Friday, November 30, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #10

she turned and walked away
toes pointed straight ahead

Monday, October 29, 2012

chicken ranch

i planted another chicken today.  perhaps
a chicken-tree will grow.

eggfruit will form, and soon chickens
will drop

to the ground
in a consternation of feathers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

as the sun rises

i rise also and
piss like a horse.

it would seem i have
no other use for you.

i wish it were not so.  i wish i
could cover you, like a beast.

i would make your children:  so strong
and without thought.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #8

(on the exquisite tortures
of public art galleries)

do not touch
the exhibits

Thursday, September 6, 2012


oh 3 shades of Christ
6 shades of perdition
i don't even know the numbers
 - are there numbers?
which delineate, propitiate,
and otherwise appease and
placate those whom we fail:
our humans.

oh the 7 veils of Mary
the umpteen Houris
and You, God
yes You;  empty-headed fool
all beard and robe and no
no answer
even to the meekest and most  childish

oh by the 12 apostles and why
just 12, or why so many?
i will break my fingers off with counting
give up my my toes
and cast about for more limbs
be they mine or others'
to sacrifice

oh Rosemary oh burning bush
here is my firstborn.  Look:
all that i have, had, will have,

i offer up
to a wisp of sky, a plume of smoke
the scent of fat and flesh and herbs

are we permitted salt?   from any pillar?

these days we call it a pathology
all the counting and numbering
by the 10 judges of Hell
i count backwards towards the unreal
the anti-knowable
two, one

then begin again.

here is a step.  Let us
call it
the first.
i wait for the telephone to ring.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

fleet air arm

fatherhood, you are reduced
to the status of Aircraft Carrier

your not-inconsiderable bulk and attendant
fleet so many enclosed emptinesses

in service to the planes
the planes, with all their takeoffs

their dangerous

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Too long it's been
too long
since i've been down
to this coast   and out
along the promontory where my sea bashes
on my rocks.

Water-words nibble and worry and drip at
my soft sandstone underbelly:
phrases spinning on a wire-wheel wind
strip and shape my dunes,
and mountainous huge whole
weed-wracked poems bight
my continent in that part where, thighs
spread, things once borne under water
loll & roll in the muck
of an ebb tide.  My apostles, paragraphs,
erode erode
twelve, eleven...
my seven sisters six..
these penurious countdowns
toward some feeble sputtering
blastoff - five vowels
here, in the roaring four-three-two


should do it my sea
will cover my land.  splashdown -
there'll be no more walking then;   no
coast patrols..

for an epoch, needs must, i will swim

Monday, August 13, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #7

See how high it jumps:
the blood
before it dies away

Sunday, July 15, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #6

mare's tails in the sky
who's gonna ride
these wild horses?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #5

who would know better than we
to fear
the ones who come in boats?

Friday, June 29, 2012


(fragment from a handheld device)

these accretions
stronger than the rock
to which they bind

Monday, June 18, 2012


the air is surely thick
with the ghosts of birds

the air is surely coloured by arc and swoop
clouded by song and call

the earth is surely syruped
with birdblood

the earth is surely torn by talon and beak
and made ragged with soft feathers

the air is surely heated by their falling
and carcasses must nest

in the cool earth.
     and with every breath

most surely,  the ghosts
of birds

Friday, June 8, 2012

fragment from a handheld #4

how bright and quick
we burn

such brisance

Monday, May 21, 2012

Simply (the river)

      its water comes from the ocean
      travels across the sky
      leads to the mountain

the river is always and only
its water comes from the sky
its water comes from the ocean
its water comes from the mountain
its water comes from
the river

the mountain is
the mountain

the river
is the river

the sky is a cupped hand, palm
turned towards the ground

let us gather all our sadnesses
in that.

Arian Tejano is for me one of those poets whose work often provokes a powerful and immediate desire to engage and respond.
these lines speak directly to his poem Simply, at his blog ANoiseless Patient Spider

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


these words
we fold into ourselves
from the broad sheet of all possible words.

these words
we unfold at night
on a tatami mat of  breath.

behind fragile
walls we fold
into each other.

Here.  Listen.
a thousand paper cranes
take flight -


Sunday, May 13, 2012

fragment from a hand-held device #3

a memory came to him of swimming in the dams at the farms of his friends.  how the cold water lay eighteen inches or maybe years below the surface, and would caress the limbs;  stretching its hard fingers through the syrupy warmth to catch and clutch.  how it could tighten around the chest like a python, and squeeze breath from the body.  those fingers, that would sometimes steal a small child or a drunken man, and give them back empty.
those fingers.
that need.

Monday, May 7, 2012

fragment from a hand-held device #2

assuming the position
we practise stillness
in the same way.
with gestures too large for the stage

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

they also serve..*

  (a sonnet for Anzac Day)

With all the rest you stand and wave,
and from your summer dress your arm
exalts and lifts your brave
heart too, as striding down the palm-
strewn avenue they come to raise
you up.  With fluttered hand you bring
them on;  your fingers writing praise
and lifting voices up to sing.

You raise your arm to wave,
and in its secret hollow:  blue.
Still smooth from your last shave -
and this so very mortal part of you

just in this moment makes things good.  It makes things well,
and makes a lighter journey of the heavy steps from hell.

*from John Milton's sonnet   "On His Blindness"  

Friday, April 13, 2012

three sonnets on a theme

Lost (game, set, and match)

The games we seem to need to play,
with their profusion of costumes and tools,
do not raise us above the beasts, as some might say.
Beasts, when they play at all, abide by their few rules
of engagement, without recourse to the referee.
It’s we folk, in our queerness (as they say up north)
Who resort to the sly dig when no-one can see;
our disregard of fairness calling forth
a matched response from our opposition;
cries of ‘foul!’, and ‘just try that again…’,
inevitable recourse to greater ammunition,
and ignoring the ball, in pursuit of the pain.

Even the language of ‘lose’ and ‘win’
echoes the concepts of ’grace’ and ‘sin‘.

Lost (in translation)

All the edifices are erected:  neat,
with their separate garden plots and motley doors.
Terraced houses on suburban street,
and each frank face, each one implores
us look!  And look again - these are my eyes.
And there, disclosed behind the curtain-net,
this one irons and that one plans goodbyes,
these drink their wine, and others frig, or fret.

And in each room a television glows,
and on each screen a disembodied face.
And in each mind suspicion slowly grows
That by our separate-ness we’ve lost all trace -
All trace of individuation
lost.  Lost in the translation.

Lost (for words)

I don’t have a poem for her.  Words
like love, bled out in lead-hot shower
long ago.  Limbs severed by swords,
lives scythed down;  red poppies in the flower
of their youth, terminated.
Wounds picked at by clacking crows.
Life and Love and Breath abated,
yet still the cold blood somehow flows.

Oh, but I loved her.
To the depth and breadth that my soul
could reach*.  Lost her
and my self.  Stranded, drown-ded, beached, dead-cold.

We Enemies, hearing voices in the mist,
took aim, gave shot, and…  missed.

*with thanks to W.S.  If one must steal, steal from the rich…

Sunday, April 8, 2012

foucault's pendulum

the Huma bird
(may its shadow touch us)
      it is said, once it has
taken to flight
      will not


     until at last it must

        the rocks which bore it.

no perch
no roost
no tuck of


foucault's pendulum

completes no circles
it is the earth that moves.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


listen, she says:
this is important.
there is no border between the countries
of lost and found.
what gets sandwiched
between two plates of glass


he says from now on i’ll only do
the things that could kill me:  not
the things that hurt.
it’s a form of cowardice.


a syringe of tongues
driving each hypodermic word


it all goes down
like whiskey in a cyclone
the virga in the eye


this is a kind of aphasia:
that momentary silent
blinking self-assessment which follows
the soft collisions
of small children

Thursday, March 29, 2012

fragment from a handheld device #1

there is a flavour of air, in each September,
that tips me down a rabbithole, now
more than twenty-five years long.

i greet it like the mother one must love.

 these lines directly inspired by Karuna Chandrashekar, at her blog Hysterics and Poetics

enlarged, enveloped, and allowed to breathe at Maekitso's Cafe

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

economics 101

how is it
that we never seem to calculate
the expense of happiness

until we arrive home
and turn out our pockets?

these lines were directly inspired by  Arian Tejano’s

Monday, March 26, 2012


in the future
beds seem
hard cold places

one reclines
straight, still
under gossamer
or metal

(if present)
hard cold places

rooms all
cold white light...

Fuck That.
i’ll have a duvet
the size of Ireland
and deepquiet as a fjord
warm as a boyhood summer
a pillow that takes three days to cross
and a room dim and friendly as an old dog.