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After all

Do this’, ‘Do that’, his dominance: his ‘Submit to me’.

Virginia Woolf


Are they after
you? To start with

an axe detains
the rooster’s crow:

night’s clandestine
desire seeps through

sheets floorboards soil
as your hero

loads batteries
in his flashlight.

Two true statements –
each contradicts

the other: yes,
that’s family.


Are they after
all? Untangle

language from thought,
ivy from oak.

Say it’s not so:
your end is near

the First Cause, or….
This night sky’s strip

from your garden

by starless air,
by memory

take a deep breath,
a shallow grave.


In Babel speak

with words measure
this widow’s hurt

or that girl’s gash
come Sunday. Come

on Ghengis Smith,
your body’s lost

the demotic
Greek of bronze….

You’re left-handed,
as you write this

you run into
you. Hi, big boy.

April 2000, Dublin Street, Lyttelton


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