Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Market of Souls

The market of souls is an ethereal tradition.
When you see it for the first time
you are struck by the crimson light
and the large posters asking you
to tread softly upon the ground.
The traders line the alley,
each side glittering for centuries.
And as moments whistle by
your days become your life
and you are yet to snare a bargain.

Today I am an observer.
I have not the ticket
to buy or swap or sell a soul.
Old time hagglers and the new
ambitious types
bump and jostle, smoke curls
slowly above the tents while
strange and beautiful music
lilts through the air.

Old greybeard herself sits quietly
on a treestump. She doesn't do much
trading herself these days ... or so they say.
Only if the urge takes her, or unless there's a
Picasso or Michelangelo or that lovely old temptress
from down the road up for grabs ...
Her work is done for her ...
When asked by the Ethereal Post recently
on her apparent lack of trading ... she said
"oh these things take care of themselves ...
I'm only here for the spectacle"

And so I wandered with this in mind,
watching the way of the souls ....
back and forward, wrapped up and boxed,
on display and discounted ...left on the shelf,
making their own way.

Friday, 3 December 2010

what's all this dribble

an apple tree sits outside the window
the taste of tea still in my mouth
I've returned again for inspiration
instead of driving south

the incessant sky is non stop
the days are upside down
ain't no bellbirds singing
there's nobody in town

the green is somehow greener
the gutters full and flowing
another week at least they say
the back yard needs a mowing

Friday, 26 November 2010

the ocean

Tonight we hear the ocean
she rumbles like a womb
she wraps us in her salty arms
she takes us in her spell
and from these streets
all black and sticky
danced upon and breathing
we know how close you are
although it seems
a million miles away

Friday, 19 November 2010

all scoundrels amongst us

on my sleeve I will display
all misgivings and kept secrets
invisible to me

in my heart I will know
what is right and what is wrong
invisible to me

what will it take .... ?

the simplest of tomes
a slap or an airy second
the yellow in the eye's
of a beast that once
made me wonder of such things
like a chink ... the changing of keys
when concentrating on lyrics
abated and rested
abled by moments frozen
a sigh of relief

glowing like a whorehouse
a twinkling of the dubious
on the outside
this sloganed t shirt
is the frontline of a generation
all entered and backspaced beyond repair

digress ....

shakespeare was a jaunty fellow
did you know he only wrote in black robes
so as not to colour his arguments
a 15th century emo
whose misgivings and kept secrets
fell from his pages
inking fragilious
opting on out

Sunday, 17 October 2010

oh yes ....lovely she is

and so it goes
this whispering wheel
this flaming circle
this firecracker heart...

I peeked behind the old curtain
the one behind the mystic's shop counter
and saw the potions lined up
rows and rows of them
lit only by candlelight
I'm sure their were frogs
in some of them
and I definatley saw
a puppy dog's tail
in another.
Old greybeard was hunched
at the maker's table
feeding his bats as he did
strange mathematics
...."another child" he billowed ...
"these orders are never ending"
but still ....he plied his magic
as he had done so for ever
conjuring, mixing, believing ...
and with a clang, a puff of smoke
and that old spinning wheel
he did it ....
another little girl

and so it goes
this whispering wheel
this flaming circle
this firecracker heart...

Monday, 11 October 2010

a bird calls me onward

A garden dreams at night time.
The whistling leaves are resting.
Naked are the grasses
That slink between the dews.
It's over says the currawong,
His yellow eyes be knowing....
A fever hits the restless
And faves the bravest few.

Monday, 13 September 2010

before the swirl returns ... I stop

Standing still
An eye surrounding
All that waits
For opposites
Now having given half
The other is received
And if the taking is your shadow
Soon the wind will strip you bare

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Strip

You get to know, at least by face,
the locals on the street. The strip
as it's known. Sometimes Inventoria
and I would rather bypass the strip
and whiz down Victoria St or cut
through the park and around by Picollo
to avoid the human bricolage.
Other times we choose to walk the
strip, observing the colour and the faces.

We avoid weekends and walk the strip most weekday
mornings. You are assured a high locals content
at this time of the week.
This is when the characters are
about in all their plumage and all their
distortions. At the Fitzroy garden it will start.
A couple of lazy loudmouths perched on
boxes, rolling cigs and following the sun.
Around the corner and into the strip proper we find
the lads with baggy shorts, no socks,
big sneakers and a collar turned upward
proudly standing their ground like cherry eyed
bower birds, ready to do business with a backpack
full of mischief.

We see the usual crowd outside maccas,
slurring and swaying. The early morning
girls with blistered feet from those
way too spikey shoes. Outside number 66
the pressure is on to wait till opening. The needle
exchange .... thanks to this place users have
a safe place to do what they do, maybe get a helping
hand or sympathetic ear
and remain off the street for a while.

...which could be a good thing today ....
you often see people nodding away, perhaps with a
far away look in their eyes ... but today those same people
are slumped in doorways, asleep at chairs or on the footpath
or standing up asleep outside the station.

We say their must be a strong batch in town this week
and are reminded of why the strip has at times
a dark energy. It sits behind the colour of the
characters and the miasma. I guess
that is and always will be ... Kings Cross

Monday, 23 August 2010

this thing I hold

it sings like the whip bird ...
startling passers by
and mesmerising those
who pause to stop and stare.
I have molded it
with my own hands and
my own imagination.
I have caressed it with my
breath and words subtle.
I have watched it grow .....
still excitable, but having
more to glance back, reflect upon
than once it did.
It still shimmers when the
morning sun hits it
and it still shivers
when the winter sets in.
It has seen you even when
you have not and it still talks
of things that are yet to be.
It makes sense of the unknowable
and tears away the stitching
of thousands of years ...
but don't ask it how
and don't ask it why
a spec in the voids
where everything is magic.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

car hits roo

as far as the eye allows
as slow as our turning heads
the scene from this roadside rest

an eagle above the roadkill
waits for us blow ins to depart
to pick from the fresh remains

Monday, 12 July 2010

inhale exhale and some things in between

A puff of smoke
rises above the brick wall
and drifts off
with the breezes.

Breathing in .....

I know that smell,
it seems out of place.
You don't see much wood burning about town
these days. It's cold outside
and the south walls are eternally
damp. Lizards go underground and eyes
remain downcast. Places that give refuge
in the summer are out of bounds for now
and the birds are different ... if you notice.

My shoes have holes in the bottom
that I have gaffed over letting me chase
the chinks of sunlight that appear
before they are whisked away like
a magicians tablecloth. The menus are
full of lamb shanks and slow cooked
and the music is all minor and moves
toward me quickly in the cold.

I breathe out ...

A puff of smoke
rises above the brick wall
and drifts off
with the breezes.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

crazy day with an expletive warning!!

I'm following you -
he said to me
as I sat at Tropicana
eating porridge
under the din of
a world cup replay.
And I'm going to follow you all day ...

I almost spat the prune out.
What on earth for? Well that's what I said
but what I was really thinking was
how creepy is this guy ... the only day
I eat here on my own
because inventoria has headed up the hill
and I get Lurch leaning over my flat white
with bad breath

Excuse me ... your going to follow me I said ...
he stared right through me for a second then said
what did you say

Oh boy ... I thought .... let me just eat my porridge

OK ... can I just eat my breakfast alone please?
Firm but friendly ....isn't that how your supposed to react..
and it worked . Off he trots out the door
to creep out someone else

Mind you, all the way to the Taylor Square I'm
looking over my shoulder ....no sign of him though
thank heavens

Then I get to the art school ... It's the old
Sydney Goal ...high sandstone walls with kids walking about
as if they're gonna be the next Sidney Nolan .... or
Joy Hester. Walking installations many of them.
I wonder which one could be a great artist ...
perhaps it's the one that looks like
a banker or the one with a very unstylish haircut or
the girl who seems as if she spent all morning
making sure she looks like she couldn't care less
what she was wearing
..... I wonder

then I get to the courthouse on the corner ... a truck is
delivering the prisoners for the day. Fate in the
hands of the jury i suppose ...or the judge.
The truck backs up to the dock
armed guardians opening a big iron gate ....
ahead on the footpath outside
sits a group of people
who look like they have slept the night
out in the cold, surrounded by empty bottles
drunk as they can be .... and it's 9am.

Anyway, they see the truck pull in
and one of the fellas shouts out

..."let the cunts go ya cunts" ...

well I can't help but start to laugh
just a little ...the whole episode is
very funny although blanketed in several layers
of sadness

I keep my eyes straight ahead

what are you laughin at mate ... slurs the group antagonist as
I quicken my pace a little

yep, I'm thinking to myself ... it's already a day to remember and I
haven't even got to where I'm going

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

let me just say ....

our languid thoughts aren't
real enough for action or nation
saving deeds - only little
flames, triggers,corner stones
to build upon. I envy do ers,
types you see at
amnesty international
seminars - except the ones who
are there just to pick up - mostly though,
behind the floral skirts, underneath the flaxen
shoulder bags and behind the greying
new found convictions there's someone
bloody inspirational

oh.... I do my bit, I think
I do. To quietly fight with words
is a bearing of arms that poets
bring to battle, to swathe through
meaning to fire at rigidity
to softly bend the unbendable

But still these types ...these
do ers with worn shoes,unseen
and at the front line I find
bloody inspirational

Saturday, 22 May 2010

mark my words

I gave a dollar to a bloke
who looked like he needed it
and he said
do you have another one?
I went to the supermarket
to buy some food
but there was none there.
I looked in the record shop window
for something exciting ...
and left bored.
I said to myself
how about an afternoon coffee
in the struggling sun
to cheer myself up...
it arrived luke warm (the coffee and the sun)
and when I complained the barista said
that's how they serve them in Paris
and I said well this is Darlinghurst Rd
not the bloody avenue des Champs-Elysees ....
he grunted ..... so
I walked home
to read my book
which is dark and depressing
and on the way a bird
shat on my shoulder
and when I got to the door
of my apartment
I realised I'd left my bag
at the coffee shop.

Alright .... I'm gonna turn around
and start again
get my bag, smiling
to the barista
as i go
walk straight past the poor
chap on the footpath, flick him two dollars
then disappear into some movie house
to watch a film
about someone else'e life
and escape this sodden,though
quite remarkable day

Thursday, 22 April 2010

kings cross ahoy!

Morning whistles up the laneway
coffee and sunshine strips
sparkling off windows. Somewhere
lovers caress, white sheets
slung to the breezes
as if today, Kings Cross
could sail away.

Sail out through the heads
detatched and uncaring
a glittering boat with bright
neon mastings, short skirted
deck hands hoist
business boy rigs.

And I'd be the captain
the muse and the poet. Steering
a course out and beyond
billowing orders
to those who would listen
sail on an island
break into song.......

.... my daydream is brittle
splintered and earthen
by buskers lament
a wondering song
of high sea adventures
white sheet fantastic
Kings Cross ahoy
break into song

Monday, 5 April 2010

in good hands

mists cuddle the house
gently falling, stopping
to peek through the windows
sometimes resting as a droplet
sometimes curling and billowing
with each zephyr
languidly fighting the sunrays
that turn all to dust

inside the radio crackles
daydreamless stuff really
I wonder if i should make
another cup of tea
or start something new
awakening the embers
with a puff of oxygen
and some new found enthusiasm

but the mists return
with a vengeance
of their own
hypnotizing through the leadlight
cracks meandering as if the voids
were a rivulet
taking all my ambitions

Monday, 22 March 2010

at the kings cross roads

the curving apartments
roll down macleay st
coffee aromas
blanketed eyes

this monday morning
unlike the others
spangles replaced
by business boy ties

then the rhyming stops .....
as if a pungent garbage truck
pulls up in front of you
in the middle of a daydream ...
as if the shake of a herald
twigs you into conformity
for ever and ever...

and for a moment
you glance back
over your shoulder
and see yourself running
in the opposite direction
kicking up red leaves
from the gutter
like an old movie
your body fluid and joyous
your hair unattended
and your clothing
nothing but comfortable

so the waiting is over
the beckoning giant
has slapped you from slumber
complacent, compliant

with a take away latte
and a spit polish shine
head down regardless
and on with this rhyme

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Laneway that Starts with two L's

marks the spot
where you stood
1000 days ago
in that laneway
that starts with 2 L's
where the sex shop
has become a wine bar
and the wax museum
a harris farm
where old man alter
and his rituals
in the black arts
are soon to be replaced by
something much whiter
and fancier
.... oh it's all good
progress be progress
and even though the airs
and magics will keep their distance
that spot
the x one
near the mini red door
where the cobblestones tremble
and the cockatoo soars above
in circles upwards
until all you see
is a falling feather
... will always be
1000 days ago

Sunday, 28 February 2010

a twist in the story

petit little petit
underheard overshout
crowd pleaser
brain teaser
bless you
my little darling
our secret kept
will soon be out

Saturday, 13 February 2010

wet wig dreaming

I hear the floorboards creaking
stuttering beneath my shoes
with candles flickering
lovers bickering
I am the kings cross muse

Another night of dancing
inside, away from rains
suburban boys
get cheap shot joys
that slowly melt their brains

My wig is sweat soaked dripping
my voice the morning blues
I've earned my shilling
now sleep god willing
I am the kings cross muse

Sunday, 31 January 2010

With a reference to Mr Patrick White

Awake now.
Wandering beneath
a bat's escape ...
art decopauge
cardboard cutouts
herald my arrival.
Each one of them
buttoned up like my lips,
curtains drawn like my eyes.

No daring the intruder ...
rich or poor or over or under
and hardly a native tree in sight.
No way in ...
for hardly the light
is given the passswords.

Then through the glass door
but in reflection ....
so I turn,
a young man points
his outstretched finger
and from across Macleay St
says to me ....
"see the girl over there
with the cigarette holder...
she's taking me out
tonight" ...

Monday, 11 January 2010

oh summertime

a small scratch on the pavement
a can of coke in the sun
a double taking tourist
a walker on the run

no dripping towels at sunset
no afternoon soaked rain
this kings cross concrete summer
melts slowly down the drain