Monday, July 24, 2017

Kit Kelen #569 - time please

time please

time is all beyond me
just out the window there

time was before me as well
and time is winging in

so delicate, diaphanous

I'm for the river
I'm washed off

towards the all I need to know
I dedicate my time

the story is telling me
that's the arrow

I'm listening
to be proven

I'm at the heart of it
pierced, bleeding

the mouse is on a timer
treads the turning heart

I'm the one who fired it off

I'm listening for the tick-tock
I'm on the beat, I'm off

the arrow turns
the calendar runs up a wall
time will be where I'm behind

confusions of the dawn dusk light

it's like this
it's a life's work to be in the moment

where I will take my time

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Rob Schackne #407 - A Faint Dictionary Of Scars (4) "Jesus you need solace"

Jesus you need solace
Boy what you running from
Thinking about that bitch
Five years old already
Slammed into a lamp post
Broken collar bone

How that scares you
Pain check noises check
Don’t forget very thirsty
Wandering the desert
Voices near the bones
Insects intersecting

Husbandry wizardry
Wifery's tender touches
Hospital time serious slow
I worked that flow for years
After the first punch

A little congratulations

Tumble on together
Stretch it beyond knowing

Love me like no worries
Please clean up this misery

Nemo judex in causa sua
Jesus send us spinning

Kristen de Kline #116 The best scars (thanks R.S.)

The best scars you'll never see.

The broken brained.
We use the same four digit pin for every transaction.
Never get the hang of phone banking.
Can't remember verbal passwords.
Prefer poetry because it's shorter and we don't get lost.
Poetry prefers us because it    weaves and winds
all over the place    like a rhizome   teases us     plays games
keeps us     alive and     kicking

Broken brained.

The black and white dead people.
I sit in the hotel room     leaf through the photo albums
Lots of black and white photos of dead people
Five or six overdoses
The end of a rope     a cell
Hanging     finger nail marks etched on her neck
she tried to stop but it was too     late, the coroner said
Car crashes
Pills & wine
A bullet or two     he didn't dodge
Survivor guilt     they call it    I sit in the hotel room
touch the dead people     smother them in kisses, black and white
and fading     fast

You don't like me talking to them.
Say it makes me     melancholy
catatonic     zoned out     numb.

I don't want to join them     today.  That's progress.

I still talk to them     most days they talk back.

At 2am 3 am 4am you find me in my Chelsea Hotel room, blackened  
looking out that window     at what

Neat stitches cut across my neck.
You didn't know someone slit my throat     once      did you.

Walking out.
She walked out on us when we were     young
Turned up the volume     Dvořák New World Symphony    wailed
walked     out
kept walking
did   not   come   back

Turn up the volume.   That hurt.   Hurt that.

When we were     young    things turned a little
stranger     without warning     silence grew, crazier
by the minute  

The best scars you'll never see.

Rob Schackne #406 - A Faint Dictionary Of Scars (3) "Lord where it ends"

Lord where it ends
Where it all always does
The end of a rope a cell
A drop of something in a bucket
Or some fascist president
OK I won't be there

Say the State is doomed

Shit there will be others
And wherever that ends
Fuck that against the world
The unrepeated is repeatable
Fuck that against the world

Could say he’s rather small
To kick against the pricks
The cicadas don’t get there first
Going towards the cool wind
And the unbroken heart
Maybe born to know

Please pull means push 
Then he spits the dummy
Fort-da is fun for the young
Just wipe some of the dirt off
A little bit is good for him
The best scars he'll never see

Kerri Shying R # 284 - The Holidays

The Holidays

the only the flower in the garden
it is you

awkward as the uncut are
at pretending

nonchalance     today’s conspiracy
and caught forever

in our keepsake
photo       the flower

in your hand took me
all the week

to find

Kit Kelen #568 - nightlines


get the grimness gone

we're of the instant
here, lying down
drawn out

taking our dark like a pill

then the things you say inside are true
what you tell yourself is news

draw the flowers
and you must smell them
you only have to do it in your head

time is a hammer in the early hours
the telling tap
or there's the heartbeat of the house

we're ghosts
now it's the animals rule
only they can talk

there's all the light fallen to us
there's all the dark we hold

you can't read
a way back in

trussed in time time all sorts
and colour patched and spat

am I drifting down?
am I to upfurl?

committing to ephemera
now that I am here

a bird sings into morning
but at first you can't be sure

forget the thing you meant to mean
must check the grey for that

alarm clock
ever bent on revenge
for all of those bashings before

it's always
what's for breakfast then

a call
as of the wild

a clock seen from above
would show all down the drain

remember you're the most dangerous animal
that should cheer you up

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kristen de Kline #115 Where this ends

I don't know where this     ends

1. Cops.

Officers pound on the front door
a detective paces up the driveway
smokes a couple of Winnie Blues   flicks ash on the crown
of the golden Buddha, hiding in the shrubs

Our boy loved to make shrines for the Buddha, fat and laughing
buried him with plastic lotus flowers     incense sticks
orange tea light candles    offerings of stray fruit - a pink lady
or two     laughing and fat, the Buddha      

2. Court Room No. 3

You fold the poems into origami darts, aim paper
planes at the presiding magistrate's bench:

...   at the edge of Lawless  
a man with hollow bones chatters in the darkness
chrome car corpses hoisted up on wooden beer crates
gasp     for breath
two meth heads languish in a V-line carriage     a voice crackles about a delay
an 'incident' up the line:     another jumper  
broken     hearted  
former     person
undone ...

3. The car.

You've lost the car     again
fourth espresso at the café   pins piercing a voodoo doll
glass shards from a broken mobile spike your index finger
the duty clerk scrambles your name on the PA
your ex tells the cashier: She can pay for her own bloody coffee
again     you leave the keys in the car
carry your sons' luminous basketball boots     walk away
search for your MyKi   wait for the last train to Southern Cross
4. Broken     (not).

...  at the edge of Lawless
ropes burn      spoons bend
cars rust   that's just the way it is
children drink her blood
patches of blue bleed across the skies
is that your heart  
malfunctioning ...

can I rip it out?

Where this ends I don't     know

Rob Schackne #405 - A Faint Dictionary Of Scars (2) "Chute no"

Chute no
Escape no
Language later
The circadian brain
Clicks to mend itself
While slapped in sleep

The body heals in time
Grows bigger and it falls

Learns to speak and it hurts
To cry against the world
If we are born to know
How the world is scarred

What an old mess
We're all pressed from
To want to think like that
Bawling the milk out of us
The continual rid of shit
A philosophy of movement

Navel the first fighter
To defend against a knife
God help this violence
Ground against ourselves
The schoolyard gravel
Elbows knees the head

Kit Kelen #567 - gospel


no church in the trees
no cloud temples

here I am at the turning
all my own dark

no beard beginning all

gravity, kinesis
all carrying across

just meaning

no hand to turn this world
or any of the numberless others

no fakery among the stones arranged
just where they are fallen

in the heart there's not a thorn
wire's barbed just where we twist

no church in the trees
no cloud temples

here I am
and having to shine
through my own dark

let's just take the eye
let's put an ear to it
let's touch

dim the day
when prayer was invented

Earth is a birth

no science to the miracle
no miracles in science

dust and wind
and fire and rain
all elemental
my dear

the ship's not safe because of a saint

no, it's all us
the everywhere
no one-ness to it
except all are

shape of the world
was always a question

mumble a spell
cast your curse

we are the story
to tell

among the gods
in everything
it's we are the selves

no cloud temples
no church in the trees

it's falls to us
to talk

Rob Schackne #404 - "Yeah you're right"

            (for KdK)

Yeah you're right
lawless poetry
won't crack it

bump it or cut it
banshees of fuck
what did we ever do

steal a bloody car
the highway not
to hell exactly

we'll get some beer
a canny detour

bloody remand
for how long
they're joking

Rob Schackne #403 - A Faint Dictionary Of Scars (1) "Hard & fearless"

Hard & fearless

On a good day
How the body speaks

With all this skin it says
Where do you begin

I hear a shout
Saltwater expelled
Two lungs filled
Light and different touch
Bleeding from a forceps cut
On a small cheek

At this point
We were scared
With the noisy air
The first punch
We went rigid
Exhausted in a minute

Who remembers this
When form started
Regret kicking in
All that jazz
Pain wrapped up
Something hurting

Friday, July 21, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 283 - Bedside


the liquid lip   such
 rapidity     her comfort

damped in
lightly-steeped tisane

of earth
of bough

 of leaf
the scent

 the chest
inhaling  home

choke greediness by hand
 and let the thermos

go   with the small pot
 have the single cup

Malaise # 111 Claine Keily

She remembers her doctor saying
"You know so well
how to be happy, and that is why you suffer
because you are prevented
from doing what it is
you know will bring you joy,
and so you have this malaise
this melancholy."

Kit Kelen #566 - figment of first light

figment of first light

I am
with this everyday birth
a spun sky surely

see me like the river shining
and still I run

here's luck
the habits of a place


boats are time come to us
fish are the reason unseen
we fill

there are two of us
death's mask
and this fiction singing

there is an impossible amount of detail
here to be born
the books we could fill!

I live in all ages
I'm ages to come

a figment swim

fall words first
into the world
words made
so we were
always there

Kristen de Kline #114 at the end of the day (thanks to Rob Schackne)

at the end of the day     what counts
don't tell me it's love     that tears us apart  
the fire     how well do you walk through it

we speak of darkness and of light    
light fades the evening
darkness strangles dawn

you want to sleep for a thousand years
I want to break your heart in two     it's true

you told me all tomorrow's parties
must begin     today

I say the present is over-rated
it's scattered     all over the place    
blackened   taunting   bleached out

When you put it on paper   it doesn't add up
anything     anymore

I wake up in a hotel room: purple candlewick bedspread, single bed
Somebody passes me a security buzzer set of keys and a jar of instant coffee
It's August
It's Melbourne
It's cold
I wish I'd packed my red ugh boots lipsticks poetry books zines
the three wise monkeys figurine that sat on my desk
I want a cold beer in my palm
a dozen oysters with a lemon wedge and Tabasco garnish
I want to sleep     for a thousand years
stub out another cigarette through the ripped denim on my knee
break myself in two     it's true

When you write it down     it doesn't add up
anymore     anything

Rob Schackne #402 - "Don't tell my family and friends"

Don’t tell my family and friends
Throw my ashes into the sea
Tell my family and friends
I was never an enemy of the State
The world now knows this much
How the State hates its children
It will destroy itself unless it wakes
My ashes now drift with the tide
Having finally reached the bottom
And now they are as free as free
It’s a little darker than prison
And a little less dark than time
Please tell my family and friends
My ashes were thrown into the sea
But my heart was a hopeful one
And my dissent was because of love

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Kelen #565 - old lag

old lag

skating close along the edge here
one must always be looking for signs

looking into that mist
edge of the other world

as if in your own dark sky
an alphabet were written
and you had merely to spell out the key

am I here or halfway?
chained to the waking
the shuffle on to light

so many countries flit

it's only faith keeps me

so I am transported
over again

I am salt sea biscuit
between times
all of that's under
or is the past up?

coin for the hand cupped
water pours through

there's undertow
there's rip
some bastard is keeping this head above water

and suddenly from summer come
come under
tired of the idea itself

fall through that ice
please just let me drown for a bit

you yourself
have to do it
but when you're not there

and then the colour comes
so you are further, further
still other-sided as well

have to insist on the hours that are here

you yourself are the arrow

just get with the river
and swim

Rob Schackne #401 - "How fearless readies us"

How fearless readies us
for unexpected beauty
we are deaf to what we hear
how then I counted the stars
and there were 5 above Shanghai
(which I confess did not seem enough)
though we spoke of this tonight
of the darkness and the light

but already we understood
we are mostly blind to others
standing there in the openness
(the subject of course is love)
it was my second talk today about the heart
about the nature of sincerity
and our powers of detection
and whatever forces were asking

we agreed the matter is vast

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 282 - Night time on the edge of town

  Night time on the edge of town

hush the snoring cats  
 hear  the calling planes   above
the air  still a clear dark crystal
bubble  sliced and set
to wobble  hear 
the ground  it
cricket calls  it
leaks out cold in hands
that touch my centre
with the centre of the globe

I take myself to bed
 I call
the air by name

KIt Kelen #564 - an address to old habits

an address to old habits

die hard
you bastards, die
take no quarter
but please, please take me too

everyone's so polite here
they'll never mention your names
there are so many of you!
each quirky, sometimes
black in the shames

but never feel
you need be lonely
I'm coming along on the journey
and I'm coming home with you

Rob Schackne #400 - "Reach"

a certain age
kill someone
and then retire
(kill the worker

the part that loved
getting up at dawn
to worship their bosses
their enlightened colleagues
to find everlasting good

living a wasted life
cuts and losses
kill that worker

the slave)
and enjoy it

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 281 - Retire


we used to sleep adrift
on the endless sea   the murders
caressing round our ears

you said
I can’t watch it

what happened to our
Kevlar-drawn and curtained 
hearts   when
did the place get safe

padded with still air   no
 not enough
to sleep

Kit Kelen #563 - blue between

blue between

in a cloud they make morning
it's a first thing

the light
and it goes all day

a cloud scatter for far and still
plump like so much fleece to harvest

frayed to float
whom we each for island pass

far far above
and deep below

day comes to the world down there
and it's day up here too

sky struck
as we all are

with the light
and it goes on all day

we're drowning in it till we dream
set out among the stars

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kristen de Kline #113 all over the place

all over the place     can't string a line
together     pull a seam apart     can't

pack another box your house my life     photos blackened
taunt from the wallpaper    peroxide bleaches out

your daughter our son    in an Oxford Street photo-booth
the two of us kiss     triplicate images roll out

pull the velvet curtain closed     don't look to the light
it's raining this time another photo-booth another city we've stopped kissing

somebody     something


a hanged man flees the Tarot deck     his muscles concertina
around my neck, press down hard     something

snaps     wish bone? heart string? valve?

willow pattern mosaic shards     float     all over the place
decorating the kitchen like snowflakes   that plate, you aimed it at my head

I duck     it's not a plastic Frisbee     something
somebody     snaps  


all over the place

Rob Schackne #399 - All Prices Clearly Marked

All Prices Clearly Marked

There were voices
all prices clearly marked
yelling come on through
she doesn't wear make-up
her beauty is remarkable
there's nothing she wants to say
it's a goddamn nightmare here
I'm recovering the lost arts
do you see the target do you sir
yes Jim the prices are clearly marked
for some reason lots of gibbons

I'm teaching how to read a timetable
and they are not impressed
I throw myself to the ground
she stares at me like a lemur
sings in a language I don't know

the prices are clearly marked
a truck charges up the bank
there's a moment of quiet
but the body is an ape's

it's a bloody shower
I am on a cliff face
don't be such a chicken shit
all prices clearly marked

our alarm's set for six

Rob Schackne (#27) #398 - Poems For Airports (redux)

Poems For Airports


Black thrumming runway
its deep core solid and hot

there's a beach somewhere
they will not stay there long

the minutes will look fixed
it could be a strange mess

the sea retakes the shells

all tomorrow's parties
must begin today.


Finally at the baggage claim
the humming rock the cradle

cranked away from sight
in sortation through a system

your electric razor's tossed
because it's a useless current

your favourite sweater now
worn by a sweating freak

an undecided cretin tries
to decipher your precious book

the start of the big machine
bumps against a rubber belt

at our big carousel of wanting
a bawling toddler's pointing

at a chicken foot going round
in a fog you can barely see.


From the sky to the stun of day
off the plane down the ramp

she left last week's paper there
and a bad novel dog-eared page 5

the sun is blinding (where is this?)

she sees the goons at 4 o'clock
control her usual breeze of air

waiting for the big bag to come off
Customs Customs moment coming

she's now forgotten al-Qur'an
3 children and an evil mother-in-law

she suspects her faith is wanting.


A loving treatment of time
where did it go post-nostalgia

present serendip cool across
the tarmac and swept away

instead I'm running out of time
sitting in this dark room alone

no more gifts please let me sleep
stop asking if I'm already there

my note to self in a book of hours
buy me a nice watch tomorrow

this morning in the airport pursuant
to baggage claim I claimed nothing.


Note: Writing these poems, I was of course listening to Eno's classic. I owe much to that. But while I once thought they were about airports, air friction, the ground, the weariness of the destination and the weariness of the way back -- now I don't think they are about airports at all, but rather about us all getting safely to the places we're going. God bless. Godspeed. We are bees. 

Kit Kelen #562 - reach a certain age

reach a certain age
(alternative ending for 'when you're ten')

and there's very little I'm prepared to do
I mean there's a lot to be done
more and more in fact
calendar's chocka
and you should see the to-do list!

there's less and less time
truth be told
but what one's up for is another story

I won't sweep streets
won't do the customer interface
I put my name in a data base
to laugh at every job suggestion

who do these young pups think they're dealing with?
who do they think they are?

say it!
I'm insulted, underestimated
completely misunderstood
don't they know talent?
how else could they sneer so adroitly
(little mock of the desk bound)?

fact is the world has moved on
and further into its twilight zone

this is nothing personal
humiliation awaits us all

you think it's ironic
I'm no longer available
for the graveyard shift?

I aim to please myself that's all
nights, I plan to sleep

there is a point at which, beyond all denials
I have to admit I am retired

Kerri Shying R # 280 - Hard Scrabble

Hard scrabble

speak the ground
top down
unsour the soil
remind yourself  an aching bone
it does not strictly count as toil

for somewhere on the sea
a current brings
 a boat of hope    shows no timber
is beyond repair     

dig    speak  abounding
pain speak it under     down to
where capacity
is endless

dig the cemetery    bury
 all the things you know
get them dirty
start again

Kit Kelen #561 - in all the vast of day's pyjamas

in all the vast of day's pyjamas

art works the instances to light

how is it?
who are we?
no one's to know

it's thoughtless
come past weary meaning
never in this story before

all are tickled
hold sides to laugh

mouth dry
in a tummy rumble
all the world rolls round

so something's to be made of it

there are those of a simple struggle to know
there are one's who weigh to know what's worth

but some we few must make a mark
must piss on those world's end pillars like Monkey

deeper and deeper down in pyjamas
bringing ourselves to light

we're under, aren't we?
like a pill gone down
up a garden path

grubby thus far into the journey
still wilting, in pyjamas though

even before I'm awake
I'm at work
even especially
hard at my dirty little secret

the all-falling
and fumbling to catch
to let go

one cough and the ship's down

because in all the vast of day's pyjamas
the tune is first thing bright
chords construct themselves like clouds
because you were never in this mirror before
because it's not the same old story

and all of this amounts to
the one thing you have to believe

it's a draft