Poems

Fall-out

I am beside you
while bodies

continue to

fall from an overpopulated sky
constantly

at war.

We don' t want the
advanced technological

stuff

chucked into space,
which gravity only

dumps back on our paddocks

for cows to
mush into green gum. I'm here

beside you

because we don' t need to be
burnt alive

by the sun' s dropped torches, or

disconnected by the
hump of a land mine.

Far better for us to

try your homemade scones, or
learn to plaster butter

on homemade bread while it' s hot.

We stand,
alert to

the strangers in us. The

rose you give me
unzips many colours

and softens our path.

The kiss I plant in the
undergrowth of your

flesh

seeds profusely when no one
is looking

when the night's at it's darkest.

Intrusively we keep
occupying

spaces we say

are ours - Do Not Enter -
Forbidden - Keep Out - Beware of

the Man in Dog's Fur. Beware of

me
beside you. I' ve my own

intentions, my

sinister sleepers. Cold
but stirring. Curled up

but hungry.

You walk through me
as if I were a

pocket of

clear air, you
don' t care. You

believe we live off each other.

We sidestep continually
the moulted skins of

humans, the

fall-out of too many people
living in one spot,

dismembering.

We gather skulls of families for
showing off, for celebrating

and remembering. We

place them on cabinets, on mantelpieces, or
window sills. We

put them together

because
we don' t want to be

burnt alive

just because people like to
worship crosses, statues

and blackened saints. You' re

convinced
our path is too soft to walk on,

too many crushed flowers,

too much junk
has fallen, the potholes

are full of mud and water and

reflections of people
looking at themselves. We

keep together,

feeling particles of us
already separating off

living for tomorrow.

 

Fish

is all gut (sequin-red),
is the sole inhabitant of this world of glass. I
see him for what he is

something to wrap in a sandwich.

Fish

swims in circles, his gut
working all the time. He lives in the food he eats, he
slides through his body

in a tangle of tubes

is threaded out

the other end - only to
eat of himself. He eats what he' s already
eaten,

his own bait.

Fish

isn' t particular how he
mouths into the grubby side of his life. In this
glassy galaxy he is seen as one in

perpetual motion.

He

has been like this since I squeezed him from
his egg. He' s constantly swimming, a
Neolithic nutrient for me to

savour.

Before

the existence of a drop of water he
existed somewhere amongst a hatchery of stars,
the days being black

being formless, endless.

Fish

knew only me. His shape
resembled my hand. Touching.
Tasting. Pushing as if through landscapes

of mucus,

a transparent antediluvian

like a deep oceanic grubber of
things microscopic. I
squeeze daylight

into him.

Fish

looks grateful. He
fixes a smile. He' s a time-traveller
phenomenon and something to

wrap in a sandwich or

slice onto crackers. He

swims between stars, a soft golden comet
all head and flashy tail. He
drifts in seams of rock

when he feels like it. Eventually,

he' s hooked in by me.

Fish floats under his sheet of glass. He
looks tired, doesn' t flinch. My mouth
opens and closes near him. I blow off his dust,

show his fossilised teeth. I

force-feed

air bubbles through his gills, make them
flap in and out. He stares from
an eye,

stares up

at a person

who is like himself trying to
live out of water, trying to
keep his mouth above water.

Fish

has no advice

for someone who continues to flounder about
above the high-water mark. He
has nothing philosophical to say that

makes me feel better for

crawling onto dry land,

getting up on two feet to
peer over trees. Fish
dominates the sky. Like some tropical fruit, he' s

pickable, edible - he

looks good all squashed

into a crusty pie. I

know when eaten he' s been able to
jump start the near dead, to give them new life. He' s
healed the sick and

poisoned the careless.

Fish

has been known to laugh. For self-
preservation, he lives within himself
exploring

the fleshy infrastructure of his

grumbling insides. He

flashes his fins and rejoins the astral cycle. The
day I popped his egg he quickly
digested all opposition,

including family - he

has to be the one and only,

to be the meat in my sandwich. Fish
flashes his tail and
dives down his gullet

where he safely belongs.

I think

he thinks he' s the centre of the universe and
can do as he pleases. I know for sure he
has an eye

pressed hard up against

one of mine.

 

Guitar Man

Time was I stood above your last known
musical impression. Your name' s still

visible amongst the weeds which had been
flowering when the gardeners were

better fed and they could afford the fuel to
stay alive to maintain the caretaking roles

they were born to do. I love hamburgers and
this rock singer/poet did too.

Perhaps still does. Who can tell? He sings
to an audience of dandelions and plays a

guitar which isn' t there. His fingers
strum hard, dry leaves

skid on the ground. A solitary
minute of virtuosity

spins along the footpath. Pushed in the dirt
a small plastic windmill

whirrs madly at his feet. I take this toy
as a kind of sign to go with the wind. I

need to supplement my musical intake
with a strange swallowing of sun

and sound. In front of his house
continuously shelled by the weather, I

slip into the footprints of this famous man.
I try to walk as he did, copy his every action,

go through the motions of playing guitar after
guitar. The future is an instrument

which has no shape, no feel. Time was
his performances were for real.

 

poet's biography ->