:: Article

Two Poems

By Michael Pedersen.

Job-Seeker

On a June morning, wet
and weepy, I came back
to the broo:

its accordion of tones
and teeth, the wild eyes
of hirsute residents.

Like a marsupial conceals
a cub, I engulf a book
of Armitage’s poems;

weaving through words
as electronic Job Points
gesture like madmen –

a few clicks and they know exactly
how much trouble you’re in.
Most of us pretend

we don’t have to be here,
delivering a haughty hymn
of honeyed triumphs.

Midway through
‘Man with a Golf Ball Heart’,
I’m accosted by Neil, his thinning

silver hair and evocative paunch,
cast a hostile shadow.
Come right this way Mr Pedersen.

We meet with a collective pinkness,
his tongue a ticking indicator,
my words skidding tyres,

racing through every ailment
neither of us have. The day
had been a diagram, until:

Is there anyone under your care
or who cares for you, on a full- time
or part-time basis?

At this point I crumble,
Neil has broken me.
Would I be here if there was?

 

Water Features

Your voice is a balloon
getting further and further
away.

My smile is a child
saying Look at me! Pay me
attention!

Our likeness was water,
it’s why we came together;
to cascade and thrum,

trickle and splash – roving
torrents, us river folk;
who young and giddy

rushed their waterfall,
cutting too deep, too fast,
battering the banks

and sliding into earthy
separation – an ox-bow lake
divorced

from its ambitious river;
one of us running,
the other stilled.

 

author_photo
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Pedersen is a 26 year old poet – his inaugural chapbook Part-Truths (Koo Press) was listed by the Poetry Book Society and was a Callum Macdonald Memorial Award finalist; his sequel text the Basic Algebra of Buttering Bread will be available soon on Windfall Books. He has spent the last year in Cambodia assembling script for a forthcoming motion picture and learning Khmer.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011.