’s toll on the paper and began to explore other avenues and veins in the paper, giving the edges of each word a barbed look.

I stood around browsing the store. While I waited for the old man (who was there a few minutes before me) to finish his arduous story with the store clerk. I didn’t buy anything. I simply browsed to get a feel for the selection of titles there. Most of the time I inwardly judge a bookstore buy the amount of volumes of poetry they have…or whether they keep the cheap-easy pulp fiction. If they have decided to keep a spread of Picador and prize-winning titles, I become jealous of not being a sort of sprite that stalks the aisles and bathes in the unvarnished glow of ideas and accomplishments.

This place was more about the cheap-easy, regrettably. Before I discredit them they did have two Salman Rushdie, and around two dozen classics coupled with poetry. I’m a snob like that. I do realize avant-garde titles which make you think, don’t beckon the general public to tear them off the shelves. I think by now I have made peace with that.

I trust you’ll forgive me cutting this post sort, as I jump on that polished, mechanical-animal waiting for me outside; not to mention the oddities and misfits surviving their quaint existence.

 

PhilosopherPoet

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