Cameron Lowe lives in Geelong. His two book-length collections of poetry are Porch Music (Whitmore Press, 2010) and Circle Work (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013).
The bath opens a blue glass page—
all night we drift, gazing at hard water,
splinters of light,
the moon its own decoration.
In this swimsuit season
skin fashions an easy audience,
teasing out the noise of men.
Mark the hours, record
it is too late to ask questions—
breathe, patiently, into the body,
the hot stone. Sleep in it.
Gnarled limbs learning to stare beyond
the teachings of desire. Woodworms.
Taken as tonic or, in fact, flavouring for milk.
This counting. Nowhere, she said, do
such things live except outside the trumpet
and how can something live there? Sugar?
No answers in the dice, the pluck of strings
on a camel, children born of winter.
In the forest it gets brown early,
you will come in time to see them naked.
Her hair mouse brown was black then blond
before I lived in Aspen apples were greener than.
No one noticed the fire that washed
the dishes, nor the fat black dog, singing.
In the blue light her skin is electric,
a neon field, one arm displaying
the tendered cloth,
the other raising sail in the drift of night—
and what might be at stake here,
in this blue sea of reflections,
the play of a smile frozen in glass,
or the mind settling on the surface
of this rising tide.
In the sudden rush for resemblance
a splitting begins, this table,
that chair, hands shaping that which
is and isn’t there, until
all that remains is imitation,
and she breathes out, letting
blue light embrace and taste her,
the light spilling from splintered limbs.
Knights in cool sweaters
Notes on the poems:
‘Requested’, ‘Abacus’ and ‘Hush’: from the collection Porch Music (Whitmore Press, 2010).
‘Knights in cool sweaters’ and ‘The distance’: from Circle Work (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013).