Dad was certified dead Christmas day
septicaemia mixed by schizophrenia, alcohol, and restraint
in Long Bay maximum security psychiatric hospital
mum didn’t tell
that he aimed imaginary guns at people in Strathfield Plaza
shooting down shopper after shopper with pointed finger, instead
how he never paid business tax, imported musical instruments
Australia’s first electric accordions, he claimed
losses, bought a mansion, got caught by the ATO
said he was dobbed in
three times
was a dog barking under dining table
not a good beast
had bloody teeth– his, hers
mum didn’t mention that, rather
his attempt to give a lawyer a Fender
Stratocaster for payment, it was returned
accrued security
to followed him around family court
into lifts
where he asked his wife, why?
‘When you threaten the judge
don’t do it when one’s been shot dead.’
She advised, with plainclothes guard
as part of questioning
I drew Brontosaurus
which’ve been uninvented then reinvented
and x- and y- and hexagon-fighters
lancing capital ships, space stations
no interest in good guys
more faceless mercenaries, giant machines, dark masters, true believers
who’ve entered the base
hardly ever utter words
breathe deep/ try breathing
without Ventolin
couldn’t speak
didn’t respond well to questioning
enjoyed rides in police cars
turn the lights on.
You can look in strange places for fathers
and you don’t always grow out of it.

View this poem on The Disappearing »

Andrew Galan reads ' (En)Joy rides in police cars'