The Ferry

queenscliff ferry
Sit on those crooked rocks and watch those waves lap at your legs,
never sleep again.
I was in the middle of something and you popped in to say ‘hi’
I hope you stay which I confess I’ve never said before.
it sounds like Mornington, it sounds like the beach,
decades later everything’s unashamedly naked
it seems right then, that we started with that song
that drew me alone to that ferry and onto my bike
forget those seedy districts, block long bars, weirdos and bums
I’m talking about that quiche cafe, do you remember?
I want to go there and eat and watch the sun crash through the roof
and into the matriarchal garden, singing our hearts out
to a whole string of opportunists reciting from their manic works,
while we protest with our butter knives

I’ll graduate and you’ll have that baby this time
we could teach classes to burgeoning campus celebrities
plenty of folk will die to meet us on the street
on our first day we could sit on a bus and breeze the suburbs
and be the local heroes to beat
I find our type of appeal hard to define
It has to do with an image of Mornington mirrored in our personas
that kind of elegant scrappiness we both had excelled
it has to do with our youth, remember?
each of those days deserves its own volume
a little bit cracked with an uncertain future
This has all come at an auspicious time, a moment which seemed all in my head
and has become a correspondence about what I have longed,
I’m exhausted.

I dread the arrival of the following morning
I wish I hadn’t already acknowledged a tremendous defect
I wish I hadn’t already made a choice
songs like these appeal to me precisely because of their desperation
and that sense of being on the edge
it seems like this guy just might be out of control
by imperceptible means his anguish began to assemble
‘So this is what it’s like to be insane’?
but my past with her is different. I praise it!
everything I learn increases my respect of us
my days now are carried off by rote, leaves me frigid
I would much rather see one of our earliest performances
than another identical day to this one
Still wondering how I got here from where I started

I was fairly dismissed by you by the quay
in that jumpy district after the third bottle of wine
I have earnt that dull humourless voice – expressive of defeat
This art is oppressive
I have tried hard to develop this habit
rekindling those earliest of performances
those charmers that existed in real life
not everything one does is going to be great
but when one of those old songs comes on unexpectedly
I can’t help but think, that’s pretty good.
I wasn’t born in chains. I’ve been working on it for decades
it exists in the pages above, the melodies of songs,
trapped in photographs of ferries.
I’ll still be listening to this music in another 40 years.


'I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you.' - The Master

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Posted in Reflections

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