Title: Analgesia

Author: Geoff Cochrane

In: Sport 36: Winter 2008

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2008

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 36: Winter 2008


page 160


The Haz Mat yard sleeps yellowly
and the airport talks to itself,

addresses itself
through a tinny megaphone.

It's pleasant here at dusk,
even when the sucky silver shrilling

of tall cowled jet engines
carries on a gentle southerly

to my back door,
the porch on which I'm smoking

a friendly cigarette,
a soothing cigarette not yet my last.

A new New Yorker,
inkily sweet-smelling.

Tonight's heroes are
Denis Johnson and J.M.W. Turner.

page 161

I'd like my work to be
all the things it's not,

but each of us is stuck
with his own particular schtick.

(Beyond a certain point, effort makes no difference,
effort simply deforms.)

The irritability
of the adult animal:

I saw it in the steely eyes
of poor blue James Galvin, visiting poet.

I amount to something, yes,
as I almost failed to do,

and there's satisfaction in that.
But one gets older and outlasts ambition,

tires of the game of living and being liked,
outgrows the need for people.

And one becomes the vessel
of an odourless boredom,

and sex or one's imagining of sex
somehow detumesces. Becomes dilute, diffuse.

page 162

The fleshly gloss goes off it;
its potency's dispelled

and its magic drained away;
the sinful sin of it is driven out,

leaving just the colourless molecules of indifference,
the watery hormones of analgesia.