why write

The dog said, Look,

you should leave;

I stood my ground,

but secretly agreed.


The nurse: I understand

 how you feel…

a bit of a prick, but

…keep still.


And the cop: The facts

don’t add up. I said, That’s

too bad. Have you questioned

the dog? He said, Yes.


The med said, What the fuck!

Let it go.

I said, What? How?

She said, I don’t fucking know!


So I saw this therapist

& he says, What kind of dog was it?

I want concrete facts,

not abstracts!


Pit Bull.

                        What colour?

It was dark.

                        Now we’re getting somewhere!

Where? (My question’s rhetorical).


So I saw this other therapist & she says:


Write these poems: your mother’s death

alone in the flat; the guilt

you felt; regret: the friend

that swung, inches

off the ground; the ones

that did not come – Seven/Eleven/

One/Nine/Seven/One – all of them.

You remember that.


You were 7.


I said, I prefer to stay clean,

feel what I feel & (or but),

keep my verses lean  –

the concentration of the mind’s images:


the words

come out terse,

rhyme sometimes

because I’m

jerking off the jagged bits I’ve

bottled up.


Yes, yes! (she says)That’s so fucking good!

Don’t stop.


                  for Keikei

than any
to track the
sky to its
final edge
to know
the blessing
of having
setting sun
the drink
to be drunk
fire that
burns now
the day
to ash.
that kiss
this late
we who
first kissed
with salt
spray on
our lips
rain damp
and fragrant
in our hair
of winter
this day in
the late sun
lushed on
a kiss
too heady
even for the
sun that staggered
drunkenly down
and muddled
our shadows
longer over
the grass toward
the estuary its
waters already
plated with a
look of evening
i felt that
breath of cold
time beneath
the heel
we must
walk quicker
towards that
falling sun
to kiss in
its gold
while still
we are
still we
have warmth
to flee through
nights of a
failing moon
to snuggle
into dawn
every kiss
we sway
within is
that minute
even the
the first

riverside ave

That Christmas

That was the year I drove down from the city

past the scented gardens and the ornate brick fence

the open stocked fields and the sun shimmers

and you were there, with cuffed trousers and an open shirt:

you said how hot it was and then you snapped open the case:

Let’s have a beer, you said, and you levered out a flagon;

you poured barely-cool draught into little tin cups and the

condensation ran down the sides and over our fingers.

We waited for the guests and before we heard the Holden draw up

we were one flagon down and the sun had let the smell of peaches

escape and, well, it was pretty near perfect

my body is not an apology


My body is not an apology

to those disfigured

by war; to those with limbs

torn off in Damascus.



I might chance my arm

in down-town Kabul;


get legless, ripped-off

discriminated against because I’ve got

four limbs and I’m human. Granted:



your body is not an apology.


This you have expressed in care-free

lines of free verse and elaborate dances

(ballet, modern jazz, etc):



shake therefore those



not a soul, controls you.



from Present Of ITSELF

10. Simians, Babies, Emissions & Closures

A great world, masterful,
postcard memories, cyclone warnings,
hurricane machinery;

whether Engineering
or genuinely warming
this wet world

of holographic dramas, equal
periodic restive/freezing,
carbon, missions, Maunder minimums,

Africa, waiting to be restored,
Napoleon on through the English lords
in this great cauldron of the sea-nest world,

in the game of thrones, in the maps redrawn,
the sacking of the pyramids, kittens in the creek,
the President speaks, the Pope goes next,
the Mullah and the Viking and the Pop Star meet.

The curtain goes down. The curtain goes up.
The villain’s swapped roles with the clown.
And the people come home, and every so often
the furniture is changed, and the room takes on

a universal plan. The grass browns out,
the grass goes green,
the moon fades slowly from the scene.

Stars pass over, the word goes out
on the extra litter you didn’t expect;
the prince trips over, towers come down.

Towers go up, the hammer is dropped,
the builder takes another from his birthday belt.
The prize fighter shakes, he stammers and feints,
the crowd stands up, to whistle and clap;
the jockey is thrown from the steep hill chase,
the dogs veer left, the dogs veer right,
the fox runs into the underground night.
An old nun dies, rubbish and lies,
a boy grows up, his one sweet heart,
his car full of friends, tunnelling worms
making love with themselves, the beautiful
movement of snakes, big eights
under bonnets with the airbrush work,
a little bit demonic. In trouble
in resistence the princess jerks
on the operating table; the Press
release, the Press hold back, more fuel
is poured on the fire of the fable,
as the wreaths,rotting at the castle gates,
indicate only her kismet dates…

How strange, you knew, as the cameras rolled,
the ape would take the baby from the platform fall.

Or how about this? Math is back-engineering.
One (1) is anything chasing its tail.

Zero’s the one thing catching itself.
All numbers are fractions.


11 Sugared Milk

Yellow roses in the fog, it’s happened,
the ape holds the baby as Staff descend
with a cocked dart gun, their customary
strength; to live, one life, and let go.

Of the good world. The great life,
counting on something else
with cradles and graves, musicians
and spiders, and other frequency
-sensitive creatures
with black and leathery hands,
moist reflective eyes.

One hard birth
on this good world
heartbreakingly moving
without going anywhere.

The Willows weep
and children weep
as the storekeeper sweeps
their empty cones, the sugared milk
melting on the Star-named stones.
Who would we, groan and smile,
lying with a smile…
Not for all the ill funds in
the Neutral Bankers’ Till,
would we give up, the losing smile,
in plain words, thank you,
cluttered with an ancient misadventure.

Midnight’s Height

In utter broken outage of the blackness
whitened silver
in the fullness of those rare
at almost for this bang on
Midnight’s height
we are thrown at the padlock of our fear
pushed face-first to front the primal build
are thrown off our beds and over chairs
to move through the glass-sprinkled air
of living rooms exploded in what primal Rage
minds will not enquire into yet.

Amazon Warrior On The fault.
Are thrown into walls and on our knees
looking for our keys our children
our devices like dogs on their lease
the Appliances

out of their sockets a community
of clouds performing strangely
looking on their handiwork
samsung sony panasonic
50 inch of sonic
faux divine creation-rights
shattered hd smartness
laying facedown praying so it looks

like I have the time to think
in the bone-cold terror of my death
appearing early time to think
of self and only him the I
my only eye of which the We
draws and holds essential authenticity

that divine orchestration the I
from which is yours the you,
made never mind we must escape
that was not enough after we’d been threw
about our rooms quickly
in the Waking uninterpreted
in rodeo like movement
the Ocean had withdrawn and the dark
line obvious in moonlight
was in a common language
unnecessary to interpret.

I left my favourite didge and took the Mac
in the stuttered shaking darkness of the black
areas Interpretation falters
people hanging on inside their shoulders
the roads filled immediately with traffic
negotiating cracks and separations
disappeared between the sirens
wailing monotone unmodulated messages
the actual words within it insignificant.

And in our summer sleeping knickers
in headlamp and knucklebones
focused over steering wheels
hunting out a place to go
a narrative the Weave to stay



This Plain

There is nothing on this plain:

But thought

A snide wind

A wide-eyed gecko

A hare’s dust

The shadow of a hawk

An escaping light

A crooked-arm hill

A lover’s swale

Now, too, tears

Mother’s Torment

Her hair is surf-sea waves

crossing an ashen face.

Who is she now her colour is gone,

and her limbs are weak?

Recognised and not; alive and not,

a thin gown riding her bones,

a buzzer in a skeletal hand.

And where is the family now,

now that she has fallen, now

she is cast and cast aside?

No photo, no hand clasped,

no one to moisten her pale lips

now the breaths are weak.

Just a man afraid of death,

scared to touch his source of life,

to say, even now: I love you,

to stroke the blue pulse of her hand.

He forgets her struggle; he forgets.

Her company is loneliness

and a fraying cane chair

Eternity waits.

She woke to find him dead,

Her mind went blank,

Time ceased,



She stood,

Eyes wide,

Looking at the lifeless body,

Cold and forever still.
The air rings with the silent question,


There are no answers,

None that mend or satisfy,

Destiny’s seed

Snuffed out,

Never known,

The joy of relationship,

The unrequested gift


Flickers of Light

To roam those miles in your eyes,
Through the lands of your devouring orchids,
Covered by lavender and purple orchids,
Your garden hides your daughters,

A bloodline of high priestess sovereignty,
You choose the path you take,
Your rights to status marks your best choices,

The flickers of light behind each eyelid,
My heart thumps each drum beat,
Those are my eyes how could they know,
Because they know what I’m hiding,
This paranoia is becoming intoxicating,

I fill my days with 8 thousand variations,
Clip art impersonations and cups of tea to wash away the toxins,
Boolean logic fated by a roll of a dice,
No path certain,
No fate met.

Under A Hat

I became him under his hat,

felt his voice rise in my throat

and felt his smile on my face.

We shared part of a life.


And then he went, bent with pain.

At the end, he tried to joke.

He said a man in another bed

came to pray.

Yes, he said, pray if you will.

And the man fell to his knees

and reached for his hand

and asked for healing, except

that it was beyond God.


What with the cancer

eating his gut, gnawing his will.

He said, before the end

that a man had been shifted

to a room alone.

Well, he said.

You know what that means.

And next day he was in there,

facing south