Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ghost Rider

After 10 kilometres I realize:
I’m a ghost rider. 5.00AM on Sunday
drunk again. The paddocks look
greener now I’m driving south
instead of north. Home is receding
driving home, and falling asleep
means staying awake. I’m backing out
of my future
head-on, until I exit
this motorway, or
this life. Whichever end.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Origin of Christianity

There was never one person named Jesus. There were two: Je and Sus. Sus was the charismatic one, the one whom people loved and listened to. He had flair and a way with words. Children adored him. But Sus had some moral shortcomings: a chequered past in the circus, and rumours of a wife and daughter abandoned in the country. How could an entire religion be built on such imperfection, despite his being a Messiah?

Je on the other hand was squeaky clean and morally impeccable. He prayed every morning, washed-up after breakfast and obeyed his mother. The very characteristics Sus was missing. But Je was dull, vocally monotone, and he always won the argument. But still, he was also a Messiah (although no-one remembers him submitting his application).

When the apostles came together for a drink on the evening after Sus’ ascension to heaven, they were utterly crestfallen when considering the coming media war with the Phariseen moral majority, not to mention the belittling jokes on street corners about paternity suits, or the wise-ass graffiti. A poor pillar on which to build the religion that would conquer the Roman Empire.

After a few straight shots of drip-stoned water, Peter came up with the idea of the composite character: Je-Sus. Je’s moral traits would be merged with Sus’ charisma and depth, airbrushing out Sus’ turpitude as well as Je’s cheerlessness.

“Je who?”, Magdalene said.

“You know, Je. The Messiah from Ashdod”, said Peter.

The apostles shrugged. No-one knew him in Jerusalem.

“That’s good! That’s good that no-one knows him! We can co-opt the morally good things, work them into the narrative, and if anyone finds out that we are talking about Je, not Sus, we can say that Je is, in fact, Sus, because his full name is Jesus! And if anyone brings up the dodgy bits out of Sus’ past, then we can say that the Sus they are talking about is another Sus, not our JE- Sus. It’s perfect!”

The apostles agreed, and celebrated with a few more snorts of 2BC drip-stone.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Song for the End of Lisbon

In the new machine, the days
run from west to east
and time soaks up that first hard drink
we’ve had this afternoon on the street.

The old machine may still complain but
we’ll keep it on the fridge
when closing times and herbal teas
are options in this heat.

The final name we give ourselves
is playing near the swings.
A pen becomes a space-time ship
in its final weeks.

We woke at five on the beach today
And the kids had buried our feet.
At the night the waves still tickle our toes.
And laughter fills the deep.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What Louise and I did

We laid the four brown bodies on the grass. Their
eyes were as opaque as the sun. They
looked like statuettes laid out for auction. Louise
turned back to get the camera. I
noted the date and place. The driver
crouched and doused his head. The rain
started and everything became fuzzy. A hard light
rumbled through the gorge. The aureoles
of salt on my T-shirt dissolved.

turned back. I pulled at my T-shirt.
The grass
was as opaque as the sun.
No date
or place. The driver hummed with salt.
He crouched
like a statuette in that gorge.
Their brown eyes
tasted like salt. His head
was fuzzy.
rumbled. The light
was noted…
The four bodies were doused in light.

It happened
the light dissolved
the rain started
the driver crouched …

Their four brown bodies were sunning by the pool.
Their Ray Bans were as opaque as the leaves.
They were statuesque. They were ready for action.
Louise turned for the camera.
I noted the scene and take.
The dolly crouched and pulled back from the head.
The train started and everyone became funny.
Hard to gage the light as we rumbled through the tunnel.
The entrance dissolved: a shrinking aureole.

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