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Under false auspice and ulterior motive
laden and leaden with manifest destiny
rolling around in rum soaked insurrection
bottom of the barrel, back of the shelf
last calls and final rounds
float to the top, sink to the sky
dance your way into hell.

Liquored up and burdened with prophecy
gin-joint Jesus with electric hair
spilled the beans across the street
and what lurks within a man
bile, curses and spitting shame
please don’t recall my name
when the cloud clears and the waters recede
I find myself and lose the way.

“Who wants another Fireball?”

“What are you, a fucking level ten wizard?”

“Alright Scrunch, I think you’ve had enough.”

Iron Vines

Wrought in the intricacies of iron
obscure pattern frozen in growth
broad-leaf flares on the twisting vine
woven together with oiled wire
metal twisted into organic life
rusting under the open sky
a lattice of gratitude
a ladder of trust
bound with forge feathered wings
brass-plumed in the setting sun.

Semantic Satiation

I thought I had raised Babylon
over one terrible night
the scars on my palms
hammer and tongs
my mouth full of mortar
brick-dust breath
I fumble in a whiskey-dark fog
fugue clogged synapses
awakening and becoming aware
that I couldn’t build a garden shed.

I thought I had composed a symphony
a cascade of chords and inner harmonies
woven into movements of transcendence
aural incandescence
sonic revelations
three minutes of four beats and a voice
starting with a note… What note?
I’ve lost the key, the time, the words
my guitar seems built of lead
my hands stiff and mute
I have a string of nothing and a stolen riff
delete it I guess
my sorry fucking head.

I thought I had created something
made something worthy
yet I behold a palace of nonsense
and lame poetry.

Snake Oil Clearance Sale

Home decorated like a ship wreck
burrowed into a compost heap of paper
digits tapping out the sacred triangle
traced with muscle memory electricity
patterns carved in neural pathways
messages written with molasses ink
sticky fingers
sweet nothing.

Time transforms sentiment into sediment
grinding teeth like millstones on cement
frozen and fossilizing where I stand
bones of crystal glass in metal hands
quaking and tectonic chrome plating
horror in the depths of the kitchen sink.

(Don’t impede this millipede
he has so many steps to take
and although your race is run
he has a million more today.)

Trickle Drown Economics

“I sleep better in a storm,”
she said, nearby yet distant
“It should pour every night
until five in the morning
every day.”

Sorrow makes the car start falter
my week of Mondays (with overtime)
rolling the dice until lightening strikes
ducks in a row with tequila and lime
give me a break
or finish breaking me.

Billionaire bastards
crouched in your castles
eating glass and misery
won’t you make it rain?

Passive Regression

Sunlight warming white-gold sand
bold sky enticing me into the blue
I tottered on an uneven keel
and plunged into a hidden pool
and through the rippling window
glare refracted and scattered
while I settled peacefully
lolling limp
and carefree as kelp
until a hand
as big as the world
broke through, grasped me
and pulled me back into the world.

Baptized when their backs were turned
playing host to terrors nightly
I inherited the family legacy
a fish out of slaughter
the blackened sheep
generations of futility
our tree of lost sanity
a lone thread in the tapestry of misery
we are woven together so hatefully
(smile for the picture).

“Sour little grape, moody bear
fell in the ocean and shed a river
you’ll never remember this day
and soon you’ll forget the next
I am the beginning, I am the bitter end
I am your mother, I am not your friend
no shark would dare to eat you
no depths could conceal you
no distance could hold you
no heart can hide you from mine
I am the beginning, I am the bitter end
I am your mother, I am not your friend.”

91

Nineteen-ninety-one
up later than I should have, again
captivated by green fairy lanterns
tracers cutting through low cloud
as pale tanks churned through sands
illuminated by towering flames
two tone night vision guided precision
celebrating glorious murders
whether eviscerated from the sky
or entombed in trenches alive
weird dreams those nights.

Hen’s Teeth & Horsefeathers

It never ceases
the turgid churn of garbage
morbid juices leaking from greasy bags
heavy with excess and prepackaged regret
filth strewn nonsense
abandoned beside the highway
or piled unto heaven itself.

Your name
scrawled jaggedly on discarded pages
concealed among crumpled reminders
other tolls to be paid
and declaration of formal surrender.

I am Caesar of this quarter-acre rubbish-heap
behold my empire of the picket fence
I am the satrap of rat-traps
overlord of the overflowing pit
I am the prince of old car parts
lord of leftovers and frozen delights
I am the scion of this scrapheap
sultan of the wanton and needless
I am king of this accursed place
and the waste rules over me.

 

Motel Two Oh Nine

Florescence flickering unevenly
etching awkward contortions
caught in the flash of relapse
our stop-motion lifelong obsession
conducting us with electrified dust
dry lightening strike
we float in the moment
sustained in suspense
we hold one another aloft
a hymn begins
fumbling for more melodious meanings
scored with sorcerous intent
bewitching us with healing lament
a dirge born from hidden depths
strung upon the lyres of heaven
crying words of angelic dread
this song becomes us as we succumb
with broken hearts and a little death.

Shark Spank

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I ate a dozen apples
devouring one after another
until their sweetness turned sharp
stinging in my jowl, my clenched jaw
aching with mechanical motion
like a cow grazing meditatively
I glutted myself with flesh and seed.

I slept all through the week
embracing each day like a pillow
clutched tight to my face
holding back a flood of contrition
reflexive jerk reaction to self-reflection
I padded my cell with layers of slumber
for a soft landing in the sea of dreams.

I burnt all of my blazing currency
flippant in a spiraling frenzy
until the lights blinked out
in one black moment, nothing
contained squarely and photo framed
until I broke my way out and awoke
famished, befuddled and alone.

Kentucky Fried Cassowary

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By the side of the river we began to unwind
as we pulled at threads throughout the night
unraveling Revelations
and tearing down shibboleths
we ignited the silence with our backyard science
and explored the cosmos with beer in hand.

“Become who you are” he told me once,
“There are no guarantees.”

Every limb was a story or a shopping list
twisted missives composed in faded ink
we spent another day dissecting lyrics
reading signs buried between the lines
and rejoicing
in the simplest conversation.

Our shared delusions drove us to the edge
and our hidden truths reunited us again
down by the water’s end
unsteady, drunk with bubbling joy
“Mi casa es su casa” he said,
“Stay as long as you need”.

Hammer & Thresher

Nigel was a writer
he promised me once
deep down in those bitter cups
he told stories about the ocean
and his roving days, now long forsaken
yet recalled in immaculate detail.

He espoused all through those technicolour hours
clouding spent sentiment
with thick river sediment
while scraping barnacles off a bearded hull,
“Fish-scales in the sky, distant and white
a change will be coming our way”.

Until the next morning
he talked himself down
and curled on the couch like a contrary child
stubborn insistence that sleep be resisted
blankets clutched to his trembling chin
and when I rose he had passed like a storm.

Escape & Ambuscade

‘The time is now’ as the clocks unwind
but those days are fallen far behind
lost already in the rear view mirror
and minutes feel like hours and hours
roll into eternity as we make our way
away from the city and from hollow symphony
until that distant brutal hum
is replaced by the cicadas’ relentless drum.

And yet, madness follows you.

A low clouded forest canopy ripples like a deep green lake
brushed by breezes heavily scented with flowering wattle
carrying the hint of distant camp fire and foreign song
gentle chords pulled from wood, wire and loss
while among the patchwork shadows lizards lounge
and lyre birds lull in the straggly scratch bush scrub
myriad littered leaves speckled with white mould
observing orange spirals of fungal spores crawling
along forest floors caterpillar trains intersect
with termite trails and centipede stampedes
and toads hunt frogs stalking lizards chasing fishes
in every clear crystal stream or muddied black creek,
we float in the arboreal sea, suspended in stillness
ancient monumental figs commanding, listening
absorbing sound, muffling the whip-bird’s whistle
and the bower-bird’s cry, the rustling of shuffling of jungle fowl
and our whispered half-thought awe, lost in the colonnade
these towering pillars older than our ancestors’ forebears
recalling the setting of a thousand suns before we spoke
and destined to outlast our farthest steps, our final words
and our last whispered breath.

While the rest of the world breaks down in half life instability
these deep hidden roots endure, grasping and entwining
compressing past and present together
and the canopy is always rising
bearing us, breathing us,
our worthless dust
our verse and lust
our unspoken intent
our eternal trust
the sweet forest gathers our tattered,
scattered and shattered remains,
inexorable and inexhaustible
ever onward toward a heavenly state
that our miserable species never earned
anonymous and disembodied at last
a holy place that we never deserved.

Our city lights are nothing against the myriad fires
of the very future suspended overhead
those shining points of brilliant white
cast across infinity in every direction
we are ash and mere atoms
ascending into orbit
insignificant yet definite
held together by the spaces between us
circling one another in harmonious chaos
disintegrated and unlimited
dispersing and unknowing
of the love the stars feel for us.

Sulking Skulking Silken Strategist

A predator crouches above her nest
swaying to the breeze or the rock n roll
I don’t know, but she eyes me with skepticism
a dark mass hunched before a white screen
not sure to believe the tallest tales
a mountain that stirs and moves
once in a cerulean moon.

Time moves differently around her
as she gathers the threads and shakes her head
fangs whetted with meals regretted
and bundling up the rest for later
she takes a few irregular steps
eight-fold sensation precise co-ordination
slender legs braced in her trembling web.

She sifts through sands from distant lands
gritted mandibles release an imperceptible hiss
as she settles for seconds and vegetable bits
scavenging my discarded sustenance
only to instigate a lightening raid
gathering up more struggling morsels
and inviting her children out to play.

Arpeggio

In the last minutes of this side of the night
I’m tapping idly on uneven keys
you’re wound up too tight
but I know how this tension can sing.

I keep my head and heart hollow
for sake of the acoustics
as we compose another chapter
a callous chronicle of snapping strings.

Our harmonies clash, as always
rough-hewn melodies meandering
without resolution in sight
I don’t know how to end this thing.

Phthisis

Slug addicts are welcome
come nod off and on again in our sterile aisles
begging for stock checks on human heads and liquid sugar
you’re sweet enough already but why not stir the pot
just a dash of casual cash
carrots, sticks and a donkey costume
you’ve made an ass of yourself without our help
now collapse into a quivering quibbling heap
only to ignite like gelignite in a Minion-shaped jelly mould
dignity forgone for the sake of a dollar off.

Forged in finest plastic
or stitched together under sweating duress
we have full inventory of human misery
and seasonal clearance prices.

Your illness just needs a little fulfillment
foam packed mystery wrapped treasures
glittery sands to dazzle the eye and line the lung
breath deeply, pray meekly
at the altar offer up your hearts and your cards
indulge your burning urges
spend yourself better
and purchase a path to salvation.

 

The Narcist Anarchist & the Malarkey Arsonist

Where are you? Call out to me
if your eyes cannot perceive
or reach with your arms
if your voice is broken
but don’t hide from me you scoundrel
you hateful bastard, you haven’t the right
to scorch my earth and ignite my life
only to dissolve into mist
haunting my waking thoughts
with stories untold
revelation withheld
and those awful fishhook truths
wrapped tightly in a twelve bar blues.

Remorseless skulking eternally sulking
mercurial monstrosity in spectral swaddling
I feed the ravenous beast, or bargain
with the petulant child
climbing the tower of my tantrum
ascending to the pinnacle of rage
unstable with hate as morning breaks
and simmering
throughout the day.

I attend to you, tireless
my pitiful inner freak
I care for you
like a pointlessly fragile vase
that once overflowed
with words and volatile visions
and I keep you in trust
that a day will come
when life becomes you again.

 

Blue Grit

The old suburb has been buried
choking on dust, rock and rubble
tunnels gouge beneath deserted streets
stone-chewing merciless drills
pulse with subsonic vibration
and they strip the words from clay brick walls
high pressure hoses and chipping chisels
crumbling rotted mortar falling
pulling every stone apart
with fingernail and incisor
a century of ubiquity and urban mystery
under the tread of mechanical caterpillars
history is in the air.