A boy’s own forgotten things… 

Caution: This post contains a description of a suicide

how to poke the spider from its hole
how to dodge my pushbike thru the traffic
or hang off a lorry for a tow up the hill 
to where the freeway looks like a river  
and the river is a smokestack
how tupperware is a verb 
how opera sells rice bubbles, tchaikovsky sells winfields 
and lawnmowers ring like a choir 
on a sunday morning

how to scratch my girlfriend’s initials into my wrist
with a rusty penknife
coz that’s what you do with a ❤️ this big 
(Margot from Umina, are you listening?)

how to rip my knee apart on the gravel
how to get punched in the mouth 
how to comb my hair with a skeleton hand 
made of chicken bones and fencing wire

how a time machine, a triceratops, a tyrannosaur
how antimatter, how a bee, pi to 14 places 
anything planetary, anything holy 

how quiet my room 
the cupboards
the corners

how to hold my breath past the cemetery 
and never look back coz 
the dead envy the living 
our soft hair  

and the remains of the guy
who threw himself under 
the afternoon express 
bits of bone 
and matter 
dried 
on the rails

Image: Streetscape, Port Kembla. Tupperware was/is a line of plastic food containers; for non-Australian readers, rice bubbles are a breakfast cereal made by Kelloggs inc. The ad promoting them was similar to this one from the US (cringe warning). Winfields were a cigarette marketed by Paul Hogan before he was discovered by Hollywood.

A bit of a descent in this piece but all true I promise. This arose from a (paradoxical) writing exercise at a group I attend to ‘write the things you’ve forgotten from your childhood.’ 

And for music, something uplifting, here’s Kate Bush from 1985 with Hounds of Love – I still love this album.

5 thoughts on “A boy’s own forgotten things… 

  1. the whole ‘how to’ litany is a child’s box of found things and mementos, with the one treacly sour sweet picked up from the pavement that makes us sick at the end. Loved all these memories and the child’s notion about how “the dead envy the living
    our soft hair ”
    p.s. I still have gravel in my knee after the skin grew over it!

    Liked by 1 person

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