Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kristen de Kline #133 Dark days behind

The dark days are behind us
we've climbed off rooftops
train-tracks, light fittings
pulled the spike out of the vein
muted the laughter that grew   too   loud.

My son says he can't do homework
the study is littered with manila folders:
first AVO against H.K.
grand theft auto against K.D.
bogus charges
police AVO against H.K.
threats to kill, breaches of AVOs
more breaches ...
..  your legal shit   is everywhere   he says,
I can't fuckin' move.

It takes me nine months
to get the Briefs of Evidence off the carpet
scan pages, forward them to Legal Aid.
By the time I do this, my son,
has dropped out of school
discovered Alice in Chains and Pink Floyd
I love the cloud bursts, dams breaking open
many years
too soon
but the crazy laughter,
it freaks him out.
We bond over the black hole sun -
another suicide - and
Jack Daniel's.
We agree that nobody beats the Velvets & Nico.

It takes me nine months
to climb down from the rooftop,
up from the train-tracks,
mute the laughter   not
look back.

I used to ring them every few days.
The first two times I can't talk.
I mention an undisclosed location
feeling guilty
wanting to die
instant coffee
missing home

They told me to choose an alias
so I don't have to repeat my story.
I opt for Christiane F,
the Berlin drug scene, a 70s movie that only
the lawless and degenerates would know.
The DV crisis team have no idea who Christiane F is.
I like it
that   way.

It's taken a year or so
the splatterings of blue
have burst into colour.
The lawless ones have offered roach jars, poems,
safe houses, plastic cups filled with Black and Gold sav blanc,
texts: don't be a stranger...

I write  poems about not giving a fuck
just not caring
I lie.

It's taken a year or so.
Bursts of colour drown out
the dark days
rushing blood
folders on the floor.
I'm speeding off my tits.
The odometer makes it to 120 K's.
I'm feeling on top of the world.
I'm not

The Orchid Grower # 113 Claine Keily

she finds the withered
of orchids
and with heat
and moisture
causes them to respond
from where death
has taken them
back to a show of life

Then she teaches
this thing
before her
how to love

Just when the toll
of the classroom
has found her unripened
she is beckoned
despite her longing for sleep
to rise and teach

Kristen de Kline #132 anymore

I just don't
give a fuck
last night
three friends
in a bar-room
and crazy people
putting everyone else down
talking about dead friends,
a fascist who ruined the book club
frank and full disclosures
chilled lagers
the bloody plebiscite
spiced up beer nuts
two degrees of separation
order me another sambuca
and espresso
I just

Stuart Rawlinson #75 - The Wrong Fight

if they don't like our way
they can stop engaging


wish we could
more history in
your cloisters
than a steel
replica pagoda

there are distractions
and then
there are distractions

plan b washed away
in the folds of canvas
with Nixon's broad
stroke. No time
for paint to dry
or generations
to not crossover

if you can win
why scoop your
chips into soft
pockets and leave

take the scalpel
to the cancer

master your senses
hold your thoughts
in deep rice bowls
spin then round
swill then down

step outside and
pick the right fight
for once
for once in your life

Kit Kelen #598 - so as to be

so as to be

that’s me in the book
where the plots run parallel
so nothing quite collides

get the molars
into something molecular

safe here
among the other mites

I have to be the keeper
cause why?
because I’m here

I’ve come here to be forgotten
live my life in the pages closed

ache to turn of course
where you’re stuck
and all despite the danger

you know there will be a fight to the finish
someone is smote
it’s steamy in there

inside the book, a library –

and there’s something misplaced
you can still see it on the shelf
just where it was left
that’s the mind’s eye, you know

though light shines in all over the work
we’ve scurried darkly to have corners
or else where’s to hide?

I think you can see what we’re about

and what do I have to do today?
surely there’s something in the book to fix ?

is it prologue or frontispiece?
I’m not the one you think

but reaches into his bag of tricks
now I could distract you with rabbits
if only I could find that hat

cat’s got the tongue
mice up the clock
get me that carving knife, quick

a footnote is the enemy
appendices are death

there’s no interpretation allowed
save characters reflect

you have to see all by yourself
that’s when you get your wings

each poem is its world complete
no higher truth to rule

the dog-eared
it’s boys’ own
girls’ own
anything mixed

you don’t know how
you’d turn out

someone licks at a poisoned finger
someone is lapping it up

here and there
where the book
resolves into a picture

clear as day
clear as a bell

trompe l’oeill
in camouflage

that’ll be me
peering out

Rob Schackne #441 - "Don't see the total"

Don't see the total
eclipse of the
American sun
in China
I don't give a fuck

this evening
three mates
in a pub
discussing our lives
the jazz plays low
men can smile
pretty waitress
salted peas

Monday, August 21, 2017

Kristen de Kline # 131 Saturday night: Riot Days

Pussy Riot live in Melbourne!
#don't watch the news
Putin peed his pants
#say nothing without a lawyer
fucking gulag
#destroy your Sim card
wasted youth
#never give names
dark red lips

I stood in line for a copy of Riot Days
they said it was the first release in the whole universe
the whole galaxy     I still didn't get it autographed
I open it at a random page and scan the titles in bold
telling myself whatever words I read, it's a message from the Gods
about how to start again     breathing,
living     that is:
wind returns
snowflakes fall 
the more arrests, the better
I don't know what the fuck I'm   talking   about  
I open it again. This time: bulletproof, hysteria and aquarium
a few pages on: Welcome to Hell
I turn to the back: white roses and an affair with heroin

I just want that hot punk chick to sign my book squiggle a love heart in biro talk to me in her Russian accent all these people in the foyer I'm feeling claustophobic leather jackets Russian army hats post punks dyke couples with plastic beakers of merlot wearing T-shirts with Russian lettering I don't understand radio people balaclavas Melbourne uni students somebody with a large camera and a microphone asking what I thought of the show I just want that hot punk chick to sign my book

We walk over the bridge to an empty bar
drink espressos black sambuca house
red imported lager in a German stein
nibble left-over Maltesers
talk about revolutions punk old girlfriends new
girlfriends coffee and cigarettes crazy people we knew at uni
jobs we lost people we knew who rose to the top
people we knew who
fell   from   grace
all sorts of random shit

Maybe I don't know what the fuck is ready
or not ready:
wasted youth  dark red lips  white roses
What was I thinking?
I'm scribbling on a napkin     again.  
No more messages from the universe.
I'm all over the place.
Just some random shit
and cigarettes
and crazy people.
My kind of night.

Rob Schackne #440 - "The queue is too long"

The queue is too long
by the time I get to the front
they're out of what I want
pumping music
pumping message
when it's out it's out
my mates missed out too
in the pub we toast the revolution
let the economy fuck itself
I can barely watch it
let the lawless in

Rob Schackne #439 - "But no tragedy"

But no tragedy
most of it
you're right

it waited
odd places
before the corner
near the bend
in the shower
on the mountain
by the kitchen sink
it wasn't for this
and one gentle shock

as true as the moon
I'd have been dead long ago

Kerri Shying R # 308 - Connected

 for Mr Rob Schackne

Have you started
to turn on
the internet
fearing you might find
that overnight

your head
caught fire 
some tragedy  is lurking
waits to find you

it will be
a matter of the day
the hour
the minute
you will see

I can’t sleep
for checking
how you are

Rob Schackne #438 - Just A Kid

Just A Kid

              for Kerri Shying

Lord it cost 9.99
he was dangling
the end of discount

a frozen rope
positively cheap
a straight corpse

enemy of the state
just a kid really
who went shopping

Stuart Rawlinson #74 - At Arm's Length

optics with detached retinas
gold bulbs, orbs at a length
longer than even
the most desperate man
can stretch
make mine a triple
effervescent surge
of energy. pupils contract
oil in the tank
rubbing at stains
add the elbow grease
and claim your reward
thickness belies strength
the smell disappears
when you're swimming in it
        can you tell I miss it?

Kit Kelen #597 - silver lining

silver lining

a little rain come to me
the prayed-for proper stuff

I’m working down a list
and then the sun as seldom shone

so all I have to do
here held to the bargain eyes up

just sneak out of the country
some peak hour tears by

weather will wreck the reception
I see the bright wings sweep through it

terrible things are happening
they come to me from thin air

sometimes I’m shook up with it
and sometimes paint just anything

I make my own manna
cast no shadow

I can’t help
the world is narrower every day

I have an ear to it
I stare

not even I can read
what I have to scribble down here

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rob Schackne #437 - "Different colour"

Different colour
makes the illusion
let me mix it right
you can stone me
as rain right to traffic

as barrels to brothels
the hare is to a shoe
what are we doing here
this business of the night
taxis crunch cyclists
will you listen too

Kerri Shying R # 307 - Party like it cost nine ninety-nine.

Party like it cost nine ninety-nine.

when I tire of glasses magnifying my black eye circles
I put glitter on them    all light no shade   that’s me

the kid who used to do all 16 parties  
we’d sit together      I would be perched on the arm of your chair

in my 60’s lace and bead dress      prattling and fussing
with my stockings  my bracelets my tapestry  button-up boots 

 and heads close together we’d strategize the schedule
 and arrive  like the Concorde 

 nose up  across the Atlantic
at the speed of fucking sound  

not now    we are the wide body B52’s on the party runway 
 a blither  of terylene and nylon hair

 I’m not planning to get
 to the real party until midnight   I’m not  doing much

 but warming up my shoes   but  I’ll still
 wait   a week for the fixative and the glitter  to arrive 

still me  breath steaming up the front window
all bright and no shade  

the night’s light saber  aching
 her  high pitched buzz  

Stuart Rawlinson #73 - Decades Again

The decades are colour coded
Bookended by upheaval and
Focused by time. Parsed
Perspectives make
Existence elide

The last one is green
Synaesthesia's failure
Is brevity's gain
Call it a volume - shelved

Before time, libations
Forgotten - drowned
In water and wine

Kit Kelen #596 - respect


it doesn't have an office
it can't be found at home

the centre of the universe
is often left out here

anyway it's shifting
if you're silly enough to believe

it's for the self you give it
it was never about us

then who will take us
at our word?

a taciturnity
rudder lacks

grew up in a war, the definite article
or after with it

shags on a rock
at the party

unuttered critique
the family myth

when was justice just?
who was rightly blamed?

respect comes with a certain suspicion
is an institution required?

the sameness of siblings
only ever as observed

like a fuse runs one way
to its passion

what compass?
anyway it's shifting

the centre of the universe
is often left out here

and now hold tongues
for the speech

to hate, to blame,
despise oneself

and to let
wash away

it doesn't have an office
it can't be found at home

but out in the garden
perhaps, for rest

it's leaning on a shovel
eyes up to catch first stars

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rob Schackne #436 - Turntablism



I'm on fable too
the needle's sharp
give me higher
what do you know
the bass is deep
give me lawless
a little scratchy
the top is low
more reverb
just a minute
where do you go
everyone dances
more drum
speakers shot
give me trouble


gun hot

the culture
feels wrong
the poetry
the long night

grabs you
a headache
the pillow

the floor
and tries
a little



Of all things
brought me here
I only stayed for love

was one creaked
and another leaked
still one more made
it's how we speak
and how we break
it's how it goes
what's that sound 
how it loads
I'll let you know

Kerri Shying R # 306 - Learning to be helpless

Learning to be helpless

I got this letter  from my care agency it said
after the 25th you will cease to get our care

you withdrew
from the NDIS and so

we can no longer get your
funding   I went blue

I am the same as I was before I got
the letter  I was rejected by the NDIS

as it happened   but I rang them
just the same   they said

if you have our rejection letter
you can force them to continue service

I said   can you send it to me
they said we can’t provide our records

to a third party
and I cried

a week later
I got a letter from the NDIS saying

we were all being moved across
and our care should stay the same until

decisions could be made     so
who do I believe     my friend says


Kit Kelen #595 - all of the things that took time brought us

all of the things that took time brought us

even the blink of an eye was

everything is spread out from here

it won’t matter how you’ve come
makes sense to see that way
it’s only a mirror can look in here

wind’s everywhere
it’s under things
it’s up above
turns inside out
and down dog up
we’re here in it
coming and gone

going and going
and never went

some days climbing a rope of phlegm
that’s how we’re together

all of me here where I’ve been with

the feeble
the great flesh
and there is a nudge up
bravery of draft

we have to love the spiders
we have to love the snakes

I ache into this stretch –
the moment

and every moment more

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kristen de Kline #130 Medley (5)

With thanks to the Velvets & Nico (again)

there are
problems in these times
light fittings   train tracks
talked down-from-up-off
but none of them are mine
she's sacked the legal team
life's a flash
threatened to slit my throat
and then you're ash

there are
problems in these times
good guns   bad guns
but   honey
none of them
are mine

a bird flies around in a cellar
the lawless one offers up a kiss
a bottled heart in a glass jar, quivers
day is as blue as the sky here
the sky is as blue as the ...

... they wear my teeth in their hands
it does my head in
shine the knives and forks for the table
pretend to be asleep
play dead   you won't
see stars     but read books by torchlight
drink wine   first thing
reach up     dig down
mess up the night   your hair
lay down
at first light

but   none   of   them   are   mine

Kristen de Kline #129 Being bad's better

My boy on Fable II:

I legit married a prostitute
it's like comedy and stuff
it's funny
like you're a hero
I own every building in the world
it's Medieval and industrial like Victorian Britain
you've got all the powers
you can choose to be good or evil
or corrupt or pure
I'm the ghoul
you get evil eyes and horns
if you reach the max amount of good and pure
you get a little halo above your head
it's cool
I've basically got every weapon
stop bloody attacking me
I'm sick of this shit
I'm trying to sacrifice you to the shadows
stop running away
I'm the most corrupt and degenerate you can be
my dog's black with red eyes
being bad's better

Kerri Shying R # 305 - Three Winter Melons

Three Winter Melons

full and hard  and hairy as my face
on steroids  last time I got the eye pain
they were a good score   now the warm winds
bustle out the cold  a month ahead of time

three green mysteries  play pick-a-box
for soup  or curry  fry me fry me   choices
about food  you don’t expect 
they do your head in     grace
in the car park of the Star Hall  where

the volunteers meet us  halt us  lame us
failed in vision    the first and third Friday
in the month  rice tangelos winter melon
the largest sack of spuds    butter yellow squash
the pleasure
 planning tea

Kit Kelen #594 - a place in the sun

a place in the sun

as simple as that

the football facts
of our obscurity –
a television roar

I went back to rescue a line
but it was too far in the dream
to catch

sky is as blue as day here

it’s a little business
going broke like this

follow where a leaf will fall
see the bird beside itself
see feathers come to a tail

a place in the sun
but which?
so many shine!

I too am frenzied for the light
hear the boards creak
but ghosts won’t come

I wanted to be pictured
the fable of prowess
never caught a shadow cast
but it was steel sprung industry
captained by a call

some myth all made up
like gods to go

smug swagger
the wind gets into my head
that’s knowing

here where no one will notice
night and what can be done for us

it’s you’re the one who’ll tell
when the time is come

you won’t see stars
without a dizzy
in at least the dark

to work in silence
for obscurity
that’s how we’ll
be blessed

Stuart Rawlinson #72 - Racination

you've got to start
   [go anywhere
      (via nowhere)]
reach up
dig down

fix the rig
to the wet earth
slow viscous
   (embrace of dirt)
roots and tubers
s p r e a d and  s    w    e    l    l
in no particular
direction, no

set route
   it's long past time
to put

Thursday, August 17, 2017

She remembers # 113 Claine Keily

She remembers a time
when after school
she would ride a wild pony
help break it in bareback
for the people living just
outside the valley

Then she would help her mother
wash vegetables
and shine the knives
and forks for the table

She remembers how
after hours of homework
she would pretend to be asleep
by seven
when her parents
entered the bedroom
but afterwards would read secretly
under the covers
by torchlight
far into the night
and this is the person
she now dreams to become

Kerri Shying R # 304 - Gone in a flash

Gone in a flash

smart enough   to be still
a bird in the hand

worth more than the salt
you cook the damn thing with

playing dead    a virtue known
to every  thing    with beating heart

the phht  the moment of the off
 release  how bright all colour

sweet the air    for that one second 
 now do not    thunk     

into a tree 
we don’t have

one more bird
gone spare

Kit Kelen #593 - aubade


is there something
first thing to say
a day like this demands?

the world comes in the windows
and the radio tells time

is there a first word?
(let last alone)
a kookaburra says so

so many days
ahead of myself

yet I can confirm the forecast

take a shine off the sky
as sun and rain
in turns deliver

you think in quick quip terms here

have to learn to balance, breathe

and sometimes catch myself at home
largely lounging with a view

everywhere the tasks present

to be fed is for the asking

lie in bed
it’s all ahead

is there a first word there?

much better to offer up a kiss
it hasn’t far to go

Stuart Rawlinson #71 - Theanine Complex

theanine complexes
caffeine bursts
gamma radiation
from unsettled pulsars
we can recalibrate
to the unfixed metric
lines to waves
corners to arcs
in the slow
upwards trajectory
of the morning's
shallow parabola

Rob Schackne #435 - The High Road

The High Road

The high road
down valley
a medley
of conflict
train tracks
life plans
good guns
bad guns
leave me
out of it
load kindness
let love work
forget the heart
in a jar the bird
flies around
in a cellar

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kristen de Kline #128 Medley (4)

forget about your heart in the jar 
no rest for the wicked

with it's rhythmic, bottled beats
forget about those dark nights 

of the soul: breathing carpet under the bed
scrunched up tissues, random tablets, scribbled

lines   nobody knows where the hell I am  
am I looking at the stars? are they shining for me?

we've been talked down off light fittings
   and in the end
talked up off train tracks
   what matters most
train tracks, light fittings
   kindness - how did that squirm it's way
into the equation

wrangled, tangled:
wrestled with insomniac 
possums   red 
dictionaries   black hole 
suns   men with hollow 
bones   blue stars 
like little fish, floundering
all   of   us

today the Gods they   smile

steal all your best lines
thrash out another medley
take a shit load of codeine 

I won't write the poem about courthouses and
cops guns and grievances today   
tonight there is kindness   
a lawless poet texts: don't be a stranger  
my boy calls out from upstairs: love you Mum, have a good sleep,
turn off the heating     tonight   something
twists, dances,

the Gods they    smile     tonight


Kerri Shying R # 303 - From the beaks of birds ( for Kit)

From the Beaks of Birds

this bird named me
 does a lot then slopes about the porch
 talking to the dog  
but saying it in bird 
it sounds much sweeter   cheeps and chirrups

that bird named you
 rushing  glances  on the way
 for freedom   sounds the same
 as water in a riverbed
in spring  not summer clearly

the birds sit talking  just above
our hair  each morning  speak
the real meaning of the earth
out loud   the making of the day
at dawn   unmade again
by the falling of the light

we say what bird are you
and write it down 

each one of us
repeating it
in vain

Kit Kelen #592 - hazard reduction

hazard reduction
(this winter unnaturally warm)

live in the smoke
not the big one

still breathless with it
blue woke to

a bird breathes through
will you make out wings?

the rising
can it curlicue?

it’s an all around thing
edge of the breeze
and just where rain lets

smoke is the ghost
of great heights laid
it stands where you
won’t see

something was wooden once
lighter than laughter

the green
now grey
now gone