S’moisture Heat & Screams

Where winter is midyear
and summer is December
and hours and hours of light
and evenings orange blue

and starlight-yellow Christmas
eves, the shoreline echoes field
turquoise Pacific splendour.
It breeds aloneness joyfully

to contemplate the passage
and the rites, the lily
-scented nights— it is the cold
brings us together, and the heat

allows departure
without tearing— On the red tree
November grows the Summer
through December, and the

largely native Year prolific
evergreen; it is the heat
of man for woman, clockwork
while we’re talking

first drinks in last light
these late and long warm Island
evenings sparring festive
and commemorative;

the heat and hunger folded
moistened and supreme,
and connected. and at peace ;
it is their screams

for this, for us, to pleasure them
as hard I hit the punching bag
which has me think
they savage and in power.




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 & Closure

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

whether Engineering
or genuinely warming:
this wet world,

a great machinery
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, on 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.

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

Stars pass over, the word goes out
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 crowds stand 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 resistance
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…

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.