Title: Exploded View

Author: Tony Beyer

In: Sport 10: Autumn 1993

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, May 1993, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 10: Autumn 1993

♣ Tony Beyer — exploded view

page 128

Tony Beyer

exploded view

winter saturday nights of 1956
I was allowed
if I went with my brothers
to walk to the great south road dairy
for the 8 o'clock

we looked at the front page
football cartoon
under streetlights on the way home
good news from hamilton
bad news for the maoris

this was before the handy stores
in our own road
sold everything from eel spears to emetics
but had to draw a blind
over some items on sundays

the year of suez
and dad saying his old unit
put ashore at ismailia
would sort the wogs out in no time
eden or no eden

also my first cigarette
reprise of which I postponed
for three years until I was eleven
with my confusion
between hungary and hungry

page 129

what happened always
of course happens no longer
the house and our parents are gone
and though still geographically near
we have scattered in our ways

travelling outwards
we travel in closer detail
slow then fast again then slow
the zapruder film
or the challenger launch

those randomly numbered
switchboard plugs
of events that confine an actual lifetime
enhanced as much by soap opera
as by technology

history is what grown ups talk about
and what dates them
the perishable past as imperishable subject
just as I am silently proud
of having grown into mine

the president waving from the motorcade
a painfully photogenic icon
like the clowns
beaten by the police in my city
on the last day of the springbok tour in 1981