Monday, 8 December 2008

revisiting ....would you like greens with that sir?

It's an inviting shopfront.
Swirling and indifferent.
I push the door.
It opens effortlessly.

Strange and oblique objects
adorn the walls.
Gliitering things that rob
my attention.
Things as tiny as quavers.
Things as large as families.

Things I know i can afford.

Sitting behind the bejeweled counter
is Salmacis ....
The Teardrop Collector.
A hermaphrodite mother
that looks right through me
but speaks at me directly ......

Hello ... welcome.
Lester said you were in town.
Choose what you wish.
I smile politely.

I'm drawn to the silver bullet
piercing a blue sky.
An artwork and a responsibility.
It hangs in time and out.
A portent or maybe a dear john.
I've owned it forever ....
and it me.

This ..... I'll take this,I say.

mmm,,you'd better be sure
says the Teardrop Collector.
I've sold a heart for less.....
but none as rich or as rare
as this planet earth.

I'm outside again ....
The shopfront swirls at me still.
My pockets are full,
full of riches and promises...

and responsibilities.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

the old painters daughter

the chesterfield
and the lamplit room
that round dark table
and a leather book cover
settle in for a decade
...... or two

standalone museums
they are
like nora
who plays solitaire
with her vodka

she has the sharpest wit
and an ironic twinkle
and then she has the hats

draped across the octopus
i call it ...
hats hats hats
a hat stand that brims with life
like a waterfall
in the hallway

she doesn't see me
so I make myself some tea
and sprinkle what sugar
is left from the rim of a jar
and settle on black
cause she likes my whims

she wants to paint me
i would like that ...
she thinks my beanie
is the colour of blood
and she likes that
she has paintings
in the art gallery
and her father
was a great landscape
a print was on my wall
as a child

but she doesn't paint me
she just wants to talk
about the harbour
and how kings cross
used to be
and how kings cross
always is

she says
leave your beanie on
i know its a little warm
but it glows
right on top of your head
i say
does it make me look
like a matchstick

she laughs and says
put that nasty looking tea away
and have a bloody vodka

Monday, 17 November 2008

the swap

one day i'm gonna swap
this neon for something greener
one day i'm gonna take
this makin it up stuff seriously
one day i'm gonna angle
for a year in the desert
one day i'm gonna buy
full cream bloody everything
one day i'm gonna write
a story on my back fence
one day i'm gonna do
all the things i'm gonna
because one day i'm gonna
swap this neon for something greener

Sunday, 9 November 2008

puff the magic dragon

she cried
when i sang
puff the magic dragon
not because my voice
lilted in spots...
not because my hands
cradled the guitar
with ease ...
nor because these things
made a harmony

not for any of these reasons

but because the boy
had grown up
and life was not of dragons
and such adventures ....
no time for high sea
or playful autumn mists
and so alone puff
retreated into his cave

she cried for this
and said ....
with all the fire it brings
and upturned boats
with all the strings
and ceiling wax
and all the fancy other stuff
along the way
our puff the magic dragon
shall have a place to stay

Sunday, 26 October 2008

from the teabird cafe

wrapped up in the morning
salmacis fills his pockets
with last nights refuse
and a solitary wish

pretends his friends
are gathered
bustling feverlike
tell me more salmacis
tell me more

from the teabird cafe
without a bird insight
he glazes out
over orwell street .... see how
the morning dew
disappears quickly
round here
'cause there's
no where to linger

..... touching the leaf
in his pocket
and the golden coin
he found
on the pavement
he turns to nobody
makes up his wish
closes his eyelids
then lingers
..... like dew

Monday, 13 October 2008

i'm all at sea

underneath my stairs
there's a crocodile
careful of those teeth
that is not a smile
underneath my bed
there's a manta ray

living in the sea
living in the sun
guess this kind of life's
not for everyone
got two flipper hands
and my skin is scale

you got what you want
for the moment at least
microwave meals
and a truckload of peas
I don't read the headlines
out under the waves
I'm all at
I'm all at sea

want to shed your skin
come and live with me
go adventuring
to infinity
underneath the sea
underneath the sun

Thursday, 18 September 2008

my new pot plant has a history

cyclamen petals turn
the world in on itself
hurling colours
magic dots as airwaves
my microwave eyelids are
free to see
whatever they want to .....

a circus parade
pinky greener
arguable gender ..... tick
short on stature
long on longing ..... tick
starts a scene
with a sideways glance
testing the resolve
of the morning ratters
holding court at
kings cross station

then science does the god thing
or is it god that does the science?
and I'm free no more to see such things
this cyclamen pastiche
is all I view
and 6 bucks is a bargain
tripped out plant
sings take me home

Sunday, 7 September 2008

the flu, literally

doctor of words
my well is emptying
the bucket drips
adjectives pronouns
spilling and useless
all the great phrases
and painted descriptions
thousands of words
left in the dirt

take two of these
they may make you dizzy
rest on your lauriet
or else you'll be braindead
nurse .... see the patient
does what I tell him
scripto fantasticus
stare out to sea.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

a little mending

on the windowsill
a ruby grapefruit
sits out of place
next to Yeats
my musty brown stamp album
that new Helen Garner novel
and an aussie guide to herbs

they look so lazy
a little sun bleached
perched and teasing
I start to sing a song
from my childhood
..... one of these things
just doesn't belong ......
I grab my hessian bag

walk all the way
through Darlinghurst
without noticing ....
over the hills
to the beach
the sun hits my back
inventoria smiles at me

we buy two coffees
in throwaway mugs
eat grapefruit at the icebergs

and put some things
back into place

Monday, 11 August 2008

the moon has a cat in it

a beach and a full moon
cold cliffs and mildew
grey ghosts bend
so close they almost
touch the sand
a rickety jetty
points into blackness
a lonely green street light
shards over splinters
spreads a skirty shaped glow
on the ferry timetable

still 8 minutes left
I can hear it somewhere
out there in the bay
it's me and this lady in green
small purple flowers
rings through her hair
our two little children
dance about wildly
lost in a trance
cause the ferry is close
to take us away
away from this dream

reverse ....
all crew reverse
the captain billows
and sailors in black and white stripes
start slowing things down
with ropes over shoulders
the rollicks are clanging
the sirens are singing
a thick fog surrounds us ....
it's gonna be close

my head hits the lamp post
bubbles and muffled sounds
around me
surround me
a trembling lip
not cold anymore
I'm a dropped anchor....
I stare at a rippling light
that floats on the surface
I know her face
and I gasp recognition
its the full bloody moon
swim for the light

back on deck
or the jetty at least
the captain smells
of irish whiskey
and old blankets
he billows new instructions
to his dreamy crew
as I stare at the moon
with my child on my
soaking wet knee

the moons got a cat in it
you know don't you daddy
his face creeping over
just in the corner
if you look you can see it
there he is
if you look you can see it
and see it I did

Saturday, 26 July 2008

winter reminds me of this

I used to live in Katoomba
a strange place
where all clocks tick slowly
my living room
had little french doors
that opened onto an icy balcony
right opposite the Carrington
a grand and wonderous building
on the street of a thousand hellos
or so I used to call it
you know everyone
and they know you .....
I used to like that
and sometimes I didn't.

I would work at the Paragon
another beautious place
that I've mused on before ....
one day I'm told
that the very flat I live in
the one with the icy balcony
was owned by a regal gent
an old owner of the Paragon ...
now there's a symmetry
I thought

Now this regal gent
wore a long red coat
boots and a stately air
I've seen his photo hanging
in the old bakery.

One evening at home
I was telling a bedtime story
to a young lad
that I used to know
he looked over my shoulder
toward the doorway and said
who is that man standing there?
what man ... I say
the one with the red coat on
right there looking at us
I turned and saw nothing
is he still there?
yes .... and now he's gone

I walked about the house
and thankfully it was just us ....
good old fashioned earthly types
as far as I could tell

The perception
of an unclouded youth
or an imagination to envy
I don't know

Thinking back I'm amazed
at how calm the lad was
and how calm I was too
a truly serene episode
like a spell had been cast

And let me go on .......

A commotion at the Paragon
tourists all a fluster
this dimly lit day
I'm in the kitchen
pondering a cauliflower soup
and it's all yelps and oh my gods out front
mmm ... let me investigate!

A woman was panting to Joanna
the owner at the time...
I just saw a ghost
in the ladies toilet
a man with a long red coat
oh my god ...
Joanna calmly
and in a stately tone
all of her own says
Oh don't worry about him
he's just an old perv

Well there you go
the red coat
makes another appearance ....
out of the blue
just like that

now ... ....
back to that cauliflower soup

Thursday, 17 July 2008

a new song to sing like johhny cash

Feels like my heart
Is harder than my brain sometimes
Wasting precious moments
Walking the wrong way

I can feel the wind
Tellin me there’s troube
Like a smoking signal
Showing me the way

I got lazy
I got tired and
I got bored
I put everything on the table
Face up aces
Face up swords
Faced up to it
I'm no angel
But you ain’t seen nothing yet
I promise you
I promise you

I can see a dancer
Letting loose on the moors
Pipers out of breath now
Won’t hear those baggers anymore

Thank Christ for that
Silence is a golden colour
You are my latest weakness
You are the break of day

I got lazy
I got tired and
I got bored
I put everything on the table
Face up aces
Face up swords
Faced up to it
I’m no angel
But you ain’t seen nothing yet
I promise you
I promise you

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

one two three four

suckerfish amnesia
carpetbagger steak suit
crayon viola girl
pardon my grammatication

words that spill like rhyming games
making sense to nobody
like better frank the navigator
abbot has the key

its a beat box bantering
that lands upon the one sometimes
or skips a second quavertone
to make it finish thus

but if it doesn't work for you
no fret if tears though tumbling
just sing it out don't read next time
go dancing in your head

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

the infinity tattoo and monster of a clue

infinity tattoo ....
now that's a secret
are you sure you want one?....
prepared for the consequences
prepared for the aftermath
prepared for it all
...... the sideways 8

there's a place in kings cross ....
not a parlour
more like a church
if you say the right words
tell salmacis a poem
about numbers or love
but mostly about love
she'll take you backstage
sit you down on a cloth
hold a hand to your heart
point at your skin
ancient nails and ruby robes
i tell you it's true ...
and here's a hint

follow the lankey cobbles
north for a bit
past lesters old curves
a bit of a mission
set down a dime
and tell em a rhyme
..... i dare ya

oops i've said too much
better hold my breath its starting to tick
better hold my head i'm feeling sick ....
your brand new sun

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


i like the word envelope
could be e
could be o
i like the word copper
could be trouble
could be metal
i like the word lands
could be spacious
could be touchdown .....
i just like the way things go
and other ways they go
the other ways they go
i really do

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

notes on scrap paper

red eye trimmigs
victory is near
a bitter sou wester
a retreating autumn ensemble
listen carefully
and you'll hear
miss winter warming up

around the card table
of the gods
seasons are dealt
like ideas at andys factory
another poem about the weather?
another versa descripto on nature?
another fifteen minutes of sunshine?

so what!
maybe its meant to be
none of these
or just to be
contrary .....
all of them

then I remember
what I wrote yesterday .....

make hay
break your back
making it
let the nature
determine all things
and the dreaming
our directions

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

refinery town

kurnell bay
black soot drips from the leaves
grasses like shadows
steeper and steeper
wondering if i'll ever
stand up
or just watch
the goings on

menacing machine world
tin plate iron clad
run by the lonely
bakerlite dreamers
promise of water
lungs ripped to shreds
at the autumn sun party
but everyones happy ....
cause caltex
sponsors the children

tanker tanker dripper of life
blood on your bow
the captains a drunkard
blood on your bow
the crews a computer
blood on your bow
the puddles are purple

and black cockatoos
fly north in the morning
splash teardroplet eyes
on refinery town

Sunday, 13 April 2008

in the blink of a blue blue eye

downpour ....
a crack of lightning
systems failure
meditate on anything
anything at all
picture book lands
an overlay with pop ups
a childhood fable
further back
much further back .......
a flat wooden carriage
shots rings out
my coat is bloodied
and the air stinks
the man lying
next to me
has half a face
under a bandage
further back .....
too quick to see
slow this down
something about a candle
I'm lighting 100 candles
on a table before dinner
a mischevious grin I'm wearing
strange to watch yourself
back futher ......
I'm sitting under a tree
a dog or is it a wolf
rests on my lap
I'm singing in the strangest tongue
I remember it now ....
the wolf turns to me
not the me under the tree
but looks at me
the one looking on
and howls
out over a valley
beyond me
ringing on and on
the animal gets up and walks toward me
his eyes are so blue
so very blue
I hear thunder
and fall away
my arms flailing through
this cinema ....
I am lying on the road
looking up at the giant
coke sign
rain pierces my lips
I smell burnt hair
lightning continues
I feel good
but people tell me not to move
a lady with a dog lifts my head
the dog whimpers
his blue eyes I remember
from somewhere ....
that was some boom
I try to say
as I fall asleep again

Friday, 4 April 2008

kids have thinner skulls than us knuckleheads

cells talk
each one jumping
up and down
around the may pole
under our skin
before our eyes
defying belief
turning in on themselves
to resurface again
to realign again
as it always has
only each time
ever so differently....
and then along comes
the big bad wolf
a cellular fuckup
of monstrous proportions
in our very pockets
in our very ears
the brains of our kids
will never be the same
i dreamt the worst of it
still to come .....
your mobile phone
is killing you ....
throw it away

Saturday, 29 March 2008

as it is in art part 2

what is it you see
that i don't ?
these colours
and fine lines
scratches and blocks
still before our eyes
wrapped up in a sleeper

don't try to explian
it confuses me

especially I like
this surry hills light
bounces off your pinot
turns your eyes devil red ...
firestorm glow worm
lets hang you on the wall

Friday, 28 March 2008

as it is in art part 1

moments whistle past
my cheeks alive with breezes
scars across my face
are spread out like antennas
nothing new to them

the painter and the angel
pose for one another
out of artful duty
in which this leaves them speechless
nothing new to them

a drip a drop an eyelet hole
remember me she says
fleeting past before i knew it ....
muse go through me
like the wind

Monday, 17 March 2008

hijack on the 380

It was the seventh
moonlit night in a row
I was ambling through
the grasslands
the great monolith of pictures
was my keeper
cat burglers muggled
amonst the trees
bats shuffled overhead
I was tingling with foreboding
somewhere in my head
a portent

I met my sweetheart
at the taylor square
a late night bus trip
to bondi
the infamous 380

Just before the bus takes off
a giant of a man stromps on
well to do
and not too scruffy
he takes a seat
across the aisle from us.

"hey mate .... gonna pay up"
says the driver
Goliath just sits there
hands as big as countries
muscles like planets
just sits there and stares
straight ahead
with a Jack Nicholson look
in his eyes
except goliath ain't acting
(not sure if Jack was either ...
but that's another blog)

"hey mate pay up
or we ain't going anywhere."
The driver switches off the bus
and sits calmy
waiting ... both of them
like boxers before the bell
sitting calmly in their corners
Inventoria is wide eyed
and rightly so
looking a bit freaked ...

Our fellow cashed up commuters
start calling out .... "c'mon mate pay up"
"yeah ... we did", "get off and walk man."
"don't be a jerk" ..... etc
I say something innocuos and
hardly threatening but
I can see the look in his eyes
I can see his bulging neck

Seconds tick by
but are stretched
to their agonising extreme
The driver calls the cops
and opens the back door
so people can get off

A lady offers to pay for gigantour
so we can just get going.
He says "you aint payin for me lady ..... sit down"
Goliath walks to the driver and stares at him
says something in a slow deliberate tone
about not having to pay
The driver remains calm
and Goliath sits down again
We decide its time ...
we jump out the back door
so does everyone else

The 380 to bondi
stopped at the taylor Square
with a determined and brave driver
and a determined and crazed passenger
both sitting patiently
under the neon light ......
of the toolshed

alarming, impossible, scary, bizzare
a darlinghurst standoff

and then, just as he stromped on
he stromped off
marching past us passengers
all lined up outside an empty bus
he couldn't resist one last threat
"get back on .... all of you"
with fingers shaped like a pistol

so we all get back on
and congratulate the driver
Then the cops arrive
and so we have to wait .... some more
Inventoria and I look at each other
with a " I knew tonight was gonna be strange"
kind of look

And then it gets just a little stranger....
Gigantour decides to turn up again
whilst driver and policelady are
running over the finer points
of the standoff
someone points and says
"him ... there he is. It's him"

Goliath sits quietly
at the bus stop seat
and does what the cops ask
without question
he doesn't look angry or regretful
he just looks tired
maybe he just wanted somewhere
to sleep .... I don't know ....
pity replaces fear

A new bus pulls in quickly
to take us all to bondi
proceedings continue outside
like a press conference
after a fight .....
without one punch thrown

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

icepet icepet

Ashphelt undergrowth is softer after the rainstorms
Keeps me concentrating over puuddles and stuff
Instead of alladdin lamplights madly swinging
No time for sleep or perhaps a little chitchat
Guardians of the unkempt, The old game
Smart aleck kid with smart aleck shoes
Crosses me once crosses me twice
R is for no ones owned up yet
On this day no one ever will
Say much about anything
Save for smoko smoko
Mate want smoko
Up for anything
Something ...

Friday, 15 February 2008

stuck inside with ambientia

ambientia lolls about
rocking her head
back and forth
letting it slump
taking her time

cat eyes half
on the blue x
of the sex shop
muddling footpath
circling strangers
midnight muster

prodded at with black gloves
she can smell their
stinky breath
raised up like levitation
and placed inside
an ice cream truck
except its locked
and only her

ambientia remembers
for a second
saturday bells singing
running up the hill
how free she was back then

this ain't no
ice cream truck
this blue flashing bubble
it's kings cross
and there is no freedom
not tonight
for ambientia
as she lolls about
rocking her head
back and forth
letting it slump
taking her time

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

captain goodvibes

88 notes of dopamine
under my window
a curved 1970 something
morning shimmies in .....

my friends
are outside
tracks magazines limping
from their back pockets
of mccoy
and hot buttered
transistor radios
ego is not
a dirty word
next to them
on the grass

A dilema saturday
mums orders
piano lessons or surfclub?
well i can't wear
red sluggoes...
god forbid
not on captain goodvibes life
would I ....

Piano it will be

The lesser of two evils
remains a full blown

I'll cross the road
2 streets up...
the old salvos land
i'll run it...
bypass wicks

up to miss thompsons
for a 10am scale sesh

think I only went twice
the thought of being caught out
busting the ivories
instead of the waves
was unbearable.

I'll give this scale shit up

I never did

Still don't know my major third bellisimos
from this or that

but I write a fuckin great surf tune.

Friday, 25 January 2008


the sunflowers
over your head.
call it mystery,
rain in the country

on the porch it would light
like a firefly night

with a sense that we're all
back at home

Sunday, 13 January 2008

sunrise over kellett street

the gypsy woman's name is Suji
an old forest word meaning sunrise.
her home is in Kellett Street
and she is thousands of years old.
you can't see her
unless she dances
you can't hear her
unless she sings
you can't feel her
unless she wants you to.

once she lived with the trees.
her arms were swaying branches
her skin like paperbark
her toes were snakes and earthworms
beautiful and beguiling
home to feed.
her eyes were gaps between the leaves
that shone the light through
millions of times.

anyway .... she moved on
she had to.
that's ok with me she'd say.
so here she is....
in Kellet Street walls
inside these very walls.
you'd know the ones
when you open the door
instantly eased
and fully alive.
she would sing to us all
old forest songs

yesterday Suji told me
she'd be moving again.
they're knocking this place down.
an ugly DA out front on the gate
portents destruction.
I can't grace that gyprock stuff
she'd keenly protest.
there'll be no pressed metal
to stare at ....
and anyway
those plasmas burn my eyes out.
another monstrous, apathetic construct.
I've cursed for less ... she grins.

where will you go?
back to the trees? ....
oh I'd never do that ...
there always here with me.
She sings these words to me
over and over.

I'll find another place
where new things are old
and the art that my ancestors played with
hangs in the hallway.
somewhere a single tree shades you
and pots full of growth
remind us of things.
Where promises sprout out of ideas and talk
where dust dirt turns into gold.
because it always will.
like the sunrise ....
over Kellet Street.

and maybe
around the corner I'll be ... she dances and spins
you'll know the one
when you open the door
or if you ask me to sing.