I’m Going With My Gut

Originally published in Lot’s Wife, print ed. 1 2018

 

I have a good feeling about my gut,

So I’m going to follow my instincts,

Which is to say, I’m going to commit a logical fallacy

on the basis of a perceived metaphorical condition of my abdomen

I don’t mind, I have no qualms in overlooking this minor detail

It seems good to me

It seems good

It seems you could ignore the before

based on this empowering self assuredness

To diffuse that explosive dead weight

If good is a condition, it’s firm and becoming, warm and dependable

Like a handshake that segues into a satisfying clap on the shoulder

Sometimes you’ve got to trust in your gut

And nevermind the rest

Just nevermind

Just never you mind about the culture already developed

The details of the stomach stew

It is bacteria breeding digestive insurance

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Declare Your Goods

Declare your goods:

 

Exotic dirt-danced shoes

Brushing britches

In a two-part tango

Across a coast

Designed by dancers

Powdered streets with foreign footprints

 

Photographs of family

Of friends

Festivities

Embossed in minds

The blueprints of a future

A finite forever

 

A blazer

Saturated in salty scents

Of minerals

To set ablaze

A Golden Gate

Of International Orange

 

Wrist wrappings

Stitched with pride

Declare themselves

In unabashed glory –

Seven shades of soulful souvenir

To parade

 

A distinct new State

Of movement

Of memory

Of mind

Moments to mark in time

 

You must declare your goods.

A General Direction

I was left breathless

Hoping and wanting and finally loving

The way you seemed to be looking

In my general direction

It was a crowded night

Filling with people, intentions and drinks

I saw the way you parted that sea

To walk in my general direction

You smiled and nodded

A flicker of acknowledgement too casual

A way to express any thoughts

You had for passing my general direction

And I stopped myself

Hoping and wanting and finally craving

For a way to erase my hopes that you

Would be more than in my general direction

Transience

A person has not the luxury of dispersion

To mushroom and fade in the subtlest way

It is not possible to become so innocuously beautiful

A whisper of smoke or a lingering scent

Could never have been such a clumsy form

Coats of perfume and and fluttering voices

Are mere approximations

They are cheap substitutes for existing between states

It is a privilege to be so subtle and treasured

And a blessing to be so inconsequential

The Girl and the Graveyard

I aim for home between the rubble and the dust,

Somewhere hidden underneath those messy layers

My clothes and shoes and regrets, laid bare and dirty

Mistakes I burrow myself within

I must be hoping to build myself a home

Since no one commits themselves to mass excavation unless they are looking for permanence

There is a vast cavern in me

It is the plot hole in the cemetery in which I am burying myself

The Rotary Clothesline

All the things that could be said hung like wet laundry on the rotary clothesline

It’s groaning under the weight of stain removal, odour extraction,

Limp and heavy and soaking

They’ve been cold washed trying to warm in late summer when sunshine just isn’t that generous

They were wrung out and wet again

Tumbled and blasted

They’ve been through the motions

They are being prepared to be worn by a climate unready for things

That could be said

And are left waiting on the rotary clothesline instead

Hikari

My dearly beloved, bullet train

I was arrested in car number twelve

From Osaka to Tokyo

You had me at train now departing

I’ve committed to memory

Your clean blue and white lines

They remind me of calmness

And I sat transfixed

As Japan rushed me by

As if handmade, hand sculpted, hand nurtured

By an artist with the most loving caresses

Your countryside embellished

With farms of both rice paddies

And the photovoltaic variety

Greenhouses stitching them together

Your cities vibrant and technicolour

Advertisements of character

Tied in ribbons of rivers lined with sakura

And your mountains stood misty

Hooded and strong in a mask of green

Trees to protect what I know must be true

The earth is beloved, and held room in its heart for bullet trains and dreaminess

My own pulsed and resounded

To the rhythm of your topography

Keeping time with your wind speeds

There was no justice in photography

So I drank instead with my eyes

That I used as I wept to the sunset

The View From Nunobiki or Somewhere Close to There

I see it all

The trees and bushland on the edge of a city skyline,

It is neighboured by a saltwater harbour,

a gateway to the rest of the world,

guarded by the mountainside which draws my breath from me

To rustle autumn leaves and whistle through the branches I will imitate

To reach

Beyond my line of sight —

I see it all.

And yet I reach beyond to find within me the stillness I’ve been missing.