School yard

Brown paper bags
fat with lunch
crunch inside satchels
and under little feet.
Near the sandpit
with its secret goldmine
of hats and longlost shoes.

Such anticipation
for something so simple,
a red flying fox
and monkeybars
joined at the hip and
looming
tall
ready for use

but when the sun goes down
when skipping ropes
and yoyos scamper home
looming still
and tall
while homeless
dogs quietly
sleep.

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Modern Love

I am walking bare foot
Over chalky concrete
Then it happens-

An unexpected downpour
Blogs, millions of them
Pelt down

You’re by the post office
I can see you
Standing there, brooding

Peeling off my soppy jacket
The blogs, frenzied
Drench my shirt underneath

I’m getting closer though
Not far now,
Maybe a football field

But then the clouds smirk
And down plunge the
Social networking sites

Nothing stays dry
They’re loaded, malicious
Each drop a smack on the head

Crisp leaves soak them up
Soak me up
I’m half way to swimming

A few feet ahead of me,
Vague text messages
Hit the pavement like bullets

A few feet ahead of you
A white wall of water hangs
Dancing like a drying sheet

Smacking shards and droplets
Away from my face
I look out, searching

You’re gone, walked inside
Posting something?
In transit

And I’m there
Sewer rat, dripping
Typetitypetype.

It takes twelve minutes to boil an egg

It took Plath less than twelve to boil her head.
The skinny clock hand that creeps around so fox-like
Doesn’t care if you made it all the way to the
Platform, just one hair after the last train home
Slips away, slug in a rug, down the chimney tunnel.

And like the cheeky alarm clock that taps its little
Toes all night long, like the fractures that creep
Their way into bingo-playing bones, it’s coming for you.
While your tea turns to a swamp and your cornflakes
Turn to baby vomit in their bowl, it’s coming for you.

So kiss me harder next time, because it’s coming for you
And don’t let your beer go warm like you have done.
Because it’s coming for you, and there’s no way of stopping it.

Youme

Sitting alone on a coffee stained couch
The youme contemplates irrelevant things
And raps fingers against a wine glass
Till its sloshy contents near escape

The youme refuses dinner tonight,
No longer needing the things that
Normal people seem to need like
Sleep or regular daily activities

How long a youme could stay indoors
Is anyone’s ridiculous speculation
Days and months could sail past
Before reality becomes a necessity

Books become long lost friends
And films become anxious memories
What could a youme possibly know of time?
Other than that it is deceiving

And when all is said and justly done
Who should care for a youme’s fate
When cars rush by like bloodstreams
And people exchange one another like coins.

Falling into the sea

Through the lapping,
salty sheets I fell.
Deep and deeper into
the soupy blue-green blood.
Past whispering barnacles,
and seaweed that reached out
with skinny desperate arms
and shredded
legs.
Deeper, even deeper,
under silent coral the
color of brain-matter and rocks
with faces.

It wasn’t cold down there,
among the little aluminum
fish and psychedelic crabs.
It was warm and balmy.
These slippery creatures passed
each other so calmly,
like old, fragile men.
Stopping only to talk about
the weather.
Stopping only to
stop.
Nothing really happened down
there- were you expecting something
to happen?
I threaded my way back up again,
kissed the air, wrung out my hair
and waited for the
serotonin.

Actor

As the world rotates he mutters incantations:
Poised (while nearby, people splutter
And mumble) he observes their demonstrations
And flicks a cigarette to the gutter.

Collar stiff, stubbled, alert, he muses
Of lonely nights in brothel-lit bars
Where brave thoughts came to bruises
And sodden heads watched passing cars.

The fire inside him has no destination
Or place to go where fuel is cheaper.
The days are a spoon-fed lamentation
That blur and flex toward their reaper

But life is his game with its daily grind
He paints its tones with his body and mind.

Your table

Boy, do you realize how crooked your table is?
When I entered the kitchen, it was the first thing I noticed.
Not the Everest of smoking hot classics
Or the expensive gin, although it did look tempting.

We sat at that landslide-waiting-to-happen for forty minutes
While the cat watched nearby, its glassy eyes diverted
One eye on us and one fixed on the wobbly leg,
Waiting for a downpour of cutlery, tail set and ready to run.

A year later, I bet that poor table is still holding on.
Under salt and pepper, books, red wine and elbows.
Wondering, with all its splinters and tomato sauce stains
How someone so shrewd, could be so damn neglectful.

The untouchable

Our fate was sealed standing there that night
Like macadam, bolted down and tar heavy
Months later my thoughts are still there,
Standing like little urchins outside that same pub,
Sipping ale, wearing moth-eaten black coats and
Smoking charcoal cigarettes while glaring at strangers.
They go back there only on weekends now,
Looking for a sign- my thoughts do,
Looking for a logic-god in a white Mercedes Benz
To pull up by the side of the road and
Tell them to go home, that “it all makes
Sense now”. But you’ve got a spare set of arms
To body- double with and so do I. So for now,
And since I know you don’t read my poems,
How about we just leave this thing in the storeroom.

You me and an art gallery

A fat cram of color in front of us
Screaming like a flat footed baby
For attention. Or worse, appreciation.
You muttering something about
The brush strokes, as if they were
Exotic birds no one had named yet.
And me embracing the smell of oil,
Freshly polished brass, coffee, someone’s
Over-applied day-out perfume,
And the comforting muttering of
Museum voices, pressing their backs
Lightly against walls and pushing off
Again, to rest in softly lit corners,
Beside the gallery attendant, a
Mysterious beekeeper. A wise man.
You had found something on the
Seventh wall, something that itched
And amused in the way only a close-friend
Can. So I walked over to get a closer look.
There it was. A painting of the very gallery
We stood in, one hundred years before us.
So we took it in. Savored the snap-shot
In time. A chrysalis around us for just
A few moments. Until the bell rang
For closing and we left through the
Royal roof-scraping doors.

8.14am blues

The mayhem of morning
with its black black shoes
and white white shirts
and extra shot this
and three sugars that
and freshly applied
hairspray- ultra hold
and please move further
down the carriage to
make room for other
passengers, thankyou
really just
stresses
me out so
much that i
want to
commute all
the way
home again,
open the door,
get
inside my
warm bed
and
listen
to
prince.

Drafting is so last summer

A bottle of wine sits on my desk
staring at me with those red, red
vinegary eyes.
Daring me to go on
daring me to sing along
to the tune of decoration
and endless elaboration.
“Look at me,” it says
“I’m patient and I did it,
You can do it if I can.”
It seems simple enough,
let the words stand alone for a bit
don’t be hasty,
bottle them,
close the door behind you
and come back in a week.
Things will be better then.
A nice body of work is
like a nice bottle of wine.
Or so they say.
I tend to agree really,
I just prefer to get drunk
sooner rather than later.

Facebook

Kate spent most of the afternoon
Reading over and over the letter

Michael took the trash outside
And noticed he was getting older

Sarah just baked a chocolate cake-
Her cooking is getting better

Your glare got me like battery acid
As you peered over your shoulder.

Great men

I’m sorry
I’m sleeping
with other
people.
Last week it
was Kafka.
Last night it
was Joyce.
I’m having a
drink with Tolstoy
tonight and
I can’t
guarantee
it will stop
there.
Please don’t read
too much
into it.
I still
love you.

Decay (of all sorts)

My fridge broke
and it reminded me
of my mind.
Not that I have
a broken mind,
just that
all the rotting
food in there looked
so desperately
sad;
the cheese that
was meant for
something
great
and the
soup
that someone
had spent
so
damn
long
cooking.
Even the
milk, in
its $2.20
carton,
was screaming out
for help.
Suddenly I regretted
spending so much
time on Foucault.
I mean, at
least
Chaucer is a
non-perishable.

Train home tonight

Doors open and close
In their plangent lament

Two soggy chips on the
Chair next to me nap

A vandal scratches glass
To the beat of a chorus

Someone smells of Chanel
Not the no 5 though

On gets a businessman
With eyes like lacerations

Screening your call
I smile like a duchess.

If our love opened a restaurant

If our love opened a restaurant
I seriously doubt it would stay
In business longer than a month

The décor would be a nightmare.
Clashing tones and tints competing
With lampshades something ill

Sitting patiently for a waiter to
Take your order would be like
Waiting for the next apocalypse

The chairs would grate against your
Soul like Monday morning, with its
Hard reality and lack of support

The music, (if they have any at all)
I imagine would be like Grandma’s
Lounge-room jazz- but more dreary

Don’t expect a warm smile with
Your service. The waiters are busy
And don’t have time to amuse.

If our love opened a restaurant
I seriously doubt it would stay
In business longer than a month

But did I mention the food?
Oh! The food is positively divine.

Friday shiraz

Reflect.
Not too hard.
Thoughts aren’t cheap.
While it breathes,
undo your top two buttons.
Fire off a text or two.
Ponder the wordy label.
Check the fridge for cheese.

With the first sip,
be classy.
Swirl and glare or
you’ll forget what it feels like.
Sit down.
Take your damp boots off.
It tastes better that way.

While you wait for company,
don’t sigh.
Text someone else.
Put an album on.
Think about how tired you are,
how tired you’ll be
after just. one. glass.

As you unwind,
sip slowly.
Roll your head around.
Sing badly and casually.
Top the glass up.
Open a window.
Don’t rush it.
Meditate to the velvet.

When you’re half a bottle in
and the doorbell rings,
don’t hurry towards it.
Be calm.
Smooth your fringe and
check your teeth in the mirror.
Feel the scarlet syrup
linger.
Take a second or two longer than
necessary.
Open the door.
Begin.

Postgraduate

I’m stepping over books
That smell like rotting onions
And since the authors of them
Are now dead, I’m hopping
Over books that smell like
Rotting onions and since the
Authors of them are now
Forgotten I’m jumping on
The books that smell like
Rotting onions.