Poetry / Stuart Cooke

Opera

After each voyage has crumbled into ephemera
                                                                                                           I return to the house
and its quay; I circle the edge before skittling
                                                                                                     off to the suburbs.

Come to me, I cry, crass plastic and screaming sail,
                                                                                                                 shining, golden city
slumped and seeping tune! This evening
                                                                                           my heart’s emptier than a harbour.

I gulp down your butyric cocktails
                                                                              of seafood and suit.
I drink, drown and restart
                                                           sharp as a note, sharp

as a particlar location in space
                                                                     – one
of one million locations – one
                                                                   of one trillion locations in space.

Looming, it’s stretched, blasting,
                                                                          the melody caves in
upon me and I’m pushed out
                                                                  the other side

into pure noise, pure scrunching and there’s Sydney,
                                                                                                                       the starless face,
the writhing highway intoxicated with its own
                                                                                                        waxed tarmac.

Ragged music blows in from the desert,
                                                                                         from the sea;
ragged sheet music catches
                                                                on a barb. Sydney’s

a barb on a rusted wire;
                                                    it pierces currents, injects tetanus;
it’s the time towards which
                                                             we tumble inexorably,

away from which we surge, searching.

© Stuart Cooke

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