The Horror

by

The unblinking doll in the room I am staying in blinked.

I looked under the bed and there was the roof.

One of my teeth is talking to me.

The power is out but there are lights in my head.

Outside the window is where we buried the dogs.

The thunder arrives before the lightning.

It turns out Pixie & Giddy are adopted. Don’t tell them,

they are indisposed, teaching grown men how to chew.

The news come fast here, faster than ears can be removed.

We sleep standing up, the giant maw whispers WALK

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A Temple For You.

by

A place to think just be. A chamber of boiling water, a chamber of imported wood, a chamber of casual commerce. Over green tea bags two couples discuss overseas real estate acquisitions. The younger woman’s partner is a partner, the older man says he is an affiliate. The younger woman recently lived in Bali for 6 months copy writing, now reclining in rattan chair in rural NSW. We are all white, we are all towels, no names exchanged except for trading under. A temple for you. The heads of displaced deities unmoved amongst the steam. Most of the men have bad tattoos including me. I am told that mine is beautiful by a stranger only wearing out his welcome. He then touches my back as if it is a familiar place. The woman from Bali is reclining in rattan. There is more skin here than peace flags, depending on the wind. Someone takes my towel then gives it back to me. You think someone will steal my wallet but there is no one desperate in this mist. It’s hard to appropriate another culture and not make money from it. But I’m here to relax. Life is shorts. Jets. Sweating by burning coal. The cold pool is the best plunge, the silent pool the best place to talk. I drink another tea bag and read that paid parking will be everywhere by the end of the year. There have been street protests by ‘locals’. Passion is relative to beach access. We all want a quiet life soundtrack. A temple for you. A place to think just be. Breathing sharply in the sauna reminds one that there are limits to lungs, how many breaths do you get if you only smoke in your sleep. The lack of incense. The absence of prayer. The sky restless to spring, strike. The only woman wearing a one-piece is beside me, our legs brush below the surface with consent. You get out. There are small droplets of water suspended in the air where you have walked. There is no temple for you. I follow.

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How to be an Alpha Male

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Doubt your position, then stand over it.

Use expansive gestures in small malls.

Do not confuse confidence with white magic.

This can be overstated. This can’t.

The eyes have it. Look. Every one. In the Eyes.

Be the after-shave commercial you were born to.

Not everyone can smell like you. It’s true.

Possibly wear a tie. Red is a primate colour.

Balls are bigger in the face.

Never eat soft tacos. Fists before napkins.

Flirt with potential mates. Anesthetically please others.

Know how to treat a lady. Call her bay-bee in the bath.

​Eat with a warrior’s heart. Think​ raw thought.

Let rooms enter you. Leave windows broken.

Evolve. Dogs are descended from wolves. Hunt indoors.

Stare. Look up like you’ve​ found an answer.

(The alpha male never copies himself.)

Repeat: there is no quit in this man.

Fight to de​fend​ defences.

Join a gym to become a hard shape.

Learn the language of body art.

Fill the bed​room with your presents.

Give nothing away.

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