an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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An Invalid’s Catalogue of Old Beginnings

(Index I) *

In the beginning, the sky has striped itself into a paua shell
the wind here caresses, shrieks, distresses in the sly slant
mouth of a bohemian bard promising a dance to the end of
love, now if blackest dark is upon us let it come look
on loss it’s just a shipwreck of us, words could not name it
not contain it, that decade rushed it gushes as I stretch in my
sit my doors of consciousness creak ajar, with a dig behind
brow and an earworm devotions
begin deliberate and ascetic, moments here being only ash
their smoke signals say maybe souls are made of poetry but
this morning I read verse in thin streams of violet mist, I
watch them fade, take me there now foggy to those woods
perhaps some greenshade will reach on in, words will streak
me sweet and taste just right, in the middle of the ill twilight
weeks I rinse it off, scrub my skin soft knowing tough girls
crack sudden as asphalt, and the things I still like tell of
other things a round vase, a red scarf are that stroppy mare
we gave her
fists of clover, hollandaise on a cheek, a stuck country gate
the blue eye above the road opening up inside us and I still
love these sunfed late mornings when eyes of children
bloom again as daisies, earlier will mood my view of me all
hangs by a thread batted by dread morning people, silently
spurn their sunburnt
smileshine enquiries fast and hard their hail is leading
questions swallow, nod it off and open a window, stop and
sip, try to sit again in rhyme, as she is always many things at
once my past my future my place are lions,
they shut me up, they feed on me til I am heat I boil over and
later comes the cold. In the end, the rain will wash it all
clean. There will be
a new beginning.

(Index II) **

In the beginning, I take my soul out for breakfast, please don’t

judge me for walking on the berm, I amble til I fall asleep beneath
forests of neurones, my mind in a poem your hearts in my hands, find
sweet subversions of their mind traps take me nowhere, listen there to
Malcolm McClaren piano, recall chords of romantic discord today it’s
only seagulls and crabs, some suffering won’t rest while ideas wait
wiser than any one of us and I wonder if she watches where she goes
her folly is the thrill of falls part desired
wisdom is a midnight sky it wakes me stars stunning studding wide
and wild, land and lid how it fits is not fixed, tomorrow my hair hangs
stage curtain heavy hope then will be a trim, the way out dear is a
bridge. I forget
what is meant by wellness but Ms Dickinson yes they shut us up still,
well or sick, under rohotu heavens tiny sparks spin she’s in my head
again anonymity keeps free her, not me, I am the small man in tall
offices I blunt the sharps in twilight hear the old gods whispering
truths unkind, their slups of rain plink my grubby panes learn the art
quick of lighting halls between leaving cells to drip in dark for only
winter knows me
its opaque melodies loan me mist and fog look how fast they run they
pass this life of birds and mountains miss the boundlessness beyond
our own carbonic sway, the gray of unremembered wellness paints me
away I’ll come home I swear, I don’t care for words they won’t
live for me, admit one wish two gulls a sparrow
I wake in the arc of a rainbow I take up ache arched arms
a list, beloved earworm is the torn edge of sky she is dust crowds
eyes, our house, a spill, I wear too many colours obsessions become
circles, tie the strings of winter masks tight ignore that pink bath towel
unstill life the cotton polyester organ glisten twitches
I see it now in echoes of nausea and almost admire her thoroughness
in tuning the mundane into these halogen avenues of strange. An
invalid’s collection of old beginnings and false starts an ill season
tipping to one singular ripped edge, swing in its fray, in the beginning
there is a limit where peace lays and perfect chaos waits
at the end of beginnings.

*The Catalogue chronicles a collection of ’first lines’ excavated from the poet’s journal entries 05/-08/
*Materials of original artefact: (lang.) Engl. Mod.; compressed pine wood-pulp pages, thread bound; carboniron ink. Late modern era (approx. early Pandemic Era, C21st)