From Aboriginal to Nowhere by Brentley Frazer

Cigarettes and Tending Orchids

   Hornrims and quiff
a natural cowlick, untamed as
his wanderlust.
   This of him I will always remember.
   In my best suit
at his funeral. The apocalyptic
tramp preacher says that before we
know it the worms will have their
way with all of us.
   The Australian flag and slouch hat on
his coffin, a past
I never felt a part of. A child
hood of summers by his side on riverbanks
shorelines and sitting in dinghies.
He always clowned around, never
mentioned atrocities or talked of
war at all.

   I have a terrible ear for jokes. He told
me a thousand, but I don't remember
one, or the fishing stories.
   Crazy dances
and spoon percussion of Cock Eyed Sue
the intangible web of memory like his voice
will dim
when I think of him.

Purple Vertigo

   I've noticed two or three satellites
rotating slowly in orbit, reflecting
light only at intervals, as though

   I've noticed men lurking
under lamps at subway entrances
hawking various pamphlets, warning
of atrocities, hats out, pleading for
a few dollars, imploring the lion.

   I've seen women in the gardens with
animals, war embroidered on their
cardigans, dancing with Hopelessness,
sleeping nights in abandoned lingerie

   However, I've got this slow
glow coming over me, a delayed
suffocation, like that praying mantis
in a jar found in the drawer of a
writing desk bought on eBay...a
happy drowning feeling that I have
no hesitation surrendering to...
a purple vertigo, I guess.

   In the city tonight, the shadows
broken, all leaking light.

©Brentley Frazer 2016