The whys and Zs
His last four years have nothing to say,
not because they don’t want to
but because there are no real words
to choose from.
Like a who’s who in a who-dunnit
the mystery resolves itself.
The first wrinkle around the mouth,
the weather and waterskiing.
You can have the wallpapering.
You can have the whist.
He whispers something about zippers
and cultured milk
and then his arms are crossed
over his chest.
Like a sarcophagus, like a bat sleeping,
like an X.
from Memorandum of Understanding
(Victoria University Press)
Bill Nelson lives in Wellington. His poems have appeared in Sport, Hue & Cry, Shenandoah, Minarets,The 4th Floor,Swamp and Blackmail Press, and he has worked on collaborative projects with Footnote Dance and City Gallery Wellington. In 2009 he won the Biggs Family Prize in Poetry from the International Institute of Modern Letters. He is also a writer and co-editor of Up Country, an online journal about outdoor pursuits. 'The whys and Zs' is part of a series of poems featuring text mined from an old copy of How to do Just About Anything by The Readers Digest.