ARTicle Magazine

Three poems by Geoff Cochrane

03 May 2017

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate has just released his 16th collection.

Geoff Cochrane

Image: Grant Maiden Photography

RedEdits by Geoff Cochrane (Victoria University Press).

True Blue

The bath is full of hot, and I undress.

A high pane reveals

autumn’s cool azure,

its cold, encroaching candour.

How true and penetrating is this blue,

a glow that so efficiently suggests

the sweet, narcotic freedoms of my twenties.

Times past. The flooded years. Seasons submerged

like drowned basilicas.

Wimping Out

Thursday. In town early. Sold some books to John Quilter, then up the road to my doctor’s surgery for the flu jab. Home to a request to do a reading – of thirty minutes’ duration, at night, no mention of any payment.

Don DeLillo tells us that writing confirms the writer in all his worst tendencies. And so it is with my diabetes and me. I’m not entirely averse to its narrowing effects, the habits it imposes; I’ve come to enjoy the comforts of its constraints; diabetes has confirmed me in my fondness for routine, the satisfactions of playing by the rules, the pleasures of the early meal and the evening spent alone reading and watching telly.

I’m going to have to ring the number left in my voicemail, and sooner rather than later. But I’m not in the mood to do it, will never be in the mood. And though I’m feeling cornered and more than a little hostile (and stupid and tongue-tied, to boot), the truth of the matter is this, the truth of the matter is this: I hate to disappoint, I hate to have to hurt and disappoint.

I could do with an agent. I really need an agent. Some practised, nerveless pro to say for me what I’m loath to say for myself. And the following points would be his stock-in-trade. A) My client seldom reads for more than twenty minutes. B) My client accepts payment for his efforts. C) My client avoids exposure to the ‘open mike’ phenomenon.


for Stephen Murphy

Look at the silver moon

on any spacious night

when the lunar surface looms magnetically

and it’s possible to grasp

how easy it would be

to drive to our not-so-distant satellite

in a Fiat Bambino.


Want the full ARTicle in your inbox each week?

Related articles