21 Oct 2013

Having Stood On the Ledge – Lynn Hard

[1938–current, born America, migrated to Australia in 1977]

Having stood on the ledge
and watched the crowd gather:
a country fair painting
of sprayed acrylics:
an anticipation
of splatter,
I know the indifference to height,
that the ledge
is an improvement
on the hotel room with its special channel
which endlessly rolls the time,
the weather,
and the wind direction by,
and I know the indifference to the street,
just another cord in the net.

Having taken the step
and felt my intestines
uncoiled by gravity
I have dropped
like a fluttering x,
a dark cross of St Andrew,
watching the crowd
make a place for me.
The awnings flash by:
blurs of test patterns,
lodgers gouached by the tube
do not look up
from loving Lucy,
they go past like credits
scrolling up.
I drop,
my clothes make an annoying buffet
and worse,

the street gets no nearer.

Source: Hard, L 1993, Dancing on the Drainboard, Angus & Robertson, Australia, pp. 65–66.

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