Friday, March 31, 2017

Snow #89 Claine Keily

She ignored him
and shook the little dome
filled with imitation snow
then thought with tenderness
of how his house
reminded her
of a time in her life
in which she had looked forward
to this time

She had spent her years
trying to convert people
to cause some selflessness to arise
but he told her that she was silly
and that it was he who
had succeeded in this life
as he watched the snow
cover over the tiny manger
until the face of the baby Jesus
was lost in glitter

He said she displayed
some taste
and that is why she was
one of his lovers
but that he could not
allow himself
to be charmed
objects meant more to him
whereas she irritated him
tired him even
with all her rooms still
filled with her college books
whereas at forty three he had
his own art assistant

Rob Schackne #285 - "Frame by frame" (redux)

Frame by frame 
action to action
ghost in a shell
aspect to aspect
the jewel to lotus
the body’s mystery
invisible and still
I am barely there
action to action 

aspect to aspect 
self without identity
flower in a golden vase

such imagination

Kit Kelen #451 - flood


my home an island in a sea of out
the grass grows head high let

my home a moment in the desert now
as tall as truth

my home and ark
the worlds wash by

dove's all flit
to tell

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kristen de Kline #77 - Bloody Plastic Linda 2

Bloody Plastic Linda that ratbag
she's still got a place in your     heart

you picked her up in a heatwave as
railway tracks across Melbourne Metro melted     down

no 'incidents' reported out at Dandenong Pakenham Caulfield
the Limited Express hesitated paused came up for air

inside your Coburg flat you traced a vein in your foot
something get lodged      not in your throat  

wedged, wired     half-way inside your arm    
Bloody Plastic Linda that ratbag     blew you

a kiss   her breath hitting the side of your face
she was a cheap one     tear-stained, tramp stamp

red dot stickers slapped across her flesh
three kilometres you walked     hand-in-hand

down Sydney Road: bridal shops kebab joints surgeries offering male circumcision
heat    you weren't the only one feeling it

power supplies blinked crashed     blinked again
generators rigged up your local pub with Chicken Parma and Schooners for $9.99

the lift in the apartment wasn't working
tenderly,    you carried Plastic Linda up seventeen flights

your first night     together     her propeller-shaped blades clicked over
methodically   while you drank Stella rolled joints recited Ginsberg Stein Bukowski

when day     broke     Plastic Linda lay beside you    
no longer a stranger       her spokes wrangled, tangled

half-way inside your arm heart foot    something writhed
around       melted down for an uncomfortably long time      it wasn't the tracks

Kit Kelen #450 - the lost

the lost

the animals our virtues
call them to the conversation
over shoulder say

meek and eyes down
so have they hauled my cart to here

the eaten!
cloud to which souls are

nose to arse on
they are in my head

o there's the monster
have you heard
no naming

is it not wonderment
the knowing of the way that's gone?

around a glory so arranged
kind forgiving

how are we
but these were before?
we will be again

as these are among

and they've an indignation too
by the forkful they go down
and spoon in broth
no beds for them

what mighty steppes
are rendered glue

the lost are of a wander
aren't their eyes
all why for us

will the war come here?
it cannot be known

James Walton #46 Scenes of the Rural Domestic

They go off like a sherbet bomb
settling joy all around
a new baby introduced at home
lickable as fairy floss in a swaddle

Great grandma is in the blue gin
telling of how he never worked a day
but she gave up the circus life
its elegant parabola of trapeze

Two cousins roll their own
in the symmetry of twins in a mirror
sweaters over folded arms
to disguise the handcuffs beneath

The screen doors are hanging on
as children bang in and out
running through everyone’s place
jumping the dogs’ sleepily drooling patience  

Looking into eyes
that don’t yet know their colour
a fart gurgles down my forearm
a smile an arching back

The smell of cooked chips
gets into everything
and you know absolutely
you know with absolute conviction

caught uncompromised in this cleft of living

that you would sever any ground
deny all causes or beings
to keep her safe here
from each and every predator

Rob Schackne #284 - "The secrets"

The secrets
you don't know
not the knowledge

you have to learn
how it works
before you know
what it does
cat washing itself
in the one-way

dogs are like that
you're stuck on
how it works
the several planes
of a Shanghai poet
who calls her late
in Tasmania  

how it works
taste distance
no power and no glory
all those stories
how it works

space distance
it's a smell
made us friends

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

In a house by the sea #88 Claine Keily

The tracks left
by the vacuum cleaner
could sustain her for days
she hid from herself
that she was glad of their appearance
and worked each day
to erase their path
with an unwielding
vicious, necessary momentum

The welcome mats
smelt of disinfectant
and no one visited
now that her husband was dead

On the second story landing
of this doll's house
by the sea
she kept two rooms ready
for her children
who both worked too much
to have time to visit

She haunted these rooms
planning all the aspects
of their visits
down to the finest detail
anticipating even
where they would place their heads
on the cushions or the pillows
or walk across the floor

Kit Kelen #449 - all things considered

all things considered

every painting a memory map
something to mourn in each turn of the track

an ear to the silence
and hear the world spin

under the paint
some old civilization

the ants are still breathing down there
they bear the truth away on their backs

it's for all time gone

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One Afternoon # 87 Claine Keily

One afternoon
he was there
and she found herself divided
like the food on the first day they met
which she had sliced up for him
until it resembled lozenges
or sugar cubes

It was a form of rebellion
to leave their apartment
without cleaning up
to drive out and circle
the asphalt loop
outside their home
for no reason at all
then cry at last
beside a grove of wattle
on the median strip
 where she could
count the cars in the traffic
far into the night
until she was ready to
head homeward

Kerri Shying R #206 - Bullet Train

Bullet train

I want to earn a thousand dollars a week without leaving my room
I want the swagger that comes with being
a barista   and the large beard of wire and twigs

I want to be an internationally-hip barista own
a prize-winning beard            skim an income from social media be
he who dips the bespoke fingers            into local ponds             trailing

ideas across the heads of those I went to high school with
like the lace doily tablecloth Mum let me wear as my
Super Hero cape             at five                                   

I will have plaits            when others have a man-bun
sing out when you want me
 and we’ll talk

Kerri Shying R - # 205 Born in the '60's

Born in the ‘60’s

I am rickety            full of emotion for the others
full for me            for all the reasons I won’t say
when I slap             at the mosquitos I am aware
of just how            much hate resides            it is the sticking of
my craw             residue              each hand each tongue
all the blows have made in me this shield of steel

this Batfink            that Karate

Kit Kelen #448 - in any death

in any death

how slight the first changes
molecular business was all along
in any given minute
no more or less than average events
that's to say
everything's of a moment
there's some gestalt gone
if you've the point of view for that
in that case you'll also see
the world's what mostly goes on

none of this known from the other side, however
they say
you'd have to be there

James Walton #45 Stretcher Bearers

snow only comes with death here
I thought I heard you say
but it fell twice at Christmas

as we watched the truancy of crystal
shredded coconut out of trees
refusing to stay grounded

albino kelp on the herbs
a tincture of ointment rising
out of that braiding landscape

and I was thinking of how
lepers were smoked with rosemary
so as not to announce in begging

their presence among the healthy

Rob Schackne #283 - After Kit's Snipe

After Kit's Snipe

Short history
you keep saying

how much you
want the other

forget how much
the other one
is wanting you

you don't want 
the same every day
my dear Herrick
don't make too
much sense of time
it's a Monday

the same flowers
the health check
it's optional too

could be worse
the metaphysical
of village idiots
put your feet up

Monday, March 27, 2017

Kit Kelen #447 - snipe (for a series of village idiots)

(after Herrick)

Snipe is poking things again
Snipe is waking you up from your siest
gets a finger in the ribs and digs
at all that you thought blessed

Snipe sours
the tone
the tune
the beer

Snipe likes to stick at the back of the head
it's quite comfortable there
Snipe lays in bed
pokes at I-pad
all unlikes

odd positive to give the flick
and even fully formed ideas

Snipe's a hairshirt wardrobe short
admires himself in all the mirrors

Snipe's a little grey patch
a whinge-in-fellow-form
one stiff breeze will blow away

sometimes one wonders why Snipe's here
to test your character of course!
one dare say nothing of his

it's not really conversation
he wants to have you twist and turn
with Snipe you'll never win

this has to be a kind of fear

Snipe has all the same heavens above
but you'd never know
Snipe won't
Snipe can't get on
can't see himself
the mirror's someone else's fault

this has to be a kind of fear

what to do with Snipe (?), you ask me

best thing is to drown the bastard
in a bucket of good cheer

Rob Schackne #282 - "The elephant footprint"

The elephant footprint
contains last night’s rain
the white cat’s greeting
(and my pleasure hello)

the passing of misty night
the bamboo workers

outside my window light
last dreams everyone
the letters I didn't send
the work that's left to do
a small discarded poem
the sky’s unnatural pink

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Malady # 86

She wanted to marry only
a man with an impressive
collection of dictionaries
not a diplomat or a dignitary
or a celebrity

She wanted to talk with him
about their notebooks
each evening
discuss the entomology of words
to be with a man confident enough
to never have to tell her
that she was not beautiful
or talented

But she felt as though
she worked as an interpreter
the subtle put downs
did not pass by her
even though she showed
no response at the time
she clocked up these incidents
had names for
the forms they took even
and so she made her first steps
on the path
to becoming a doctor

Kristen de Kline - #76 Bloody Plastic Linda 1

Malfunctioning     bloody
Plastic Linda from Coburg
wrestling with fan blades that jangle and tangle
one of the damn spokes starts speaking up
what a fuck-up you are don't know where you're going
screw everything up don’t know where you’ve been
damn spoke     couldn't you have lost your voice     become
catatonic     half-way inside my arm     couldn't you

I tried fixing her, really I did
used a switchblade first     then a chopstick
plugged her in replugged her turned the LOUVER button on-off-on again

Twisted the chopstick into the engine, turned the blade around the louvers
the Polaroid shows you hidden behind a black balaclava     those were the days my friend  
there's a sawn-off in my backpack and I'm smiling    half-way inside my arm
could you blow me a kiss      we thought they'd never end    
nail me at the hip     could you     twist a little bit

Shouldn't she be breathing on her own   by now  
fanning the bedroom     cooling the sheets
there was a city in my mind     it’s faded
don’t come along don’t take that ride     shouldn't she
be breathing

Bloody Plastic Linda     I knew she was a mistake
luminous white spokes wrangle, tangle
skin your heart
not even her blades rotate
the plastic darts wobble unevenly
stutter     pause
can you attribute melancholia to a cheap plastic fan from Coburg?

Isn't she ready to slip into a dream     she’s been
unresponsive for hours    time for the devil to take
tomorrow     to jam that tube down her throat     too much wine
too much song     God tonight
I need a friend     are all the birds singing in the sky
don't throw her on the dumpster     is Spring really in the air
even the poets want to resurrect her     half-way inside my arm
are there flowers everywhere is it hard to die can you hear the birds sing

Kit Kelen #446 - a breeze begun

a breeze begun

you can see right through

but later it grows teeth
takes roof

and one day legend
how the hurricane took off

piano's pounding somewhere

tells this world
you've smoked too much

was ash once in a pile

but now a whisper through seraglio
rose scent
and apple tea

a Bosphorizing breeze
slows to a single leaf twirl

then a breath of autumn's being
bring on fiercest maenads
for the jolly romp outdoors
whole forest of a tune

a classical disunity
everyone's joined in

then it's under the blood
it holds hearts high

a toybox breeze
and virus burnt

the strings and brass accompany

works in a spanner
to loosen your hinges

it's under the door
tickles the sausage dog
rattles paint
from window frames

cleaves chasm
trumpets prophecy

comes to this last corner again
won't remember a thing

it won't matter how mellow your mist

who gives stillness a second thought
if there's a breeze begun?

Rob Schackne #281 - "What does it do"

What does it do to liberate
I never tasted chocolate
nor let go my bearings
or climbed up a mountain
when finally the moment came
you were the first one I disappeared
then other things went missing

(as simple as going fishing)
until the habit gripped me

I was staring into darkness
and the numbness spread
what did it do to liberate
when I let go the rope

looked around
and fell

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Skin #85 Claine Keily

Tired of
recounting all
the details of the accident
she took down the slippers
she had placed on the bookshelf
under which she kept
the note from the insurance company
in which they
offered to pay her
a paltry sum
as a way of reimbursement
and decided that despite
long scars and lack of movement
the damage was slight
and that she would drive again
in the car warm at last
and that there would be laughter
and gossiping
dinners diced up with friends
as if confetti
and this self she was now
would be shed like a useless skin
around her

Kristen de Kline - #75 - lighting candles

lighting candles (for Johannes Siim, 1910-1945)

half a world      away     they're lighting
candles     twenty thousand     across Tallinn Tartu Pärnu  
one for each Estonian manwomanchild 25 March 1949 deported to Siberia    
on You Tube, colour images of multiplying number of candles clash
against bleached out sepia shots of gridded track lines smoking trains
deportation lists with double vowel surnames you recognise but wish you didn't
Johannes went in an earlier 'wave' but there's something about candles
bursting out light    flashing across the sepia news reels      saying
we remember you      we have little left     your photograph     the last
heavily photocopied letter    from Siberia     what can you write    
you miss your family love them     you want your son, my uncle
to be strong     to look after the family       what can you write
there's a certain weight crushing down     the Nordic gloom    
can you cut it out surgically remove it, attack the heartstrings with serrated knives?

you listen to the testimony with tenses, changing in every line:    
people get tired    there was no food    
they dropped     he crawled around    a frozen person  
looks awful  
you know how a person crawls     like this  
then they brought him back     he was white and dead
and white and

From the Gulags     some returned
their families say they were: "not the same"
I like that turn of phrase    but never the weight
of living with it     that one letter     what can you write
one remaining photograph     a memory you start to think you made up

the ones who didn't make it back    were left to
wrestle tangle bargain with the heaviness     crushing inwards,
eating away at their inner organs     savagely
how does a person crawl     I don't want to ask
can burning a candle achieve     anything
was Hitler right when he said     I don't want to say  
the Russians were sub-human     I told you I didn't want to say it
can anything melt through the strains of Sybelius and Dvorák    
political cynicism    melancholia      hardened beyond .... words? poetry?
concrete slabs     that featured somewhere in the family history
maybe I should delete them

Kurat: first Estonian swear word I learnt      this was meant to be a quick post    
Damn it     half a lifetime world countries removed    the lines I falter over     languish
awkwardly     in a foreign tongue       uncomfortably long they chatter
amongst themselves in the wrong places     they wrestle with questions about candles
and symbolism     what sort of person Johannes was     how different life, everything, madness
would have been     had he lived     can darkness ever be a beautiful space
how do you translate "not the same"
from Siberia     what can you write
just throw me the Redheads and I'll light the bloody candle

Kit Kelen #445 - beginningish

getting out of bed on the right side

first thingishly
of light much
and of bird begun
so winged with seeing
and as with sky
so we reflect
how dark it's been

a road runs
then by bicycle
a whole world rolls
and rolls away

first thingishly
already flown

say I was dog
and here is bone

winged pup
I won't be bitter
have heard the song
for some bald bark

I slobber cloud
how tenderly it touches
and makes a meadow in me

but stretch to it
restore and swing both arms about
wreak havoc, harrow, resurrect

there was a breeze
to twinkle toes

the making is all me you know
much thanks creatures
for the ride
for tide that I rode in on

time has come this far along
as in my bones to be

first thingishly
I was otherworldly
uncannily at home
I could smell
the day pour through

first thing it was
there were those
who so to speak
as if once upon
ever after happily
for me were all

obverse – remember
(it's the same)
someone stood in the stern
to till the sea
and it was river run
where from?
where to?

what was a little ache to me?
all the day's already in
and everything I'd do
is of this sky
to say
to see
to show how

I got out of the bed's right side
now I could go anywhere
that's our conversation come

isn't the music in me then?
how else could it be
I swim