Writer of the sublime, how do you live?
Does your eye never abseil supermarket shelves?
Slippered with phrases, I see you sitting by windows
not seeing the bowerbirds shoplifting safety-razors,
pegs and garbage-bag ties: everything blue
before your mating eye makes a poem. Out of range:
a wife, children, the steady scratching
to make a nest. You clutch the window and view
parachuting ideas. Lyrics hang-glide your horizons.
Do you never decode the prose of a pay slip?
Such wild quails run there,
scuttling zeroes hazarding a highway in fat
ecstatic transience. Tomorrow a milk bill or a mortgage
will skittle them, but in your floating thought
I never see that certainty, never hear that thud.
Writer of the sublime, where on earth do you live?
Surely not in my street, where the garbage and I rap-dance
every Tuesday night. Dalek bins on wheels curb the drift
of dreams onto bitumen, the spaces flickering blue
trembling with epiphanies from Sale of the Century
or Perfect Match. Your visions lie along another latitude.
In imaginary orbits I read you, wondering:
Do you live?
(from Verandahs 1990)