Saturday, October 01, 2005

217. Up North

The air, ahh,
the air was clear and sweet
in Hakodate
and in the morning market
among crawling
red live crabs and enormous
half-dead fish
business arrangements
were consummated
in a flash of fingers
and I went, quietly,
well hidden from obstruction
for a welcome pint.

The teenage girls
were everywhere, uniformed,
scandalously short-skirted,
blissfully stupid;
they live in a strange world
of suspended hopes
and dreams, soft and fluffy,
soon to be shattered, soon held
to ridicule, not by their parents,
not by their friends, not by
useless teachers : no, no, but
by heartless stiff-
pricked boyfriends.

My God
just look at the bouncing beauty of nature;
you'd want to take it home with you
or at least take some photos,
you know what I mean?
This stuff is real, man,
this is fifteen shades of green
and I have tears,
no, come on, I have
real tears in my eyes
as I focus the sights
on my M-16

Oh, golly.

In other news
another drunken teacher
was fished out of the harbour
last night; he was half dead
but will never remember
that we met by the harbour wall
after the morning market
closed down, slowly,
not until 3 in the afternoon,
and that we went for several beers
and talked and talked
and he thought he knew it all
but didn't.

So when he passed out
all drunk and collapsed and trusting
I heaved him over the harbour wall
as my final answer to
his droning platitudes. Through no
fault of mine, I regret to report,
he survived; doubtless he will
continue to write his influential papers
and send me a card at Christmas.
I will send him a cordial response
mingled with the sharp feral
stink of regret.

The sea.
I love the sea.
The sea is a sight from my window.
I would never never never
(are you crazy?) get in a boat, though,
because waves get high.
I have seen this stuff before
when the waves swamp your boat
and you sink, and then you fall
into the water and then you DROWN.
This is not for me.
This is not my scene.

On the other hand
there are many other ways
to make a living, more interesting ways.
Here and there and over beyond
every fool can think of something,
every fool can wear gloves.
But when you slyly speak
from the side of your mouth
unaware of that concave mirror
at the back of the room
cold realization sinks in.