Title: Sport 42: 2014

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2014, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 42: 2014

Charmaine Thomson

page 210

Charmaine Thomson

Teach me tonight

I still have a lot to learn,
and get confused between romance and Romanticism.
I don’t believe in virtuosos obsessed with their own interiors,
or inner ear infections.
They only hear strangled violins.
All these reveries are a waste of time.
There’s no need for rural scenes, brooks or flowers.
In this music, longing is audible on your skin.
Don’t waste your time on decorative fancies
the moon has the same face, no matter where you are.
Devotion is something that doesn’t need an abode,
you can find stillness in the library.
I read Goethe in secret.
Don’t tell anyone.

A six foot scowl

Don’t get in the car with this man or you can kiss goodbye to your hands.
He will drive past churches with the windows up,
tossing you out in Beverly Hills.

It is dark in the boot, weighed down with pianos.
He won’t stop for nostalgia or convention.
You won’t hear the bells either, he is protesting in silence.

When the boot pops he will show you a six foot scowl.
It’s more than bitterness, it’s legato love,
beg him to let you lie on the floor.

page 211

Bad for your health

It keeps flooding your organs until an intervention is required.
Six doctors will tell you recovery is likely within the month.

They don’t really know the scope of it,
the scan doesn’t show anything except a blow to the lungs,
the drunken fire in the kidneys.

Cold water in your veins,
observed by the stylish surgeons who discharge hope.

You probably won’t die,
out walking in the hills.
But it pays to be vigilant;
because affection can be airborne.

Shaking hands

My father taught me to enter the room like a wrestler,
get your hand on top, go for the crush.
He had high hopes for my managerial career where I am impressive,
twisting hands with my wire wrists.

My mother taught me ikebana,
creating simple lines for invisible guests.
She prayed daily for my redemption;
I called to god through smooth men.

My brother taught me the periodic table,
he was Encyclopaedia Britannica on a bike,
neatly arranging trains because people were so untidy.

I can’t teach you anything manly that isn’t already in song.