The Photos

Good Essays
Frey writes in a stream of consciousness that my father refers to as the way I write, like Virginia Woolf. I have read only one of her books, one put out in Penguin’s celebratory collection, to celebrate seventy years of paperbacks and as I read it I thought how I loved the flow and hoped that one day somebody else may honour me with such a comparison. Some days I find it difficult to be mindful, to step back and see in front of me, must minimise the use of “but”, which goes back to 1994 when I loved the Argentine girl, who claimed I could not write a sentence without but. Silence floods until the ducks come with their ripples to distract me from the noise of the cars. The Frey book read hard for the first one hundred pages as I thought of me, he as me, I as him, or like him, he as recovered while I, amidst the recovery, need more time and meditation. A Willy Wagtail makes its way close to where I sit, a prison memory, they rouse the other birds, prance, wave their tails in other beaks, say … go on, touch me, so small, care so little, sacred to some Aboriginal tribes, plain to see, they have their role, simple, around the kookaburras they played “kookie” in the middle, and the kookaburras, Australian ornithological royalty, remained composed. I wear two pairs of glasses, a crude contraption of bifocals for the sun and for reading, the reading-glasses at the end of my nose, the sunglasses behind for the most comfortable and effective arrangement. The black swans, majestic birds, more than black, with a layer of white feathers underneath their wings, float by, a royal wave, occasionally tilt forward into a quick dive to feed on the mossy bottom of the lake, the leaders, with the ducks, herons and coots respectfully behind, toget... ... middle of paper ... ... with those of us fortunate enough to have a single room pressured to double-up, so much pressure, many overstepped the obvious behavioural boundaries, broke the code of unity, of us and them, many whispers in front of and behind doors, take care in what to say and to whom. During this time I wrote many poems, each contained poison, part of every sentence, put them into an anthology that some read, few commented, some saw the darkness. Much difficulty came when I exposed me to them, K, already my counsellor, said I could see the pain and did it anyway, more self-sabotage. I am uncertain as to what to do with the lines of verse, need so much work, yet to edit equals to deface, belong elsewhere, for later, a reminder of another life, to become like the many photos from the various pieces of me that hide away under somebody else’s bed, only ever discovered by accident.
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