Nick Ascroft
New Zealand

Justice Fucus

Remit, recuse, sequester, err, the morning performed its arc into its afternoon.
Which, unmootably, was worse, lud.
The appellants were repugnant, whose counsels counselled offal, and at
para [137], the Act drained, sweaty, dumbstruck, I dissented.

I dissented, primer-fay-she, eggs-high-prophesy, over the everything.
But at para [138] – like this damn jammed stapler – blockage.
I tried Latin cum new Latin, cum pig Latin.
I threw it into a macro – subsections bled into

subsections – I tried unadulterated HTML, I tried Samoan.
Nil. Nihil. Ixnay. Leai se mea.
Up the ballustres and bannisters out of the Robing Room and into the Law Library
the precedents laboured in the dust.

The Little Allegories of the Evening Treed under Bushels of Bushes in a Rainstorm

My moods are not your moods.
They live in my legs, walk me upstairs to sulk,
or sit me down to lick at my tea and smile.
Not your moods: I see them backwards,

from over my back, ant-tracks in shoe-prints.
The talking issues out of my arms
– that clatter up, glaring in my vision like knives and forks –
in the forwards facing of arms, not the

backwards of words – description, its blind
The dead philosophies fossilised in our metaphors
of back and front, this is my dead metaphor for me.

My moods are not your moods.
They are quiet, blurt, subside, rattle in the bathroom
on the mirror’s metal. Squatting here on the seat
of a kitchen chair, embroiled over the keyboard

like a gargoyle, I confess them to the monitor,
thinly veiled in quatrains, then shush them,
let them obscure to a lyric, the allegory
of a sparrow lunching in a wheelbarrow.

Fiction – the depiction of anything that isn’t.
And words are the things that were.
My moods are not your moods – they live
in my legs and can’t be said, they are impositions,

worn-in pinions of puns, and opinions,
crouched over a keyboard, tippy-toeing a mikestand,
and walking, loping, sleepwalking, crossed
on a coffee table, draped like bacon

over a cinema seatback. Not to speak of,
unspeakable like I unspeak of them now, as legs.
Solely backwards, in its fiction of description,
its blindsight of hindsight. I repeat myself.

Biography Nick Ascroft
Nick Ascroft has been publishing poetry in NZ magazines and abroad for 20 years now. He has published two collections of poetry with Victoria University Press and was the Burns Fellow in 2003. Bloomsbury are publishing his five-a-side soccer guidebook in 2016.

The Island - Rosie Whinray - 2015