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from Hail Gazers #2


Come the cold, darkening
afternoon, the Earth tilting
the drinker toward his retirement,
the folding travel armchair
in the sunny yellow corner
by the elongated arms of knitted winter
shadow, taken backward
and put into the box,
the lid screwed back on
the little Malt left.


You’re old enough
to remember when licensed
premises opened
at eleven, and Punters, for reasons:
terrain, inclemency, to louden
the hush of Infinity, waited
the opening of doors
to quieten the heart in its hoody,
pacing the roped, square ring,
in the appalling, impossible trinity:
Love, Fear, and Mystery;

waited like fighters no one
will take on: the younger among
us remember the animal, Tyson,
exploding from his career.
A story about his pigeons; a panting
blackness of tyger.


Bars at eleven was Ali,
nothing clay about him,
TV off at the PM,
goodnight, basket cases,
Kiwi, Cat, the ladder of Fact,
far call left in the bottle.


Sleep now loads
in a petrie dish,
G, Hz, & .i, as a pod
our Kind communicate
in the mechanical matter of gravity
and the pull in two directions
is what is keeping you stable,
still, hungover, you’d queue
at the doors in the morning,
Newton’s hinged ordering
relevant to this memoranda,
when I spent the day at the centre,
the raised-lip, circular
tables with crushed packets,
spills, the jars of ashy water,
someone telling, again, about the
ex— how much she got, how
little she did; the upped
Retirement age— the left,
you saw it coming, took it,
boxed on, elbows tucked in.
The bell rings, the round ends
with the Blood man icing the cut,
gelling the eyebrow shut,
caught in the symmetry, stuck,
the trainer pushing you back
as the waxed girl sashays off,
your round above her head,
Debt, Credit, and Tab;
the boxing: it never stops—
each year someone drops
their pint, shits, their pants
cut off, a suit put on, replaced
the off-switch, turned in sleep,
the lid nailed shut, the coffin
planted, the baby tooth
of a headstone, slanted
in nappies, to nappies, and home.

And again the birds alight
in the never tiring arms,
you’re sat in the pub confused
like a Rehab’d minibus convoy
of child-stars collected for a studio
documentary: those half-hours ago;
the mash of happier days,
done, like pigeons exposed
to an EM pulse, or the Bees
with their pollen to honey
process lost in the static
of misdirection,
in the glaze of important texting
in the non-ionising take-down
in the dark in the fear of no light
through busted calcium gates,
the squeaking rusted hinges
on the barriers: bees, and the blood,
degrees of productivity, the cost
of protection, cranium
with no privacy,
or secrecy— ever
the gingery climb, the walk
through creaky pines,
the coppery clime beneath these,
the time-blue signage of deep seas,
this wet repetitive collapse
into Human— how do you like the word:
‘hu’man? Being
put into words next, like velcro,
like lacing gloves on a boxer
to fight on with others, for munny,
ventilation; the heart is a sponge
for Cheering, Elation waiting Punishment
Concluded: I say we are born unchaperoned,
in caverns of deep mind, to disable
lactic creatures symbolic disorder
in ancient fetish centralised Thanking-priests
from under cabalhoods devised,
some tantric milk collection
long after the eminence memory
existence becomes the echo as a reference
for the source, a cover story, a sign:
do not disturb; intrillionable cycles
Sleeping; work your feet, & jab
coming up, the uppercut relies, not
on anger, like a starred cloak a wizard
does not make; nor hatred, the Hurt
—cannot fight past defeat, the
ear-bitten ungracious sadness;
the uppercut coming at take off
is from two feet firmly on the earth

I am sorry



I am sorry
I don’t want to stand still
I want to begin to crawl
And walk, run and jump
But the sinking sand stops me
Me and all of my stars high in the heavens.
I am sorry
My heart is weak and I am weak without a heart
My lungs fill with toxic air
Air I must escape from. A distant dream lost in my imagination
I am sorry
I’ve lost the days and months and years to be what I’ve should have been
I am young and hidden
Hidden behind a cloak, my true belonging invisible.
I am sorry
A shy, enclosed caterpillar wanting to change
A mature young adult desperate to catch
Catch a shooting star going places beyond the skies
I am sorry
Future self
Please forgive
My ignorance
Your regret
My mistakes
Your memories
Our missing chance
I am sorry

A poem by Origin8

from Workers of the Hours # 2


I pulled out, blind
on my left, condensation
on windows on the passenger
side, cobwebs
and night dew on the rearview
mirror— pulled into traffic

and didn’t care:
if it is algorithms
we base decisions on
I hadn’t factored out
as far as Pluto
contracted with one of the moons
of Saturn relative Sirius

but I pulled out blind
on my left confident
there would be no oncoming

and when I got to the junction
of the Graveyards
and Rubbish Station
visibility was poorer
with dawn sun glare
over the peninsula
in the salt-whitened glass.

And I paused
then, not really checking,
as I would normally, coming
to a stand-still, at an intersection
of age, parental expectations,
low-paid worker of the hours;
all too knowing of the feeling
of Art at the nozzle, always,
waiting completion, commencement,
waiting that I abandon
travel through these forty
waged sections
of 60 minutes, and I coasted, in 2nd,
across the
flow, stupid, as
the patterns are wholly
and unpredicible with repair
and rebuild
of the quake damaged
roads, buildings, and

that seen, in many areas,
do not appear much different
but as you focus in,
like DNA spirals crumbling
taking years
to be reported
on the surface
like broken bits rattling
inside an old alarm clock
—the big springs work,
but eventually the little, stiff
invisible cracks, and unrepairable
microtears will fcuk its timing up.

I cari
-ried that moment
in which I pulled onto the
main highway
without stopping
to wind down the passenger
window, all day, for days,
into this poem.


thinning hair, thickening there,
candle burning dimmer.
And more bright.
Less alert, more alive.
Ambition loosened off.
But tightened
where it works.
Minimum owe, maximum awe,
near complete release,
Time evolved,
like growing beards
you put up with
that worst part,
avoid the mirror, early years
yet, Evolution,
you coliseum
of Societal perfections.

Cover Smitten Validated

home!, in the whiskey rubber looseness
of the first hour after work, seated softly
and alert, because of where I live,
a patched compartment, a hive of the unemployed
and the left behind elderly. a desert without oasis,
except for the band, from somewhere above me;
home of the prostitute and boy-pimp, the Agency
suspects, men, trans-everything genuflecting
in oral obedience. the place a poet arrives
to romanticise his alcoherent-holiism,
tapping the he-did-it book cover, smitten.
validated. the sky is a cheap malt colour, half smog,
and I’m one cone into the evening, and three hours
from the five minute taxi to the gloryhole.
I burn slowly, whole, a warm even melt
looking for poems in everything; a Nature magazine,
a Reuters year book, Magnum, where I was headed,
where . I am . not . together enough, to assemble and shop
my portfolio around. my eye is as good, I know
. how . to be invisible, and the source
and the centre of a Shoot, but I come on
like a belt that is either a hole
short at the long end, or too little
to tuck under the thing keeps
the tongue flat…and if you’re beginning
to like me, the scent of my candle,
I push back, belch a little black, a burnt
wick taste, an adoptee’s defence mechanism,
this flickering is reflected in this poem
always needing a modification…
I spent the day in the basement
of a skyscraper, in the diesel fumes of loading,
wheeling office furniture, boxes of miscellany
into a truck, my job was to wheel the stuff
from the service lift along the shinny concrete
to the driver, who is also the stacker, plugging
every gap, not a foot space goes wasted. he doesn’t
look much, brown, coughing smoker,
but this takes a clear focused intelligence,
and his mood is upbeat, for 10, 11 hours of it.

Sydney 1994

clearing the wardrobe #1

the Past is an old
pair of shoes, or cement
filled footprints,
and I don’t want to care,
too much, about where
I’ve walked, so I’m going
to change this Poem’s metaphor
to one of playing monopoly,
but with people, relationships
traded for knowing something
instead of owning
it. you roll
her onto her side
and move the top leg
to like in the Recovery
Position, two eggs
brunching on the inside
thigh of the bottom leg
as you penetrate
and restore to a default
position a stillness
in ask-for-nought bliss.
that Past is ok for this,
it has some of the same delight
as in the amber coloured resin
coated floorboards, two people
toe to toe, stood sole to sole
on top of our own image, you roll
past Go with this game, and the afternoon
till morning of the Night,
sunset concluded
with a snap
of the neck
on the wine bottle
the cork breaking
inside, because
you explain, there was no
screw thing,
and the driver you’d used
you’d slipped
pushing in the cork,
but pouring
out the contents
through her stockings
not my good
stockings! she yells
they weren’t
her good ones, they
were the pair
you’d worn
that first day alone
in her flat
when she’d gone
to work
and you checked
her draws
no sleep really
dodging waking in that
empty inside out sensation
of coming off
a bender, day-long
drinking, at Dawn’s
midday, the stained
glass of autumn, pouring
the porridge of cement
of addiction around your ankles
and for 18 mths I clonked
around with concrete soles
refusing the Her it was this time
any babies, but who’d
I save yr from
I said, ya just don’t know.



beard in-fancy #2


the shock
of the
is my new auto
the poetic interest
is anthropological.
the personal need
is a difficult night
to overcome.

we are the ripples
on the surface
of Sleep, giving
very little
of why the water rose

40 some seasons
of rent paid
without a price increase
at a third of what Realtors
charge, and now,
in a new
dwelling, I pay the
Market prices,
upped with the earthquake,
and the crisis
in housing.


everything works
for something else:
the person whose
manifest covers several
thousand employee
works for Customer: and Trees,
designed solely
for the sound they make,
cast cool shadows.
we are feel-capsules
in search of compadres
to express the infinite

this poem
is about the difficulty
of finding where it is
we emanate from,
and the task
of these words
is like air
like rungs
I trust
hold my wait,
paused between this
age, and habitat
as I climb from
a night
of sleep closed
like a fist within
my mind, white knuckled
in its grip
around a living star.
a source restricted
shine. the move,
performed alone,
with a trailer and a van,
went so damn smooth
it had to be right.


the dust
restrained had turned
to dirt behind the oldest
abstract paintings, while
the wall, its power
socket I hadn’t seen
for eight years, revealed
the dinosaur stickers
beside where our
pillowed heads
in the comfort
of kindness
kept lawful
by shared parameters
and Mingus first asked about gOd,
all wonder and freedom,
sat between my legs
in bedtime reading
before the closed-eye
mystery of Sleep.


it is I now
who wonder
who I am, in the memories
made in our children,
their phrases and progressions
carried in their finger paintings
& craftwork lionising us
on Father’s day, all moved, the
important toys
found as I evacuated
the old studio, peeling back
the layers of paintings
like archaeologists
revealing solar activity
the deeper the drill digs,
I’m finding work
I’d forgotten I’d painted, works
I don’t remember
painting—the slashed articulate
cravings leading into Rehab,
a fifth of what
tenth of
none of it required,
all trivial, but for every
mark on the life growth
chart, half in child’s writing,
as we dated his ascension
directly on the wall
panel, this, with the landlord’s
blessing, was removed;
the single prize possession
a potent memory board
moved to a new dwelling, shifting
more than I tell.


Wordsworth’s scholar-gypsy, turning
his back on, the wind in his face, on
the gracious blue of the lakes, returning
and knowing that everything goes;
Basho, in two robes, leaving his snow
-fall indentations
in the white beginnings
of another Winter; after all
the purple-orange leafage
twirlings, the dust left to settle
on the curtains
I was going to hitch to Auckland,
busk the ferry
ticket, return all Savings
to a locked, Interest-bearing account,
and live off the hat—
this was the plan, thought fully
through, originally,
when the bulldozers were ready
I was to going
to reduce and smooth back
into the van: instead —2
hundred & 80%
more rent.

northern wanders early autumn

flowing— plonking, lumpily
through my fingers, dawn-cold sand,
a mauve colour, at the grey beach,
by the play equipment, where I’d slept,
deeply & sedately, underneath
the electron microscope.
a ‘star’ is doubtless countless
many things more than language
-polished lenses can ever clarify,
these floating stellar focusing devices,
so many things whilom bankers, priests,
plumbers and magicians…the crystalline,
multi-coloured sand, inspected
individually, in the light from street lamps
that like a sprinkler system
spray agitated photons
over the cool lean Dawn,
named though wholly arbitrary,
is as varied as we are: raindrops,
leaves, people, dust from cosmic legacy—
the Ngaio trees have had explosive growth.
I think their roots must have secured a pipe
of running water, and have fed
upon our faeces, like flowers and boutiquey
truffles. normally I’d claim the same
omissions as the roots, and rootball system,
of societal dispositions, as a personality exists
on both sides of the words used, and language
will close discussions, anchor for mooring
opinion, and so on, but now I think,
as the mountain ranges pink
with snow, all words are pointers,
misdirects, I look away, towards a door
slammed. the sun, twenty minutes
from entry; and waiting, as her monologue
closes, graveyard radio host, the Moon,
about to exit, will not briefly book-end,
with Sol, My dawn, and I will stand between
two states, two distances, a man
amongst seagulls alerted by the croissants
carefully heated on an orange-violet flame
from a small gas cooker. magnificent
silence of wave roll, heart-quiet, a circle
observantly. suburban windows. tight,
clear, lamp-lit; erogeny ready, I can feel it
pulsing, I will own this, and command
the caffeinated state, for a lean poetic
pornography. early? or late? is she
going home, or into the big toilet
to cry? I decide she is peeing on a stick
to determine a decision on her mate,
and I close the bag, too weighty at first,
but now half the size it was, the didge
airlifted home, books abandoned unread,
Mac, put to sleep in a box with breathing holes,
& sent behind the instrument—the lightness in my step!

That girl, From The Party After The play

Caution: contains erotic content

someone I didn’t know slept
on next to me,
I didn’t wake her, when I rose,
sickened, to medicate
from the cool frigates
moored in the harbours of the mind
and any apprehension
left me as I lit the first enrolment form
and moved the blanket covering
a long spine, cellulite, a few pimples
to who I had to slowly piece together
as I sat beside the heavy old compewta
and watched her
and smelt her and couldn’t
remember what
we’d been doing.

I smelt myself. I bubbled
a cone and drained the bladder
for a pint of the last merlot,
I lifted the insects out and felt Forever
on the exhalation
as a place I wouldn’t want to leave,
smoky partial rays of summer, light
fragrance of the night, beeswax
blobs of a forgotten candle. I opened the book
cover of her buttocks, her two pages.
I read low, obsessed for her
story…hmmm she said, dhaa.
and I was blind, like a radar
but I didn’t have the narrative
and soon she asked, throwing back
the lighter, if I’d like to fight her,
beat the panels dented in the landing,
and the hot city magnified the heat,
and light lit the curtains like the perspex
box at the studio by the telephone
/fax I used to view the Hasselblad
transparencies on. I was in my Dream,
no mistake, I wasn’t just looking
at the negatives. go one further
she said, grab my throat, don’t leave a
mark though, and cracks began
appearing in her breathing, and I took
it to her roughly, to the hanger, I said,
to the reaches of our large human minds.
I’m paraphrasing, amalgamating
mornings, it was both of us filming
by creating, these were the fantasies assembled
in our childhood, every party, every bender,
every carbon-copy send-off,
every contact sheet from the Nikon
I was getting older— into place, but further
from the resolute original. I pinned her
arms to the floor, forcing my origin all
between her hips, her knees, expertly
parted I thought, on top of the first thought,
running the stoned tip of my hard looks
around her lips, waiting for a numbness
to truly penetrate, before the right to celebrate
her ended, nearly every morning
was cork to the bottle of the previous
day, ideas were being quickly reimagined
in the do-nothing smoke, fungal
hallucinations, abysmal diet, socks,
a hefner robe, a guccione scrambling
in the failure to repack
for online content. I photographed the
yellow green light of tennis balls, in the
curtains, then left them
open for some neighbours in the flats above
are things done just done to try it. and my balls
she said I
love it they were stroking her
low hole hanging in the Tuesday

from Nowhere/ Always/ Everywhere. #2

        They drove off, waving
from the backseat,
on the wrong side
of the road
at first because
the Moving Truck
was still reversing in.

the Bulb invents its filament,
Lightning stalks the lonely,
and the over-celebrated.
Death: a living body…
Form: a Life imagined;
exercised athletic substance
excursions running mountains
kayaking mountain rivers
cycling into effigies
of how we want enlightenment
through urban redevelopment
where I am neither slow
nor medium, and certainly not
the fastest, even with the advantage
of the water grabbing gloves on.

once, it was only, ever, & always
the performance
at the parties…the artistry
of light, and the bass
we smuggled in
the arteries,
beat, move, & pick-up,
the navaho cortex,
mushroom cloud
and cactus way,
cornering those
who took
their thinking on
from their parents, teachers,
government, while not the most
were the more reliable
and they would not be left
texting on a beer crate
in an empty lounge
as the moving truck
turned over in the driveway
as the last red worded
boxes were carried out.


I’ve plugged the ears with age
and snapped the rubber cap on,
sprayed the anti-fog, filled the gaps
with home-made, I’ve rode the waves
of causeless bliss, lifting weights
and waiting lift. I’ve left her
singing gently from an inner happiness
to pull her tights back on, how she puts
her best toe forward, I wouldn’t drink again
…unless I had to, there, for courage, full
comfort in the density of real things,

and their not-ness, too;
the outside shape the white horse
makes, stood still, is enough,
in the green grass, snow
tinged bluely on the mountains
behind the cemetery, where strollers
and their babies
feed her yellow flowers;
I latch on to a bouquet, the smell
in a shipyard, the steel and
the hard work,
the feel of a hung bell
looked at.




from Common-On-Est.

The retrial started after
I’d taken a sleeping pill
when my son decided he wanted in
the same bed
after a frightening movie
of time travelling extraterrestrials
physically present on earth,
not frightening, in the horror movie
way, but deep, intellectually
complex, and because I had to work
early I took the tablet, and then
the mother said, as I was climbing
between them, ‘Why did you bother
if you’re not going to be alive
in your sleep?, no cuddles for me!’
So using that for my excuse because
I had a new artwork I’d finished
in the afternoon which I wanted to view
under electric light, I drove home,
not far that I would fall asleep
on the way, and when I got home
I stood looking and wondering how
a man with no art training
or even any early inclination
could produce and sell so many
painted surface artworks?,
and because the pill had started
working and it was like when I used
to drink and drug I thought I would stay
awake for as long as I could,
and I took down from the shelf a writer
I used to read when I wrote drinking
and read poetry drunk. I know Regret
is a lame horse, and I don’t know if
it was because the movie we watched
spoke about Language in relation to Time
and Thought as the conditioning agents
for being free or being caught— but even
though I’d removed the saddle
and stirrups and the reins
and had lead Regret, limping
to a small piece of lawn behind the shed
by the tyre swing, where the wood to
be made into kindling was stored
which were the kisses I didn’t take,
and the days I didn’t show up, the mistakes
Bravado allows, and expects; with the gun
in my hands, the knowledge
of Time, Emotion, the symbolism
of Memory, I still was unable
to pull the trigger…



Happy You Near

I used to think I knew enough, ‘Lastly’
had a meaning I could feel. Success :
I have to find it here myself, the kind
seen only from a distance—

how we smashed out golden from the shell,
a snake from the egg of youth, between
home and school, slipped out
of the 1st skin of childhood
to emerge fruited and full

of success, if not quite anywhere, yet
enough to go camping and recognise rule,
& not really golden either, strange
mucus and blood, the puckering shove,
and pouting, the baggage dropped to ascend.

It’s apparent to me if your old skin
stays on past the morning
of life, but how terrible, nations
and nominal selves
who cannot untether 1st being,

the unwanted weight, at a tilt,
Success is in your lack of looking back,
you character, you complete
deep working active mine of Personality:

so whether in your life you made the honours
list, detention halls, or had one
hand cranking it in cubicles
to restart a bossy heart stalled,
and all declined from lack of evidence,

the pickpocket commerce of saviours, incense,
inflatable life-insurance, whether you stepped
over all the books of all the world’s religions,
or tripped, your honour, yourself, survivor,
donor, in the back seat, or the driver,
you cannot not know of your Success.



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.



Yes No