Saturday, March 1, 2008


. . . she said if you hear a screech in the middle of the night it’s not someone getting his throat cut it’s just the pukekos – doesn’t she know we have pukekos in Auckland – families of them live along the wetlands of the North-Western Motorway and hundreds by the lake at Western Springs – but it wasn’t the pukekos that kept me awake it was the lightning coming through a gap in the curtains – I could see two stars in direct alignment – the top one faintly blue and the bottom one throbbing red – the more I stared the more stars I could see between them but then they all disappeared behind the clouds – the gap in the curtains took on the aura of the monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey” – a film I went to the premiere of decades ago in London – a friend was an editor on the film and provided us with invitations – we met afterwards for a party at Kubrick’s house - a strange man who ordered his shirts and shoes by the dozen (all the same colour and design) – one huge wall-to-wall cupboard in his kitchen contained every known liquor – and what did that monolith represent? – we came away from the film with different ideas: I thought it represented God appearing to mankind at certain strategic moments in humanity’s ascent from ape to star-child – my friend was responsible for that sequence where the ape throws a bone up in the air in slow motion and it turns into a spacecraft – as a child I’d looked forward to the coming of the years 1984 (George Orwell) and 2001 – but now they’re both past – I can honestly say 1984 was my annus horribilis and 2001 wasn’t much better . . . the storm is over, the pukekos have gone down to the river and now I can sleep . . .

in a pile
of old film magazines
the director’s face
the quake of his crimped eyelids
hint that an image has formed

by Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand
first published in Lynx, Feb. 2008

No comments: