Tuesday, July 13, 2004

This was the last poem I wrote in New Zealand, thirty-five years ago


High in Transylvania - trans-
ported location: the actual setting
3 a.m. Auckland in thin rain. Cicadas
all quiet, all still. Only the
petulant whirr of the recordplayer
& the soft-skull noises of moths
beating their brains out against the opaque walls.

Cicadas all quiet, all still. The moths die
with a soft whirring. The recordplayer
coaxes erotically for your new records. The
cat enters, all wet with droplets of rain, like a
grey night.

                 Do not attempt to isolate
the virus that besets you. Pamper it,
& the voices will emerge from the speaker,
detatch themselves & plunge embodied
into your mouth. The nausea as they beat
against the back of your throat: & the resultant
high, the nutmeg feeling, sad hallucinations
of your nightmare soul.
                                  But this is not
Dracula country. Garlic flowers & the sitar
have driven him away. In grey coffin
with shroud of thin night rain
he is borne ignominiously to sunshine land
to die, wither & die, a flaccid old man
with collapsed intestines, capable of only
the most inconsequential intercourse.

                                                        & you?
You turn off your mind, relax, & float
downstream, absent-mindedly scratching at the
marks the withered gums have left on your throat.

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