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Sport 4: Autumn 1990



From the beginning they are utterly confused
for they want to travel like they never wanted anything.
They want to be doing it for the first time.
They want to stop their errantry miscarrying. So they have
slabs of grungy chord-power grinding through the tape machine,
treacly chocolate biscuits to excite the blood.
They are looking for a landscape like a foreign country
which will make them feel so small no one can see them.

Travel they remember as one long procession
of stick figures scribbled in the murk inside the windscreen.
Spewing in the toilet at the petrol station.
Mother like a big child, racing beside the goods train.
Now, they say, it's time to put the past behind them,
hearts set on some lost & uninfected corner
they can crawl off into, somewhere they might hear their own voices
for the first time, clean as someone tinkling in the frost.


They have diet pills & amyls & pink champagne
& thigh boots & novelties of all shapes & sizes.
Grubby R & B, also white funk from Sydney
(vocoders & squirty little synthesisers).
Nor do they omit to take Literature with them —
he quotes: When we kiss, we have passengers.
Ballast of beer cans hanging off the bumper.
Sugar in the fuel tank (remember that story?).

page 4

Their present to themselves would be a place
untouched to the point where it looked back at them openly
The Brussels sprouts march straight into the surf
& this seems to happen unpremeditatedly.
Corseleted in shrivelled grey fruit
they lurch like an army of lagerphones.
The sea has a smell which they recognise, instantly,
the same way they recognised their first horizons.