Holding the Ball Two Prose Poems by Keith Nunes

Holding the Ball

no one has died around me today, I’m lucky, in this corner of a V-shaped valley aside a mountain death comes by accident or lost cause, rarely by intent, we are moving in the kitchen as though no-one is dying anywhere, she is baking a cake and I’m playing absentmindedly with the bichon, we are in another realm far from the mayhem and slaughter, it’s like watching boys play football in the backyard but I’ve got swollen glands so I can’t take part and the boys get into a fight and I think—why is it that I don’t care enough to go out there and break up the brawl? the cake is baked and the mouth is full and the dishes are done and somewhere in the corner of my eye, in the corner of the room I see little boys squabbling over a man’s head but the head is pulverized and it’s in my hands

Facing Up to the Obvious

the sense that I’ve done wrong, the nervous look at expectant faces running their thoughts over me, on days without sun the way is unclear and I drive my bones into walls that weren’t there yesterday when the saturation levels were low, I glance at the face that grew up with me … that has not developed into me, I should look more like Iggy Pop or Tom Waits but there I am—unscarred, untrammelled, what do you do when you don’t belong to you? layer on a little more chili I guess

Keith Nunes (Lake Rotoma, New Zealand) was a newspaper sub-editor for more than 20 years but he now writes to stay sane. He’s been published around NZ and increasingly in the UK and the US (Straylight, Aji, Unbroken, Blotter, Shot Glass, Blue Monday Review, Allegro, Strong Verse) was highly commended in the 2014 NZ Poetry Society international poetry competition and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. He lives with artist Talulah Belle and a coterie of nutters.