Title: Sport 10

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, May 1993, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 10: Autumn 1993

♣ Emma Neale

page 67

Emma Neale



She was his rebound.
He took her to him
again and again
wanting exhaustion
the backswing of his heart
to slow in smaller and smaller arcs.

Afterwards he would dim the lamp,
drink while she slept.
Through half closed eyes
he half believed the huddled shoulders,
the way they cupped the light,
refracted neon into moon.

the return

She went back for a while
as he asked,
accepted the full
wine glass of resolutions,
his bright bunch of intentions.
page 68 But it was the careful side
that walked each hotel room
a second time, ran slow fingers
behind desk drawers,
stroked up at last past the light points
assured there was nothing of hers left
at this temporary address.

little weaknesses

It was the crisp crackling colour wrapper
over that freshness each time, each one;
it was the clean sealed seam
of social conversation he'd only want
to peel back and rumple past
the smooth milk round
the surprise buds
of their bodies
it was worst at parties.
His wife stayed in. Pleaded
some previous engagement.

page 69


It's after midnight here
when the phone leaps,
a jack-in-the-box unsprung
and like a child
before its first white-faced clown
I am on neither side of hope nor fear
just breathing.

Then: the jangle of lives
down what we picture as simple lines
stretched round through the night
to where it gets lighter
and sparrows surf the wires
in the wind, the hum of our talk
a tingling in their bones.

As I hunch at the receiver
on seesaw of sleep
and excitement
I can hear someone
slice up the afternoon
in yellow wedges
for their bread and
in the clatter of cutlery,
car keys, costume jewellery,
a spinning coin
against the smooth plane
of a voice:
my heart as it ricochets win-to-lose
with the guesswork
of what news.

page 70

It's Spring

we're all made of flashy edges
we're all on edge, we're on the edge
of something and the most minute
is a taut spring that flips us over:
I snip out photos from a magazine,
the scissor blades wake the cat
with their soft unoiled chirrup
and he is ecstatic,
he uncoils in the air
with the back leg kick
of a released jack rabbit;
while Catherine's mouth waters
as the blades slice paper with the sound
of shredded iceberg lettuce—
she could eat a field—
Glenn feels the sound
like the lift of the mail flap
then the rip of an envelope
chock with a language
that all means yes:
to me it's a burst
of teeth into fat grapes,
or something like this.