new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Alan Brunton


online works
SAD DIVAN (Constantinople)

This dark night like bambalacha
you are so quiet I'm afraid.
The stars listen to us, will they betray us?
Will they carry the trace of our talking
to your husband? Why aren't you afraid?

*

All roads lead to you with your cute dimple
but you throw dirt at me
and don't allow a kiss.
Use me up, let's converse with our lips.
I wait for you all night
picking bark off the tree beneath your window,
you drive me crazy, 
let's converse with our lips.
You rake ashes in my heart, lovely girl
you fire me, let's converse with our lips.

*

If you don't want me (kitten) why not say?
Why keep me here like frozen meat
while you go to and fro, butcher of my soul? 
Why do I hang out 
hoping you will trip to this neighbourhood?
Do you think I don't guess you're with your friend?
Why push me around? Why make me suffer?
I asked my wife. 
She said tell you: Goodbye, it's all over now.

*

The birds come out and make their peeps,
I fall down and listen
beneath the blue sky.
The bees play springtime
but it's winter for me.
The trees lunge towards the clouds
and seeds fall on the ground,
oh magic smell of creation, but where are you?

*
In the Bodega the beatniks nurse
their beers and smoke,
oh marijuana from Coromandel-
how good you make me feel
between jasmine rolling papers,
burning me into laziness.
I don't want to work,
I don't want to play.
I remember that woman
who introduced me
to smoke in her black velvet lounge,
now I am poor, hey I don't care-
I light up, oh marijuana from Coromandel!

*

Who listens to me? Who hears 
my complaint and cares?
If anybody did
they would be crying too,
stones would fragment like 
quanta in a collision.

*

Yes, you are a queen stepping out 
of the Holy Bible, something from 
a Psalm. Beauty clings to you and I 
love you. You are the absolute
I have learnt patience for.
Each moment brings sighs,
they fall out of my heart
more and more. There is no end to this.

*

I'll get drunk on the waterfront tonight.
This is why: I got mixed up with some girl.
She drives me insane
she is so obstinate. I'll get drunk tonight.
What does she have to lose?
She is going to catch trouble
on the thin end of a knife.
If she shows up tonight,
she'll find me drunk-we could have been lovers.
What does she have to lose?
She doesn't know how good I could make her feel.

*

Nowhere on the planet is there greater agony,
I'm lying in a wet bed dying from love's tb,
this is my last day. Amen Amen Amen 
If not now, tomorrow. Amen Amen Amen

*

Your face was shining from some excitement 
denied to me, your hair
travelled in the breeze,
I loved those curls as fine as brushes
in the newly painted church,
Christ, love
squeezes me! Your little look
and the word
you almost said, the haha as you went,
Christ, I ache.
You are a vision. I hope there's something
at the end of the line
that will punish you for making me yearn 
this much for your houseofrighteousdreams.

*
I don't know why you came to this town.
I was as happy as pachalolo here
until you rose above the houses
like 2 moons, I tell everyone
you went up above Island Bay
like 2 moons, I tell them
you outshone all our neons
so furiously they believe me!

*

Aren't you tired
of dominating every minute of my life?
Sometimes
you say you are growing fond of me,
other times
you say why don't I wait and see? Ouch.

*

Oh 
enchanting floozy with eyebrows 
black as ink, will I see her again?
How will I find
that spice girl again
when I can't look in books
because I don't know her name?
At night I leave my sheets
and swim the deep lakes of her eyes.
Why do I
believe in her
when she does not believe in me?
I'll never fall in love again.

*

I've got to stop. My mind is
getting wrong. Money
falls out of my pockets, my cards
fall in the gutter where I crawl.
I don't want to go back to the Bodega,
I want to stop smoking marijuana
but each breath of black smoke
reminds me of you. I can stop
betting on the outcome of games
but I can't stop loving you,
oh God let me smoke,
even if redemption's lost.

*

You stole my heart and threw it in the fire,
if it kept you warm for a minute
I don't regret it.
You would not do that for me but 
I don't regret it. You were sent
from another place to teach me love
and I have learned my lesson.
I don't regret it. I don't regret it.

*
Bring me wine, I'll boo hoo-
I'll sing about mad kissing
when summer was hissing,
when I held her on my fingertips,
let lightning hit my lips
and I will sing "Blues de Hue":

If I catch you
with that man again,
playing hands
and laughing lip to lip, I'll finish
him then drag you
to the edge of town.
When they locate you
you will look a mess.
I'll go to the police
and I will confess, I'll go to court
and tell them everything,
they won't have to ask.
The judge will let me go
because love of you
made me Blessed. Mull over that.

*

Let me brush the hair from your cheeks,
let me kiss those dark eyelids, let me
have one second of your company.
If God wants me he will give me
one second of your eyelash
on my face, your lips 
like buds on my neck, before 
he calls me to my authentic death.

*

He was mugged in the streets
because he was lost,
stab wounds opened up his back;
he was in the wrong place
on that rainy day; looking for Ding
he got off-track; they came out of shadows
and drew red lines on his back.
When Aunt Mary found him, she wept:

I'll kill you punks one by one, 
I'll kill one of you for each 
bloody hole in my kid's skin; you'll 
find out what 'unkind' really mea
ns.

*

There was something. I didn't know what it was
until it fell out of the sky.
Your allure was my inspiration.
You took my feelings away
for renovation, that's why I'm waiting.
You are my secret teacher.
I never knew what it was till it fell out of the sky.
Your allure was my inspiration.
When you return I will know the name of that day.

*
I want black mo, want booze,
a black cigar and a ticket 
that can't lose, want to smash
this place, want to break 
the glass, oh I could die, why 
don't you love me? I drink
to inscribe your name in the annals
of the momentous drunks. I'm ready 
to be locked up; if it would save society
I'd do ten years in Witako,
let them come for me.
See what you have done to me?
I go to the Bodega to buy marijuana
I can't afford. You discovered
my weak link, I found the level
to which I could sink. You broke this
heart, I can't say it plainer.
You made a boo-head out of me.
Is there no mercy in this world?
There's only one way out.
I will depart in a coffin
unless you marry me.

*
What floods my chest,
what deludes my heart,
what is the name of the horizon
in my chest where lightning strikes?
Why did you look backwards
when you were walking
in the park and catch my eye 
for a second? That's when I 
became useless.
I'm unemployed, my life destroyed,
I'm living in sin. One quick look
was how long it took. I forget what I was.

*

for you i die i came to this place
i had no business 
to be oh you baby doll
your husband
did this to me the last thing
i saw was 
your smile it was like mercy

 

Alan Brunton 


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Last updated 11 May 2001