Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Jeff Klooger


Nothing kills time like a panoramic view.
Below: the city, a craze
of trajectories, but up here
the whole world gently rocks
and eyes voyage
all and only surfaces
right out to the smooth hills of the horizon.
From here, with a flick
I could cast a blanket over the city,
its towers and valleys.
We giants played in tents like this
when we were small enough
to find ourselves in a soft breast
or the red glow of a cigarette
in darkness, when that was home
and all the world we needed.

Hiding was easier then.
When I first ventured beyond
the kingdom of the crib, discovering
jungles in backyard sheds,
hunting mice with stale biscuit bait
and chasing spiders into cracks,
a nest of blankets hid me
from the world; invisible
I held my breath while footsteps
passed by unaware. Now in exile
I make this ascent only to take
the long ride down, for the room
and the chance to breathe the dust
in a tomb of my own
making, to measure myself
against small spaces, childhood
memories of cupboards and corners, bodies
curled in on themselves.

Only when the day is well and truly emptied
do I abort the lift, to slouch home, dragging
my long shadow behind me.

BIO:  Jeff Klooger's poetry has been published in a number of Australian print journals, including Meanjin, Overland and Westerly. More recently his poems have appeared, or will soon appear, in online journals Eureka Street, Retort Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review and dotlit. He has a PhD in social theory and philosophy from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.