Silent death

The phone doesnt ring
and one of the southern bights

stone apostles
collapses in the sea

and no-one hears it.

Things are reported about you
and me; our public pronouns no longer

share a line
and in whats said theres nothing
of that breaching whale of stone.

Looking ahead
the cliffs carpal ridge doesnt quite reach the sea

and you have to watch for falling rocks. You dont know
whether to stay close and grip its coarse pores

or to time the wave
and get through.


I hear myself saying something like:

like a deft mitt
the sea suppresses the fury
of the things that happen on land.

Now my notes tell me

the birds working the ocean outfall
fallout of the clockface
like leadweights –

sometimes not a sign at all of the descent
but then each added detonation sent up in
pockets of the oceans smokeless powder.





Tonight again you hit road-work

the night luminous with gangs

the clarity of signs. Each new lane



by lime-green

banded labourers


requesting at points

this cabin of thought

expire in a queue.


Radios hush up.


Not far from a frozen engine

cold feet wait for the sign to turn..


A cigarette burns audibly

on the dashboard

the desk beside you..



as the sign turns

telling you slow

in the night of portable chrome


carefully over his elegant velour

and the night smells faintly like

the powder of nervous brake-shoes


and you sneeze because of the dust or more accurately

the hydrocarbon coming off

his new surface 


then accelerate away

as the light in your rear-vision

recedes and dies and you find yourself



being brought along almost beautifully

now in the slipstream the stillfold

of the road-train


you encountered earlier

taking in its body-roll

as it sways three trailers


through a curving arrow

north of karuah

and with an indicator

signals you to pass


that the road is clear


as you move cautiously out

into the future you cannot see

on a screen


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