Unidentified Visitor

He had a scents-of-porpoise air about him,
not fishy, really, more at like detention
halls at schools that did not have a gym.
His walk was awkward, as if he was wrenching
his way through water known for salt retention.
A Dead Sea dolphin that had been seconded
to shore duty to dry out? The last enthroned id
from Freudian literature? That would be strange.
Stranger far is why we’d left the throne lid
up, and let him loose to stride our home range.

Mad Helmut’s Tea Party

Bloomsday. Today. The 16th of June, the date (in 1904) that James Joyce chose to let his character Leopold Bloom start out in UYLSSES. One word encountered in that book — ‘hyperborean’ — stirred up the Durac and the Slynog to celebrate at Mad Helmut’s Tea Party.

Mad Helmut’s Tea Party

‘I’m hyperborean as much as you’ Buck Mulligan to Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s ULYSSES

‘Compared to you I am much more hyperborean’,

said the Slynog. ‘I am also mad for tea.

While you, my addled, fat, and calm historian

remain inert, a late-lunch parolee

as like as not to be an absentee

when North winds blow up harder, heeling ship

away from where there’s harbour, landing strip

and tipples bar.’ The Durac rose and shrugged.

It heaved the anchor, gave the waves the slip,

and pointed to the shoreline their boat hugged.

‘Hypoborean I may be,’ the Durac said.

‘If that’s a word. You steer boats by their wake

and were you our navigator we’d be dead.

So slur on, Slynog. Don’t make the mistake

of thinking finding home’s a piece of cake.’

Together the companions hoisted sail.

Together they turned green, hung oar the rail.

The North winds blew, the duo turning blue

and blowing kisses to disgusted terns

they sailed strait home by way of Timbuktu.

Greasepaint Pangs

‘The tears roll down [Which way did you expect?]
the ageing actor’s cheeks.’ [Who isn’t ageing?]
My unwanted shadow editor directs
attacks on how I speak and think. He’s staging
a sit-down strike against my muse who’s paging
the gods and me to create something fine.
The chance is nil that I’ll achieve divine
or even adequate prose with my darts
of inspiration, but I’ll keep on trying
before the ageing actor’s out of sorts.

Orthogonal

I read until the math eludes my grasp.
I give up, do not go on to page two.
Page one has brought me rationals that rasp
away until their complements shine through
sufficiently to persuade me it is is true
that angles must be right to be correct.
I draw some, making straight lines intersect,
and on these axes try to classify
the books I’ve read, although when I inspect
my groups they are irrational, like pi.