A Helicopter Ride — Episode Five, Res Publica, Live on Radio NZ

Res Publica, read by Stuart Devenie, on Radio New Zealand

Res Publica, read by Stuart Devenie, on Radio New Zealand Nine-to-Noon

Listen now.

You can read notes on the previous episode here.

In this Episode Five, Arcady Robinson has returned home after his discovery of a strange little island out beyond the Hauraki Gulf (at Long 175 58′.35E, Lat 36 16′.10S). When he arrived home, his wife was just departing on a business trip to East Asia.

Arcady then flies to Wellington, where he visits the Land Office to see if the island has been discovered already. He’s unable to locate the island on any maps. The clerk suggests perhaps some flotsam or a tangle of seaweed, garbage, driftwood had created something that resembled an island.

Back in Auckland, Arcady hires a helicopter to fly to the island. We meet its pilot, Megan — half Canadian, part-Eskimo — who is suffering from allergies. Arcady admires her appearance and muses about the female form in general, especially breasts, to which he admits a special fetish.

Out in the middle of the sea, the helicopter encounters a sudden storm. Hovering above the coordinates where the island should be, Megan decides they need to land immediately. The only problem is, they don’t see any land. Descending fast and buffeted by the storm, where is the tiny island Arcady had seen before?

This is where Episode Five ends.

Episode Six will be broadcast tomorrow, 10:45am, Radio NZ “Nine-to-Noon”.

A note about the verse structure:

Twelve-line tetrameter stanzas, with a mostly iambic cadence (although the rhythm is varied), and a rhyme scheme of abbaccddeeff. Some lines, of course, were cut or altered to fit the audio segments.

An example of a stanza from Episode Five:

And let me not forget her breasts!
For just as Tolstoy loved girls’ feet,
divine Nabokov the furry sheathe
of armpits, I’m more common — impressed
by that which every barman knows
can fill a house, and if he chose,
a stadium! Indeed, as Janet
showed before TV could ban it,
a breast can change a nation’s fate!
O strange America! You rate
your game a “family show” – while leering
at ads for beer and damsels cheering.

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Filed under Res Publica, Book One