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Sport 17: Spring 1996

Emily Perkins — Five Short Irritation Poems (Long Distance)

page 71

Emily Perkins

Five Short Irritation Poems (Long Distance)

On the ferry
or a plane, a train
an automobile—

What I don't like
is this waiting business!
For something to start

moving; moving me
closer to you. Near
or away. Or further apart.

Well, looking around
it's not so bad
it's all right here in its way

I wrote six letters today
and sent five.
A phone call from a car.

These days, it sometimes seems,
no one we know
is where we are.

page 72

It's shocking today.
Our jaws lock back
against the wind.

My hat is wet—
your jeans cling
unpleasantly to your thighs.

Hate! I snarl. You snap.
Blame it on the grey
day, the black skies.

If it was someone's,
a person's, birthday—just say,
if it was—

Do you think
a parcel? a letter
or a phone call maybe?

Hey, here's a blindfold.
Here's a pin.
Here's the fucking donkey.

page 73

Hi! we're picking
macadamia nuts and
eating Bluff oysters.

Yes more wine please.
Sorry, I was talking
to someone else. Who?

What's that? the line
is fizzing. Oh it's marvellous really,
here without you.

(August 1996)