Friday, August 31, 2018

Kristen de Kline #221 When the dead chatter

when the dead chatter
you will hear them tapping

on the back screen door
rattling the broken lock

another crow will veer down
on your front windscreen

while you rev down the Monash
singing out MAX VOL:

will you still love me tomorrow
the third crow wings past

sending you a message
about loving     and

dead bodies piled up     and

backyard swimming pools     and

a trail of kisses     and ...

when the dead chatter
you will hear them whisper:

at the end of the day
what doesn't matter, matters
what matters, doesn't count

you will forget your lines
when the dead chatter

lose     every     thread
again, you will force yourself out of bed, again

the dead, they will pester you
with their tales of oranges and

little rays of sunshine
their lyrics about dying a hundred

times, going back to 
black,    and you,

going back to her

you will be left with no words

no way to love you in the morning
---------- to say goodbye

your hair splayed
across the pillow

the scent of Eternity
splashed across your neck

where does it end

Kit Kelen #973 - clock inside

clock inside 

what the body knows is nobody's business

it is a gene does this

between chemical species


an area
and travels of
say system

sets off, soothes

no clock on the wall comes near
little man inside is more precise
or woman, so to say

like nation of us
stretched songwise

knowing just when
and out like a light

when I'm all used up
there's more

I can't be found amongst it

must be the world turns in
and on me

other bodies shine and dim

it's with the boots gone up as well

when to ripen
when to fall

to an alarm
which is always the news

in the hypothalamus

all of this instance we
creeps over the rocks
for the love of light
no more

Rob Schackne #741 - "Till the buds open"

                    Till the buds open
                    how close we are
                    how hard it is

                    tales of sunshine
                    the fish easily caught
                    all the tea in China

                    painting of painting
                    beautiful & strange
                    what's one life

                    don’t let me be
                    so many benefits

                    what Dawn did
                    with her library card
                    perfect midnight

Kerri Shying R # 502 - a buttress pressed against the flanks

I much prefer this   nights at home
no stumbling   on the wards   the rain
 tango  on the warm tin roof   cats
alert  to   someone  too forlorn   after
midnight   they make themselves

a buttress pressed against the flanks

aligning their soft breathing   lung to lung
this large bed   alive   with concentration
I am soothed    to fall   at first light   off
against the odds   and waking  find
the pain  has softened   into fur

Clark Gormley #27 Render

render on brick wall
a bandage for many sins
the bloodstains seep through

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Kit Kelen #972 - considering eternity

considering eternity 


Plan A
is immortality
here on Earth or elsewhere

get to be a god

my heart bigger than yours
eternity lives it up in there

a little science and myself
actually all the help I can get

come along for the ride

once I thought five hundred years
but that would just scratch the surface

life is suffering
and it still is
then what do you call death?
(nothing when it's at home)

but they aren't lives
or soul to say

grace notes towards forever
the tending of the score

Plan B is never feel a thing

Plan C is too early to say

somewhere was stockwhip and blanket
the deep down below
I'll stick with the dingos and crows thanks
I know they'd like to stick with me

they're playing now in a league of their own

and here we are again
waiting for time to end

of course there's unplanned eternity too
but it wears you down to dust

I guess it's starting now

Rob Schackne #740 - "Walk through morning"

                  Walk through morning
                  the way up to the dam    
                  tape and bitumen paint
                  to help plug the leaks
                  philosophy has sprung
                  the day is still and sunny
                  insects and birds agree
                  what we carry everyday
                  the purple rosemary
                  so full of small bees

Kerri Shying R # 501 - these shoulders tired of bearing

I can smell   antibiotics   flooding
out my pores  the animals  look
frightened   testing at the air  food
acquires  new metal  the painkillers
are silent  seeping warm across

these shoulders tired of bearing

the weight of microscopic things
remind me   again   what species
runs the show   and I will take you
to the frail flowers  yellow  besieged
by bees  in the honey home  we sit

Clark Gormley #26 Domestic Dancing

Put your feet down on the floor.
Stretch your arms above your head.
Have a yawn. You've started the day
doing the domestic dance.

Bend your body at the hips.
Unpack the dishwasher cup by cup.
Reach up and place them in the cupboard.
You're doing the domestic dance.

With your left hand turn the tap.
Fill the kettle with your right.
Switch it on and watch it boil.
You're doing the domestic dance.

Grab the milk with your left hand
and push the fridge closed with your right.
Pour it on your cereal.
You're doing the domestic dance.

Shake it while you chew your oats.
Feel the rhythm of the banal.
Step out the door and greet the day
doing the domestic dance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Kit Kelen #971 - finite


fitting like love
into the tune
of here and how
we are

bodies – we're
strewn about
selves much mattering
sometimes other to each

fraying at the touch
sadder than saying
joys to have known

who's the sea
and who's the raft
sometimes steam comes off

held you as far as sleep

my words for you
not to be heard
questions never asked

as if the hour
had come for us
summer golden and  gone

hold me now
kiss and go on
eternity's just this

Clark Gormley #25 Second World

Whatever happened to the second world?
The one between first and third.
When counting you don't jump from one to three.
It's omission is plainly absurd.

But it isn't the only world unrepresented
I put to you respectfully.
For instance, take the under and whole worlds.
Where's the over and partial respectively?

Some say it encompassed the Eastern Bloc.
Nations dominated by Stalin.
But I've never heard it referred to as such
and that is a second world problem.

It's as if there is something shameful about it
that it's best to remain unaware.
I asked TripAdvisor if I could visit.
It replied "Let's not go there."

James Walton # 115 I will be your open city

a hail ashore
not a mirage of inklings
a gate always open

beneath a white pennant
surrender yourself
here the fountain knows no age

sit down by the brickwork
later I will bring out a towel
wipe away these days

I’ll read your quiet palm
trace the drifting lines back
find your watermark at source

write your name by dipped finger
see how it shines then departs
from these momentary lapses

how soon the sun and moon merge
in an overlapping circumference
another day of lives waits

outside of forgotten sanctuary
above its wing beat compass
a kestrel squawks of wandering

remember the smell of bread
the tired tread to be ahead
of too many willing souls

soon a dark regretfulness
will slow to the fall of a leaf
each side in equal shadow

there are no answers
there are no secrets
we are all a passage here

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tug Dumbly - Lingo Forecast

Lingo Forecast

Who uses ‘ticking time bombs’ anyway -
Dick Dastardly?
And really, the ‘State’s a Tinderbox’?
Maybe the State’s a Little Lucifer
State’s a broken bottle in grass
State’s a kid with a magnifying glass
State’s a lightning strike in the national park
State’s an outda control backburn
State’s a zippo in the hands of a pyro
bush firey tongueing to play the hero
and put out the inferno he started …  
Not as sparky ‘tinderbox’, granted,
but for exactitude we go the extra mile.

Kit Kelen #970 - salute to myself

salute to myself 

can you see me
in these lines?

with any kind of mirror does
or not with one at all
face on into the weather
stretch and roll
ear to the air
up to old tricks
and me the miracle just here

it's after dreaming up
and listen for the next idea
an early recording
how puff along by breath
with skin that I take everywhere
or out of focus recognised
salute without my glasses on

get up a certain rhythm
sort of a circle I am
hail and take care
sometimes float through it
a haunting too and words with
salute to all who sail

this somebody knows me
take serious already lit
candle how far now?
then on my way
like possum up
in branches
blue unknown

Clark Gormley #23 Online Barber

You walk into the room
empty except for 
a reclined chair
and a man waiting 
expectantly beside it. 
“Sorry mate 
we’re all booked out. 
You have to book online.” 
He replies to your 
look of incredulity
“He’s on his way. 
He’s running late. 
Here’s our card.” 
You take it 
and file it 
in the round bin 
under V for
virtual haircut.

Kristen de Kline #220 Under Melbourne's CBD

at dusk you lie
under Melbourne's CBD

imagine your teeth
plucked out of air, thin

your heart, quartered
and drawn, thousands

of human teeth they dredge
as the new tunnel forges in

at dusk we lay
in a Wilson carpark

so many dreams blanketed
under our blue tarpaulin

at the corner of Flinders and Swanston
on the seventh floor of the bunker

it had been three days
(since) we'd eaten
-------  Roxy had OD'd
-------- the cops had come

it was the molars
they found first

after the ambo took off
we passed around the Absolut
---- lit candles
---- didn't cry

then they found the dice
made out of ivory

and a sole ear-ring dropped
through the floorboards

it belonged to a "well to do lady"
(or so they said)

when we wake
the teeth have multiplied

betel nut and tobacco stains
paint-bomb the remains

you find her obituary
on newsprint in a dumpster

so many dreams
so many teeth

land with a thud
go up in smoke

on the fourth day
they found a miniature

haunted doll
it calls out your name:

Roxanne, Roxanne, Roxanne

what do we do with death

morning hasn't broken
blackbirds haven't spoken

what do we do

Monday, August 27, 2018

Kit Kelen #969 - classical


when I was a woolly satyr
and sidle up to sing
pipes and bells and lyres you bet
I was a one-man goat
and got the girls all going

woolly in my ways
and woolly underneath
woolly in my head
and wool between my teeth

love! you could bottle the stuff
ship it off in amphorae
we'd get juiced up
and do a dance around the pot
a tree – and I'd be maypole
what a pong!

allow some drunken slump here

yes I was woolly in my ways
and woolly underneath
woolly in my head
little curls between my teeth

but that was my forever
sad since I am come to marble
colour went, shaggy locks
and skin all froze
nothing to tickle at all

worn away face
and fair enough
a nose goes first
...find me a figleaf would ya

not a double negative to say
you can't get nothing up

who wins
once modesty kicks in?

the soul is lost
in stone

Tug Dumbly - Red 3

Red 3

Red ‘3’ birthday balloon  
rising and running fast
into the bright brittle blue
Redfern winter sky, bobbing
and weaving for its life
round the grey Cuisenaire rods
of the housing towers
named for dead white gods –
Cook, Banks, Lawson
escaping, ascending, trailing a
let-go string, shrinking to a glint
in the rising sun, disappearing
to a possible horizon.

Kerri Shying R # 500 - coursing for a passel of us

my little dog     bit me
fair on the arse    sleeping
those jaws  seemed
so much bigger    what
dreams   possessed him

coursing   for a passel of us

was he    flying   down a  hill
a phalanx of brown bums
ahead    or just   back beside
his mother  we are  both of us
     litter bugs   adrift

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Kerri Shying R # 499 - left unmarked by oil

Chinese food     it’s not like that
in China    folded chow mein
over curry rice   unchanged
my life-long   crunch the squiggly
bag of noodles  brown paper

left unmarked by oil

imagine   the association for
posting out the menu   the small
drawings of the pig and chicken
 to a new life in the soup

Rob Schackne #739 - tell me rooster what time it is

listen to   the didgeridoo
hear the screaming too  no
late night   the next morning
slipping over   the cliff edge
on our own now   precious

tell me rooster what time it is

you say   Tom Clark is dead
new york times   paper of record
back down the track   I see
the poet coming   laughter
yes   it's mostly laughter

Kit Kelen - my love a kind of creature

my love a kind of creature

dangling with suspended eye
furry here and there

might have been a rock
but moves
must speak another language

comes of its own wilderness
and proves the eye
with seen

pet, prey and predator
you take a photograph

grows closer with a look
and when you look away

let the sunshine in with
lusted after and before as well

a creature kiss is me for you

like weather come home with
and holds and wants to touch

gender? look under?
or could be overlooked

ridiculous days together we spend
fallen hard for the facts

bounds after in an insect cloud
and in a heartbeat too

and new
this creature never was

as frequently the thing itself

so sad sometimes at going
loves me so so much

pure animal abstraction is

some days as if by my own skin, breath

not even first thing but fast asleep
and far away
come closer, come

enough of myself told

Clark Gormley #22 Back Then

There seemed to be a time
before the battle lines were drawn
there was a bit more of us in them
and them in us
and we roamed freely
or blithely amongst them

it could be the fog of nostalgia
maybe war was always being waged
we wandered through trenches
thinking chlorine gas was mist
and mortars were fireworks

does the war never end
or do we have to win or lose
to go back?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Kit Kelen #967 - servus (series of poems for German words)

series of poems for German words

hail friend
here the track has us
the day
the air we're in

let me mean nothing by this

our lives cross here
once always
never again

each to each unknown

every meeting
is a crossroads

be in my eyes a little then

it's not in words
but this one for a deed of presence

we climb to it
I meet you on the mountain

so it must be in your boots
this thus far coming

all the world's in it

you bring yours with you
and I bring mine
so like unlike

turning too

I wish you well
on your way
of course


and now I've said
it's gone

this moment
this understanding
all the world
it was

Rob Schackne #738 - "It's like a beach holiday"

It’s like a beach holiday
sitting out the back 

the Railway Club
a Saturday afternoon
blue sky the sun windless
spring’s around the corner

a couple old dears come out
spoil the pokies for a smoke
it’s like a beach holiday

we enjoy the warmth
they shake their heads

they look closely at me
they shake their heads again

but spring is almost here
the old ex-Footscray player
he looks at me and laughs
it’s like a beach holiday I say
he measures the distance and laughs again
I close my eyes and listen
off-duty cop on the phone
shouts at someone about his wife
she’s left me with the boys

my battery's almost dead
see you tomorrow

Kerri Shying R # 498 - the frequency of screaming

some light is invisible  me
wrapped up in the blanket
and pyjamas on the porch
soaking  up the heater of the sun
trap    paperwhite a prop

the frequency of screaming

from the flesh   the screen
the page  translated so it means
business  as usual  delineate
what cuts    bring wrappers
  this  vivesection  a la mode

Clark Gormley #21 Drought

wallaby drawn to
the dew on the bitumen
butcherbird's breakfast

Tug Dumbly - Pigeons Don't Mind

Pigeons Don’t Mind  

Randy charcoal
puffball pouter,
purple-green ruff,
pinned hazel eyes,
pulling three moves (at least),
at the same time –
see-saws, circles,
noggin tock-tocks
like a cartoon injun
dancing round a fire

hassling ladies
at the station
in a daylight disco
of shameless pluck: 
buk-a-da-DA …
c’mon, love, gis a ride’.

Fuckoff …’

‘til one caves:
‘oright. Hop on.  
But don’t muck round’.

And he’s up, like a
grommet on a wave,
for the jelly trembling
triumph of seconds  

till dumped
for a crumb, like a
pub punter flung
from a bronco bull.

Doesn’t dust off,
just struts to the next
in a numbers game  
of unloseable odds.

Gotta respect the grit
of the pigeon, unruffled
by a nest of rejection slips
till one comes to fruition.

Tug Dumbly - Sick Trainset Glorious Monday

Sick Trainset Glorious Monday

Scared how new things
have to get old
battered and scratched.

Sunglasses, friendships
won’t come clean
like a beach

tide-smoothed to a slate
to be scribbled with a new day’s stick
fresh printed with a foot.   

Sweating that first scrape
to a shiny new car
to a virgin face …

can’t take the suspense.

Please, I beg these glinting things
nick yourself now
get it over with quick.

I like old stuff too – slanting barns
rusted machines, gnarled trees
ramshackle friends.  

It’s just the transition makes me tense.

From sticky-born lamb
to styrofoam chop
a mild pregnant agony      

an ectopic anxiety
waiting for decay
to get underway.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Rob Schackne #737 - The Perfect Storm

      The Perfect Storm

            The inhabited cave
            looking out see
            my hands shaking
            the perfect storm
            why am I here
            trees blowing hard
            high winds
            like a knuckle

            there to fight
            all this shit
            plastic bags
            what do you hear
            animals to shelter
            can it last as long 
            as the next

Kit Kelen #966 - demon lover

demon lover
my life as a demon

(for godsbother?)

let me tell you about
my life as a demon

an agitation
you could call it

run around on fire

of the soul, is it?

a lot of falling
and through the flames
I may well have been cast

demon is a type

put away the horns and tail
keep it in your pants

fell through time and space like this

people whispered
hurtful, said
can you imagine?

and are demons really unclean?
would you sit next to one on a bus?

have you no pity at all... for
every joint
then there's the fire in the belly
and elsewhere!
they wanted me for a red hot poker

you can think of it as a game
kind of a politics

there's a lot of the wrong idea
about demons

I was hot
and had the hots

punished! the best part
I can dole it out as well
whips and chains
all hell-forged too

give as good as got

tongue hanging out
and catches
then everything's in ashes

once I heard a crack –
felt something holding back
hell freezing over, as foretold

some garlic breath and back to bubbling

can call up clocks
mischief is magic

now and then a little lilt
and wistful with the flames
look in – how otherworldly there

and future just the same

did I omit demonic laughter?

but I wear the devil's garments
to spare you the ugly truth

and constantly
I'm coming alight

burst into flames
again and again
whenever you're around