brenton booth, three poems

the saint of the red-light district

He had
been a
theatre
director
and was
in his
late
sixties
but still
looked
good—
real good.
Every time
I’d see
him he
had a
big smile
and
something
nice to
say.
We lived
in a
large
building
but he
was the
person
I looked
forward
to seeing
the most.
We never
said much,
though
every time
I saw
him I
felt better
than any
other
person
made me
feel.
One
afternoon
he wasn't
feeling
good.
I passed
him on
his way
to the
medical
centre,
he had
the same
smile and
zest as
usual:
"Probably
nothing,"
he said.
The
following
day I
was told
he died
in the
waiting
area at
the medical
centre.
He was
so peaceful:
no one
noticed
until they
called his
name.

20 years old working night security at the 24-hour supermarket

One Santa got sacked after a few days
for touching young girls in special
places
the next was always drunk though
didn’t like little girls and kept the job
right until Christmas
the daytime security guard was balding
and 42 and started sleeping with the 16
year old girl from Wendy’s
a few weeks later he left his wife and kids
and moved into a caravan with her
he got sacked shortly after and the girl
left school and supported him
the night cleaner was Fijian and he’d tell
me all the time about Fiji
how much better it was than Sydney
though didn’t want to go back—
never
he was always stoned
he gave me some of his joint one morning
after work and it took me 2 hours to drive
home
I gave him speed one night and never saw
him again
armed robbers tried to rob the supermarket
but the store down the road called beforehand
and told us they had robbed them and to
be careful
they would probably come our way
when they arrived we had all the lights off
and store shutters down and watched them
walk away like disappointed children with
rifles in their hands from behind the cigarette
counter
Tammy hated me because I cancelled a date
with her after Lenny told me a friend had
seen her thing and it really didn’t look as
it should
Lenny got her pregnant shortly after and
they moved in together and I was happy
for them
a relative owned the Chinese restaurant on
the ground floor
but I never went there
I spent most my time reading Dostoyevsky
and trying to write
certain I had
nothing to
write
about.

ghosts

You took
me to
the spot
where
your
first
boyfriend
jumped
to his
death
as a
teenager.
We didn't
stay long,
just
looked.
Later
that night
we made
love in
silence:
pretending
not to
hear
his
screams.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s