René Harrison


Listen to the audio version.

My life isn't easy reading
as if words were cheap.
The letters—
coding braille lumps on my brain,
turned pages filled with someone else's marginalia.
I remember the library books that my mother
would lovingly dust down and erase,
before I could scan and listen
to a robot spelling every lesion
of fading vision; decode the dots
I never learned, that now reform
in the posterior hippocampus,
like rainy inner streets in the memory
of a New York taxi driver
listening to the smell of the sun.

My father said he would not buy
me the software
unless I would get the degree done.
But my life isn't easy reading.
I still want an alphabet to touch
like natural letters that match the heart
of our environment,
hands linked in infinite ways.



Tragically blinded by the fiery concoctions since the age of 17, René Harrison has the acute nostrils of a pet rabbit in a gin shop, and the good odour of a fundraising labrador. His tasteful fulminations have appeared in Poetry New Zealand, Literary Orphans, Landfall, Takahe, Shot Glass Journal, Black Mail Press, and Brief, amongst other places. His double malingers in Auckland.