Jeremy Roberts was born and raised in Auckland. He has a BA from the University of Auckland, which sparked his passion for poetry. Over the course of his career, Jeremy has worked as a neon light-maker, a teacher, a visual artist & an MC at Auckland’s Poetry Live. He has also travelled extensively, collaborating with a number of musicians.
Jeremy currently lives in Jakarta with his wife, where he teaches at an English language school and works with local musicians.
CARDS ON THE TABLE
is a staircase more
useful than a ladder?
is turquoise prettier
is a knife more decisive
than an axe?
a cloudy sky has
a different meaning
from a clear one.
such as? You might ask.
well, it’s your life –
& you must decide.
LOST & FREE ON A STREET IN JAKARTA
in the moment!
one more evacuee
from a hundred million moments
zigzagging in rain – among strange rubbish, dirt,
busted concrete, & revving monster motorcycle-mash of
I was seeking a pathway home, in a smoky blue dusk
& failing as only a foreigner can – absolutely!
to hail a taxi…
yet, there was laughter inside my aching heels;
sanctuary inside the eyes of the riders,
as I started to unfold that old Siddhartha Gautama stuff
about our thoughts making the world –
& curiosity felt good
walking further up the number line than I had for quite a
easy words, familiar ghosts
tickets to shadow plays
calls to prayer.
THE TREE OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
the temporary tree outside my window is bending –
furiously, in the wind; anchored.
it’s a class act.
wind is a free-ranging show pony – lacking finesse at
unable, say – to slip exclusively thru portals,
tending to fly straight into anything it approaches
but forever regulating power, changing direction.
I’m envious –
floating in the pool, watching lightning overhead –
stuck on how much we gaze.
an intense outflow of electricity in the air – occurring within
clouds, among clouds, or between a cloud & the surface of the
relentless precision, interaction –
an exploding nest of verbs!
not so tree-like.
freeze-frames of choosing & tasting –
the details of which are ultimately lost in summation:
an existence –
somewhere between waiting in line
& riding the tick-tock click track up to the final
what did you think your life was going to be like
on these old roads –
with second-hand information,
limited skills & only so many miracles
to go around?
& time –
thundering like an angry, virus-spitting bull –
running hard at you, in your own doorway?
& what of Cezanne’s thing?
everything in nature reduced to a cylinder, sphere
you’ve done pretty well relating to those shapes,
squinting thru the alphanumeric confusion
& dealing with all the famous metaphors…
including the ultimate “thousand-yard stare”.
how are you supposed to react to such mystery?
mistakes probably won’t matter
when the world becomes colourless, the wind visible
& the light – solid in your hands,
as you pull yourself away
from the world.
AT THE TACO EXPRESS
at the Taco Express down on Lamar
Che Guevara stares from a wall –
watching a couple struggle
with a crossword puzzle.
the woman – I’ve seen an hour before,
browsing in a sex shop.
the man she’s with is focused on something
not in the room.
above the bar is a yellow plastic sun with a clock face,
hands stopped – probably for years
& we’re fine with that, because in the beer-sign light
you can read the paper & drink a $3.50 Margarita
on a Monday morning –
tapping out a little dance with your fingers on the table top,
quietly pondering normal stuff:
how damn near the same all our lives are;
the hairy notion of bonding with something in the ether;
whether it’s time for a personal revolution –
if you could actually pull it off.
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