Sunday, September 23, 2018

Thirty Summers 136# Claine Keily

I hid the empty bird cage behind the shed. The estate agent said it was bad feng shui, even though there were no feathers in it, as my bird had been swallowed whole, no traces left. "No one will want to live here once they have seen a cage like that" she said as she bent to examine the enamel on the bathtub.

Each day I had visited that cage, sure that a return would be made, but now that it had been declared to be 'empty', I stopped filling it each day with shreds of fresh grass, parsley and mounds made out of fresh spring hay.

Kit Kelen #996 - my greatest disappointment

my greatest disappointment
(notes towards a new il penseroso)

my greatest disappointment
– this world
the people I meet
hearts nearest mine the most

how so insensible to what there is?

and blow it out to cosmos
all unbreathable
emptiness everywhere
stars burn till out
so what

not meaning is the general scheme
except of course it's not

existence –
like this unread proof
who will dare to call?

and sometimes only weather
birds in a useless flit
to bone
to dust
and so to stone

so much unkindness, vaccuity
everything is nothing
simple cliché
for not even an end

complexity is just as cursed
for instance – see we're here
and from and to
and faster
none can doubt

the autombile – a killing machine
burning oil and coal kills millions

the more of us is most depressing

hatred, war, spite, envy, greed
ages of unreason
no patch now untouched

even love – the seas run dry
count on us
we're gone

who was the genius?

passage of years, seasons, months
and me, a speck in time

the body?
one big ache
and something to sneeze from

each sensation
a disappointment
sniff at a flower, wilt

music I can't play
and who can understand it?
the same with words
come along so far

discussing it solves nothing
close your eyes – still there

dreams are just a rearrangement
someone coughs and snores next door

then wake to all that is again

my god!
no, never mine
no, not at all
gods were the first fake news

the monkey in me knows it all
sees the nutshell, under over

and I myself to top this list
could have stayed up in the leaves
but no
I have to know
I'm every day falling
and further

these words are not good enough

Clark Gormley #41 TAB

where men gather to
wear their vested interest
in beige randomness 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tug Dumbly # 19 - Headmiles


You’re moving, physically moving
past all the signs – Speed Kills
Don’t Die for a Deadline
but the mind spins on
like a bogged tyre in mud,
spattering the same old matter,
that tatty shopping list
of fret and resentment,
a tracking independent
of the mechanical you
clutching between
butchering B-doubles.

It works the back catalogue
like the radio on auto dial,
white noising between stations –
jazz, classical, great slag heaps
of FM gold (hits’n’memories,
tits’n’mammaries) –
clearing brambles of static
to happen into fresh patches
of ancient gripe:   
remember this one … who could forget …?  
all those obstinate dead
burring the mind,
twisting into you
like barbed wire
grown snug in the fat
of an old farm Coral.

Don’t Dream it’s Over.

No, you’re right Neil.
It can soften and lift like weather,
only to flap back down
like crows to roadkill.

The odometer ticks on,
another bug spatters –
bet he won’t have the guts
to do that again
and you gotta smile
at the memory of the old man’s joke,
smile at your insect self
and fidgety ungeared
mandible mind,
just smile.

Rob Schackne #755 - "Today in Victoria"

Today in Victoria
the only magpies
are football players

watch it at the Railway
go west young men
(you can keep on going)
best side better not to lose
lord their nerves they fumble
the preliminary this avvo
the moon is tending full
there's just two coasts
the demons can't win
next weekend the MCG
a few in church tomorrow
reach up it's only heaven
catch the bloody thing

Kit Kelen #995 - what you'll need for the poets' picnic

what you’ll need for the poets' picnic
(first draft of the preliminary list) 

brave goer
please bring

tent if overnighting

I mean bring a plate
bottle of course
(how otherwise to toast?)

bring matches
togs – consider coast!
and bring some kind of lighting

bring fresh goss
and you’ll need poem with elbows for in
to recite or read or sing

come with kind words
or none at all
(we will require audience)

come perfect to the place
so shone, you’ll make us all reflect
though there’s no need to rhyme

come with a song in your heart
and you can be
the bouquet too

bring best weather
for inspiration
ukelele’s good

but a guitar is bigger
plenty here though if you forget
drum to beat, but lightly

a blanket is the picnic’s flag
sit upon or blow away
leave only crumbs behind

bring rain for the garden
while we sleep
hat or even several

cheese for dreams
but you can leave all aches and pains
gripes and grumble

they can manage
all by themselves
for a bit

bring boots you can remove
at the door
in case the rain persists

corkscrew or Swiss Army knife
good picnic sense
leave toil and strife

make this a Holy Day
I insist upon an opposable thumb
but keep it out of the trees

bring a game
a puzzle
something provoking thought

mustn’t forget the clothes
you stand up in
something to lie down with too

you can ride in
on your own horse
in a teddy bear suit of course

let’s not forget
your fond regards
I am sincerely yours

Friday, September 21, 2018

Kerri Shying R # 518 - just get the hangover

this isn’t an immune system     more
a collection   of bad ideas    who fight
like drunks   outside  a just-closed bar
in the suburbs of a country town   my
body  it’s tied one on    without me    I

just get the hangover 

as permanent   as a monument    some
Big Thing   installed by a committee
then let to rust   collect graffiti   and piss
visited  at times   by outsiders    who leave 
 afraid    befuddled     well before the dark

Kit Kelen #994 - million dollar chicken coop

million dollar chicken coop

if they could see me now
stumble bums

but they can’t
they can’t see me here

I’m under a number
assigned to an island

if they had the will
but they won’t

it wouldn’t matter where I went
or if I went altogether

lost among such selves as I
in one or under cover thereof

as if the earth were under
appearing as a poem

it has nothing to do with my shape
or how far stretched

it’s like I’m safe in the idea
of the picture

like I’m inside out
and see what they can only hear

they ask me how I do it
they can’t know what they’ve missed

even as ornament all magic in my tricks
and often to myself unknown

following along this trail have made
notes staved, word, image scattered

they’re in the scrum and under the roar
they would need special glasses

camouflaged fine fellow among creatures all
not a chance they’ll even see over the page

all on the rollercoaster we
I hear the python in the wall

no pity for the rats
hind paw high for stretch

having followed my arrow, this nose
and never arriving

I go on strike and nobody notices
go back to work, none the wiser

loud and clear as if calling the match
it’s an art to hide in this

get a good night’s rest in there
they can’t catch my song

hunting for beautiful objects
in the garbage sea

in rain’s imagination
my face down fall

having exploded already, taken off
run out of rocket

in low orbit
or out of this world

they won’t see me
not at all

hail fellows all
well met

in this sweet kiss
I’m left

I’m leaving
no one will see me go

Tug Dumbly # 18 Passing Note

‘Piano Liquidation Sale’
gives a vision
of pianos in blenders
a kind of cocktail music

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Clark Gormley #40 Friendly auction

Hello potential purchaser.
Might I say you’re looking fine?
Might I say you look like you’re descended
from a royal bloodline?

Do I hear expressions of refinement
as you step inside?
Do I hear the swish of slender trouser
legs with every stride?

Are you buying as an investment?
Are you buying the jive I’ve told?
Are you buying or are you passing up
the palace you deserve? Sold!

Tug Dumbly # 17 - Badlands


We’re glutted gulls sated seals
sick to surfeit diving through
sardine schools of oily fact
scooping digital seas
skimming googywiki vats
of language sandwich chewed
hacked spat to pixelated
catchphrase mulched meme
moulding in recycling bins
yellow blue green
be a Responsible Citizen
scrape your plate clean
bulldoze these syllable
shanty towns to soundbyte
slag mounds to wordfill pits
of language laid low
by linguicide words euthanized
butchered proscribed
hope it all breaks down
goes away organically decays
these badlands of dead
verbiage and knowledge      
like desert boneyards
of rotting aeroplanes
burnt wagon trains of
death’s head data, scalped tech
massacred fact …
are you across this?   

Rob Schackne #754 - The Voice (2)

The Voice (2)

Tell the sandpaper glove the extra lotion the extra need a little mercy forget the IKEA pieces throw the manual away everything is broken today the magic will be assembled hope sends you cut flowers the submission the mercy the will made magpies of chopped trees desertification and spring show

Danny Gentile #70 - Untitled


burns like a platitude
Spring is here
and the ventilating rain

I can't say when
I last crossed the lawn
but I was there
with the snake


Kerri Shying R # 517 - For Mercy

For Mercy

remember    how you were
before the scars     healed
and    blood  went rushing
back     into the    labyrinth
the  cul de sac   the dead-end
pinched-off  portions of
your brain   back when
crunch  was not the sound
of cereal  or a good firm
celery stick   but a flash
back      I despair   today
of getting  back   my full
path and power    in the
way    the over-sixties

feel the pinch
of memory
the taste of full
cream milk   settling for
the skim  


you should know  we
are not all   healing

bodies  on a curve 
upward   the resolution
of a flower     face
to sun    daily 

on reserves

to be

Kit Kelen #993 - under one atmosphere

under one atmosphere

in the old pyjamas

awash in skins
in days and works

sometimes shouldering worlds of woe
as I was then grown grim

a sparrow lit to sing

and in another life remembered
light moon bounce

like clouds run round
bull by the horns
so sorry
won’t say sky

under one atmosphere
maze trod
and lightly step
branch until wing

the rich, the poor
the thieves, aggrieved
the innocent

car set forth
factory fart
so choke

up the daisies push

lift a leg on the lot

draw in
breathe out

it’s summer somewhere
seasons slip
in any sphere of music

we are all flowering
put down roots

under one atmosphere
this idea
and another altogether

a kind of diving suit

a gift divining
hour of stretch

hail sun so stiff
fire friended
for winter midst

a swim at the thing
mind righting itself

always already in

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Gillan Swain # 10 - something good

It plays  shimmer flitting up through your sight
lays the day with  something good
old is no issue  this homely familiar and the blue
it carries  pushes through the aura of  jittery 
this blue is the good kind  enough to get you over
the line  into the new  yeah
the new bright

Kerri Shying R # 516 outfits held against my body like the tab doll ( for Clark Gormley)

the lines   on the screen  are so much more
elastic   than the borders   of this  death sack
 all the breathing in and breathing out   day
time   ends with night      time which smudges
I feel you rub me out    along the edges   adding

outfits   held against my body  like the tab doll

badly cut out   easily redressed   I am stored
inside a buff manila cave  up on that high shelf
 my flap   grows sticky    as the summers roll    
waiting for a hand    the reach  away  from some
data job   please let me    mangle   the address

Rob Schackne #753 - The Voice

   The Voice

Sitting in the backyard drinking my coffee the smell of the farm all around the dark clouds rolling in looking at all the objects scattered in the garden beds on the brick path stuck up under the fences bits of wire wood planks with nails an empty fertiliser bag two twisted brackets an old drum a sink unit turned over a rusty mattock starpicket loose bricks watering cans plastic buckets broken pots deflated cardboard boxes a spade a trowel six different hoses different couplings rust is everything lying down the strewn objects call waiting for utility for promise to be granted for joy or love or prosperity or just a bit better luck this time a bit more use and achievement I go back inside and get the whisky bottle

Tug Dumbly # 17 - Renaissance

We pine to be rebirthed like stolen cars
because we deserve it.

(‘Deserve’s got nothing to do with it’.
William Munny, blowing away     
Sheriff Little Bob in Unforgiven).

We’re greedy for identity,
if not by theft then legally,
to become the sum of our shopped for selves

all that murderous choice,
all that toothpaste
avalanching from the shelves.

It’s exhausting, this chain gang
chipping at rock to find your voice.

Be nice to just say ‘no. My Authentic Self
fled years ago. Last I saw he kicked in a window
and bounded across the asylum paddock
yodelling into the trees.

I like to think he’s still out there,
living off roasted Quoll, happy’.
But ‘no!’ they say, ‘you must seek
and distil your destined stock

strain the essence to a primal broth
through a stocking of gold brocade

reduced to a thin clear soup of you.
Once you got that you got it made.

Tug Dumbly # 16 Hubba Bubba

Still stuck on you
                            my past strings behind
                                                                like bubblegum
                                                                                         on the sole of your shoe

Clark Gormley #39 Category 5

something goes
wrong and you
think no sweat
I'm a well-
calm composed
human I
will not let
this affect
my day

but while you're
thinking that
something else
goes awry
and you fly
into a
5 rage

ally this
has led to
tension in
the shoulders
raised heart-rate
blood pressure
a flood of
and damage
to household

but while you're
in the eye
of the storm
you reflect
this is a
bit over
the top

you're para-
since there's a
to these dark
and stormy

it happens
all the time

Kit Kelen #992 - things show up in odd places

things show up in odd places

impossible to predict

the next door chooks
lost socks
parsley in the weed heap

sun first thing shows east
or snout told little traipse along

things unaccountable
larger than life
turn up
for the books

comet for sky smear
season there

the fence unstuck
temperature everywhere
only in the room

breakfast in the branches

voices of least birds
and ourselves along

an itch, an ache
even laughter augments

in a calendar of other days
can’t call epiphany
it comes

a sharp
a flat
something diminished

a broad grin
likewise, firm resolve

the poem spilled over the page
or stretch for the imagination

you could find yourself in treetops

words long since sunk
will bob up here

out of nowhere
mist come

the rain when hope
was all exhausted

an arrow showing through
some shining

it could be a hand
near the top of the clock
or yours in mine remembering
the road to bring home

throw a line of dots
in this lost heart
find love

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kerri Shying R # 515 - wait until the surface of the oil shimmers hot

take the first handful   of the choices
you made    so long ago   the ones you
had to live with   long past    what was
sensible  even to your mother   throw
them  hard over your shoulder    always

wait until the surface of the oil shimmers hot

do not allow  these  slivers of the past to
grow translucent    or you will dive  off
that  cliff-side  memory   rescuing   the
poor harp seal   you hear   barking  on
the slick wet tears   of your   hot heart

Clark Gormley #38 Lever Arch Folder

you look important
up there on the shelf
stout, an impressive

but it's a facade
since you're just as wide
full as when you
are empty

a large hole in your spine
so the paper can breathe
is showy and wholly

your lever and clamp
are bondage gear for
abusing your A4

it's you and the hole-punch
a torture tag team
tying down and piercing
your specialty

you flatulent fallacious
cruel and depraved
brutal malevolent