The Black and the White


Dice and chalices.
Harry Styles’ outrageously good new song.



The famous neurosurgeon’s never had
his own brain scanned. ‘I don’t want to see
the shrinkage and atrophy that come with age.’



I seem to have run out of luck
(my writing life has slowed to a nervous crawl),
but I pay for my latte
with an optimistic smile
and an action-packed assortment of shrapnel.



Shrinkage. Atrophy.

The neurosurgeon doesn’t want to see
the green and the blue,
the yellow and the red,
the black and the white
of his own ancient brain.



Curious pedantries
move the whisky priest.

In a letter to Stephen Murphy, I write this:
‘Do you ever make the sign of the cross?
I sometimes cross myself in a semi-prayerful way,
like a Spanish shepherd
watching a spaceship land.’



One’s duty, in the end?

One’s duty in the end
is to get oneself dead somehow.

Image of Geoff CochraneGeoff Cochrane is an Arts Foundation Laureate and lives in Wellington.

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Victoria University Press author page

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Photography credit: Grant Maiden Photography