Mark Mahemoff


Vowel Sounds




After George Perec



Being here isn't stressful or difficult
but how do I get relief from thoughts
impinging like tiny strokes
slurring speech in vicious increments?
I don't concur with every word
uttered from her soft lips
but would she know the difference if I did?
She felt it might be possible yet bought gifts
to divert me from constructing solutions.
How do I find my feet
when everyone else's mind seems mired in the clouds?
Smog hovers in the street
while millions of decisions get left for tomorrow.
Vows soothe some into trustful sleep
while others become fidgety
for pithy bytes of wisdom.
Cows chew over life's difficult simplicity,
victims of numerous projections,
our pettiness.



What might pass for magic in this hiatus of hours
will soon fill my brain with sad, painful longing.
Why do I worry?
Lights glow with glorious abandon amongst jacarandas,
tall grass and blooming frangipani.
Cicadas form a dissonant choir.
Rain soaks into arid soil.
Procrastination is an art form that has lost its gloss
in a world of action and shallow analysis.
But wait… Gifts will start arriving
as days unwind to a cryptic finish.



Love's costumes are altered as often as thoughts
but who can expect an end to constant change?
The cantankerous fauna outdoes the urban clatter
abandoned last weekend.
Geckoes and frogs compete for moths.
Sun showers announce a chance to muse.
The room appeared to be stuffed full of objects
that helped us recall a season
where to be unmasked was natural.
No one could have guessed
that a bond would fuse us,
a trust based on shared models and contexts:
methods to swallow the unpalatable world.
Cake and cognac offered amongst other heartfelt gestures
led to the knowledge that a moment had come along,
a one off chance, a method to untangle knotted fears.
Jam sets and hours pass.
One felt what one felt.
We entered a comfort zone that answered all our doubts.



It happens like an unidentifiable twinge in the chest.
Death arrives and sends me packing.
I flip heads but lust after tails,
frustrated by the hand I've been glibly dealt.
Health is crucial but life minus care spells rage and fear.
I learn this while being caressed by flirts that treat me as equal.
The value of a child is reflected precisely by the future I can envisage.
I must mate banality with aestheticism
and hug the beast that emerges.



There are cogent reasons
why new bricks need weathering
before they're treated with appropriate respect.
Ancient Egyptian edifices in their original state
are known to have been brightly painted.
Rembrandt's art has grown sombre with age.
We wash Michelangelo frescoes
to reveal fresh orange segments
concealed for so long behind layers of misapprehension.
How do we plan for this new intensity
when planning implies a knowledge of tomorrow?
And are we to consider good intentions
as nets of hope cast over chaos?



Mark Mahemoff's Near Life Experience is due to be published by Ginninnderra Press towards the end of the year. It will not contain "Vowel Sounds" but will have a combination of experimental and non-experimental poetry.



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Vol 6 No 2 October 2002
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Tess Brady