page 21 of Tarot #1
I kept your concentration for long enough.
I kept my promise to call your bluff.
I kept the blessed wine and holy bread.
I kept you gossiping with the voices in your head.
I kept your foreign language translated.
I kept your ultramodern madness incarcerated.
I kept you building walls, working you all in vain.
I kept you bleeding in our clinics, cussing at the pain.
I kept you thinking that you were the prodigy of this age.
I kept you fretting and strutting your way across this wooden stage.
I kept you speaking of revenge, lending you skin in the game.
I kept you spitting lies to douse yourself in flame.
I kept the ashes from which you rose.
I kept the feathers, but I burned your clothes.
I kept the ropes that tied you down.
I kept your kingdom; I broke your crown.
My Travelling Papers
page 33 of Tarot #1
Crumbs of crumpled tealeaf twist about the blanched afternoon hour. I have shifted onto my third fresh cup and my sketchbook is now filling, a colander of names and trinkets. Children in their swimsuits and their mothers sing along the promenade, performing to the gulls and they play castanets for the fishermen who tug and tug at their latest trawl. The Duke Festival today carves along fiberglass, cloth-like barrels roll out to sea. Big notes call out from the library. A tone of sepia through low cloud unveils a collarless dog without an owner, tufts of hair hanging from its mangy bones, patrolling the buckets of trevally and gutrot. A dozen impish ears prick up, and several pairs of tiny instruments start to click it closer. One mother clicks it away, unashamed. My sketchbook, ample in its capricious nature, gets netted in both spheres.
The swilling croak of a myna curtsies upon arrival and takes a turn about the page. I toss away bits of bread from an egg sandwich, watch the crumbs scatter and a bright bird dab its thanks. There is olive green chicken fern and belladonna everywhere—the path is gradually filling. We had driven through Dallington, along Linwood Ave and up to New Brighton with the windows down and six kilometres away at afternoon prayer, another barrel is loaded and dispatched. A year from now the gunman, whose name we dare not speak, will get life without parole.
page 53 of Tarot #1
Amid dusk when the sky
was peppered sour orange
and the sun sat sideways,
we watched a notch
of a meteor blister
and break above us.
We are watching history, she said,
Make a wish, he replied,
his voice cracking
and tumbling into orbit.
She squeezed her eyes shut
and I did too,
wanting beyond belief
at that blushed
collapse of something
on that key-stroke ribbon
of interminable bloom,
across the country
and overflowing the horizon,
believing that it flew for us.
Us, so content in gazing
skyward, believing that
our wishes were justified
and looked so