Monday, July 27, 2009

four degrees

four degrees.morning magpies.tiny birds the colour of bark.plane drones north.brothers heavy burbles bad news bad newsbad news. rooster calls hens. fertility rites.coiled rope. magpies and crows.aerial combat.feather fight.lone car scrunches down dirt track.slow.trees cast frost do I have my tea? winter smoke clouds.crow.cockatoos scrape the sky.wrens needle calls sew down the edges of morning.crow.crow.crow voices die with distance.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lowbrow in the Artists Home

I see gladitorial battles rabbits versus sheep limbs being torn half human half mouse red in tooth and claw frying babies fed to dogs metal men nibble burning haystacks skewered humans scream over licking flames blood sucking flesh flowers bloom skulls in burning oil with eyes that still see the dead enlivened again again again bandaged heads leaking wounds pantry full of genitals living machines pump blood into rivers dams of pus filtered through the mouths of babies holes in stumps homes for furry creatures of evil intent armed with blades implements of torture half brains living a life of their own in forests of injured legs broken bones through rotted flesh nests for birds broken windmills turn without wind horse drawn boats and bees holding up the sky.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At the Airport 2

At the airport
I am the great unwashed. Anne and Phil’s hot water system was on the blink. They tried to repair it by trading one joint and a bottle of wine but still it ran hot then cold.

My boots
Earth stained
Red salt lake mud
Beach sand
Dirty socks
Over lay my stink with clothes
Think of violets
Death of youth.

If I text
reply to me

I crouch on the airport floor
I crouch

On the plane the woman across the aisle has perfect red painted nails and lips.
A child behind reads the emergency instructions and asks, Is this what we do when we crash?

Still Life
three glasses of poured wine
three humming computers
three missing tennants
three unwashed cups
three fruit trees dormant
three lives on hold
afternoon light in the kitchen

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Broken Message

“To obey each outrageous impulse”
The Artist’s Duty
Kenneth Patchen

thank you for being friend enough to ignore the shit i send.knife to the jugular seems reasonable.head under steam roller the second a pub hoping sunday afternoon music will pull the sad out of me.oh i never want to fall.despite my inner ugly I look beautiful.but i turn no heads.when my friend tells me i am the best I have been in years i begin to cry.something is [broken message]

Not In My Care

This is a story about my old duck. This winter she has not molted well. Less feathers for warmth. Her neck is bare. Her daughters beat her up. She bleeds. If I leave her in the open and rain she will die. It’s a natural process. Days pass. Compassion opens my heart every morning I see her. Unable to oversee her death I shift her to a covered yard.

Middle daughter and I see a domesticated drake in the park. His eyes read illness, abandonment, wings droop. Standing on an island of wet sand in the middle of a winter flooding creek we cannot reach him. We look at each other drake eye to human eye, leave him there.

Now I find a duck.
But this duck is not my duck.
He is a wild duck.
Not in my care.

Friday, July 17, 2009

seven degrees

seven degrees mountains cloud covered every morning most afternoons wattle birds battle sparrows doves constant chorus flock of seagulls migrate south high against low cloud all relative metal hammer blow hollow rumble goods train dogs always dogs top knots forage beneath eremophila maculata ask who who empty all air brakes bus takes corners three species fight for blossom booty silver eyes dogfight low one peach leaf left trees sky sand soundless

Thursday, July 16, 2009

She Tells Me

She tells me of her sexual assault at twelve.
I tell her of mine.
We share a story.

Rooted to the spot,
erect penises beneath coarse trouser cloth,
the neighbors hands in our baggy girls knickers
boiled clean too many times in steaming wash day coppers.
Worn elastic around our taut young bodies
no protection as he fondled our shame.

We swore ourselves to secrecy for more than twenty years.

“He haunts my marriage bed,” she said.
I said,“ His granddaughters live with him.”

Years later I spoke to him.
“She would not remember me,”
he said to himself on the phone.
To me he said, “You do not remember me
you were too young,
too young,
you do not remember
you do not remember

Rooted to the spot
my erect penis beneath coarse trouser cloth
my hand in your baggy girl knickers
boiled clean too many times in steaming wash day coppers.
Worn elastic around your taut young body no protection"

I could not say
I do!
I Do!
as he fondled my shame.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out in the sandhills .

I am going down, down to the salt lake edge. Head further north on foot. I begin to read sand. Someone has walked here this morning with a big heavy dog, rabbits have been out all night, young bucks fighting. Rain has made the sand run. A fox marked territory, shit on stone. I look for the mob I saw last time, a buck taller than a man and his small mob of does. Here doe tracks. Stop. A joey has left the pouch. I follow for a while. When I look up I am out in it, out away from it, on top, 180 degrees of sky. Clouds: dark wet and luminous white. Light falls with shafts of rain. The Flinders steel grey, Tent hills solid black. Sand, sky, horizon all damp. One year back same spot: land of the dead. Drought wrung the life out of natives; nothing moved only prickly pear on a slow march. Now: land of the living. Moss is lime, skirts every bush. Pig face pink tipped. Samphire purple. Cane grass lush. Spinafex set to bloom. Through it all lone blowfly makes a low level buzz.

Last year in the sandhills I saw the camp of a man. First I saw his smoke. When I reached the top of the hill I saw him standing staring into his fire. I dropped down, ducked low skirted the camp, hoped he did not have a dog. Nothing can hurt you in the Australian bush, my father’s bush lore told me, except men.
Today I wanted to see if he was still there and if not look at his camp. I pulled down track markers as I walked, bits of white rag tied to bushes with blue string. Motor bike riders use markers sometimes but I felt these were for the bush camp. If you don’t love these hills enough to know where you are going you don’t deserve to be here was my bitter rationale.I found the camp. Deserted. Set hard against a cut away sand dune, a niche had been hacked into the side of the hill a place for sleeping out of the wind now filled with buck bushes. They had been placed there but I couldn’t work out why. There was a table and a chair and a lounge chair all overturned and ruined. The remnants of a tent were strung between the two tall pittosporums, a fire place filled with half burnt cans, egg cartons, meat packaging and stones. Sheets of iron. The neck of a Wild Turkey bottle and a broken syringe. A plastic bottle with Home Brand cordial written on it in black texta, some junk mail and a West End Draught carton dissolving into sand. He had dug himself a short long drop with a drum over the top and a plastic seat. He had wiped his arse with newspaper. There was an overturned cupboard and a rotting mattress. A coat falling back to threads hung in the trees. An ironing board frame crumpled on the ground.
Blokes just out of prison sometimes camped in the sandhills or the desert people down from the north. But this had been a whitefella, married to the bottle, taking his relationship to another level.

At Woolworths
I met the mother of my first lover
in the dairy products aisle we chat

I remember the first time
he took me
in a swag
my open eyes
absorbed the sky
hard star light
dim on black dam water
cattle shuffled in the yard
a dingo close by
the thin unbroken howl

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Journal Entry

July 13-July14, 2009

I’ll feed off you.
You feed off me.
Enjoy the cannibal feast.

I text. On the bus ready for departure to Port Augusta. Safe journey, he replies.
Past the Quick-E-Mart, get the real taste at university corner, down town Hindley Street where derros and hookers meet. Lions Arts Centre, steel flash of railway tracks, The Torrens pretends to be a river, parklands green now, brown in summer; iron lace, red brick basket range stone, stacked plastic chairs, ATM here. Loading zone. Car yards car yards car yards Main North road. I love where I am heading. Plastic bunting capitalist prayer flags. It’s a full bus today but so far no-one next to me, down the back, last seat next to the toilet. USED FORK LIFT SALES and Adapt-a –Lift leaving Industrial Land - and on the edge, a saw tooth mountain range of salt. Water lays and water runs: wet winter. Pigeons spot the silo roof. Rain slakes the windows at Port Wakefield. Deltas of rain fall grey into green. Crystal Brook the sign reads Shear Success. Port Pirie and it’s everyone out for a smoke. Moving further north, the sun beams in on me and I am carried home sleeping.

(Yesterday I saw someone texting while standing in the sea. “I am knee deep in water and going deeper if you don’t message me soon.”)

On the ABC: Rifle shots are heard. It’s the marching season in Ireland. Beat the drum.

At the Writing Workshop

My pen full stopped.
tears wrote the words
coming home.
In my fathers house
I lift mine eyes up unto the hills
Sacred ground bleeds
speaks to me
Come to me
I will refresh you.
Port Augusta sand hills
My ancestors walked here
guns and sheep
poison and dogs.
Leather shod they wrote a story in sand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Come unto me

Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly of heart;
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy
and my burden is light.

Matthew 11 28 - 30

Sunday, July 12, 2009

10 July, 2009

At the airport.

If she thinks about him enough will it keep him alive for five weeks?

The clouds line the hills like a row of fists.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I think of daisies.
Common garden variety love.

I am dressed to kill.
Black death’s best wardrobe.
Black shoes glow.
Black new jeans creak.
Black velvet jacket nipped at the waist,
Fashionably frayed at the wrist.

Going home.
In my chest
brailed wings
are released
heart opens throat
throat clears eyes
feet unpack
memory of sand
saltbush scent.
At my core
block of blue
line of purple
waves of red.
Going home.

communication fantasy

if i text you
ignore me
delete me
defeat me
destroy me
attack me
whack me
smack me
erase me
de-craze me
move me on!

At Anne and Phil’s

First they served me brandy
said here smoke this
gave me chocolate
and fed me earth.
Until I believe:
cunt was designed to be shared -
evolution colludes with me.

This is the story of woman’s experience of falling in love with someone she shouldn’tv’e fallen in love with. He was aside from an angel on earth, she saw his trails of glory, a broken man. Was the hand of God pulling her towards him or something more sinister? (Insert: Sympathy for the Devil lyrics here). My song he said the night she followed him to the pub. The night he kissed her on the lips, then cheek, then lips again. The night he said,” I will be back in an hour.”
”Will it take you that long?” she called to him as he left for the charity
fuck she had organized.

Lila chicken (whole grain mustard, a lot, half a jar, lemon and olive oil) baked all together with two fresh bay leaves potato and sweet potato wedges, cloves of garlic.
Strawberries, red wine and candles.
We watch a video on the new leather lounge, $300 + $10 delivery.
Fire in the grate and a pipe well packed
Roll on my life
Roll on.

Okay it is another day now.
July 11, 2009

I look back to see if I have created any wreckage. Not much.

Walking on the Grange beach a song is blown into my head.
I stride along singing

I am the mistress of abstention
I am the mistress of abstention
I am the mistress of abstention
In the nunnery by the sea

I am the mistress of abstention
I am the mistress of abstention
I am the mistress of abstention
I save my love for Thee.

I describe the image in my mind to Anne.
“Someone is handing me an orange cup, a significant cup.”
It is a cup for containment, a chalice, to hold your emotions.
(Hold hard, Ned! Lift me down once more, and lay me in the shade.) You need some cup imagery, she says and flicks through her cards: a dead saint, a man in pain, a toilet plunger. She hands me a card, a botanical painting of a hakea.

Flowers pink
penile protrusions
vulval mouths
seed nuts hard
shut tight
locked inside
new tree
not yet
ready to go.

I want to
lash fresh
skin pink
apply a whip
lay down leather
raise welts
break through.
See the bleed.

“A recent survey of all the visitors to Uluru found that 90% did not climb the rock out of respect for the traditional owners.
That 90% it turns out was overwhelmingly made up of international tourists. The other 10% who did climb the rock were mainly people of Australian origin.”

Richard Bennett
McLaren Vale
Letters to the Editor
The Advertiser
Saturday July 11 2009

I photograph “The Dead Summer Sun” on my phone. It is a starfish.

After lunch Anne tells me regret is a heart poison and the antidote is gratitude with a side salad of that abstract noun love. Regret is a thorny trap. Grief is something you can emerge from and don’t forget rule number six.

Rule Six
Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Masturbating During the Footy

Juddy takes a run.
Apply vibration to the essential spot.
until the magic muscle pulls and pulls again
explodes the sun a shower of stars
on the lounge room wall
Fevola puts one through he sticks.
All I hear is roar.

Tonight we are going out to be 60’s girls.
I will text you if I am in someone’s arms I shouldn’t be.
Stand by.

Of course nothing at all happens. I flirt with Kevin as I have for twenty years. I scared the possiblility away with an offer for him to collect the $100 I owed him from my my cunt with his teeth. Didn’t see him for dust and as far as I know the hundred bucks is still there.

I read solstice to Julian who asked if I wrote it. It’s about surrender to fate. I said

I read breathin’ to John (the poet, Paul Harrison calls it “stations of the cross” insert link here) This causes John to rabbit on for hours about the state of aboriginal education and I nearly fall asleep.

I danced in women’s circles with Bev, Penny and Mishy.
How do you do
Pleasure to meet ya
You look like one
Incredible creature
Blat! Blat! Blat! Blat! Balt!
Blat! Blat! Blat! Blattity! Bllaaat!

Someone told me listen to the Webb Sisters and her 70 year old mother quotes Leonard Cohen.
I say
“I want to love you now
I want to love you then
I want to love you never
And begin again.”

I have others.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Central Tafe Corner Beaufort and Aberdeen


Mainly pathetic
with brief periods of hyperventilation in the morning
the risk of a severe panic attack
probable piss weak by late afternoon
moderate self criticism increasing to hatred in the early evening
followed by flagellation throughout the rest of the week.
The weekend forecast mostly maudlin with patches of self pity.
Extended forecast grim.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nick Cave Quote

" No news to anyone that love and the extremes of love involve violence"


It was then - that bleached-out afternoon
when everything had long since settled
and you read poems like a fresh burn
and I cried in the front of the public bar
while it failed to occur to me that
there even were people who could see -
it was then that I realised what love was:
a letter opener jammed through the larynx
and no friendly hand to twist it home
Geoff Lemon
Picaro Press
Warners Bay NSW 2008

Both Sides of the Coin

“the point of abandonment
is also the point of arousal”
The Justification of the Miraculous p47
Gabrielle Everall Dona Juanita and the Love of Boys

“Again and again I’m picturing you rejecting me. This is the moment I love.”
p91 Gabrielle Everall Dona Juanita and the Love of Boys

At the same time
I was hit out of bounds and began to fall
my cousin began to fall too

She sang wise men say only fools rush in
I sang the chains of love got a hold on me

She wrote a long passionate letter
she wished she hadn’t posted
I wrote short text messages
I wished I hadn’t pressed send

She couldn’t get him out of her head
Walked for miles remembered everything he said
I couldn’t get him out of my head
Walked for miles remembered everything he said

Her happiness was a red and gold banner in sunlight
My sadness was a black edged white sign under the moon

She began to paint again
I began to write again

At her easel she felt as if God was her lover
At my desk I felt as if God was my tormentor

She wanted to tell the world
I remained silent

Her friends told her she looked beautiful radiant
What happened? they asked

My friends told me I looked wracked cracked
What happened? they asked

Her lover took her face in his hands
pulled her towards him
until she was on tiptoes
they kissed
they kissed
they kissed
It was what she dreamed of longed for

I only met him once
he rang at midnight
to deliver goodbye
we never touched
never touched
never touched
It was what I dreamed of longed for.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

for Natasha

When you danced topless,
skirt swirling,
gold bangles jingling,
bare feet turning,
black hair flying,
blue eyes flashing
red mouth laughing,
shouting at the midnight sky -
“Thank Aphrodite
I found you!
I thought
I was alone in this town!”

That is when I loved you best
my friend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

in the stock exchange building

in the stock exchange building
twenty three floors up
the air is thin
the carpets plush
earl grey served
on cracked marble
we guess the future
ship em out
raise money
limp bounce
make a
double exposure
double exposure
smoke our
joint venture
with allies
right to mine
left to mine
ours to mine
raise money
lower money
hire money
buy money
its all money
expose yourself to danger
expose myself to danger
expose all selves to danger
in the
tricky place
tribal connection
high grade pods
specs to solids
trade in and out
in and out
in and out
in and out
in and out
in and out
in and out

below the swan is a flat asset sheet
the wind has carved its own flow charts
the bell tower stands silent as the end of day's trade
and the wheel spins

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I had a man as a friend
maybe in a lifetime
it is the quota
the question never arose
you know the one
with the ugly head

we were
a pair
bread and jam
ham and cheese
chicken and chips

we danced
Ginger and Fred
while the man I would marry
performed for working men
his set piece
youngest brightest
mine manager ever
at the bar
they queued
to take communion
and pay
respect by the glass

we shopped
we bitched
cooked quiche at my house
I couldn’t and he could
we stood on the verge
as the sun set
leaned on his car
the only red one in town

one morning
before sunrise
I moved on
with packed bags
I wanted to kiss his lips
but he turned his cheek
stubble grazed my mouth
I remember the sting

He married at fifty
almost a virgin
according to the bride
who wasn’t

I sent him a card
of red roses
best news ever
I wrote

In the church
I cried so much
my mother
smiled through
gritted teeth
People will think you are in love with him

Sometimes mothers know everything
Sometimes mothers know nothing