Geraldine McKenzie
The Approach
New Poems From Australia

not with a measured pace

trust words

no sooner bit but sorted

in the halflit bake of the torched town

an occasional figure hurrying

approaching racket and recede

to be no more than eyes

and that’s too much

you see how I’m trapped

and by the way fed up

with the conceit I don’t

exist on a plain line

pick up pick!


each bland reverberation

here where men/hear where men

here were men

and women so composed

each as the other

catching symptoms

bordering on difference

though shelter both

fucked well and truly

even this close

fed moment to trawl this after

noon’s felt pause

nothing to set here

where men have put their head and name

their absence under stars

hard, hearts

and in the middle of a forest came upon

and in the middle of a path came upon

selecting from all the stones along the way

this one

for no more reason than the wind gives

with no more noise than the grass makes

unwinding its green conclusions

earth’s not so old that it can’t bear another

why cry fodder

the petulance of children’s

neither approved nor appreciated

here where all wear uniform

and flame dumb down like a virtue

hard knocks

and light out

the day will next be fair

and fluent in six tongues

though each cry mother

some nights there’s nothing but and who

sleeps but wakes to groan and sleep again

and wake this muck and maudlin bent

waiting for the off

a tremor in the wings

joked a sure thing

bet my life on it