Title: Days of 1968

Author: Tony Beyer

In: Sport 28: Autumn 2002

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, March 2002, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 28: Autumn 2002

Tony Beyer — Days of 1968

page 146

Tony Beyer

Days of 1968

while streets of Paris burned again
& (nostalgic ampersand)
the poetry revolution was taking shape
in Melbourne and Sydney
and the word was about to be Freed
at the university I'd dropped out of
I had a job driving cattle with an electric prod
up duralumin sided ramps to their death
and nutritious dismemberment

one day the slouch hat I wore in the rain
(actually my dad's old lemon squeezer
thumped into khaki felt shapelessness)
touched the bare 9-volt wire
the prodders were juiced off
surrounding my head
with a halo of purple flame

the Wahine foundered
Martin Luther King and the second Kennedy were shot
I was in love with Baudelaire and Rimbaud
and Guillaume Apollinaire in whose honour
I shunned punctuation for years

instead of achieving literary prominence
I'd fallen for the woman who is still with me
and was none the worse for it