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Hugh Tolhurst


And if at first I was ‘Bold, Sir’,
let the weather be my apology
for Melbourne remains a terrific place
to stomp through drizzle in permitting
romantic confusion the exercise of getting lost
in a stretch of city with each street laid out
royally on the square. Your name does not appear
among the Victorian street names running North-South,
but heedless I booted my way around
absent mindedly working a gift, “Two Haiku
for a Tokyo English Teacher” finding the lines
somewhere above Dudley Street, only for the gift
to amuse the farewell drinkers not the fare welled.
Rubbing people up the wrong way comes naturally
to one of those a Toowomba PhD wants to term ‘emergent poets’
despite my insisting I get out of bed very early…
Oh well, the future gets up early
and mine might rub the right way if I can as it were
win you over to embracing that absurd thing, the love poet
pleading love at first sight in his favourite spaghetti bar
and meaning it with all things disabused gallantly reinstated.
Suddenly Lorne seems more beautiful for your staying there,
and at home watching my twin-television improvisation
(a colour set with speaker dead, a black & white
beneath it burbling from the cupboard), I’m almost
willing on the English medium pacers slower balls,
let her do the wrong thing, let her do the wrong thing,
and no not overnight, but quietly, unfailingly.

 — For J.P.

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