Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Work (2006)

rest awhile work
is imaginary

– Michael Farrell, from my skeleton

The poet (Michael Farrell?) is overheard
on his mobile
on the train
on the way to work:

“re: carrying bones / keeping score
(to be down with what the gulls want)
I can only tell you what I don't know;

I don’t want what someone else
has worked for & thought about, & spare me
those whirlwind biddings done by jinnees.

Though I will
filch some hot young language
if you have any.”

He closes the call with a ciao,
snaps the clam-phone shut but
keeps talking anyway,
slips into best voiceover voice:

“Forgive these anonymous, these
fresh white collars

heavybreath suit thick with
Old Spice, gripping
a leather handle

& the morning girl
dressed as a fashion
store with her still-wet hair.”

Having bought our attention, the poet
blows us off to the office with a parable:

“A man crawls out of an argument
with his wife (the most stolen car in the city),
begins masturbating over a fire,
teaching art &
the remnants of what beauty did
in its prime.

He pulls a fair crowd, but sure enough
once talk turns to grace & forgiveness
they lose interest & disperse.
Despondent, he hits the bottle like a demon,
quits the bank job, never works again.”

hypothetical (2007)

a failed hello in the supermarket aisle half-smiling we reach for the same packet as if we share some pages

pity you’re not scoping for a thin read

& here I was thinking powerdressing was some 80s throwback but there you float designer swan black plumage all clopping heels & purpose

& anyway hypothetically how long before I’d spill about the ‘best employer anyone ever had’ & the drug I take when I’m the only one in the office

yeah ok office schmoffice it’s a meth-lab sometimes you just have to eat what they give you

& yeah my flared jeans are 6 years past their use-by my shoes too chunky but no way am I ditching this gimmick t-shirt that says ‘tac-tics’ instead of you guessed it

second thoughts sorry bout the meth-lab thing that was just to freak your mother

Pool (2007)

chemical blue of the pool one hot sacred day the sun a dreaming demon clothes strewn through the house on cool tiles and carpet I want to submerge with you electrified water flecked with fidgeting light our flesh blurred slow beneath as if ghosts from the waist down our arms arcing the weight of the water beadlike bubbles fizzing on the surface your head floats to me regal like a mallard leaving a v-shape in its wake your dark-wet hair clings faithful to your neck your hand crabbing over my back you kiss like liquid our mouths pour cool streams our lips skate salt tongues slip quick and vivid we brushtouch like passing fish our flesh become sealskin we slide body off body and without warning you decide I’m a fire to contain splash and drown me digging waves with the triangle of your hands unrelenting wall upon wall until I howl for an end spray back with interest the fool that I am trying to house you bury you in waves of my making enraged like some stung vengeful seagod until we’re done clowning return to ourselves recall our nakedness how the water carries allows us to magnetise so quick to forget the burning stones at pool’s edge the buzzing pollen garden since these are but toy reflections in your eyes and we need inhabit only the inner circle that we trace with our toes as we spin the sky round on the tall axle we make with the centred sun & make our full disappearance fucking in circles together at noon

Note: This poem was written in response to this thread on Bluelight.

porn (2006)

i.e. where sex is a form of greeting begins with the basics tits
blowjobs etc you stalk the elusive chase-thrill until chore of
the addict quest to out-gross you underperform no wonder
wonder why not bring the drugs in front of the camera the
post-shoot bloods cramps visits to quacks gynos & cashola
cut on desks in shoebox low-rent offices strewn with adult
store novelties stockpiled microwave dinners actress
ephemera industry awards
_________________matter of fact that’s been done
seek & ye shall seek what you want’s a free pass cultivating
mind dirtier than mysterious mid-rock-festival portaloo
discovered by timetravellers allegedly researching lives of
beggars & toms in 17th century london squalor
____________________________oops this was
unplanned uh whatever your day off home alone an
exercise in deletion clear browsing history clear private
data now the afterfade you mindless gutless pointless

As published in Otoliths 14, August 2009.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

everything louder than everything else (2007)

schoolkids sit mutinously in the classroom thinking,
why don’t we ever learn about ____? [not audible]

not these kitschy hymns, but, like…
our screentest, advance, potential audience


all vying to jumpstart careers as enfants terribles
(“I hate speech” liquid-papered on the spine of a textbook)

& aspirants, rivals
mimic us whenever we leave the room


what we really have to talk about is where our assumptions lie
& what is supervised (here, you can have my copy of the report)

some idiot writes in to the newspaper
saying ‘we’ should be sending a tougher message on drugs


DO NOT swing on hoop / this area
is for basketball only

while out on the steps scrawny emo kids pocket dead birds,
erase a few shadows from the world

Note: "everything louder than everything else" is, firstly, part of a remark by Ian Gillan of Deep Purple from their Made in Japan live album: "Could we have everything louder than everything else?" It's also the title of a live album by Motorhead.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Heartwood (2006)

board the city train from Clifton Hill,

sit down opposite
blackfellas who want to make movies.

This tight crew of Kooris
they’ve got the themes:

“The contradictions, brother.
The blackfella / whitefella.”

Jim (the orator of the crew)
wants to make us wiser:
“From the heart.
It’s not about this
It’s about this

(points to skin, heart respectively).

We’ve said this before.
We missed our target.

The dead, usually darker
inner wood of a large diameter trunk
is termed the ‘heartwood’.

I get a friendly “Who the fuck are you,

“I’m a writer.
Nah, it’s cool… not a journalist haha”

I think of Andrew Bolt’s blog
bombing its way through scar country.

“You are looking at the next gen.
of aboriginal Australians.”

“So where are you guys headed?”

Softies… it’s a pool hall…
well, it’s kind of a strip joint”
“The whitest chicks you’ve ever seen!”

They laugh,
I laugh
(slight delay).

Then we’re an advertisement for alcohol,
all laughing like idiots.

‘Accomodation’ is the way we adapt
to one another in a face to face
conversation, the way my voice
soaks a little of yours, the way
we co-morph to accommodate

“History, she never sleeps,” says Jim,
like he's not changing the subject.

I’m trying to visualise
a restless history:

Blood signals the shoreline,
warding like brake lights;
shores awash with it, shallows
an unshaken cocktail.

Can a waste of blood warp

For whatever reason
I’m hearing B B King in full
smiling flight:

I believe
to my soul...

& Jim spells out his email
(“we should hook up”)

then all 5 or 6 of them spill out
of the train
soon as it hits the city,
yelling a cloud of curses & blessings.

Jim pokes his head
back inside the door just
before it chomps automatically:
“So write me, brother.”

Notes: Koori is a word which Indigenous Australians from parts of south eastern Australia use to describe themselves. It literally means 'the young of a goat'. According to the Wikipedia entry "it is a great privilege to be named so as kid goats are full of energy and almost certainly survive childhood."

Andrew Bolt is an infamous columnist and associate editor of Melbourne tabloid the Herald Sun, for whom he also maintains a blog. He denies the existence of the stolen generations of Australian Aborigines.

Below: Eric Fischl, A visit to / A visit from / The Island
(Source: http://www.repubblica.it/gallerie/online/cultura_scienze/nyrenaissance/2.html)


Friendly (2007)

Every time I turn on the computer I’m aware of how I’ve
been working up the courage to tell you, but you are a friend

You’re always online
Don’t make yourself invisible

(So used to the fact that no one)

Accept this um friendship cookie
as token of my

I’ve always been bad at this

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

post-rock (2007)

milk a baby black box recorder weaving through a vista mural in much clusters exposé of the fast wind chimes anecdotal with hard data spectral of course whitewater it’s a soundtrack to the abandoning the good stuff kids go a film does coke thankfully bottles fabric of the desert beginning or end melancholia the source of uncertainty friends of a small eternity so well-suited to employ them scissors inverted in such a wide-eared though bookish it’s surprising it’s taken so long onstage as a longtime fan for this trick of exposure emblematically more attention beautiful greyscale as one might expect tracks of quilted feedback nonetheless manage to breathe like premature a blob of goopy a few insane years people were ant traffic through forced windows out front lush vocal harmonies groove officer and texture middling big-sky arranged into the shape of the obligatory close-ups

As published in Otoliths 9 (May 2008).

Below: a part-coloured map shows noise (red) travelling up buildings; deafening noise of traffic entering Paris appears as deep blue. Source: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v427/n6974/full/427480a.html

Bored poem (2007)

“Sometimes I think we should worry more about what evil we are losing.” – Chris Tonelli, from Walks are Useless. So are Poems. (http://www.wordforword.info/vol10/tonelli.htm)

plans slide so calm it snooze the alarm wants us to care again why not mix up the day tabs with the night thieving entire back catalogue the legwork done for you on this site hell your jaded debut sank without trace in blizzard of popups nothing will ever be so flawless golden rookie of promise a (yawn) why not be bored for a second try the erotic cakes ever-elastic stretches of boredom phone myself saying things without thinking smoking
way too many blunts largely a lost decade I didn’t guffaw didn’t care it was what it was: a business deal in the pipes for some time though the payoff leans into the mic a capella strut closely resembles most vital warrior photo shoots million-seller glossies arse kissy tongue tutorial forge a lucrative gambling career zero chance anti-star gutter-soul dice game internet's monopoly bulletproofs your heart not wagered though would-be screenwriter’s dazzling technique torrents what’s on their minds tools of the procrastination trade their strongbox-hefting mercenaries accept portion of blame for shortcomings ironic pleasures of the modern age call it what you will I mean hello that’s what the delete key is for folks

Image by Chris Jordan.

The back way is the way back (2006)

“Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.” – Pablo Neruda

At last, I pull up alongside you.

For once you’ve got no destination.

Finally there are no cars to fold ourselves into.

Divested of traffic, the streets operate only as borders.

Although the Scottish lady at the school crossing, fervent til the end (bless her), still blows her whistle.

As if we were far from here.

As if we could turn the desk around and work on something else.

I think the sky refuses to turn, so I don’t think well.

Some fast days I forget the heart, cannot look it in the face.

Fast days have fast eyes but sometimes not.

Watching remakes of service station, parking lot, fast food as they bounce over the horizon.

But the city is no excuse.

According to a recent study, the weather is now our favourite artform.

Another study showed that given free access to everything, we still seek out the harmful.

Matters of definition.

From one perspective, nothing is invasive.

Just another entrance, just another exit.

Most of us seem so easy to please, but nothing could be further.

Easy to tease, yes.

Touchy much?

The audience of a talkshow made up entirely of hermits.

Now I remember what I was going to say, but I can’t remember exactly how I was going to say it, therefore I’m likely to lie.

A digital flower.

I buy a digital flower.

I buy a rare digital flower.

Collecting fires / extreme weather since I can’t collect myself.

Sleep has how many exits?

The sun explodes twenty four seven.

In search of an address.

Sometimes the street is there on the skin.

The little points of water, little marks of light.

Glassed in.

Are we glassed in we devise a new form of choosing; some beautiful grey thing?

Put the tears back where you found them.

Tear to the scene, with the widest scratchpad you can get your hands on.

Still Life (2007)

Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha,
sits on top of the left speaker
above the TV, VCR, DVD player,
the CDs, the home vids,
the music & films made meek by our rejection,
the Playstation, games cartridges,
busted console controllers.

The Buddha waits on top of the left speaker;
on top of the right speaker is a Dalek figurine
armed with pushbutton

for 5 different sound effects
& a manipulable eye.

Things we lost in the fire (2006)

we were just punks doing stuff
with wiring (ours, mainly)
(not exactly flush with cash)

trading in unwanted body parts,
recycled mirrorglass,
thrones, pendants, oversize teasets

we dressed all arcane: black, obviously,
but with strips of amber like roadworkers

we played Vampire & Cyberpunk
through ephedrine summer nights
& sheltered disfigured birds in the basement

our neighbours took us for Goths,
alerted the police;
our friends, straightfaced,
called us ‘clerics of refuse’

we combed treasure for trash,
anything flammable
& built the fire as an artwork,
working title 'offering'

once lit, it proved a popular exhibit
and we finally met the neighbours
but didn’t stick around
to greet the fire department

the fire took us right back to basics
as a 'true' work of art should;
thinking survival, we paired off,
got snagged on jobs & coping drugs

the birds escaped to South America