new zealand electronic poetry centre


Alan Brunton

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Originally published in Grooves of Glory: Three Performance Texts by Alan Brunton (Wellington: Bumper Books, 2004): 55-58.

The Poet: Alan Brunton
The Dancer: Sally Rodwell
The Musician: Jeff Henderson

SCENE: In DREAMVILLE—The Coconut Grove: a South Seas island bar beside the sea; a beaded curtain, an electric fan. On a table: a Thermos and a bell; on a second table, a red brick (= the temple). Three light bulbs hang down; the beaded curtain covers the door. A piano. A bamboo curtain holds out the moonlight.

Three travellers are stranded here, waiting for transport. Stuck in this backwater, they pass the time by inventing fantastical tales about their travels, including interplanetary transmission. They create an anthology of scenes of the imagination, each story taking off from this reality into the out of this world. Each carries a briefcase. They exist by waiting, in this backwater.

J enters, rings the bell; goes to the piano and begins a tune. A enters; rings the bell, drinks from the Thermos, opens his briefcase, shuffles manuscripts, reads …

She comes down from her private world of white
on a sparkly horse, shaking the stars out of her hair
descending out of the light like an unearthly force
into Dreamville, burning up the milky sky,
2 drops of nectar fall from her mouth
as she oh Crikey sails from Moon City into my psyche
like a filing cabinet filled with bad publicity, —wow! lovely laboratory assistant …

S enters.

Please say
she sprays her divine antioxidant into the bughouse of my brain
and I am lost already in the hard rain of a sub-atomic catastrophe
all my dirty thoughts turn into Indian ink
Just a Man on a String, point nothing followed by a hundred noughts
but in the black lagoon where my IQ is marooned
something stirs, and I start writing, yes, I am writing the poem of the universe

S opens her briefcase. Takes second brick to the temple.

P is for Paramour   O is for Original   E is for Entry   M is for Mono


which I was—until there was you

S closes briefcase, and exits.

Coming into my cells like words dripping from spoons, dear fluid, that’s how I thought of you—as close as the breath that comes between us, in the no-man’s-land you rule from a lactic throne I hardly dare approach except in sharp and expensive threads, like coming into the opera, into the blue cinema of your dream, your throne of stones on the beach, the lido of the libido
and I am nothing if not convulsive, looking up, cosmic vulva, starlet of chemical ooze, companion of vanity, Great Pretender, lizard of my dream, laughing beads of exultant moisture …

S returns with case.

Let’s make life up, play with me as you play with yourself, play with wantonness because it’s like everyday phenomena are almost too small for me to use

S turns on the fan.

This house of blues, will we ever know which way is out? I’m stuck inside of here but how can I lose? I did it my way, what am I saying? not much—because I’m thinking about her, the indispensable doctor of the clinic which is also the poem, the burning canto of ecstasy in which each word is a place we are tossed into.

S places third brick on the temple, then turns fan off.

Say what you like, we are sailing in a hydroponic universe, gliding on seas of eternity, leaving Real Time in her semilunar boat, 2 hot lips to caress, magnet to pirates, finger smiths, cracksmen—and how beautiful she looks 

Bird dance.

S spoons honey.

She stands on the burning deck in silk as the world flames, oh fire and smoky days of fall and inspiration, dripping into me as I said from spoons, like honey, the honey that cleans you out with the fire, the honey of the Upanishads … 

The fire is the honey of all beings, and all beings are the honey of fire. The radiant and immortal person lives in the fire and their body is speech—like yours, for you are immortal.  

The wind is the honey of all beings, and all beings are the honey of the wind. The radiant and immortal person lives in the wind and their body is breath—like yours, for you are immortal and you are Whole.  

Space is the honey of all beings, and all beings are the honey of space. The radiant and immortal person lives in space but, in the case of the body, the radiant and immortal person lives in the heart—which is you; for you are immortal and you are Whole.

So excuse me, if I invite myself into your eyes, eyes filled with sparkles, pulses racing from the edge of the universe, the possibility we will come together at the peak of performance, consonance of hearts, cardiovascular contraction and expansion, like magic, we will burn the candle at both ends and darkness will disappear into your eyes, those mysterious oceans, where have you been, what have your eyes seen?

S returns with case and fourth brick.


Alan Brunton 

Last updated 11 May 2001