90% Privacy

testes climb and descend the cremaster
as the penis waivers flaccid and semi-thick
the 7 PM summer sun
is high and white and hot
I am sitting on an indoor chair
moved outside actual greatness
on my hairy body a black singlet
over my face sun-sponged and brown-light
to the place of beyond heavier
bones and blood am so in this tight
strong animal sensations in the 90% privacy
the cat has caught a bird I do not think
it is personal, although there has been a dialogue
And as much as the driver is not the vehicle
it is something we use for a while
through an agreed upon form of mind control
Being thinking of being and the event
I understand the pause and the flutter
as he holds it and releases it and catches it
until the bird is exhausted and too terrified
to do anything other than shiver vibrating fear
as if Max the Tabby is marinating the Sparrow’s flesh
this could be something we have paid for
a material sensation field for Capacity
to feel other than Itself, a release
from the permanent Calm,

or it is how movies depict the desperate
requirements of an artificially intelligent
cognitively willed Consciousness
to experience the chemical, thus readable
frequencies—of Physical Harm, Confusing
Love, and Illogical Worship.

The bird has gone behind the excess
of indoor furniture moved outside
as I reorganise my living space vulnerable
completed canvases have been knocked
over together in the chase of one being
for another. The bird has taken refuge
in a small gap among the collapsed pile
of paintings and primed surfaces, and Max
the cat, unable to reach the bird, blocks
the exit. This intense feeling of entrapment
would be listed on the reincarnating catalogue
providing fillable sensations of bodily existence,
this knowing of a relentless hunt and capture,
that at the beautiful pitiful death of your small
capacitor, your roving wet-circuit vehicle
all done in a small forgetting, not that small
in the fill of the feeling… For the high of the freedom
in release, the tremulous, giantific remembering!




el toro

el toro*

the el toro
coffee lounge
run by a bull
of a man behind
the counter
never occurred
to me even once
how right the
name a poster
of a bull-fight
inside the heavy
door meat pies
and chowmein
a bull
of a man who
talked and laughed
with an impatient
nod of the head
a son of migrants
brought up tough
in the canterbury cold
first of his people’s
kids to pull on a
first-fifteen* jersey
went back to
the old country
for a village bride
ran that business
till age ran up
the debts on his
body, packed it
in & just put out
to pasture was
felled by sickness
i visited once
that land he never
made it back to
again burnt incense
at a bustling shrine
in a fall of sunlight
in his honour
the painted wood
shouldering sweeps
of gable
those people of
slipping off shoes
on the granite step
to kneel were
his honour.

10 – 12 feburary, 2014

*spanish for ‘the bull’

*top school or local area rugby team

Love By Drowning

I see your whirlpools, darling
I can see them now
the blue and green
and between those colours
I understand now, these currents
I can see your whirlpools, baby

I can see the deep ache, sweetheart
upon your weathered smile
the weight above your eyes
turmoil, like sunken treasure,
way down deep
that you have protected for awhile

I can see your whirlpools, darling
like a spinning water wheel
up one second then headlong down
you refuse to heal
a vow to never give up on us
wasn’t that the deal?

I can see your whirlpools darling
the water could wash us clean
but you wont come up for air
so I dive into your whirlpool baby
lets go down into your abyss
I will be your treasure there

Insigno Sculptus

the godforsaken
between these
once stout
stalwart walls

made this place
a supine home
amidst a supine sea
of supine men
in dowdy supine rows

this tricky beam
this doves white down
thrust through
did I fall
or did I dive

to get away
from you

our core
once hallowed
now hollowed
these empty farrowed lines
is it a scar

or your mark
engraved upon me
for the rest of time

The Road This Limitless…

The road, this limitless…
Narratives and liturgies behind me
Ahead, sagas and parables yet to be learnt
and wisely told

Along salient asphalt grooves
Past pinkish white apache plume
Warm wall sideshow of colour
flirting in the corner of the room

I tarry not to chance the horizon
Flicking up little whirlwinds of dust
I’ll be looking for new paradigm shifts still,
between the winking evening stars

Ignoring my rear view memory
And things brushed under the rug
Dancing on the wrong side of the redline
along way after dark

I’ll be racing to recapture my future and again, escape my past

Dancing on the wrong side of the redline
along way after dark


to a great street musician & poet*

bashing on an
upturned bucket
in arapaho rhythm
stamping his boots
on the bitterly
cold and ashen
blind but knowing
which way the streets
blow and what
down them
haranguing the
columbia recording men
going in and out
through the rotating
door not even
seeing that ‘gone cat’
anymore with his
viking helmet spear
and heavy robe
his poems that
rambled in and
out of that same
door to the hearing
of the girl at
the front desk
his cranking up the
old tape deck
timing in and out
with his own
lone self
in full voice
and beat
pure and beat
a man companion
to music bless
the onward river
of his composition
those riddling and
rhyming sounds.

9 may 2014
nelson st, howick

*the motive to write this piece came from listening to a broadcast on Radio New Zealand Concert presented by a Mr. Ryan Smith of Silversmith Music, and which introduced the person of Moondog, a blind street musician and his music. The incidents referred to above ‘haranguing the Columbia recording men’ refer to Moondog setting himself up outside Columbia studios; eventually he recorded an album for Columbia; some ‘poetic license’ has been taken with my recounting of the facts as presented in the broadcast. The reference to the ‘Arapaho rhythm’ references Moondog’s experience as a child joining in with a drum at an Arapaho ‘Sun Dance’ he witnessed; Moondog also liked to sing/rap/play against a tape of himself reading his poetry or playing instruments, a kind of primitive double-tracking. The costume Moondog preferred was as a Viking with horned helmet, spear and robe. The whole broadcast can be still found at:

I recommend the programme to anyone who reads this piece and wonders what the hell is going on. I found a number of his compositions posted on Youtube as this ‘lament’ with its spoken intro for Charlie Bird, the jazz musician: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSimbyS_YlA

The Weary Editor

He is crouched and tired,

pencil roaming over words:

too many here, a comma missing.

He carves them out – a cancer

to his practised eye, and his gut knots

as he sees – and not for the first time,

prolixity; lazy minds.

Lazy bastards.

Too long here, shuffling and hating.

Red-rimmed eyes up and down.

Trembling hand, reaching.

No drink.


He is better than this, but it is too late.

He writes in his head.


When he can be bothered – and the

words pour through; clipped sentences.




But others write.

Or try.

He edits, pressing heavily as his anger rises.

His profession is dying.

He is dying; carved out.

That unwanted word.

Unfinished Napkin Poem

You first kissed me in a doorway,

and if that isn’t poetic enough I don’t know what is.

You opened doors I had barred shut –

and I want to hold your eyes in the palm of my hand,

shield them from the horrors of the world.

Hold back the pain that’s bleeding in from behind those doors.

You have oceans of patience pooling in those wet eyes,

and you bathe me in it to the point of drowning.

And I am warmed in your heart-fire

and the quiet fervour of your being.

I live for the soft inkiness of your raven hair as you shower kisses over my scars,

My nose.

My lips.

Hold me close and warm like no one else can.

Fill me with joy like no one else can.

Savouring those sweet few moments I can lie in the hollow of your chest and drink the sound of

your breathing.

You are my shelter, you are my plaster,

helping me fill in my cracks so that my skin is smooth, and strong, and watertight.

Oh thank God for you.

A River’s Path

Across the waving green and yellow flecks of broom,

beyond the truculent popping lupin,

we saw someone – something – had shifted the river.

It ran, now, between pushed-up shingle,

still chattering, still over stone,

but its character had been bulldozed.

The inglorious hand of man,

doing its best to do its worst.

This is where the river loses its life,

where it runs to ground over grey stone,

to live, perhaps forever, in an underworld.

It is life and it is loss, where the running sparkle

becomes a low-flow, then a pool – then white dust.

On the far side, where the river once ran,

is a wooden cross. It is made of post, hewn

from the land where the man it marks lived.

He drowned here so many years ago; caught

in a flow he knew so well, yet did not.

Rivers tell no tales, hold no secrets, save

that of a former path: it can be seen. It left signs;

river-smooth sticks facing east, and an energy.

That cannot be taken; not here, not there

Dark Days

Another late, late night
I stay awake and watch TV
Trying to fill the empty me

Another mediocre being
Background white noise fuzz
And lost atop the heap

I never ride the carousel the Ferris wheel
Consigned to watch the lights
And laughter from the dark

I am the littered byways
The grey mundane
I am the flotsam washed away

The hurt you tell the pillow
Before you sleep
I am the sob and secret that you keep

Bon Ivor sings, Holocene
I concur and realise
I am not magnificent again


Why be afraid
…to visit melancholy’s haunt
sometimes it surrounds me
like a black framed
marigold field
confined within black thought

I slumbered under the eaves
…sadness she awoke me
accompanied by the rain
diffusing light
making me focus
that I might see again

Take comfort friend
…feel each droplet fall
a touch of life that’s finally real
in the heart of the storm
i recall the marigold bloom
in the midst of this grey abode

Red grey and black
…the backdrop valley colours
i silently ask you rend the sky
that I might and look upon
a blackened frame
and further on

…towards the marigold fields again.


Oh summer
set this line aflame
where ocean meets cloud
white bobs of cotton
embedded in the azure
an expanse whose limits
yet to be measured
or subdued by Adam
go on as if forever
east to west
would I not be ashamed
of my own insignificance
if I knew his breadth
or where he ceased
let me be ignorant then
that I may never uncover
your finality
some things weren’t
meant to be known
by angels or men