Clucky Bastard

I wake up in the dense darkness between early and late
to turn the lever to pull it together and count my chickens
weeks before you’re due to hatch.

I wake up in the blank blackness on the cusp of day
to observe the steady glow of your loving Iron Mother
resting my hand above her heat-lamp.

I wake up in the close coldness and the crisp quietude
to shine a light into all the corners of your little world
observing tiny miracles in holy solitude.

I wake up in the solid silence before another day
to listen for your calls through warm eggshell walls
singing reply in rough whispered song.

I wake up again
although I’ve hardly slept
your voices now too strong
your worlds now too small
I watch as you gradually emerge
while you chip away at your walls
I watch as you break on through
and you stumble onto this earth
then with trembling care
I gather you near
a handful of life so newly arrived
while somewhere a rooster crows.

Craven

Hidden within those crumpled sheets
scribbled over congealed frozen meals
concealed cleverly under by-gone revelry
nearer to nothing and entombed in memory
the finality!
the banality!
exit stage left to muted applause
unseen hands draw the curtain closed
familiar thoughts
dissonant chords
buried now in a brown cardboard box
close beside that patiently vacant plot
the futility!
the stupidity!
beneath us and forever between us
your final words I never heard
because I am a coward
and you knew me too well.

Regicide

Regicide is the noblest of crimes
remove the head, the serpent dies
mix me a cocktail give me a light
igniting passion with Molotov fire
buy your ticket, now enjoy the ride
‘Long live the king!’ the viper writhes
protect your secrets, I’ll bury mine
our revolution begins tonight.

Shock Doctrine

Craving recognition
seeking confirmation
staring back at the eyes in the sky
a constellation of zooming lenses
an orbital array of baby monitors
old Brother’s unflagging vigil
nothing to hide?
nothing to fear!
now move along –
there’s nothing to see here.

 

Casino (The Hungry Mile)

“In the race of life, always back self interest. At least you know it’s trying.”
– Paul Keating

Your edifice glares into my kitchen
like a second sun setting in the East
your sparkling mountain of glass
your lofty peak of polished steel
your palace of ponderous vanity
and our collective loss of sanity
those orgulous proportions dominating the horizon
like a gleaming lance thrust into the heart of heaven
penetrating the clouds
flipping off the world
this crass corpulent cock of corruption
mirror bright and without self-reflection
this temple raised to launder your dollars
and empty the pockets of lucky sky-rollers
towering over the land and above the law
your cathedral of highest perfidy
your colossus of venal perversity
your altar of absolute depravity
your monument of base debauchery
this lofty trough for high-class swine
bugger the world and fuck the sky.

 

Inspired by a True Story

Supplements for Supper on the Last Day of Summer

Seven o’clock sharp as a razor
two capsules with tepid water
I’ve taken my tablets, dirty ochre
wake me up when it’s all over.

High noon climbs humid and dull
two more with my lunchtime swill
I’ve taken my tablets, sullen blue
what am I going to do with you?

Evening crawls in shadow’s wake
two more again to mask the pain
I’ve taken my tablets, restive red
steamed greens with sour bread.

My antihistamines are off the leash
plus melatonin for sweeter dreams
I’ve taken my tablets, lily white
no more medicine for tonight.

The Midnight Clowder

I talk to your cat
when you’re not home
I talk to your cat
when he’s out to roam
we talk about you
oh yes we do
we gossip and we dish
we bitch and we moan
“They never feed me!”
“I know, I know!”
“Nobody pats me!”
“I know, I know!”
I talk to your cat
we meet up at the pub
I talk to your cat
over our Sunday lunch
we discuss politics
we shoot the breeze
“But I can’t take you home,
I have allergies!”
I talk to your cat
and we make our plans
because people confound me
but your cat understands.

 

Just to be clear, this poem is just ‘for the lulz’ as the kids would say. I’m not going to abduct anyone’s cat. But I will talk with him or her when we run into each other on the street, and if that makes you ‘totes jelly’, I can’t help you.

Percussive Maintenance

When your door creaks upon its hinge
when your magic box is on the fritz
when your engine begins to choke and spit
when your square pegs refuse to fit
slap that recalcitrant sonofabitch
whack that reluctant piece of shit
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

Technicians and eldritch magicians
clutching their textbook superstitions
full of protocol and official positions
but they all concede to ancient wisdom
smack that flickering screen
let the copier hear you scream
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

When your documents are lost forever
when your waffles get stuck together
when your router finally goes to heaven
when your smart phone gets too clever
tap it rap it clap it snap it crack it
shake it a bit and maybe break it a bit
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

Pax Atomica

Beneath the earth where giants sleep
wrapped in cocoons of tempered steel
beneath our thoughts and in between
prophecy slumbers below our feet
and in the oceans’ trackless deep
atrocity submerged by silent seas
wars once frozen can be re-heated
just don’t think what dwells beneath
we can light a pyre and call it peace
while giants groan in restless dreams
while power trembles beyond our reach
prophecy demands a promise to keep
we signed the deal but we never read
now giants are entombed down beneath
now we are bound to ensure they sleep
now we are part of their awful dreams
now we rejoice in our Atomic Peace.

 

 

I’d like to dedicate this one to all my regular readers… because you truly are the bomb.

Serenity

Your table manners were atrocious
staring me down with jaw agape
not interested in your own fare
and only concerned with my plate-
how I miss your gormless face
hot breath dripping spittle shake
stiff-legged stretches at sunrise
forever ready to run your race
purloining food to swiftly escape
you were almost famous
and yet so rarely awake.

 

Hamshake (Politics & Pick Up Sticks)

False prophecy is boom-or-bust business
just mind your own and make your bank
while another today refuses to wait
and another tonight is running late
nine to five to seven to eleven again
nothing but time for waiting in line
live your best life at the traffic lights
they say
no rest for the wicked
they say
you bought the ticket
they say
it’s a sticky wicket
but I say
we were fucking tricked.

Procrastination, Thy Name is Scrunch

Throwing a self-pity party
My place! Today!
Dress code: utterly ridiculous
b.y.o. tiny violin.

Watch this space as they say
restart the infernal machine
when the tide turns and returns
lay my burden aside
in the blessings of another rainy day
remember that I’m alive
and it’s back to work in cleaner shirts
knuckle to keyboard
bumper to bumper
from warehouse to the front-of-store killing floor
shift it all and sell it all and shift it back again
my vacation in my self-centered stagnation is done
(for now)
back to work we go.

Scratched

Boundless
enthusiasm
you nearly pulled me over
again.

Every morning you woke up happy
stretching and dancing around me
eyes bright with the familiar question
“Where are we going today?”.

Later
the walk home seemed longer
with your empty collar
heavy in my hand.

There Is No Hell Like an Old Hell

Molten yellow wax held me entranced
suspended within a glowing lamp
my little room, my comfortable gloom
walls papered with faces and thought
so safe, even in the aftermath
violation against volition
tearfully contrived contrition
memories wrapped in cotton mist
and the brittle fragility of my youthful simplicity
as I tapped out tales of stupendous stupidity.

Where my heroes would hold me close
roiling cramps from an incorrect dose
among tumbling words from the gods I heard
the deep resonance of the renaissance man
where I would lay for hours in silent howls
scissors bleeding and clarity receding
mosquitoes eager to commence their feasting
humming in my head told me and scolded me
“It’s not over and you’re not done yet,”
where the world came to a violent end
over and over and forever again
where the door bore scars from my impotent fist
where I cracked my toe in a raging fit
where tantrums broke when I awoke
while my nightmares lay down and slept.

Where a single song could contain me
when nothing else could save me
and for every moment that I spent
I could recall another unique torment
that Pandora’s box filled with dirty socks
where my life was as cheap as the rent.

Music Lessons

She drew music in the sand with her toes
laughing as she tried to explain again
how the universe could be rearranged
while the key might not change at all
and the rise and fall of her merciful voice
guided my eyes along those rivulet lines
until the tide began to sluggishly turn
and the waves rose up to erase her work.

“It’s all just crows sitting on telephone wires!”
I said with half a heart and a stubborn head
“Scales and intervals and diminished chords
it’s a load of nonsense with a pleasant form.”

She laughed, smiling perhaps
for the last time in that decade’s span
we were ignorant and blissful for an afternoon
until the ferry returned to take us home.

Stoned Crows & Starving Lizards

A hunter moves in sudden bursts
furtive track across a vertical desert
minute black eyes and yellow scales
he is forever ready to drop his tail
lest another predator should appear
to turn the hunter into his meal.

While out in the garden a lazy buzz
as a fattened gatherer wanders about
bumbling drunk within a sugar rush
blue belly shining in the orange sun
a life of flight from orchid to rose
collecting flowers for the family home.

Ignoring both the gecko and the little bee
a noble thief scrambles among the leaves
for secrets to discover under netting cover
forbidden fruits are purloined with ease
“Hidden treasures are the greatest of pleasures!”
said the clever crow with his blueberry feast.

Coal, Franking Credits, & Metallurgy

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Heavy thoughts for this empty head
I always hoped we would meet again
but the moon hides her anguished eye
and the sun blushes bright in shame
as we steal a moment in despair’s embrace
while our pancake planet goes up in flames.

Behold! My lump of holy midnight gold
my compressed pet
my best damn friend
pulled from the banks of a stagnant creek
my pound of fossil flesh
my chunk of destiny manifest.

Merry Christmas! from the sacred coalface
now an endless Summer with no solace
Season’s Greetings! said the koalas weeping
we can’t stand the heat ’cause the kitchen’s burning
Wishing You All the Best! from the edges of the earth
we’re just cooking up the end of the bloody world.

Operation Highjump

“If you only climb a mountain once a year
you can’t really call yourself a mountaineer…”

Deleting myself
gives me a sense of what control must be like
a taste of power with sweet and sour
while hanging on for happy hour.

Noodle arms and stir-fried brain
this place doesn’t feel the same
I’m always too cooked or under-done
embittered by what I’ve not become
how am I supposed to find composure
in the tedium of raw sobriety?

Smoke and mirrors
whats for dinner?
I would eat my own head
if it allowed me to forget
that I am the culmination
of those hapless generations
lost to time and creeping death
I am where the story ends.