TEXT Poetry

Stephen Lawrence



Something needs my attention


A delirium of repetition, infraverbal,
climbs to threshold, tumbles me out of bed.
What could make my body tug itself
reluctantly from under this bed's quilt,
plan a slanting path to the laundry -
the hard-tiled night laundry, of all places?
An outlandish combination of chemicals
in one warm pool, urges its filtrate
to rescue this thought from oblivion;
its tiny influence squirts a wisp of extra serum
sets off a memory-relay, a race to a poem.
I slap to this shadowed room, finger-greet
a clothes-hook, an ironing board;
I negotiate a cupboard door's substance,
spine it back into position. A pencil
breathes invisible words across its mat, this poem
fixes to the page, an elbow nudges aside heaped washing.
Its tilting pile's moon-grey outline -
fresh-kill warmth leached into space -
resolved to ashen thermalwear, socks, briefs,
waiting to find their wardrobe resting places;
Before I rejoin my sleeping self… What else?
A reminder from the spinal brain: Go piss.



Stephen Lawrence works for the State government, and has taught literature and writing skills at schools and universities. He is a poetry editor for Wet Ink, and was guest poetry editor for Social Alternatives. His third collection, How Not to Kill Government Leaders, was launched at Writers' Week (Adelaide) 2002, and he was a judge for the Festival of Arts Literary Awards in 2002 and 2006. He is currently enrolled in a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Adelaide.


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Vol 11 No 1 April 2007
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Jen Webb