Title: Sport 38

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2010, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 38: Winter 2010

Nick Ascroft

page 205

Nick Ascroft

Five Character Descriptions I am Too Lazy to Novelise

'She had eyes like two large eggs, poaching in the ebullience of her boredom.'

'Doctor Umwelt waddled in like a constipated alligator.'

'Their faces were regular and pointy, one might say isosceles.'

'I affected a creaky voice in sophisticated company to seem more apropos; it was as though I was perched on the edge of a washing-machine in full swing.'

'To shake his hand was to extract a cold dead foetus from its jar of formaldehyde.'

page 206

Summer's Necrologue

for Kate

The day is bright, the air is still.
Your tooth hurts, and you take a pill
Because another said you should,

But pain is neither neat, nor good
To be thought easily relieved.
The leaves of which no wind bereaved

The branches rest a glaring hue
On lawns beneath the office-view
For one-hand typists eating lunch.

Above, the clouds retreat to bunch
A chasmal edge of blue and loss.
Your boyfriend skim-read Kübler-Ross.

In bed he ventured his belief
That largely it's obsessive, grief.
Your face, in half-light from the hall,

Revolves: that isn't it at all.
The summer grinds another week
To dust and words that they won't speak

When briefing editorial.
We tried at the memorial:
The afterward reception's spread

Lay dormant on its doilied bed,
Condolatory—your smile was numb—
Consoling with a biscuit crumb.

page 207

Analgesia in Her Morning's Eyeline

Unwittingly, as the estuary of
February ebbs from over the lines
Of legs dangled into its current
Under desks—legs the plucked feel of
Drumsticks to humid hands—the eyeline's
Glaze through layers of a conifer
Surface polish hazing from the next
Cubicle greys at the monitor.
The sun is butter on the screen's text,
Under which each of its abhorrent
Creatures sees, sour-sweet a moment,
Each's analgesic and only
Features: in her airconned cowlick these
Waves, the taxiings of galaxies.