21 April 2006

Heisenberg (poem)

This is an old one. The photo's also an old one, from Mongolia in 2004. I'm not sure if the two are related.

Heisenberg at the Arts Centre

At the Boulevard Bakehouse
I drank coffee in the absence of
china tea and struggled
with a giant muffin
bought on your recommendation

I managed almost two thirds
and shared the rest with fat sparrows
afternoon conversations
something about impossibility

trams passed by twice
people came and went
quiet jazz clashed around
the stone walls

when the breeze got up
and the third tram stopped
I walked off leaving
the wreck of a snack

taking a curious kind
of emptiness perhaps
it was the space where
I’d tried to measure you.

Photo and words © 2006 Pete McGregor


Debbie Lee said...

Pete—I like the way this poem subtly builds—two thirds of the muffin calculated at the beginning and a person measured at the end. And the contrasts—the giant muffin and fat sparrows bring a wreck of absence and emptiness. But the poem must ring true for everyone at some point, the relationship that is like an afternoon snack, and not even a snack you enjoy all that much. The yak is just gorgeous.

KiwiSoupGirl said...

wow.....love the pic AND the poem....felt quite bereft when I'd read it, so had to read it again. *smile* Thank you, as always, for your gift of words, Pete.

Anita Daher said...

Lonely spaces, alone places...both poem and picture stunning, Pete. One day I hope to see your New Zealand.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

The poem and the lone yak do work so well together. You on a boulevard with trams and people, jazz and fat sparrows-- yet as singular and moving in your own interior landscape as this yak.

pohanginapete said...

Debbie: thanks for those insights — and for taking the time to read and think carefully.

KSG: Pleased you appreciated them, and honoured you wanted to read it again.

Anita: Thanks :^D Me too — I'm looking forward to being able to share a bit of non-virtual Aotearoa with overseas friends.

RD: Nice thoughts; thankyou. I like the idea of the interior landscape.

Mary said...

This is good, almost painfully so. You convey aloneness in the awareness of the details around you. It's easier not to notice these when you are diverted by someone else's presence.

And the "wreck of a snack", and the breeze, and the space all contribute to the sense of vacuum. I've known coffee stops like this.

The photo is great - almost surreal, the tree and the yak, with the mountains as background. Aloneness again.

zhoen said...


pohanginapete said...

Cheers, Mary. Awareness of details does change according to all sorts of influences. Sometimes I become aware of details only later; perhaps awareness of that is another kind of noticing. Thanks for the thoughts :^)