new zealand electronic poetry centre

S o m e   s h e l l s   i n   a   t o b a c c o   t i n

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                                                                                                          Jack Ross

Nightingale Fever
(i.m. Ruth Dallas)



Fever, nagging pain: ingrown
    toenail? Catarrh
        swimming inside your head?

Rhythm? No, a shape
    sound – melody
        a certain catch

repeated. Phrase?
    A state of heightening
        pain between your eyes

creased, not swollen – something
    there to say. To whom?
        God? Never

quite – next time, perhaps



A million ways
    of failing
        Time to set it off

Bob    See you later
        Blues     log ladies

So when’s the time for
    Chapeaux bas

Inside a mine     at midnight
    Underwater        lost to all
        good feeling    gutted

in the dark?



I don’t have
                   any more
to go on
                   than you do
turn aside
lady turn
                   your head he’s
writing wait
                   ing for the
buslane to
                   light up not
green or red
                   or amber
but B blue