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Al, I always thought his name would be Alan,
Alistair seemed too posh
too like Julian or Sebastian
too boarding school and club,
to from a world,
to which he did not belong … and never would.
We were all temporary immigrants
young – working abroad
bonded by heritage and geography.

Al … Alistair, it didn’t matter
before incongruity could ponder
chance and wit had renamed him, ‘caveman ’ 
 • idolatrous drinking
 • 6 months on the run hirsute
 • primordially unhouse-trained

One evening,
the yard glass –
time trials –

1 yard, 90 cm, half a gallon of beer,
downed by one, at speed.
Caveman goes first – no waiting
gulps
grunts
gulp …
foamy reflux, states of matter –
gas, liquid and solids
mop up, all fours, floor and collateral shoes, with tongue.

Random are the alignments of crowd –
alongside one I never associated with insight or compassion
some people really know how to have fun I say,
in the way people remark on the weather.
Response equals surprise.
“No, it’s not fun. It’s sad.
He’s created this being,
developed an image
and now feels compelled to uphold it.”
 

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.