The ragin’ pagans were fooling by the fire.
That deflagration was disguised as change in history rags,
there was love
but a love that was a toss-one-off pure & pointless exercise.
Surely the police presence added emotion or veracity?
The truncheons of logic exposed inner brittles
though once there were no bones left to batter
those frantic puddles of flesh
became even more consecrated in their conviction.
Why deities love sacrifice has always puzzled the lambs…
though only momentarily prior to their individual emergency.
My mouth waters, can’t help it.
from Belief (Flying Islands, 2019)
My periods were always chaotic
& I was partying hard.
My baby boy had a rocky road those first months,
inside me when my life was joylessly forgotten.
Nothing was delivered, I sat by
his sickness, tiny Jim would cough like he was
expelling the world.
That shitty-toothed winter I would constantly push the pram up/down a Victoria St that was so busy with connection.
Prostitutes & social workers tutted in the gloom.
Tony once dropped by randy & broke, hadn’t seen him in years
- those years were severed strings. I once sat in St John’s
crying to all those Christs who run the world.
Blood on the door was some message -
the minister sounded positive, all will have shelter
from the blights of the Lord. Jimmy cried softer
then died. There was so much sympathy
for 6 weeks. 67 “friends” “liked” the funeral arrangements.
Everyone said it was time to
Get Over It.
I will live without compartments.
from Getting By Not Fitting In (Island, 2016)
This dozen amused tourists
surround a dead dragon on the sand.
Its last ferocity
is the stench that armours each ending.
Already delicate fins are trimmed to lace
by the scission of crabs.
Beneath a corona of flies
spirit is urged to shuck flesh.
Harp of teeth
reach out to voice.
A roadmap of spine leads towards the spume.
under flash–bulb asepticism.
Any shift in tide will send this
crashing to the tale.
There is history,
but it won’t tell.
From Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience)
is light, the pixel storm.
the random grim forge
biography of space
hand painted diamond
It is the explosion of mass, all coalescence is an antithesis
and we dare not look.
Here, where deities are discussed,
in the topography of sunlight
we blather in chasms of parrot green,
tumbling lambs and tinted alps.
The lake falls home
(ti-tree bows and gumnut scrap),
foreign grasses run for cover.
The estranged children are shadows,
young men linger in the canopies
of their failure to thrive.
Light is father for those who rule -
fenced under tin.
But we are dappled things and cordial -
tamed festival, flakes of sparrow.
For this I pray to Energy,
Toot the Rod.
From holtite eyes
gems of dyed blond
rose-moles on backs
bikini tops sleep on incandescent sand.
Beneath the sun we are always naked,
aroused and prayerful.
Landlords ring the Holy, nagging customers of this
heaven-handled electrician… burning plastic,
God1 eats all space and burns out gender,
the ruins of territory are silent. You are pleasure
and greed. The christians were right,
except the judgement. If love lies here
it’s buried deep. Appropriately inexplicable
I am healed beneath your lips.
From The Ambrosiacs (Island, 2009)
SPIN the BOTTLE
On the train
the two of them are big, wear
denim like animal skins, hair carved freeways
& beards a wilderness. They stink (soil, damp & sweat).
Talking to a woman
Newtown mid 30s
her language cranked down to a strine
that soothes, dampens, lubricates
the rambling of these men.
Everything they do or say
is as though it's grabbed.
Even simple talk about the weather is found
& taken like a ram raid.
No, she doesn't drink
after 15 years of fighting it -
Fucks ma head.
Her face torn,
tense - maybe unfriendly except for the words plus
she's given them her address
(causing the shit-rich shipwrecked
suit-woman across the aisle to become panicky,
a shiver at the perimeter).
Yeah Newtown. They're heading to the Cross
....for a while.
I realise they're me, bar a few accidents.
I'm her with her habits
in handbags & other people's hallways.
They're a miracle of matching
& so common.
Or rape. Will the guys talk about
sharing the bitch?
Perhaps she'll tame
& pamper them with hot meals beside eastern curtains.
Give them perfumed baths, stories to carry
to the next stop.
Prison, psych hospitals
the bush & the beats.
& wander uncertain paths with only
a spinning bottle for a compass.
From Stories of the Feet (Five Islands, 2004)
LOOK BACK IN LANGUOR
Summer never comes till January:
false starts through crooked Spring ,
breaking of waters in a wet December,
tossed chum/ the blood of christmas. Then HERE.
Our feet like dinosaurs on this beach wearing
gold from the textures of sand
& lovers, we touch
with the sacred clumsiness of monks
hungry seagulls scowl
as tour buses prowl the promenade
a dance in slow motion (familiar in the dry notes,
dots amongst coils).
Our thongs wander past
energetic panel vans.
Nearby, some anxious soul says
"there is no fear" even as he looks.
He is an extra....
(they also serve who only stand & stare).
"Bang!" she laughed happily. Young women, lycra trips,
falling as the promised old leaves,
falling like the surf,
falling like ink, like
Male hormones above the droplets airborne, each day
heat hangs over everyone
like a loan.
The afternoon breeze arrives innocently
(never, of course, to be trusted).
Children run across the placid surface of sunbaking adults,
someone thinks of dinner.
Hair teased up like parakeet, Matt, The Cork, parades .
Small humours, pigment, the constant breaks.
Look back in languor,
pure as idiocy
happy as pharmacy
I ride the curving stream of your neck.
Riding this day.
From The Ways of Waves (SideWaLK, 2000)
For Lake Pedder, dammed for electricity generation
1. Over the browns and
ginger of that month.
Rain on the day, gangs of
First light ink-brush fingers
combed the distance / soothing
the arch back of stone.
2. They are waiting
for the word
in weatherblown, torn khaki plastic.
in angry fusillade dropping from the clouds against
the obdurate calm of the waters,
as like opposing elements
this downpour is no relation
to the lake's still
or the earthbound beard of ice clinging
brittle beneath overhangs.
& other human stuff
bounce off the pink sand.
3. Some have dived to find the hidden shore,
pressed fingers on the old beach.
And sunsets still bring rose to the water
as the lake lies buried beneath itself.
From Nitty Gritty (Five Islands,1997)