Title: Sport 2

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, April 1989, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 2: Autumn 1989

Michele Leggott

page 35

Michele Leggott

Umbilicus Jump

citrus blooms
the baby dances naked to the human eye
peering in making slow sense of sound pictures
the baby is good at already
if you look at it like that like sonar like listening in
rolling thunder eight to the bar
to rainy Saturday duets a camera finale
flip and two soles waggle at you from up there
up? down? the music
rolIs walks gimps falls apart laughing starts over
pelagikos the contact improves
what pictures are the voices making now?

a baby fell out of the Listener last night
also sweet-lipped handcoloured the way they are
pick me up I am yours
I left her on the mantelpiece in a (handblown) glass bowl
there you are pretty one I thought
but she haunts me noiselessly all over the house
eyes wide and china blue
what shall I say to this picture of bliss? citrus blooms
the luck is good light and high resolution

my own
is noisy cells dividing snap crackle pop kicking off the day
with expansive bids at the limits
the surprising things that get into this world and find out afterwards
what they eat
messy breakfasts of self-pouring yoghurt
page 36 the small pig in the good soft mud retelling his comforts
soliloquy turned pas de deux in the crowded bed
itself an attempt at containment
citrus blooms jumps along the blood in glassfuls
feeding the baby

you speak the lines from given points
where you are is what you see moving towards the sound
of pictures warming by assocation
piano-sized grapefruit for the umbilicus jump
surprising noisy things
that project mean growth roll in waves beyond the human ear
sifting the construction now as light with a chance
to hold the picture
see the lines locate traverse compute the given
but the gift has flipped or flown in the waves a dozen times
since you caught its measure
louder and louder it blooms this heart flower

page 37

The August Girl

the August girl floats in the water tank
she's an Edward Weston nude but that's no real obstacle
out here against the dark
she is writing a review it's going better than some (look at her face)
but how tenable is the position? deep-ending
off the lip of the tank onto points of view
that support the body of her argument, lap it in light ripples
nose chin nipples toes the backs of her hands only
the extremities stick out
holding on has nothing to do with it and maybe her eyes are silver

three vases of flowers in the house I am rich
and a posy of violets before the gold mirror
other gatherings speak for themselves:
I zipped her letters into cushion covers dozens of them
and when she died and my brothers burned boxfuls of letters about the place
(like me she couldn't throw anything out)
I said don't worry girls, all hers are here —
hugging imaginary armfuls
in an uproarious wave of laughter sweeping the room out
to where the mermaids are, maybe

inside the book
she is uncovering an elaborate authorial joke
that wants to jump (off) all the vieux ponts it can find
and swim in the river bare naked
meanwhile the house breaks in again rooms views requirements
walk or float? the double track is braided
with possibility rich precarious suspended over disbelief
momently speechless watching the figures draw closer
what kind of houseroom do they need, the bits that stick out
of the dark summer water?

page 38

she drifts
irons sleepers and gowns somewhere else in her head
puts them in a banana box inside the writing room the waiting room
August bumps past with a pack of weekend barbaloots
rose prickles stuck to their noses with spit
point and room connect suddenly at view viewing also
the muppetry of shrinking hamburgers (wrong mustard)
or wind sailors sinking in a circle (watches)
Jump St for the old locations Mr Jinks for extra sleep or whatever
the nose needs wiping again at a critical juncture
two bliss yous he says from the doorway

it's no Ophelia float
she waits, near the end of the book now, ready to twist
or fit
whatever the river has in mind she swims like a fish
she's in her element unzipping figures of speech under the old bridges
in the viewing rooms
where early spring flowers before the mirror can double the chance
a calendar gets at reflection looking again reviewing
the largesse of one who kept everything
and remembered how to give it back at last a wave and a smile
on the weekend books page