Writer’s Block

ten thirty     writer’s block     another sip of lager
threading through the traffic     a thin black dog
working girl’s     bare white legs     november drizzle
beneath the burnous     painted toenails
camera flash     four identical shots     of a blink
factory window     frames a single star

full moon     broken on the steps     of the weir
where the bus was     an oily rainbow
distant laughter     perfume lingers     in the subway
just a few foreign coins     in the flat cap
rippling     the rock pool     their last peseta
rooks and jackdaws     among the brown furrows
flooded fields     mirror     a cloudless sky
still the sound of snoring—    daytime moon
home early     pulling the curtains     on another morning
drawn together     by their love of books
five-year diary     four years     of empty pages
saturday circled in red     ... but why?

the President     (the only candidate)     gets his mandate
morning frost     the first petal falls
chocolate egg     left in the light     melting
sticky fingerprints     on the new sofa
identity parade     half the suspects     wearing wigs
a flurry of tickertape     in the limousine’s wake
America's Team     “World Champions”     ... which world?
raising his cane     he points out Andromeda
night of the new moon—    seeing     so much more than before
scanning the bay     from jetty to lighthouse
in the dark     a small boat—    creak of the oars
again the sixth stair     gives him away

advancing     down the aisle     the fatherless bride
with difficulty     the ring over the knuckle
his gestures     more eloquent     than his speech
as he exits the press conference     the loser’s v-sign
arrows of geese     fly beyond     the distant ridge
a wreath of evergreen     at the hilltop shrine

Martin Lucas & Stuart Quine
30 - 31 November 1997

published in Presence #10


back to index