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Nostalgia for the mud

How to distinguish the world
which I create from the world
which creates me? I dress (modestly)
for a fantastic encounter
with characters who luxuriate
in metaphors I cannot follow—

they go beyond my expectations.
In the lobby those girls from 69
finger their letters much as they must
finger the lovers who simply had to
write. I have to (sweetheart)
write simply: this or that world

disappears without words. One sentence
pulls down the sun, another lifts it
clear from the incidental. I know
only the doctor’s certificate
serves as a passport to eternity—
which language will it be written in?

29.3–4.9.1991, Cathedral Square, Christchurch


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