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Sport 4: Autumn 1990

Andrew Johnston — Revisionism

page 136

Andrew Johnston


1 (The Present Tense)

The most important scenes are staged
on a particular stretch of coast.

While I am audience the hill is backdrop:
we change places often, however,

and soon the coast is
littered with costumes. That's the hat

where first we met, the shoes
that never fitted. And so on

and back again. We find many uses
for the rocks on the beach.

We refuse to make plans,
forget the script entirely.

2 (The Possessive)

Chance meetings provide
a series of places

to misunderstand each other.
In the car I am learning fast

page 137

how much I already knew
but there are gaps in the syllabus,

holes in the tent, and the wind
is cold and relentless.

Like turning up at the right time
and forgetting your own name: imagine.

3 (The Dark Past)

We both know why I
flinch as you press

a hand against my chest
and it isn't culture shock.

I'm left with
your attitude:

forehead tilted toward
the places where

the stars should be;
the whole of your serious profile

translated by the moon, reads
like an excess of strategy

and there, you say, I go again
and so I almost went,

slipping into the dark past
for the sake of comparison.

When I leave I leave
a lot to be desired.

page 138

4 (The Third Person)

After they had talked
there were five minutes left.

He watched them.
He felt the whole world

was coming to
the wrong conclusion

about him. Methodically.
Sleeping and waking:

one of those circles
night describes.

He couldn't
point to it

and smile
at the same time.