Once again thank you for coming! And I hope you enjoy this momentary distraction please leave your comments or thoughts. They are most welcome!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Letter to Pop


...the universe is different now
I'm sorry it had to change so
I'm sorry I can't understand you

What was that word?
That ancient verb...
to go and to do
We don't do
We can't
No

Your hands are like a trees
I can see the water in you
I can see the recycling system
of your blood
Grandpa, pop, do you get that?

I wrote you something
see
...you used to call them letters
You said they were things you folded
They were put on something...
Something you could touch
You wrote with... your own hands
hands how funny
What are they? --- I'm serious!

But you explained something to me...
You mentioned another funny word
Speak
you like to use that word
To pretend like you need to open your mouth
I really wish I could understand you Pop...
Like a fish, like a fish? --- they open their mouths
don't they?

You told me things were destined to change
Destiny --- it's not something you can touch
It's an idea isn't it? --- One of those right?
They used to have contraptions
To objects forward
...convey them...that's right conveyor belts --- that's the word!
Destiny is like that isn't it,..only there's no way off
You just keep along and then...does it end
Do you get packaged and sent off somewhere...

I know things were different...
They always are
I am sure they will be as well

You're the most interesting person I know...
did I tell you that Pop.
Sorry...I don't like to over affectionate
But that's why I prepared this thing for you
Call it a letter if you like
though you can't fold it.

Thank you. Thank you Pop.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Running Man

He runs darting on
His feet weighted down by the sleet
He runs and I wonder why?

I wonder how he does it
How he continues on
past the brink
reinvents his own new precipice

I saw him once outside his limbs lithe and bold

I longed to reach out to him
To envelope his frigid limbs inside my warm alcove
Where he might thaw out
Where he might know respite
But still on he ran

He ran like a machine as one does on a treadmill
An automaton he seemed less
Human to me now
His lips were a deep purple
The sickly veins within then distended by the cold

Still he ran
He ran
However, as he ran on
No longer did this man carry my sympathy

I knew his lethargy and his foolhardy effort for what it was
The tunnel vision
The singularity of his pursuit of the same goal
It was eroding away
The artifice
I realised when I saw him now
His life had but one trajectory

So the man ran
He and ran I lost my appetite for him
I ate my supper and my dinner meal
Then came breakfast
I spoke of the man with an acquaintance
I laughed as I described his running, one step in front of the other
Then I became too ashamed to speak of it
Because it all sounded so absurd

In the end I shuttered my blinds
I had a sneaking suspicion as I did
That the man was still there
But he had already occupied my thoughts
Far too long
I let the man go
"May he drown in ice" I recited
Alone to myself.






Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Cypress Tree

In the centre of a lake sits an old cypress tree, it is singular and alone.

The thing sits on a sand island,
one nipple of sand poking up out of the lake.

I have walked the lake and I always stare at the singular cypress tree.
Its limbs are gnarled and in summer I see it
evergreen

its branches and roots covered in moss and crawling with beetles crawling

In  winter the same twisting limbs remind me of my grandfather’s cane

           
It is the patriarch of an ancient family, who once covered the slopes of all the mountains, evergreen. Somehow here, it alone, gets everything it needs.

The water is saline the rocks on the cliff sides are filled with it, the minerals leaching the water.

There is a quarry nearby, but somehow the effluent never enters here.

Elsewhere the the water is acidic. Whatever grows quickly wilts and decomposes back onto the white rocks.

The lake is surrounded on all sides by tall bald mountains. I have heard that those who  dwell inside those mountain halls have an affinity for the tree.

They bow before it they guard this last creeping life on their bone hard shores.

                In spring the white helmets adorned by the mountain peaks melt.

A flood of mud and water spills down the veins of the mountains and each year, just enough collects in the deepest part of the valley

 And so the lake is renewed and reborn.

Some years the sand black sand island is obscured by the water and becomes like packed mud.
                The limbs of the cypress are an elder man’s with their exposed fatty veins. Its skin is porous and glad for the water, but it does not seek out its fill.

The cypress is a creature of patience. Even in those years where the island it rests upon sits so tantalizingly near to the water. 

It sits still and precise. 

eternal.
               

                

Monday, 16 May 2016

Erotic Poetry

Last Friday I wandered into the Melbourne City Library for the first time in my almost two year stay in the fair Victorian Capital.

I was immediately filled with a sense of awe, it looked basically the same as any public library, but it reminded me of that same feeling to be in the presence of so much knowledge, where everyone there is literally learning and studying...ah the days of Uni.

Anyway, I came across a dusty old book entitled only "Erotic Poetry". So I started reading and it was hardly surprising that most of the poems were written by men. As a fellow writer of occasional erotic poetry myself, I could instantly relate to these old codgers.

I thought I might share a nice simple and short one today, this poem is by Raymond Souster born in 1921.

A Bed Without a Woman

A Bed without a woman
Is a thing of wood and springs, a pit
To roll in with the Devil. But let
Her body touch its length and it becomes
A place of singing wonders, eager springboard
To heaven and higher. And you may join her there
In those hours between sleeping and dawn.

Okay so this is an erotic poem by a male, let's try one by a woman, the next poem is by Ruth Stone, who was born in 1915.

Interstices

Pleasure me not, for love's pleasure drained me
Deep as an artesian well;
The pitiless blood-letter veined me
Long grew the parasite before its fill.
Lover, smile the other way not ply me with evil
Who am surfeited and taste the shadows of gray;
Nor sway me with promises to rouse my thirst
And fill me with that passion beyond lust;
Nor romp my body in the wake of the mind's play.

How tired, how enervated, how becalmed I am.
The island towards which I strove in my salt tides
Has drifted out beyond the listless swell and formed
A hostile continent. I am amorphous with all deflowered
brides,
Who, with their floodgates sundered, drowned when they
were stormed.

Okay, so let's try something more modern and I am not claiming for one minute I belong in those books, but this is one I prepared earlier and posted earlier, but I'll re-post it here to save you scouring back through my archives. This is by Josh he was born in 1987.

A taste of Sex

The boy is unsure of the word
To describe the beautiful girl on roller blades

How do you understand the shape of a
Smile she asks him

(the simple play and subtle tongue)
The question is worded on the curve of her
Waist down to her hips
It has a laugh behind it and a
Kind of heat

He imagines the taste of cherry
on her bubblegum lips

(remote and smoldering the tip of the almond heart)

Like the hiss of the waves of an ocean
Vast and unexplored.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Melbourne Central Station

I was reading what I still consider to be my favorite poet Walt Whitman. I was reading "Song of Myself" as I sat having brunch at Journeyman on Saturday in Windsor, Melbourne. Check it out all you Melbournian locals ;) I of course had the smashed avocado.

What I like about "Song of Myself" is how hopeful it is. When you're reading it you get this sense of peace, as though everyone and their busy lives are all somehow connected. Walt Whitman has this really nice easy flowing rhythm to his poetry, it's hard to describe without checking it out yourself.

"Song of Myself" is a long poem and there are many iterations, Walt Whitman wrote 7 drafts of his poetry collection Leaves Of Grass. I found a book on my travels, which contains two separate versions, I prefer the earlier 1855 version of the poem myself, it's less controlled and edited. The later version tries to impose structure and order --- where I've always though the best thing about the poetry is how stream of consciousness it is. Check out the first part of "Song of Myself" (1855) , available for a free listen on youtube.

There is a particular passage in "Song of Myself", which in the following poem I've tried to replicate, but in my own modern context. So disclaimer upfront, I acknowledge the following poem is very much inspired by "Song of Myself". I hope you enjoy it and more importantly, it might encourage you to google or look up some poems by Walt Whitman.

Melbourne Central Station

Each morning I stroll towards the station
I walk past them and they walk past me in turn
                                                                     ...so many eyes and faces

Business persons their bags and cases in hands
The florist trimming the stems of his hydrangeas
The wine-seller sitting idly beside the desk staring at a blank screen
The boy stares at his tablet screen
The elder answers his mobile phone
                                                  ...his eyes and ears predating the
language and method of mobile devices

The mother carries along her babe
                                                ...fidgeting in the crib of the stroller

The conductor yells wearily

The advertisements
                              smile...and dance...and laugh
      Their laughter is so loud and odious

The Chinese man sits beside the Indian girl
                 The obese gent waddles between swathes of commuters
The Vietnamese man presses another shit on his dry-cleaner board
The Court clerks wheel their black felt bags
While the tourists cart their life about in fluorescent plastic carry cases
The fruit seller carries his Woolworths emblazoned bag to market
The jeweler catches a whiff of something pungent
                                                                 ...as she passes the vagabond who sits on the pavement
He casts his eyes down into a cap that is empty and which desires to be full

The voyeur lurks nearby he sees a young woman drop a coin into the cap

The sheikh walks conspicuous in the crowd the ends of his beard are curled
                                          ...the length of his robe picking up the dirt from his heels
The priest wears his suit, it is his day off
                                          ...he contemplates brunch...and bacon

The conveyancer passes through a flood of vendors and purchasers...both

The baristas stare down the bleary eyes of their morning customers
                                                                                               ...the air is alive with the stink of
                                               paper, Styrofoam and polyethylene

The McDonalds employee puts on their cap
                                                          ...which rests tottering on the crown of their head
The artisan coffee-makes takes the beans from Ethiopia
                                                          ...draws them into the grinder
                                                             then is heard the churn of dried beans the scent
      harkens the pale miser back to memories unknown and unseen of
dark skins and exotic lands

The alter-er and his staff chat among themselves in the back room
                                                                     ...as suit after suit slam down onto their front desks
The coin launder sits beside his desk he hands out tokens with little chagrin
The hotelier queues beside the publican
The student scans through the gates
                                        ...the sounds of dub-step blares in her ears

The commuters swipe through the gates
They ascend the escalators into the muddy light of a new morning

I am among them and I am them
Like a drone I head up the road
I pass into my own secret world
I sit down at my console
So begins the day.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Whispers

If you're noticing a theme you'd be right. Family Violence in Australia, known better as domestic violence, is going through a trans-formative phase, where the law has overtaken the demand of family violence services.

What do I mean by services? Well basically, even though we have a new concept of family violence enshrined in the law, the people enforcing that law are still playing catch up. Who am I looking at? Police, but mostly judges and lawyers.

Of course there's plenty of police and lawyers, who understand it, but its a subtle thing and insidious. The way people like to characterize domestic or family violence is to try and talk about the perpetrators of family violence as having snaps or of being angry. I'm not trying to make people into monsters, but family violence is a cultural problem because the people doing it, genuinely believe they're entitled to do what they're doing and yes, all men out there, 9 times out of 10, the victims are women.

That is precisely because it is a cultural problem.

Just to clarify though, I do not claim to be a world renounced expert, so full disclosure there.

For more information about what's happening in Victoria, Australia, I recommend you take a look at the Royal Commission Website.

For now though, I shall share a poem I wrote this morning, as all of these delightful things were whizzing about in my head.

Whispers

She was standing right there
His whisper in her throat
Tying her lips in knots

She was laughing right there
All the while his whispers buzzed like hornets chewing out
Her ears

She looked silent and pale as
A stone cold soldier in a
Mausoleum
She shifted ever so slightly to the right
Her perfume subtle on an
Im-perceivable wind
WHORE
He whispered.


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Capacity to Hate


I come across a lot of very angry people in my line of work. I deal with separating families...need I go on. But sometimes, the sheer hatred between two people, it beggars belief. There's something reminiscent of the school yard in separated couples critiques of each other. She says this. He does that.

What an unfortunately great Capacity to Hate there is out there in the world...

Capacity to Hate

She once spoke such soft screams
They echoed in the mistake she made on the lightest day
When the flower girls mooned to see such fun
Where the ring bearer cradled his humble cargo

Justify our love she cried
Justify my aborted love
Justify my dark foetal skeletal love

"My capacity to hate is boundless
I hate her fat pink lips
I wish they were mine
But I can only run my hands over her skin
I cannot crawl underneath it feel
the hot thrall of her veins pulsing
Underneath the cream of her chest
Her pounding pulse
Like a blinking horse
The nearest I am to her is now
When I have her fat auorta beating
into me
I crawl into her neck
I imagine her blood pouring over me
Now she is mine
I am a phoenix rising up out of  her wet
crimson flame."