Thursday, July 18, 2013

A poem for Cory Monteith

To excavate the future
swing the shovel
above your head.
The air will thicken
into teak-coloured earth
and lie tidily,
in easily dated layers,
waiting for the dirt brush
and the scales
of an archaeologist.

Time can only be buried
by time. I roll
out of the hotel bed,
feel the cold shrink my cock
through two layers of jeans,
and walk across the room
through tonnes of tight-packed

Out the window
a few stars shine greenly,
like glow worms.
A stone has put out
the streetlight's eye.
My hand shakes the pills
like rosary beads
or dice.

I am not here
but elsewhere.
A brush cleans my forehead
like a lover
or nurse. Scissors
undress me. My skull balances
on a scale. Leave me
in the future,
in the air.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Blogger Richard said...

Brilliant poem Scott.

Apart from anything your "poetic sense" is as near perfect as can be.

I've just read through a book of a NZ poet who is quite well known, and published in a number of mags., but none of them struck a chord (a few were good but so many were either not or mediocre) with me. And the quality of your writing is consistently high: even poems that don't "succeed" as this one does keep my interest.

All the best in Tonga.

You clearly empathized with Monteith? I hadn't heard of him until he appeared in the news.

11:21 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Richard,

thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately I spelt the man's name wrongly in my title! There's no 'e' in his spelling. I had watched the odd episode of Glee, but what caught my attention were the reports about Monteith's struggles with drugs. While I was back in New Zealand I was trying, with the help of my doctor, to remedicate myself, so that I took fewer opiates and more anti-epileptics to deal with the chronic pain I suffer from. And I was both amazed and disturbed at how resistant my body had become to change - it had, without me even being aware, become addicted. Opiates are insidious because they are so effective at killing pain - and perhaps in Cory Monteith's case they were killing emotional rather than physical pain.

Things have been crazy up here in Tonga: there have been three art shows on in Nuku'alofa this week, and last night we had a hundred people partying hard at the 'Atenisi campus, as the No'o Fakataha group opened their exhibition. The hardcore revellers, who included a Fulbright scholar who makes cybertapa, were drinking kava and booze 'til seven...

3:11 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I was just talking to a friend whose mother is very ill and has to use morphine. I used it in hospital but I didn't have lot of pain.

All those opiates are addictive. In fact all medications that either relax or reduce pain are addictive. Alcohol is one! And I take diazepam which is for panic attacks that are (neurologists speculate) somewhat like the process of epilepsy. But the chemistry and mechanism of the brain and other biological things are really too complex.

It's good you linked your experience to Cory's in an empathic way and also made a
good poem. And I am not a flatterer! I think if your poems are not always top shelf they catch the reader's attention.

I must make a trip to the Islands one day but I will give those Chinese aircraft a miss...

8:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Richard -- this is a wild poem. Thank you as ever for publishing this. We're lucky to have your poems, untreated by the oh! so conservative presses, so hot they might warp the presses if it came to it! Cheers, Bill Direen.

11:30 pm  
Anonymous Quincy said...

This is fantastic!

10:22 pm  

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