Title: Mansworn

Author: James Brown

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


page 63


Then you are running down the dark wet alleys
of your face, shedding difference,
something spilling or splitting
like an atom, like valencies latticing
into the altogether. Blue moon. Red shift.
Mea culpa! But does this have a name?
When it comes down to it—spelling, for example—
you've always had your own method.
He doesn't care, that's what you like about him.
It's like you know everything. Like, you know,
everything; like everything is like everything else.
On your behalf, I blame American television.
You come to: the dawn chorus is
a loop of bird calls—you think
you can make out the milky crackles.
Then it is brunchtime immediately,
because that sort of shit happens in contemporary poetry,
and you nibble what the tray provides:
The Trashmen ‘Surfin’ Bird’, measles
and buttered toast, gazing fruit.
Your back is different from your front
and you notice this fact in the looking glass.
Marked? Unfortunately you've been tarred over,
you mumble into the phone. It's beyond your control.
Mascara in all directions, mascara
down your leg. You shower.
You cry a little. You get down and beg.
Ah, but nothing is ever the same now, is it?
You swaddle yourself in red lattices
—tetrahedral, the strongest bond—skirt,
sweat top, school blazer, the old school tie.
His silk scarf. You are learning to fly.
How will you get where you are going?
How will you know till you get there?