Archive for bouillabaisse


Posted in poems with tags , , , on March 6, 2013 by Phillip Barker


The ASIO guy’s
Been following me,
Eighteen months.
I saw the catalogue.
My petty misdemeanours.
Two thousand five hundred
and eighty two
weak sweet white
give or take
a few hundred_
Well within the
statistical deviation
allowed by the Undersecretary
for Anomalous Antipodean
Archaeological and Astronomical
Configurations of Irrelevant

He sends me a message
superbly concealed in the
December 1997 edition
of the Entertainment Guide
of the Poughkeepsie Picayune.
It reads:
“There will be a reckoning”.

Gunther Palast, Special Agent
forty-seven allocated
to my case file,
makes contact
On May Twenty-eight, O Ten,
at the Belgravia Cafe
just off of High Street

He was the one.
Blue gardenia in his lapel
and a badge commemorating
his life of scarifice
to the
(Thornbury Chapter).
Badge number

He carried a rolled-up
battered copy of the
third Thursday edition
of the Tallangarook Tattler_
the edition with
the line drawing
of “Amnesty” Ruddock
all set for his photograph
beneath the front gate
of Camp 93.
The caption reads
“The Pacific Solution”

Gunther opens his laptop
and takes a quick
shot of my profile
and prints me a sheaf
of superbly authentic documentation

The ID card placing me
as a former employee
of the Climate Deniers Commission
is a particularly fine specimen.

Steve Reich is on
the cheap transistor
behind the counter
“It’s Gonna Rain”
And a guy in an SUV outside
has “Hurricane” blasting
on his superb “in-vehicle”
MP3 included stereo.
“Whaddya bring him here for?
He ain’t the guy”.

Wilting gardenias
and bad news

He hands me
the final
piece of the puzzle.
A beaten up
cocaine stained passport
from an unspecified
Middle Eastern locale.
“Lionel Shriver?
Is this kosher?” I enquire.
“She won’t mind a bit.
Time to run, son”.

Back on the island
The sun slanting artistically
through the bamboo blinds
and a nice warm Horlicks
steaming on my desk
I calculate the distance
to the jetty
in half-step increments
and leave a short note to Annie
apologising for
the mess in the kitchen

Bouillabaisse and Lemon Meringue.

May 2010