David Prater (Australia): Two Poems

DYING ON THE VINE(S)

what happened to you boy the future
seemed too mad for some you were a
notorious phenomenon spoken of by
girls in reverent drools weird kind of
pop star heard of back in high school
if some girls said you were cool then
you were & while I could easily sneer
& pretend I knew you personally the
fact remains that you were out there
doing what you wanted to (whether
on stage or in the recording studios
but it was your habit of returning to
that tour bus each night after those
erratic performances (this clinched
it no one understands the pain not
even you it's that trusted four track
on which you'd lay down metallic &
magnetic loops never to be heard by
any record company a confused fan
even the file-trading fiends & their
relatives those parasitic journalists
you saw horns coming out of their
heads & wished the in-stores could
be re-scheduled I guess the third &
fourth albums may be sadder affairs
compared with the highly-evolved
winning days you've shown us all
how high you can fly how low you
fell (you'll strike a chord for three
more death-defying minutes then
disappear completely just the way
you were supposed to jilting fame
throwing those stars back in their
small faces the last entries in your
missing tour diary reveal the bad
hours between gods leading up to
that weirdest decision the boot in
the heads of those whose support
you still need & whose dismissals
count for everything in this fickle
game you knew the rules & bowed
out sad screaming leave me alone
& for once this spiteful world did

EIGHT MILES HIGH


bob mould's screaming eight miles high
can you feel his sheets of pain inside yer
headphones boy take notes & duplicate
on yer long walks home through those
graveyards in yer long coat there's that
crow he's eating all yer dead mix-tapes
feature angry men & the odd soft-rock
stooge eg john cougar's song scarecrow
that's the sound of yer stadium funeral
furious bic lighters melt in unison only
stinking out the stands forcing another
evacuation pathetic really listen to yer
idol bob mould screaming eight miles
high he's not coming down (off speed
apparently that was his problem not to
mention homophobia eight (gay miles
high & he's not going back! inside that
electric closet now it's our fathers who
take the pills that were meant for the
likes of bob dressed in his incendiary
black you'll come around to this way
of thinking some day come hell's high
water mark eight miles high the flood
of fuel for bob's maniacal fire screams
eight miles high fucked if I'm coming!
fuck you sixty eight miles fucking high
& it's too late to come down now we're
in outer space bob we're still alive how
i scream six hundred & sixty six miles
higher than I've ever been higher than
rainy crow grey streets of down town
known for that sad sound never touch
down bob taking me six thousand six
hundred & sixty six point eight miles
beyond darkness at the edges of town
& nowhere is yer warmth to be found
in a stadium's steel glare fans remain
there laughing at yer shapeless forms
fucking hair metal sidewalk scenes &
headjobs in black limousines we're all
living bob & we're all standing alone
higher than the sun or even the byrds!







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