Edouard Etienne Levier
Glazed eyes sunk under squid lids
Cannot fit me, the watcher
Keen to make curious sense, of you
This gaudy pale dilettante
Together we share a name along the line
Alone in an empty room full of secrets
No experience, nor custom, nor thought
The same to recognize or cast on
I persevere, squatting on my perch
Hypnotised by the mystery of identity
Peering hungrily close at an Other
Tricked up in check like Sherlock
The linguist who became, of all things
A hatter and maybe even, so they say
Before Melbourne, a gun runner
Wrapped in velvet, I suspect
Unnoticed like Rimbaud
Worshipped at the ancestral shrine
Are you idol, conscience, hero
Mockingbird rival? I am swaying blind
Were you thinking of me, as I of you?
Waiting for a shot of recognition
Blast of cognition, flash of intuition
Until that revelatory moment
When the model blinks back
Everyone else freezes, you
Remain as you knew you would be
Deliberately mute and yet
Did you wonder, who will remember?
Who will gaze on your impassive face
In the sorry future?
Neither knows who the other might be
Am I what you wished we might become?
Nothing, I got nothing
But I do know one thing about you
Something you would never see
In absentia you are tangibly present
Unlike after you looked back at the lens
Frozen ponce feet up in that soft chair
Contrived amid brazen sangfroid
Ed Southorn is a Queensland writer interested in the anthropocene, social spatialization and cultural history. He was a newspaper reporter in Australia and England for 30 years. He has an MPhil in Creative Writing (non-fiction) and recently submitted a PhD in journalism and sociology. He teaches journalism and public writing at Griffith University and the University of Queensland. His most recent poems have been published in Meniscus and The Blue Nib.
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