nine days in Japan and already you’re a megalomaniac
drunk on the fame of being slightly apart
backhome there are bushfires and The Test on TV but here
you’re in the manic phase of a bipolar New Year.
even getting off the train at the wrong station when you can’t
read the signage and no-one speaks your mothertongue doesn’t
phase you. a divine messenger disguised as a mid-level clerk
tells you that the train to Mega is nexto-nexto.
you’re completely alone in your ipod universe as Antony sings
everything is new in the space between your ears and you walk
the winter greyconcrete streets of Mega/Shikama houses and
steel smokestacks beside a river tamed with cement.
refinery pipes, mega-pylons supporting arcs of cable
inscribed from some point above and
triangulations of scaffolding infrastructure
your artificial horizon.
you know in your bones that the sun rising red through smog
is rising just for you and despite the photochemical haze
there’s a clarity like individual rainbow ice crystals
refulgent on dead rice stalks beneath your feet.
the day is new. those birds you pass have migrated from Siberia
to forage for insects between the backstreet cabbages at this
precise second for your entertainment alone. you love each
moment. like now. and this one now.
the entire day is unfolding. you don’t need a god
when the Universe is so perfect and selforganised.
each day dripping into the vast pool
occasionally we find ourselves
at an intersection where
any choice will be
the right one.
a clarity of smog was first published in foam:e #11. It has also appeared in Australian Poetry Journal Members Anthology 3, tropeland and Silver Singing Streams (Friendly Street Poetry Reader #39, ed. Kalicharan N Dey & Geoff Hastwell, FS Poets, 2015.)
It was awarded the Friendly Street Poets Satura Prize in 2015.