Posted in Chutzpah


It was a select course
hard to get into and
harder to get out of –
sort of academic Hotel California
but without the frisson, adventure ….. and cocaine.
A quartet of professors rotated
incessantly teaching, setting assignments, grading –
critique and criticism.
Occasionally a guest lecturer stirred the homogeneity
lightening the tedium – or increasing.

Even on a warm spring day he arrived in topcoat
and three-piece suit.
He was accompanied by a briefcase
which remained unopened
waved aside fulsome introductions with
“ litigation is the cloaca of law
where it goes when all other processes are finished –
excreta ” to the arrayed blank faces.

His address was that of a barrister to a jury
a blend of pathos, humour, sarcasm, fact and emotion
ending with
“ to some the coastline of New Zealand begins atop the highest peak
to others at the outer edge of the 200 mile exclusive economic zone,”
for $500 an hour I’m prepared either argue case.

Then collecting briefcase and coat
he was gone,
without pause or farewell.



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.