new zealand electronic poetry centre


John Tranter 



The host climbs out, soaked and spitting oaths,
and a teenage girl leaves the barbecue.
Two of those drinks your wife mixed,
bright pink and cheerful, and Iím
seeing double: breasts, twin headaches
exactly the same size await me
frowning from each temple, and a diptych
concusses the chatter: a car salesman
hitting his better half. A pygmy politics emerges
wherever two or more of you are gathered,
shopping together. All right, stop biting,
Iíd much rather sleep with you than with
that other poltergeist. Youíre greedy,
arenít you? O Painted Laugh, why is your
belly convulsing? Can Ďa maní become a sign
for Ďa muscular spasmí? Horoscope,
betray yourself, take me back to a feast,
if this is a feast, these glib flirtations,
the whole gang badly knocked out
by the mundane speech the flame attempts,
each sleep a cancelled cheque, as I
watch myself thinking of you, deracinated
Sweetheart, boarding a Greyhound.

Last updated 12 October, 2003