Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunflower Seeds

There was a sunflower seller on the corner most of the day. His customers try before they buy or try and don’t buy. After they have gone I see him replace the stolen seeds with others.

I missed both breakfast and lunch due to “stomach problems” “pooh poohing too much” “making too much pooh pooh”. My Chinese guides sympathize but eating they assure me is the only way to get well, preferably something greasy and chilli hot, just another example of difference in east and west thinking. I suggest steamed rice they offer spitting hot chilli chicken. I decline but after six hours I begin to eye the sunflower seed heads. It is the season and everyone is doing it, picking the seeds, cracking them between their teeth, spitting the husk to the ground and chewing the sunflower seed flesh. But I am too lazy to go outside to buy and the whole transaction me no Chinese and seller no English takes a lot of energy. So I am lying on the bed reading when I have a strange dizzy feeling. God! I must be really hungry if I am dizzy lying down I thought and there it is was again, I hear the fooyans screaming and I realise with a shock it was not hunger but an earthquake, by a stroke of luck I have my boots on and my passport around my neck. I snatch up my back pack and I run to the door and I am half way down the hall before I hear it slam behind me. Outside the streets are crowded everyone is looking up but nothing seems to be shaking.

Now that I am out and about I decide to buy some food. I see the sunflower seed seller is still across the road from the hotel. I approach and choose what is the best looking sunflower head try to ask how much, a crowd is gathering - a loe eye is going to buy something always good entertainment. A woman comes by she picks up a head and pays one yuan. The sunflower seed seller is cracking open a seed with his totally black hands, fingers and nails. I wonder if they have ever been washed in his life and dismiss the idea that I am probably adding to my “stomach problems” by accepting the offered white kernels. But I eat the two offered seeds pay one yuan. He takes my chosen sunflower head and replaces it with another. How can I argue? This is often done in China, you choose what you want and the seller replaces it with what they want you to have. Anyway I leave, everyone is happy.

Now I am determined to discover the pleasure of picking, cracking, spitting and eating fresh sunflower seeds. I eat some on the street but just can’t bring myself to spit the husks on the footpath despite there being two street sweepers to every block and an entire population spitting husks. People passing are amused by my sunflower cracking. I stand near a bin but the smell of rotting garbage drives me to my room. So far everyone else seems to be getting more out of this than me. Inside I sit on the window ledge open the window and stare into the middle distance as I have seen the locals do and pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew. I get into the meditative rhythm of eating sunflower seeds. Round and round my picking fingers go levering out the black and white seeds, discarding the unformed and cracking the fat seeds between my teeth, using my tongue to discard the husk and chewing the milky flesh. Soon I have created a little bare patch on the surface of the seed head and I become determined eat the lot. I want it all. I won’t move until I have finished the pile of husks grows and over flows the ash tray, spills onto the window ledge. I feel like a cockatoo at her seed tray pick up bite roll the husk around with my little round tongue. I am hypnotised. Pick, crack, spit, chew I notice the sap from the seed head is turning my fingers brown. No wonder the seller’s hands were black. Up at dawn to cut the seeds heads, remove the petals, brush any dirt away, pile them in the cart, haul cart to town, keep the seed heads in order all day by replacing any seeds sampled by customers, spend all day rearranging the heads in his cart . Black hands just a hazard of the job. Looking down from my perch three stories above the street I see as I pick, crack, spit, chew the flow of people below.

the boy who pushes, shoves, tugs his mother who has stopped to talk to a friend, hit, tug, whine, shout
the father holding out a baby to piss in the gutter rewards her with kisses
pick, crack, spit, chew
two young girls heads together giggle share an icy pole, pick, crack, spit, chew
a family on a motorbike Dad in control two year old on the petrol tank and a breastfeeding mum on the back
pick, crack, spit, chew
old men play cards under the trees surrounded by observers
pick, crack, spit, chew
three policemen at the intersection chat and smoke
pick, crack, spit, chew
an old woman strolls hand in hand with her grandchild
pick, crack, spit, chew
a woman carries strings of garlic over her shoulders
pick, crack, spit, chew
the watermelon sellers push barrows up the street
pick, crack, spit, chew
a front end loader toots its way through town
pick, crack, spit, chew
dogs hot on the trail of a bitch on heat,
pick, crack, spit, chew,
a herder drives his cow through traffic beats her with a knotted rope when she falters
pick, crack, spit, chew
the old bag man bent over adds another bottle to his plastic collection
pick, crack, spit, chew
putt putt’s cruise the street for a late evening fare
pick, crack, spit, chew
shiny black Mercedes with darkened windows blasts through traffic honk! honk!
pick, crack, spit, chew
the police use their loud hailer to scare pedestrians off the road
pick, crack, spit, chew
men smoke and ride motorbikes
smoke and ride bicycles
smoke and walk
men smoke
pick, crack, spit, chew
women pull their empty hand carts home tiredness written on dusty faces,
pick, crack, spit, chew
dedicated followers of fashion totter on glittering high heels
pick, crack, spit, chew
a man squats to eat his meal from a plastic bag chopsticks fly to his hungry mouth

pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Tuesday, December 22, 2009




Monday, December 21, 2009


hot wax is poured
onto my cunt
gloved fingers
pat pat and rip
my long loved pubes
from their rooted spot
folicles swell
red and scream

Sunday, December 20, 2009


the cat is named
she drags her kill
bubble breathing
to the bone shard carpet

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my clothes line spins

my clothes line spins
its ungreased moans
echo the cheering trees
the business shirt
states its name
out of work
daughters knickers
a dutiful row
of colour
pass by
towels flap
fluff pile dry
shed detritus
compost to the garden
undies wet
recall dry
comfort of a soft groin
crocodile on sons t shirt
gnashes its teeth
wanting action
get me down
I want rough

And there she goes
the clothes line tart
a black lace teddy
one shoulder strap
exposes herself
to breezes
calls to zephyrs
with a husky cry
unpeg me
so I can fly!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Bees in the pool.
Their bee paddle is doomed.
Wet wings glue them to the surface.
And it's round and round until they drown.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Day in the Garden

I admire my compost
Build a twig fence
Grape vine and olive prunings
Unwrap green babies
Tuck them into the feast of their lives
Invite hens out to sunbath together
Finde a circle of heart’s ease
Watch white viola
Bloom among the parsley
Uproot elderly zucchini
Make way for a new path
Discover a frog
Perched in the silver birch
Wait for the birth of basil
Pick tomatoes in summer
Lift carry
Shovel pitchfork
Wheel and empty,
While the hens glean behind my rake.

By the pond I have a vision –
you - my friend
under the fig tree
with a sun warm fig in your mouth.

Under the fig tree I have a vision -
you - my friend
by the pond
meditating in my healing garden

Thursday, December 10, 2009

four endings and a continuing fairy tale

Now remain calm
I know how this ends
happy is in the exclusion zone
it's only the shoe that fits
The farmer takes a wife
the wife takes a child.
he fences his family in.
In a dark dark night
in a dark dark town
in a dark dark moment
the novitiate kills.
The cowboy
high in the saddle
rode over the sandhills
The bar fly dies
a shot of wild turkey
starts the rot.

Poor Hansel lost without Gretel
is alone in the forest
there's no trail of pebbles
he can't see the wood
for the talking trees.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


When the psychologist asked me who was significant in my life I lied,
“The butcher. From him I purchase my daily meat.”………

My friend Suzin calls me mate.
She rings me at eight o’clock.
It’s morning.
“Just checking.
I have not heard from you for hours.
God I am bored and it is so early.
I am drab today so drab come and see how drab I am.”

I call her at nine o’clock.
“I can’t find my car keys.
In fact I can’t find anything.
Everything seems to be lost.”

She calls me at ten o’clock.
“You should see what the baby can do.
You should hear what the baby can say.
I have just put him in his room.”

I call her at eleven o’clock.
“I am not going to make it through this day.
I am going to die.
I can feel myself slipping away.
Death is a definite possibility.”

She calls me at noon.
“Come and have a coffee.
Go to the chemist for me.
I don’t have a car today.”

I call her at one o’clock.
“Thank a goddess the sun is shining.
I am so fucked when it is overcast.
The shining sun seizes my sadness.
Is that poetry?”

She calls me at two o’clock.
“I have got a zit big huge and full of pus.
God I hate myself.
I am so fat and the zit covers my entire face.
You should see it.”

I call her at three o’clock.
“I have just heard Leanne is having an affaire with a twenty year old bikey.
All leather and danger.
With the wind in her hair.
I wish it was me.”

She calls me at four o’clock
“I am ovulating .
I have just worked it out .
Mick will have to come home if I am going to have a baby this month.”

I call her a five o’clock.
“What shall I have for tea?
What are you having for tea?
What is the point of tea?”

She calls me at six o’clock.
“I think the baby has an earache.
I will have to go to the doctor tomorrow.”

I call her at seven o’clock
“Garry isn’t home yet.
When he comes home I am going out.
Wanna come?”

She calls me at eight o’clock.
“Come around when the baby is in bed.
We will share a wine or something.
Dance in the lounge a little.”

I call her at nine o’clock.
“I am so bored.
We should have gone out.
I am so slack.
I wish I could get motivated.”

She calls me at ten o’clock.
“I am going to bed now.
Can’t think of anything else to do.
Finished the ironing waiting for Mick to come home from the pub.”

I call her at eleven o’clock.
“We tell each other goodnight.
We wish each other sweet dreams,
hang up.

I begin to count the hours till morning.

……..the truth is, it was Suzin.
She was significant.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

two sixteen

and i’m in my bed
there are earth quakes
oceans tsunamis
between us
while darkness chews
the face of the moon
and i’m in my bed
my skin just falls away
as it does every night
while i’m sleeping
and i’m in my bed
the ceiling fan dries my eyes
i wonder if i’ll go blind
like my mother and aunt
will my spine crumble too?
and i’m in my bed
but tonight is not a night for sleeping
besides it is morning anyway
someone is cooking pasta
in this city right now
because it’s saturday
the friday fast is over
and i’m in my bed
i lie in it all the time, i made it
thorns from the roses
scratched my arms and hands
but i tell you these scratches
are from when
i killed the cat
and you believe me
and i’m in my bed
but this night
even though it is morning
was never meant for sleeping
i’ve let the time drip away
like vein blood
blue and viscous
and i’m in my bed
and it was spelled
in capitals so loud
i reached for earplugs
searched for a pen
found an knife
carved a one word poem in my flesh

and i’m in my bed
and i’m in my bed
and i’m in my bed...

Monday, December 7, 2009


in the room
professional women
their prime painted on
strung with incomes of gold
family heirlooms
carbon fractured to sparkle
clothed in animal print faux fur
bounty of the bargain hunters
hand weave acquired
the last tour of the world
and all it’s islands
bags designed by the
wealthy for the wealthy
(they know how much
a bag should contain)
rests beside the shoes
designed more for comfort
gold badged and stamped
with a Spaniard’s name

the afghani woman asks
what are you doing in my country?
where criminals and killers and drug lords rule
where women
are shot like birds
and men seek
US dollar compensation
for their loss
less than a house
and a bit more than a donkey

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Five Easy Ways

Pregnant Suzin reads,
“Five Easy Ways to a Beautiful Body”.
Her breasts swollen to double D.
Her beach ball belly streaked with stripes
the colour of moonlight.
She knows the way to a beautiful body,
“Lay down with your lover!”
She laughs.
It is not mentioned as one of the five easy ways.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I could cleanse you

I could cleanse you
said Mary Magdalene
on her knees
moon full
two nights ago
a male is needed
for full moon smoking
garden healing
incense burns
at both ends
the shakhuachi master
plays seabreeze
the temple bell

Friday, December 4, 2009

I find them

I find them
the rejectors
the not wanters
the unlusters
the no desire here men.
I find them and limpet cling.
Each no a fire stream
metal claw
nail stab.
It is my cream cake
my just desserts.
Say no Sweetness.
Please say no.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


In her mothers house
she smiles down
in her incarnations
baby beautiful
child tomboy
young woman in love
out of love
bearer of love child
In her mothers house
herstory is my story
graphic novel on walls.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting for Hazel (2004)

There will be no baby baby
today baby baby,
our waiting is long
while we sing out our song
Oooo! baby baby
show yourself baby baby!
soon! baby baby oooo!

Grandmother says
windy weather has blown the stork away
we cant keep ringing up
she says
the baby won’t come any faster
she says,
babies have their own time
she says
she tells how her own magic mother
calculated babies into the world
with a mathematical equation + two weeks
she was spot on for all the babies.
but the magic died with her
now we have to measure time
with the fall of pink lace bark blossoms
plop! plop! plopplop! plop!

Doves drank at the frog pond
bathed in the lily pots
made war -
then peace -
then war again.

Those in the crow tree discussed their day
a willy wag tail looped in the air
seized supper for her babies
grey balls of gruff stuffed fluff.

Bougainvillea faded crimson to papery grey
jacaranda wept purple pools around our feet
stag horn grew new leaves like baby hands extended
agapanthus spears exploded floral fireworks
and we waited
Oooo! Ooooo! Ooooo!

Bones lay unbitten
while the dog heavy lidded listened.
the factory door rattled out an empty room echo
the bored whine and clack
of suburban trains set sharp against
the warning bells hysteria.

End of day light filtered
tropical green through bamboo leaves
families of scarlet parrots
headed nestwards on the sky ways.

Acorns began the summer swell
the figs plumped
ducklings hatched
basil grew and grew and grew
blue skies blued down blue and blue and blue.
Oooo! Oooo! Oooo!

While we waited.
Oooo baby baby
while we waited
and waited
for you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

11pm William Street

We drank beer
from bottles
in brown paper
smoked joints
spiked with
too much tobacco
ate Thai late
on a Sunday night
when the only light
shone from the cross
while I tried to forget
what I really wanted