Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rob Schackne #864 - "To go missing" (4)

Sure I'm watching your detective and talent doesn't matter or education fuck it's the year of paste the experts how does the self disappear like is there a bottom to the starry night a consciousness changed in heaven would I still be ready fifteen years on the force the alibis I made up how do you just slip everything away fuck you state it for the record sure it's another case I will not follow you everywhere

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gillian Swain - #52 - Today I am deciduous

my hair
my decorum
the version of things
it is my   autumn   and
although I do not shed
my   leaves
today I am deciduous
read my bark   splintering
across this sky
falls to ground like
knees   look around you
the colours are changing

Rob Schackne #863 - "To go missing" (3)

Language affects what we see then quality fades a small house on the beach she takes from a shelf a diary and reads through the references to passing couples stopping in front to have sex in the evenings and the writer's indecision whether to shout and race out when he sees them because language affects what we see on the beach she puts the notebook back and resumes her investigation of ominous fractures

Kit Kelen #1113 - of the innumerable - a wake-up to myself [for godsbother]

of the innumerable
a wake-up to myself
[for godsbother]

are we one?

in a world I dream
I am as much
as everything
as real to touch
as deep
as far
as its own journey

then I’ll be honest
in the truth

as a forest leans
where you see
it stand

I am to witness
all there is

see as far as
my closed lids

the numbers are eternal
but someone once
first thought
to count

pick a stillness
rare to fate

how far alone
I’ve come together   

sometimes sought
to see the pixels
I was these
and more

in a skin I wore  
but never woke once
twice to a world again

a breath between
here someone guessed

please please
let me dream

to the heart
to the end of this sleep
where I have
no one to ask

I might be candle lit
far from a star
dark orbiting

as if there had been
such a day
and I were yet
to live it

and soon
so soon

Kit Kelen - unnumbered epigram

unnumbered epigram

life’s a flash and then you’re ash
look up just once and down you go

Clark Gormley #82 the bike is gone

the bike is gone
but the cycle goes on

work groceries
home repeat
no more sandal to the pedal
it's feet to the street

last night chained to a fence
this morning - absence

hope whoever has it
is utilising
cos walking is slower
that's not surprising

Tug Dumbly - Hungry?

All your untook forks
still sit in your drawer
unstolen cutlery

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Gillian Swain - #51 - With the world at her feet . (the earth pool, Newcastle Beach)

Under the grit and shallow
portraits of countries
decades of wash and flush
still there under sand journals
the map reads you
conversations with feet
at the waters edge
the bit between wet and dry
faces of children surface

Rob Schackne #862 - Senryu (18)

ah doan remember
it can all go to buggery
let the seasons flow

Kit Kelen - unnumbered epigram

unnumbered epigram

great heat, the Chinese say...
not a single member of the garden
wouldn’t wished to be pissed on
in some shade today  

Rob Schackne #861 - Inedible Food (redux)

Inedible Food

                                     "But if it's not asking too much..."
                                         Percy Mayfield

Just because of the screw in your mouth
shards of globe in the mutton potatoes
the waiter-hair-in-my-soup, who cares
if this food is increasingly inedible
or if love skirts the eatery like a rat
Lord, but if it's not asking too much
how about gathering from memory
all the inedible foods of this fool's life
and send me someone to love again
with tendons and gristle, fragments
of pieces to be carefully reassembled
and of all that you can never keep
place her on my right side, impressed
when I lay the frog bones in a row

Kit Kelen #1112 - how much longer this world? (for godsbother)

how much longer this world?
for godsbother

its streams of light
its thunderheads

the empty orchestra
and flicker

how green the river goes

once, as in impatient to be

an inching wormwood comical
still in its beginnings lit

how much longer
will we ask

vision of simply what is
how many?

like a breeze let through

in among all the arrows fallen
how much longer this world?

its secrets and told truths

like a road run far
and all beyond

this one we know
and cupped hands beg
to prayer we bend

all nighter eyes prop matchsticks
so we uphold the bar

how much more my breath in it
so meaning

and anytime unravel

how many others may we attempt?

no more than a moment

the was-and-will-be

our grammar cast
to recollect

how much longer this then?

how high the walls
and heaven’s throne?

out of air that would not hold

how many lost causes?
who’s unmoved?

how many and how much? – a squabble
count till we fall off

but from a sort of soil
so rise

how long such dirty souls to scrub?
how wild the guess we are

and until swept away

how many mornings more
the words like rain to the landing page
and herded

image, as I say

in anyone’s words, so wept, forgot

how angel decked and all forever
changeless those almighty mitts
arthritic from the start

how much more seeing can there be?

how far down in the ache are we now?

steps to the pinhead dance
how many?
how much dust we are

how many more of these leaves to burn
each conjuring spring out of afternoon light

bars to a rattled cage
how much further to fall

all its green giving you
how long will last words last?

billions we are
and bone
so stone
and still we’re turning

shake the abstract out

how long such string
some sisters muse

all in my image after me
fooling fate

in every blessed death we read
how love was let away

say home
for an imagining

this sun
on my shining
how long

Kit Kelen - senryu/haiku --- the river went

senryu/ haiku

belly up, the river went
it followed the fish to their heaven
we can’t be far behind

Tug Dumbly - The Bard's Prayer

The Bard’s Prayer

Our Mother, our muse uneven,
hello, is this all in vain?
Thy acceptance come,
my launch be done,
online, with sales of eleven.

Give us this day our daily grant
And forgive us our bitching

As we don’t forgive those
Who bitch against us.

And lead us not into hack work
But deliver us from cliche

For thine is the good review
the profile and cover story,
Forever endeavour
Arts end.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Rob Schackne #860 - "To go missing" (2)

Coming down the hill whatever was there my detective loses a heel takes off both shoes enters the house objects of a discarded life how I looked hard at your occupation is what I felt wiped clean how I wrote the notes she wants to collate the information with rubber bands of ten thousand books in a library most of them just sitting there looking very read you cheeky bugger she thinks something has to be missing

Gillian Swain - #50 - Not quite senryu - for "Renovators Hints and Tips."

No crimes are hidden
in the white bathroom
of one who washes often
and cleans rarely.

Kristen de Kline #244 Everyone said:

everyone said:

give it time
it'll get better
you’ll fall in love     again
get out more
bush walking calligraphy
mindfulness Pilate's
wine in the morning
how about a new girlfriend
some breakfast at night
Botox a lobotomy
everything happens for a reason
hang out with random poets
thrash the old vinyls
read Bukowski every night
book yourself
into an asylum
listen to Amy Winehouse     loud
smoke more weed
dye your hair blue
stop stealing men's jocks
from the local dumpster
it'll get better
give it time

everyone said:

Kristen de Kline #243 Summer Nights 5: Smoking nuns

at night on the beach
you watch two nuns
blowing smoke rings
into the wild     hard
summer darkness
second man dies after
being pulled
from waters 
on the beach at night

I tell you:
I destroy myself
again and again
you know how it be
Nazi bitch boss walks
into the party   gives me
a nod    toss down a third
Valium from the sun rip off
the beer bottle top with teeth
every now and then we fall apart
hit that Karaoke machine
what's that about love in the dark
take that bitch 

     and again

by the time they walk
to the far end of the pier
their Craven 'A' reds
have burnt down to
lit up stubs like glow
worms in Waitomo caves
are they praying together
or do I make that up
more ash burns in my mouth

I forget the rest of the dream
what country which decade
Mother Superior lights up a
cigar, beat poets waltz in
the black sand, ghosts chatter
bullets rain from the skies
am I losing my mind
another comet falls from grace
more bodies collapse on concrete
I still can't find the missing comma

Rob Schackne #859 - "yes home is"

yes home is
what you
make it
and home gets
taken from you
yes home is
a dream
of safety
and home is
one night only
yes home is
a violent partner
and home is
way out
of your class
yes home is
a mattress
and home is 

a rough house
a memory
yes home is


Kerri Shying R -#580 - Italian Tomato

you lean  again invoking Pisa
in my small suburban yard    grass
sucking up the strength to seed    I
gave the first of the Roma pastes
to bluetongues  thanks for all ex-snails you

vigilante gunmen of the side streets  low slung maulers

crunching on what ails me  when I can’t bend
to pluck away the pests  I rely
on bifurcated tongues    All About Eve
playing with my supper  the tomato
this year like steak I savour it  with Chianti

Michele Elliot #38 Skylines 7

and a misshapen platform to land on
the lightest touch
heart tremble

Kit Kelen #1111 - art of waking (for gosbother)

art of waking
for godsbother

where we are

so gently to myself

as if a thread were spun

another nature


to what’s given
what happens
what’s here

all green I was waking when

there for you like light

every sense its own
one by one
that’s to smooth the landing

some days you’ve just fallen
others must have climbed

making is an art as well
we shake the thing alive

I was the forest
now pick up the trail
every animal comes on

where everything is given
so logic gilds the lie

hear the clock begin again
or snow forgot to fall

is this the world
I went to bed with?
and am I brave enough to ask?

there’s someone sings
before the song

it still belongs to the dream

who have we here?
won’t wonder?

all the others long gone now
so it’s we live this

I must have wished a way to here

it’s world to world we go
we’re gone

it’s nothing
we all fear

Kit Kelen - day of four ones

day of four ones
maybe that’s lucky?
good to have come so far!

James Walton # 129 Buckle the chute, summer moths

even though I am falling out
of a mind full of purloined kites
diagonals slicing adrenalin

above the chimney
with a crooked wind vane
a giant size Dorothy clasping Toto

lightning rod finger to the sky
where the wetlands drop parades
the ocean a shovel filling in

this azure refraction

did they say the second pull?

fumbling through the tear away ends
a hieroglyphic for a life
you ought to know better than dangle

a helicopter thrash that stirrups guide
that’s a rush of language
string on a tooth             hang glider

they fluttered in such revelry

no lamp to come home to
reaching for coincidence
in all honesty            wings?

I held on for as long as I could
you don’t need it written down
my feet slide a signature

those camouflage eyes of alphabet

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Gillian Swain - #49 - Full ocean

And   when I 
crest   plumage   a wave of new
the sand is ready for the
crash the   land the   tumble
the hit is harder than I plan for
there is blood
the day slows   gets longer   it's all
steam and tears down here
I am   all the water
is salt   makes you float   I
am   full   ocean
prism of  move of light
and shift   it is cold and   hot and fast and
rush with   water  is 
safe   it's the way colour is made
sinesthesis   drinks
the roll the radiate the 
spread out of all
is well

Kit Kelen - unnumbered senryu - shit in a stump

unnumbered senryu for Mick
(back in the day)

shit in a stump
grow dynamite dope
blow everyone’s head away

Rob Schackne #858 - "To go missing" (1)

To go missing no not like that violent erasure but gradually one fine day then not there anymore gone like a magic act check for finger prints a short search for evidence and for despair the check for priors then finally the brief questions was it all played out was there grog I wonder now drugs or a missus look around there's no change everything that is nothing turned up vanished how did you swing it

A place unlovely # 134 Claine Keily

They said
you are moving to
an unlovely place
made of dust and heat
and I said
unhighway me
remove me from
all places stained
with the unkind hands
of salt and sea
I was born without
the jellyfish parts
of those who live there
so instead
in a place unlovely
I will make ponds from rain
and loan my hair
until it forms
a temple for bees

Kerri Shying R - # 579 - The word was

saw his hands  stimming over lies
and thought    it’s good you’ll be gone
soon   those buckled bulbs  for
fingernails   the giveaway of a heart
about to blow   the eloquence of illness

far surpassed the itchy dogs that fell limping from his mouth

nothing he said worth a dollar on the
open market   no exchange rate    for
who’d pay  some stories   ought
to die   those names for things  rubbed out
in the sand   the beginning   it was the word

Kit Kelen - unnumbered haiku

unnumbered haiku

I love to watch the insects drink
a drop on a leaf
is more than they are

Kit Kelen #1110 - all grown up

all grown up

I’m in the good room now
choose rugs, view out

the whole round-this-spot
our time in that

and here’s a childhood spent
some slot car must have flown off the track

and now

dinner – I can make it
who will remember what self-drive was?

breeze of say, summer
there’ll be other seasons

we are already
back in the day

we’ll make a Lent of it yet

Kit Kelen - unnumbered haiku

unnumbered haiku

in the first light, packed up
gone, those spiders who’d
woven the short summer night

Tug Dumbly # 74 Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny  

I griped at my life
bemoaned my fate.

A wizened Chinese
shuffled up to me
tiny sparrow
of bent bones.

One arm dragged
a trolley, the other
strained a cabbage
in a string bag.

Up to me she struggled
and beckoned me bend.
She whispered
‘take suffering
make it zhenzhi,
make zhenzhi …’

I said ‘no Chinese’.
She said ‘turn your
suffering into zhenzhi …
you say it origami …’

And it dawned.

I looked down at her
brown face cracking
like old parchment,
tooth stumps like
animal bones
in drought mud.  

And ‘Yes!’, I said ‘Yes!’
as I folded her in two
and put her away.

(She had no right being
in my bathroom anyway).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Gillian Swain - #48 - the termites and the tree they made a seat for me

tree stump saddle soft
crumbles to my weight and 
termite preparation
the oldest of the trees    leans
above the rest
quiet and full   of the forest
soundscape   gentle and creeping
i feel my shape   shift
settle   in the curl of
wood   and nest of green
this valley the carpet
of mountain 
the creek the
artery of time

Kit Kelen - unnumbered senryu

unnumbered senryu

dance around in the morning
chase a tail or two
make myself scarce elsewhere

Rob Schackne #857 - Double senryu (17)

Like everyone
I walk in this sorry world

Very windy here
small things are flying
please look out.

Kit Kelen - unnumbered senryu

unnumbered senryu

in the workshop he lets them know
you can write poems…
so just write the poem, alright?

Tug Dumbly # 73 - Alpine & Creme de Menthe

Alpine & Crème de Menthe

That voice you did on the phone
I called your beetroot voice.
It blushed red, was too effusive and gushy.
Same tone you used with lavender ladies
on the church buffalo, after one
of the Reverent Garlick’s brainbakers,
me dragging your dress to the car:
c’mon mum. And stop being so christly nice.
Drop the drapes and talk straight,
like those hardbit mums of my mates,
with the cold green crème de methe eyes,
squinting smoke and suspicion,
leaking Alpine from pinchbar mouths,
downturned tight like snappers on ice.

Other mums were Vasso and fabric softener 
young Shirley Maclaines and Glenda Jacksons
to me now as I smudge their faces to some
greasy gladwrap mashup in my wild young eye.  

Even now I see Charlotte Rampling flick a
cigarette to curl tresses of smoke beneath
a yellow moth halo outside the scouthall,
dark cherry lipstick thick on the butt 

and there!
right there’s an Aladdin’s lamp to rub
through the pocket of your scout pants,
a cony snare sprung, whorled pube’s boing!
whipcrack of pissed on electric fence kicking
sharp to imprint soft loam with hoof of desire

that crimson butt compactly primed with a
thousand and one nights of total sweaty recall,
of purest carnal creation, a dna ladder
up a stocking to where all fictions start 

Swiss Army lipstick, personal Grecian Urn,
that forever fusing fag a Proustian bunger
ever ready to explode like a shook Fanta can
with a mere elbow greasing of the mind.      


Other families went fishing Sundays,
caught Kingies and Wahoos out at the shelf
while I caught sali-vation in stale flecks flung
from a fossil pulpit, stewed in tales of the Lamb,
the Fisher of Men, the Kingdom of Odd.

How I greened over them straight talkin bent
heathen families and the glorious loose way they 
smoked and drank and swore, how they
went to the Club and violently barbequed.

Realists, they were, those salty mums and dads.
Knew they were raising cobras, not kids.
Had a healthy medieval view of child rearing,
copped some attrition like a bad gas bill.  

So, you might lose a few.

Kids were little disease and weather dependent
crops, seed scattered on nightsoil before the black
bibs of crows and floods and fate, and the
whittling whim of some great unguessable fish.

What cha gunna do? Just follow the
instructions on the packet you can solidly
grasp, not the ectoplasmic tiller   
of god’s pleasantly scented butcheries. 

Trust in cottage industry’s sweaty rut
and shudder of kid makin, manure well,
plough your bed, so sew sow your furrow,
drill deep your seed where choughs don’t burrow,
and if some blindworm, bus or canker pluck
a few, well, just imagine them taken by the Turk
for Janissaries in some mini-series.

… Fuck must be pleasant that, I thought,  
rockin back in the arms of the pagan
on some cool throne of stone, of living on
guts, gristle, pure peasant superstition,
solid meat, splintered bone.


Another scene:

Here’s you and me mum reading in bed, 
our wet brown dairy cow eyes spilling torrents
over the death of little Fiver in Watership Down.
Didn’t know this stuff got harder to take than
shooting Blinky Bill’s dad
                                   (or watching in real life
that Kookaburra pumped full of slugs by louts
at a van park, the bird just sitting there taking it,
patiently absorbing death, pellet by lazy pellet. 
Why don’t you just fly?) …

Justa couple more pages, please mum, please,
just one more page before …

lights out …  


Dodge City the old man called the place
where lived those commission house kids
with ribby brown bodies, hard and sharp,
whippet wiry like a copper brush kept in a
tin of dirty kero to scour greasy engine parts

good at skidding bindies barefoot
or rippin off on a stolen gold dragster
from the pool, tarwalking bubbling roads
on faith to take cuffings and beatings
as pa for the course unbelts from the pub,
the drink-drive no probs in those days,
as he floats home like a boat in a Kingswood
station wagon colour of a KB can,
and whaling the kid’s an appetiser to chops
or like taking a piss, better out then in  


One afternoon I walk from a scumbled sky
past corrugated chickens of a hot sirocco
thumb-smudged greasy orange sun filtered
through bushfire Somme      a moted eye
flecked with longline drifts of ashes, cinders,
cicadas and cinders of cicadas, and black
cockatoos and crows cawing baleful auguries
like black waves of Heinkels heading
to nightbomb London over a melting plastic
bush run through by the Devil’s thumb …    

… the sound of sirens wailing over town
a carrion antiphon to hellbreath Westerly    
choir of infernal shadow-puppetry     Punch
& Judy treeline thrashing and bowing heads
thirsting for the promised end …

… this hot wind about licks my lungs out
as up a concrete ramp I blow through the
backdoor of a green fibro box of a place
into a back kitchen thicket of fag and wood-
smoke      where at laminex sit a pair of
freckled toad sisters smoking with snapper-
faced mum, and the old Kookaburra’s
chainin on too - something in there, probably
fish - and there’s streaks of bark and kindling,
red splinters and dust to be swept from the lino
round the empty woodbox (which you should
have refilled by now ...) 

flyscreen smacks three times     
I say hello Mrs Saunders     she grunts
with green eyes and the toads
don’t look up from savagely ashing
into a scallop shell and picking
at chipped nails
as I walk through to the front …


… it’s Satdee arvo coz old man Ken’s
in front of the wrestling, Mario Milano and them,
and the tele’s black and white
and Ken’s smoking Black & Whites
(‘they’re smokes for blokes’) …
and he might have a pearly shell ashtray too,
choked with a Giant’s Causeway of butts …
but who knows, could be that mermaid
ashtray with the novelty swinging boobs …

… and let’s say he’s got a can of KB 
in a foam holder printed with a rude joke …
He looks at me in his doorway: ‘ee’s in ‘is room’,
he thumbs, face redder than a cooked
tiger prawn, almost permanent puce 
from being out in his boat, the salt sea and sun,
and he’s lubed with Brylcreem, nicotine
beer, Old Spice, an ancient source
of fear and awe, could lasso a kid
from a block with his voice       one of them
mythical old men, Yowie Men, Banksia Men,
Babadook in terms of now,  
frightening creature insides unknown …

I’m an old man now, older than him then,
but can’t see myself as one, not like him
who’ll always be older and more astounding
in his way, a maker of things with his raw hands,
like his house his boat his shed …
                                            and I wonder
where his knowledge to make things came from,
and who his old man was, and who everyone’s
old man is, whole chains of old men stretching
back to Charlie Mane and beyond …

I spose he’s red too from his job
as a council roadganger, laying hot tar
under a bubbling sun … all this heat -
of wind, of fire, of stove, of a cooked face,  
of smoke trapped in the logs of lungs … 


… my friend’s a little saucepan
bubbling on his bed, crewcut head
burrowed like a puggle in his pillow,
digging for the life of him to get away
from that beltin old Ken out there
just give him - who knows why, maybe
the woodpile, maybe just a regular
hangover hittin 

but now he’s more digging to get away
from me seeing him unmanned
by a mere whippin  
face down trying hard
not to let me see him cry 
his dad musta done him good
coz it’s not like the belt’s a novelty.
and I poke his shoulder,
then shake him rough
then touch him more gentle
and that just makes him shudder like a ship. 

Come on Shane
let’s get outa here, get the bikes
go and look at the fires …
they’re up Hidden Valley,
along the river, round Cat’s Cave …

and all he can do is not cry.
Musta been a beauty alright  

but we’d be over the bush soon enough  
whittlin spears and chucking rocks
at the bomby cars slept in by tramps  
and sucking Alpines at Big Rock

C’mon Shane …

and he’s not going to cry
he’s just not going to cry
and then he’s really crying

and I walk home feeling light
and think then, or soon, or years after,
or all three, I got a pretty soft cocoon
to retreat to after an adventure
nice place to gobble toothpaste
and scour hands fleshless with a bar
of Solvol, to absolve me of the thrilling
taint of Alpine transgression; place to
relish my goddy little guilts in peace
and like the dog that didn’t bark in the night
I come to see what’s missing in some places
is books and bookshelves
and encyclopaedias and a piano
and music and records, and getting
read to every night, and hardly ever getting hit,
and then with only half a heart’s hand on the bum 

So please, pass the beetroot mum.