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2 The Friend

mirror2ALPHABETICAL SEATING ARRANGEMENTS at the police academy encourage alphabetical
groups of friends, with congestion in address books.’

A mishap in the tanning booth leaves him with an over-tanned front and
pale back. It will be slow to fade, though his back can be darkened if he’ll
risk the machine again. This duo – left-brain and right-brain bromance –
work all night on their script, vibrant with tanning lore, baseball history,
coffee shop capers. They mount the stage together at the comedy awards.

1st – The Temporary Friends
He looks each way through his perplexing lens – at the student bar, at the
stately pile. Down for the weekend, they have emptied decanters in the
library, searched for a faux book about trout fishing, with money inside.
Gravely he accepts from Pa the Remington he used to write his memoirs.

2nd – The Friend and Colleague
A checked shirt discomforts striped and plain alike – striped being
honorary vanilla. Convention retention bows to the powers that be. Yet
brilliance sparks off any unexpectedness, like a drill bit glancing off a
diamond. All this is careless talk, without which careful talk will plod.

3rd – The Friend Who Has Shared the Darkness
They have run around in battle without their chainmail, screaming; yet
have known poetry flying the beautiful Huey. And still they carry the
risks, the psychic scars. Entering a public toilet, he too has to kick open
the doors of all the cubicles before being able to turn his back at the urinal.

4th – The Friends of Track and Field
The coin notorious for breaking asunder, with a cupro-nickel centre and a
nickel-brass surround, inspires their brainwave. One came first, the other
second, in the greatest race of their lives – but the judges got it wrong.
Melting down their gold and silver medals, they mint two equal hybrids.

5th – The Fair-weather Friends
The hotel terrace is a court, the jury outside in the sun. The toxicology
of opprobrium is still not fully understood. How will she find a husband,
calibrating the stars for three years and still ending up without a degree?
How will she take her place in the yoke of the wagon of endurance?

6th – Friends of the Penultimate Days
Smiles seed in the ruins of infrastructure. Winter’s broken thermometers
litter the old holloways – the trade routes, the highways to an old
sweetheart. Sarcasm becomes competitive, before collapsing back on itself
in empathy, defying the dog days’ dental records, the world’s snarl.

All six – The Friend from the Pool of Youth
A face half familiar on the college lawn, a light intelligence. Then memory
dawns: the architectural conservationist, famous for illicit turf dwellings
vandalised by reactionaries. Though never close, they have swum in a pool
of golden light, and droplets fall from them still at their reunion.


Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos

 

 

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