Tuesday, May 19, 2009


little delirium the first

a woozy clarity
all liars -
a nettle lozenge
in peril
of being
found out
(the lowest fear)
& so intensely
maybe    you'll
with each fresh glass
of vile verdelho
& you make
a dark confession
I'd prefer
not knowing

little delirium the second

is nearly
as bad as
a eurovision song contest -
an awful something
grips the crowd
which, turning ugly,
a feathery-minded
his proleptic vision
to a world
of shrunken
everyone's called
& you have to
bring a plate

little delirium the third

a Tibetan jalopy
rolls across
the silvery sky,
the Sea of Tranquillity
& those
make you sick,
your stability
like a stinking
puffy fungus

(Note: The lines "a woozy clarity /adorns/all liars"
are from Kenward Elmslie's poem "The Champ")

In Ultimo

leaving nature's
barbarism (spider
in a glove) behind
me   I enter   my
paved city -
pocked concrete
& traffic carbon -
sky's all
coppery    night's
coming up

I follow
the man-in-the-dress
along a lane
with litter
Carlo & Zanzi
have signed
the sub-station
roll-a-door -
more than a tag -
a declaration -
white strokes
wide brush

no lights on,
no one home -
short striped rows
neatly arranged,
more organised
than the library
I work in -
I stand before
my bookshelf -
wonder if
I'm a little crazy.

anyone on
the answer machine ?

up to the third floor
for a lean
& a musing -
what colour's my posture ?
what colours my posture ?

here's the view
from the balcony -
grey & darker grey
brick wall   office
windows   computer
screens & tv screens
nearly always on

an office cleaner's
smoky silhouette
gently inverting
wastepaper bins
under large
cibachrome photos
of American

look skywards
imagining -
every passenger
has taken
the holding pattern
to heart

I should
show some vim! -
drive the car
walk into Chinatown,
loop the city
on the mono-rail,
an ignoble idea,
cook dinner -

the colander of penne,
not to steam
the B. Smith
& B. Holliday records
on the dish drainer -
all washed up
'n' ready
to spin.

How To

work after work
without moping

let me drink
a blue ruin

in your lint
filled café

then gather
my decorated pencils

who knows what
determines what ?

Seven Days

The afternoon darkens
like a disappointing holiday,
only colder.
Ten years ago the road
I walk beside
like a docile cow
wasn't here.
From the windswept zenith
of the adventure playground
I look out
at a kind of lump of sky
& the old hospital,
to those relics
Queen Victoria & George V
peering heavenwards
through the treetops
above the Saabs.
Who knows who
they are
anymore ?
I don't know
who Prince Alfred was.
Albert was the consort.
"What's a consort?"
the area code 047 kids
in those Afro-American
hip hop baggy
video clothes,
want to know.
a fucking consort?"
What's this stuff
for anyway -
this whacky genre,
this poetry ?
In a fiction,
I turn
& shamble off.
At the lights
a fashionably tattooed
tells his dalmation
"don't be nosy"
when it wants
to sniff my fudge.
the cheerless
used-can collector
his clap-trap trolley,
doing the lanes.
where my entrance
to the garden
startles the birds.
I feel insulted
by their taking flight
from the birdbath
I installed for them.
Some English poet
might have
parked a caravan
out the back,
someone not unlike
Lawrence Sail,
wittily Oxford,
in love (he thinks)
& in doubt
(the what-is-god-enquiry).
Last year I met
the actual L. Sail
& from the second day of six
he called me
I suppose I should have
called him Larry,
seeing as
I liked him,
or Laz or Loz
or    Mr. Sail
or    Mr. Yachting
or something
rather ho-ho-british-butch.
Neighbours roll in
the tumbril-sounding
rubbish bins.
evening's coming on,
Walter Benjamin's
mild boredom
of order
lowering down
its dampened powder.
Switch off
the radio,
Renata Tebaldi's
plangent tone
doesn't help.
I'm enjoying
this Nicorette -
its slow transport
from the sublime
to the subliminal.
I begin to wipe
last night's circles
from the table
almost sorrowfully .


whoever we are
can't be anything
other than children
as we are,
by all these
freedoms -
little howling babies
rattling at the bars
of the playpen.
I'm sitting on
an air-conditioner
under this window
framed by the silvery arc
of the bridge
beyond the city's valley
on this
dusty purple evening.
I've just turned
in my stupid
Eiffel Tower t-shirt.
A frosted glass bottle
emptied of
its pale green wine
sits here too.
In the foyer
the receptionist
is having a nosebleed -
she has booked
a holiday in China
for her
miserable fiancé
who has lost
her lazuli bracelet
between the sea
and the suburbs -
now everything
is ruined -
blotting the desk
with the sodden
red tissue.
Life drifts on
good advice -
you need
as if activity,
in the sense of
more active
is a worthwhile
& morally sound
as well ( more
I finger
these lovely
little fakes -
my Coles pearls,
my spare time,
my smalltime activities
which occupy
like drawing.


Wednesday evening.
The newish neighbours
a mildly annoying
version of
"Quando Quando
Quando Quando".
I fill out an order
for books
from Normal
& abandon
the low-bun project -
a series of poems
counter to
the haibun.
At the library
this morning
I read a poem by
Floyd Skloot
or was it
Skootl ?
tires me,
it takes
a lot of effort
to set
your own


A fog  this morning
drops over Camperdown
like a sedative.
At work  the office walls
are being painted
blue !
The colour decided
at our staff meeting -
the first consensus
in five years -
blue !  it has to be
an optimistic indicator
& should supply
a kind of
comic satisfaction
as we scan the screens
for abstracts
for the users.

& today,    as
the union rep says,
is p.o.e.t.s. day -
"piss off early,
tomorrow's saturday"


On the train
from windy, empty
Bondi Junction,
I meet Sal -
in her bag
a mesh-wrapped
custard apple
under a bunch of spinach
looks like
a miniature
bonneted baby.
Sal looks
more beautiful
these days,
since Japan
& since writing
her polished
high-density book.


On my way
to help Gill
film the park
I walk by
the Hunter Baillie spire,
a monument
to love & piety
(I don't know
if Mr.&Mrs. Baillie
loved piety - it's said
Mrs. Baillie loved him)
On arrival -
a dog-chewed bone
on the front steps,
in the hallway
a dog-chomped
pvc cocacola bottle
a shoe
the pink guide
& a trail of water
across the kitchen floor
to the mobile phone
on the table
next to road maps
of the west coast
of America
& Fodor's "Let's Go USA"
(last year's edition).

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