Monday, March 1, 2010

Opium Poem
















Just listen to the conversation in a room:
drum 'n' bass, hawkwind, palace-
musical names and drugs
like hashish and opium.
The candle burns
and the gatherers suck half
a plastic bottle full of smoke.
Spines disappear, skin warms,
techniques get developed.
Stories of the self
can now begin:

The first one is pulled from a river
after an escape through toys
pursued by police in a supermarket.
Another crawls in the dirt
for a committee of childhood
in a secret place among the bushes.
She remembers her hair
in the black world
and bones that held it high.
While the boy wants Nirvana,
a band not a place,
pale and young
on his last cigarette outta here.
All this while the leathermaker
repairs a money belt
and recalls vegetable names
from the farm of his experience.

This is a room in Shiraz,
a travellers' place.
Familiarity is a light cord
around each voice.
Some shared slowness
to the evening's tales
enveloping them all.
Just listen to the conversation
Listen, listen to it disappear.

- Mark Mordue

* First published in Dastgah: Diary of a Headtrip (Allen & Unwin Publishers, Sydney Australia 2001; Hawthorne Books, Portland USA 2004).

= Photo of opium set by Steve Martin, web sourced.
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