Any Available Exit. Poem by Ian Irvine (Hobson)


In the quiet street an
       unacknowledged jettatore fixes upon
           a passing feline.


As the modern cars move
   parallel to grey pedestrians.
I take a strong dislike 
   to a malefic debauchee—he’s
   too shoulder-close at the newspaper stand.


Out and about after the airline trip
   I radiate ojas—apparently the women
of the city like treacle 
   (thankfully I do not smell 
    like the corpse of hatred).


Though I have not met 
    the approaching academics, their
undulatory waves press me
    breathless against a concrete wall—
I almost drop the morning paper.


In the hotel lobby, whilst savouring 
    breakfast odours, a passing porter 
attempts to mesmerise me with potent od—
    I dodge the fluid emotion
make for the lift 
    and a workaday shower.


Those aesthetic goldfish, multicoloured
    creatures of coral, frenzy up
as I pass—I experiment: my hands
    comfort or incite
at random, at toss of a dollar coin.

    I am naturally beneficent—
    they will not need the fish-food
for six times seven days.


Though diseased guests are
    locked in luxury suites
I am forced to brave the un-medicinal air
    of their corridor jaunts—right here:
the excrescent energy of a lover
    stifling to his beloved.
I’m exhausted as I reach the door
    of my own room.


Having showered I sleep
     to alleviate the tiredness, notice
     in the sprawling that
this hand 
     soothes the solar plexus
this other 
     draws living juice
from the liberated heart—the transfer 
           is intense
 a three hour dialysis.


     dim-lit rectangles
solid with brick and concrete, 
     cold steel and mathematical, I feel 
a rush of love—this I direct,
     squeeze gently from the tea-bag
     (comes rich aroma)—then collapse
among conference paraphernalia, all
     strewn upon the double bed—
and know for the first time, with relief, 
    that your tumor will be benign
    (will heal itself).


It is the same day
     in a different city, and
the evening undresses, 
     opens the temporal gate
          wide enough ajar, that I
can place my foot in the door.

As I do, I clasp the relic
      you gave me—makes vivid
our charmed purpose.

You know that stone?
      I remember it
about your neck. 

As I imagine
     it positively glows
and I know 
     that you like me to think 
     about you, even
from a great distance.
Ian Irvine Photo

Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer:
His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including
Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations. His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.

Links related to his work are as follows:



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