Passport Not Required

Border Economics is an attempt at prose-poetry.

The phrase “Last Chance Saloon” was originally coined to advertise the last chance to have a drink before crossing the border into a country or state with different drinking laws. It is a phrase that has shaded off into somewhat deeper meanings.

Last Chance Saloon

In some subliminal way “Last Chance Saloon” reminds me of a hand-painted roadside sign I saw outside an isolated café in the Yukon: “EAT HERE OR WE’LL BOTH STARVE!”

Anyway, here is the prose-poem.

Border Economics

I keep thinking this is my last chance

staying up late like there really is no tomorrow…reading prose like poetry…tearing the wrapping from meaning like a christmas-spoilt child…scrabbling for that beautiful terror of synthesis, that connective tissue of truth.

I keep feeling that this is my last chance

to close lips to lips…to kootch the warmth of body curve…to celebrate recognition of love…to fritter away desire like a tabloid-target lottery millionaire…to find new joy when expecting mere comfort of repetition.

I keep acting like this is my last chance

pacing mountain tops head-to-head with spinning constellations…tracking tides on desolate island-feel beaches…a gannet for adrenalin, for gut-ecstasies of fear and solitude and wild spirit-soaring grace.

I keep thinking this is my last chance

to hear that perfect tune, inhabit that late quartet…to engulf every atom of that wondrous painting, that thrilling sculpture…to bathe in every nuance-current of that film…to grow with each unique creation…to collect, file, fold, surround them all.

I keep feeling this is my last chance

touching the footsteps of my child in the world…intent on his grown-up breathing, as much as his newborn small hours cot-snuffling…upper-casing Friendship with the ones who are awake and alive, to themselves, and to faltered me.

I keep acting like this is my last chance

to make something that will survive a nano-second beyond me…to sum up a living assembly of dust…to play with all five senses one more time…to tell you stories in words, in pictures, until one final narrative forms then dissolves.

Tell me, what time does the bell ring in The Last Chance Saloon?


Ted x






  1. Hi Teddo,

    Three things I’ve thought about during readings of this.

    1) There seems to be a worrying preoccupation with legacy and similar themes in recent blogs! Hope you’re ok!

    2) Great that a lot of your passions that I associate with you are mentioned, plus the way you try to eek out every last drop of pleasure/experience out of them.

    3) It may not leave an imprint on Wikipedia, but Jack is a wonderful legacy. Plus the ways you have improved the lives of the people around you, through your working and non-working capacities! (- Similarly might not trouble Wikipedia, but is something to feel really proud about)…..

    ….Following on from that thought, I watched Toni Erdmann a couple of nights ago. One of the most enjoyable things I’ve seen in a while. Felt quite choked up a few times – even during the Whitney rendition! I think because the words seemed to fit so well and because her voice was so unexpectedly good.
    Comically bleak ending. Having tried to say something important, along the lines of ‘I’ve realised the meaning of life is to live in the moment and not let things pass by’, she does her funny impression and he wanders off to find a camera leaving her alone again.
    Couldn’t help think of Sir Les Patterson! Similar how he described himself as the German Ambassador and Sir Les is the Aussie Cultural Attaché.

    Lots of love, Chris xxx


  2. Gosh, Ted, if this really describes how fully you live every moment, I’m jealous. We should all live like that, I know very well, but somehow, so much of the time I’m just passing the time. Were you always like this, or did Death suddenly rear up and remind you that you haven’t got long? What’s your secret? Ag xx


    1. Thanks, Ag, for the comment and for understanding. I suppose I have had three or four experiences that have left me not fearing death (though I still fear any pain that might be involved). Not fearing death does help when it comes to savouring what’s ahppening now…not dwelling on the past and not fearing the future. XX


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