[Recent poem about New Year events. The ‘Eternity’ on the Bridge at the end is referencing last year’s Sydney Harbour New Year fireworks, and ‘Eternity’ is also a Sydney-specific reference: a reformed alcoholic called Arthur Stace used to write that word on the footpaths of Sydney in the 50 and 60s. I once saw one on Parramatta Road in Haberfield where we lived when I was a teenager. ‘Eyore’ is a grumpy donkey in Winnie the Pooh. I took the shots in a restaurant and at a seaside fair in Kiama three years ago.]
An Eternity of New Years
Always feel a bit strange, uncomfortable
at New Year events. Don’t quite get the excitement.
Can’t fake the delirious midnight moment,
the lip-pucker and offered cheek, the nose
in the way of the prosecco glass rim.
I know, I know, just loosen up, celebrate
humanity’s just made another year,
avoid the mortal danger of Eyore grump,
ageing curmudgeon no longer even much
interested in movies, ultimate sin. Now
there seems just too much of everything,
not enough wholesome nothing.
Again I crack open a crisp new Collins calendar,
all those empty pages already quivering
with virtual appointments, rainfall figures,
farm observations, births and deaths. Just
takes an observing pen to jolt them
into the so-called real like wavicles on a screen.
Can understand the healthy need to start afresh,
boot the old year over the cliff of Was,
begin again with a fresh shirt and fervent
incantations of I Really Should.
Where I live people pay money, camp for days
to nail the best spot to see the fireworks
gush the Harbour like a first orgasm, be first
through the guarded doors to finger
a petaflop of Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana,
remodel themselves anew like the models
prescribed to achieve some coyly followable self.
(Follow this poem, and you’re defriended).
Yeah/no, seems, like, we’re stuffing ourselves empty,
putting that bad/great year behind us,
vaguely hoping this year will finally, finally
be the one all is revealed like a cascade
of liquid fire spelling out Eternity
over that darkly illuminated Bridge.