Grumble in the Jungle

Burying strawberries by the ton, hardly bothering
to search for a needle in a pile of half rotten fruit
just a lull in the humdrum doldrums daydreaming
of golf courses gold plated in the last rays of sun,
online shopping for razor blade taser rays and books
just more fuel to warm us by the metal drum bonfire
another first strike at the turnpike under the bridge
I almost didn’t recognise you at the back of the fridge,
creeping back into the old familiar faceless pages
another chapter in this carnival of random chances
a low-res window into a life never led time well spent
scroll a mile in my shoes and return them if you so choose.

I need you to not understand something
to reflect my ignorance back to me with laser beams
I need to be a sight unseen
camouflaged with lichen and long dried leaves,
I need to deceive and reside
in none of your thoughts and diatribes
forget you ever never heard of me
because ignorant bliss is a kiss away
making me rejoice with all this nothingness.

Once a word turned me inside out and transfixed
my vision filled with giant squid and sinking ships
repetitive tendencies and pretentious contrivances
deflated with a sharp steel prick, broken membranes
spilling dreadful words laden with exotic stolen curses
I thought I had it all under wraps with a stupid hat
fake moustache and affected accent, more fool
than jester, few dollars and far less good sense.

Older now, I am slower to anger but quick to regret
anything I might have ever said to you in rage or fear
needle threading no longer threatening
but memory can still transfix me like a lance,
the emperor’s missing pants, paying scant
attention during this desperate disordered dash
down the back roads and towards the border
I drive without purpose or tarred surface
trying to end myself around every bend
only to pull back with hackle backed superstition
aware of my ancestors’ gaze and remembering
the stories that I now must carry on
the obligation to observe the setting suns
every future every word every treasured day
all the lessons you never knew you taught me
and all the happiness you never lived to see.

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