from: Pocahontas, Alcoholism, The Compass, & The Word.

The shadow 
stays dry as the waves 
collapse. 

For almost a full decade I
have not used the strong
drugs of illumination
yet the hunches gather into
something formidable, the
doorways in space are open still,
but I nod & I indicate again
that I decline, feeling
I could tear along the dotted
line of beach, rip the ocean
from the land, twist myself
right off calendar time.
Poets, after all…

Walking past the Bars, seeing the
padded circular stools,
lit, from the doorway
in pools of communicable light,
does tempt my song-quest enter
in with Dylan, Berryman, Hank
Chinaski closing an eye on
one of the licentious lady poets
out, after lunch, in search of material,
the younger people vaping nicotine,
the one-toke spot, the single malt
spiral burn turning in the wide
free area of the night, a safety net
of days off.
Isolation is sheer, sharpest

together, it is reaching into
the soapy hot water of the sink
with the knives no one told you
were in there, fly-wing thin edge
on the broken pint knocked off
the stammering table, so deadly
almost invisible; together alone
the singer moans, the unsharable
singularity of two sheets of glass
come together sliding heavily,
easy, impenetrable actual solitude
of being and I haven’t real longing
for that racing of each other up

the smoke, along the white lines, besides,
time & culture have left me behind,
this new team goes off at needle-point,
their confabulated embroideries,
amazing skin being replaced
with idle thoughts, the inklings
scholars classify as primitive
acceptance rites.

On Observing The Pensioner

Push Her Heart Rate
Into The Transcendental State

I picked her quickly
as a regular
in the wall-to-ceiling mirrors:
sixty something front-on,
28 years old from behind.

The nineteen eighties
aerobics and coke, cane furniture
her mother complained
about, the clothesline
of small sighs, lycra
on the muscle properly.

Her page is never updated
they notice, she has never
added a comment,
a few likes, moved by caffeine
or loneliness, and she does
accept befriending, so
they know she looks
through the obsequious
intel-front.

But they’re asking
each other what
is she running from?
Does she think Death
won’t find her at the gym?
Two full marathons annually
does their dumpling heads in.

And that is where I see you,
wearing your diploma of proof,
junk tertiary bond of our birth
certificates, that your lived life
uncommented, satisfies,
and ignoring it is happening,
Death, without forgetting,
it is likely there are more years
lived than years left myself
but I am putting extra hours in the
pool, the half k more, the hill
instead of once around
the shoe-indented
shock-absorbent racecourse,
the push-ups on the cool down,
something in the headphones,
maintaining a slow heart
oh, the insubstantial of it all!—
sit-ups the crunches
the lawn regulation, world
made matter by our words,
Mind made world by our words,
made sane by our manicured
& manic pruning of thoughts,
sympathetic to the need to expand,
express being different,
cut closely enough the same
true, cut false, into the hedge—
by which, hawthorn or gorse,
I mean the habits approved, life, is our
funeral, the body is where
we come
to die.

 

 

 

Tight Lull Pleasure In The Pride

the nights are cooling off
and little in my heart has changed, that
swing latch
box with sticking hook, the
pressure

on the lid to lift a shot
glass, and draw the heat
into the rolled tobacco leaf
order extra p…

nah, bra, bro-ken-deal
I get in my unpissed bed
this is how I roll now, this is why I feel
the same good in the morning
as when the day is coming to an end,
off more years than on —how it goes,
what is lost and never known
sober, I don’t care to know,
nothin’ walkin’ those opposed again,
always something wrong, a type
of fresh anxiety, behaviour
or neglected invitation, totally
untrustable, the poet and his alcohol.

the clean, the dry and stainless
bedding, the courtesy of calmness
as the fish are in the ocean, sit below
the poster of them waiting for yr burger
the floating calm too of birds, or man
facing his death alone, secret smile
on her face, hunted all day, the gear
improving, this sideways walk, this wide
continuously stable happy mind

if mind is what it is
we’re projected from, say ‘into’
and the ‘not said’ is more truthful

there is anarchy shaping but like a light
that can’t stay on, the fitting tampered
with I don’t know anything, said

I hear things, and repeat them
without knowing if it’s true, this tamper;

intro Autumn coffee, awesome cake,
and wandering the park, a notebook
filling up, the art galleries, home
before it is dark, the van temporarily
away the days off the extra blanket
isn’t needed it joins the pillows up
against the glass window of the rear door.

 

 

 

Yarrow

1

If you think
Adam had help, and there
was more

than one
Eve, you’ll grow
on, living

in little
things,
loose,

like the
white flowers
wild yarrow

no taller
than yr knees
scattered

as clouds
at altitude

one
beginning

no beginning
everything

elite
at peace

with the small
significance

of the ordinary
servitude

without…

2

feeling switched at birth.

As a babe
we would take yr milk

from your hand
pumped out of a breast

knowing you or not
& maybe never know

anything was wrong,
immune, we’re growing on

elite and hard to mend
crawling on the floor & joined

in tv sing-along
this, is clearer, each epiphany—

there’s a word
as the bubble burst

‘phiff!’

the sudden soft
coming to yourself.

3

If yr proof
is not canopied
of others
of  ‘an’other

than yourself
then by your knowing
look make it out
available compassionate

and true. fear, & love,
both
have an equal sort
of access

to the signs. the facts
are disputed

everywhere, truth is
neutral. grit

becomes gemstone candle
makers,

are not the flame;
nor the keepers

of the Flint the mechanics
of combustion formula.

Poetry I’d Handled Till It Softened

& Would Not Stand On Its Own

That’s me, at the Mirror of Remembrance,
I’m wearing a snakeskin cap, I think
it is real, it says leather on the label,
it states, in tart magenta-pink
embroidery: ‘Skin’. Not sure what it is
alluding to, but as I revisit old poems
short of being finished it won’t feature again,
it was simply a starting point, I want to blend
these reasonably accurate reflections
into one account, and see if you can spot
the join marks, like the transvestite prostitutes
you could hire to study the phenomena,
see where it is that a woman’s breastful
body becomes a dude again. One evening
a tall brown sheman came out of the
doorway shadows from the top-middle
of William St., into Darlinghurst, came out
from the group of fee-males and crouched
in front of me, stoping me, and grabbed my balls
and cock in both hands. All I’d done
was smile, and nod as I walked downhill
toward them, nothing acknowledged in that.
This criminal offence, if I’d complained
of the gentle but secure clasp in her long look,
could put her in lock-up, it qualified him
for a beating were it some one less
my tangent nature. They were forbidden
solicitation, apparently they could be there,
available, for the science of the joining of two things.
His hands, her, she completely held my genitals
a squatting six feet of maori athletic
in a tight fitting dress, cigarette in her lips,
the smoke lit orange and grey and red,
while inconceivable consciousness, like vapours
from a water heated, mingled or pickled
or looked for the notes reincarnated
Awareness sends organised systems
into a human knowing of car horns
sirens braking and acceleration,
the Consciousness, or better, Recognition,
worse for wear, my dehydrated mind
perceiving rounds without a world, growing firm
in her hankering, my hands tangy
with the smoked joint, just starting on the
first cigarette, I wasn’t going to pay her
for anything, but she knew that feeling
me firming looking into my reddened
socket’s dopy grin, nothing said, gives it
one last shake and says a noise not unfriendly
and not unlike a hiss. Story it is,
happened it did, gone, those times, I’m glad.

 

 

The Crack Container

The yellow Volkswagen
by the blue green sea
has someone in the back—
they’re fast asleep,
dreaming of the Japanese
order of things.

The sea has a dark green ring
where the horizon starts
like the outer edge of the eyes
and after the horizon, when it’s dark,
like the pupil at the centre of the eye,
stars will appear, furthering the air,
expanding space, a minimal
comfort in the van, with the woman
asleep, the side door open
dreaming of the light
which doesn’t need dark,
a light that has always been there.

Too long awake
and you crave the dark
the dark which can’t be disturbed
or dismissed as something bad

people want; and the dog
on the chain
by the corrugated fence,
rattles his links
from the poll the mallet
has put in the ground.

Has knocked his water
bowl upside down.
He can’t find shade,
his owner isn’t home.

The dog pants hot,
is about to give up,
one more lunge
and his collar comes off

and he’s over the fence
and onto the road
and off down the street
to the stormwater drain

where the girl is
snoring on her back.
The stars are there
so an I exists.

On closer inspection,
your waking face
has the same horizon
in the blackness of space,

the curves, the colours,
dramatic sense
in the bright lit
comedy/horror

of patents pending
for weather control,
the atmosphere conditioned.

The crack cannot
describe the glass.
There is high end
order to the chaos cast
in the patterns of light
caught in the fleeing drops
as the dog shakes dry;

if you go down
upon your knees,
and look in close
at a spec on the grass,
the size of that field
and the fields of stars;

Galaxies cluster
like grapes on a vine,
and the big vast nothing
between things, Time.

Yes, she knows,
waking in noise
the crack cannot
exist without form.
The separation,

is where
Time comes from,
she says, mysteriously
dramatically, alive
to this, waking
at the cracking sound

of a dog’s head chasing
her salami around.
He is caught in the bag
with the bread and cheese

the cask of wine
the strudel slices
it could be a crisis
as he runs in blindness
onto the road

by the carpark under the pines.
And the risk is now, with these
characters down, the loose
dog free, (coaxed with meat)
a travellers’ van,
the chain on the pole
with a collar on the ground,
the upside down bowl
with the sun on the steel,

the poet’s task is to take their real
for granted.
The dog dislikes
where he is tied
there’s a beating waiting
with a new tight collar.

And the girl had a dog
who died of old age
the month of her 16th birthday.
She kept his buckled leather.

Will anyone notice, anyone
who matters, see
the girl
leave town
with a dog
on the passenger
side?

And later at the beach,
fishermen, a fire,
the sky going dark
being driven outside
by the waxing moon
to cast the reef

the depth of the black
and the reassuring flames
the horizon fading
and the seaweed crackling
the driftwood melting
in the physics of it all.

from 6ome 6ixes In Hi6tory

6

I Think, Maybe.
Or it’s an App.

I thought, between stars,
the gaps
of my knowing, we could

argue that
there is more black
than light

or to know 
requires a flow
from, by,

the Knower, between two
states,
of which she is neither:

not ‘off’, nor ‘on’
but the faculty of ‘Venture’
you may cross

out Yahweh, and write
instead: Minerva,
the app will run; on Krishna

or Jesus,
you won’t lose believers;
we’re all here:

the lived, those to live, and the living
our heads hanging
over the hammock

looking up at the cat
turning her tail
this way and that

the illusion of Now
in the stars and systems
of stars above her

nightfur, bone
and the those
hybrid eyes

widened to a circle
all present, all time
in the State between

the stare
and
the stared at

here in these words
you looking, the
milli, is it

or nano, less
even, of a second
before

reckoning
for them
your meaning.

Diminish As An Act Of Re-Creation

Can’t find the words to link the verse
so I get up off the compewta
from the high-back brown three seater

and return to the painting
on the floor, not wet anymore
I missed the opportunity

to blend depth and a boundary
but that’s fine
I can’t decide where next

it’s an abstract, best
painted quickly
and it’s close

to finished
and I’ve started thinking
too much about a meaning

so I go outside
and lay in the hammock
watching the flag

on the neighbour’s pole
an expensive heavy cotton
in seaworthy excellent blue

the demanding red of blood
and the confident knowing of White
it is after work, Thursday,

and the heat this summer
is old school, long into the evenings
everybody has felt that

large silence in people
when we have no responsibility
following only our own habits,

sleeping and waking, eating
and drinking— a huge
silence

behind the eyes,
and the immeasurable distance
between objects manifest

and the formless
energetics of Perceivers
where we cannot see

I had positioned
the days like laying dominoes
ready to fall

then I changed my mind
and reached ahead
to tip over a few blocks

to halt the momentum
and went willingly back
into paid employment,

diminishing myself, turning
down the silence
within.

 

 

 

The Bodies Buried

They can’t all fail, can they?
Each region it’s model of worship,
what ever was amalgamated,
altered, used weapon-like, then dismantled;
then rebuilt, by the victor, by the people
liberated, because out in this open air
concert, in their christian t-shirts
and muslim beards, and tattoos
samoan, viking, & Disney, boy, they
look confused. They are white, with dread
-locks, and worry knots; they are
as empty as the light
which comes out of the bulb,
but for some darkness, nothing
without a glow has convinced us
that we are less by being: this heavy
address, this heavier dress,
it sells to us a wife and vulnerability, a
husband and servility; no nation is without this
worry, and no person who has entered in
to the corporate headquarters alive
can live at the faked emptiness
of mortal craft religion
fraud and business, plans of like
showing like their curfews
and operating systems
this long
without distorting;  it’s never changing
the oil
in yr motor, never getting the q-tip
onto the old cassette head
things Associations of opinion
and terror in the language of terror
for a thing imagined, hypnotism
in the spell, buy a history in creation,
by we being as the lightness,
the mist among the water falling in Te Puke
or Niagara, the lightness of the feeling
to simply say things—we are
what the language needs to Be,
to see and not to hold to what was in the seeing
yesterday, memory enough to get home
by instinct, if necessary, make Home
where it needs to be, putting everything
else
into the great burning that is
yesterday.

Of Ageing

To keep up with the actual
rate of which a carbon life
form breathing air decays
I find I am making the short
trip through the painting
storage room
to the small bathroom,
more out of the condition of unbelief
that I am dying
in drips, filling a pool of dying
by the milking breast of each heartbeat,
and will be dead on a day as actual as this is,
each time the peddle turns, each night the
wheel revolves, arriving
in the bathroom to check
on the recognised ‘I’ in the white room
a magenta towel-curtain paints
rose with sunlight on late winter
afternoons, and holding the round
stainless steel Morris Minor
bonnet mirror I view the back
of the beginning to thin crown,
and the silvery band
now running from ear to ear
because who is looking out
of these eyes, isn’t older, isn’t any less
dead, look at the chest and torso,
firm, athletic, youthful & evenly built;
the latissimus fan improved; the tight
buttocks; the steady heartbeat of a runner
keeping up and passing men younger
at our young gym, all suggesting death
as some thing taught to us
to believe, a thought which is actually wrong,
put, exe.-like, into external fields
as interference, dominating
rates of internal repair, active in firmware
now, designated thereafter on auto-
update…And those about us,
dollah-sized, empire-scientific,
who endeavour Deselect
Uninstall Delete…? Dying’s alright
when living’s incomplete.

Survived

It seems romantic, looking back
on it, the withdrawing of 50¢
over the counter, before eftpos, I suppose,
to have enough for cigarettes.
It had back-story, engraved, or
engineered, as when a writer’s past
helps the reader grasp
the sardines, and half
eaten lifestyle salvaged
from dumpsters with the lumps of bread
I got free at the soup kitchen
under the overpass. I always took
the speciality loaves donated from
the supermarkets. They were unsliced,
leavened, and never in plastic,
and usually close enough to fresh
to eat un-toasted. Also, I ate… my
vitality was fluid, thats, never mind,
in this memory, I’m standing in line, with a 65¢
withdrawal slip, and a masculine dollah something
in my pocket, so dead broke, and still getting
wasted! Substance over love. Yet
the memory of it
is that I had sufficient store of each.
Love, food, sunshine, the rent, somehow,
when the time came to exit
that, sever, finally, the needs of that existence,
when the time came to leave, all that I had written,
up till then, was put in a drum for burning.
It was autumn, the drum was over by the feijoas,
on the square of pale grass made by the caravan,
the sea was less than thirty metres away
throwing up post-swell odours of rotting
weed and salted limestone bull kelp.
I  tipped out two sacks of papers, fire-engine
red scholastic exercise books, the too hastily
bound A4 manuscripts, and scraps of exegetically
impossible to interpret commando failures,
soaked it with meths, and bent in
to the drum with a lit match, and BOOM!

Far king me! blown back on my arse,
burnt eyebrows, nose hair, lashes,
fringe sizzle; hairs on the flame hand;
singed, and pumping capillaries, ALIVE!