Saturday Poem

Gas Tank Sonnets

1 hour out of Byron Bay
and no dreams for three days
when the snakes in the engine
hatched a mutiny

the radiator hose was the first to go

a roadside heart-attack,
meatball surgery with a swiss-army knife
and almost hijacked by hitchers

the days and days of service station pies
finally ripped through my spare tyre
and cocktails of on-edge nerves did their work

while all the time
across the hills, the Pacific
looking good enough to eat

feelings of withdrawal
Byron Bay and the muse,
for the likes of Brisbane-town
and this want of becoming a writer
tongue dragging along the bitumen
regurgitating yesterday's gravel,
the mind aflush
with gas tank sonnets

by Samuel Wagan Watson
from Smoke Encrypted Whispers
University of Queensland Press, 2005