Three Rolls Away from Chaos

Troubled times with cerveza and lime
some things refuse to change
no squares to spare for your derriere
those fools never take a break
wash five times get soap in your eyes
cause going viral is out of style
“Never fear, I’ll lead from the rear!”
but dignity has already died.

 

 

Just a quick salvo from the front line of the retail industry. Don’t worry though, everything is ok! I received a communique from HQ, and the boss man will be selflessly working from home for the next month or more. Hooray, we’re all saved! Wait…

Also, my home internet chose a global pandemic as the perfect time to go completely kaput. No beer and no TV make Scrunch something something…

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.

Hot Shingles in Your Area

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Where the estuary opened her arms wide
enticing embrace from the vaulted sky
in the shade of tangled mangrove boughs
we lightly explored the depths of love
with salt and vinegar for reckless beginners
a taste of elation with a lemon slice
seagulls descended to eat our lunch
and it never mattered in the slightest
that the evening tides were against us
sands receding with the sun’s retreating
we fumbled, unsure and stubbornly insecure
our hands weaving an impossible knot
our hearts were bound and beat as one.

Rainbow Herbicide & Mass Fratricide

I am the painter
pigments primed
suffused and saturated
splitting white light
my cup may run over
but a true creator
is never satiated.

I have constructed
a vast and arid canvas
I have conceived
a horizon without blemish
I have contrived
this choking ochre dust
this unnatural orange rust
this thickening
this quickening
this poison in your blood
I have composed
a future for a faceless multitude
I have cursed
you, your children
and your children’s own.

I was birthed in obscurity
smothered in secrecy
and now
I am murder in perpetuity.

I am the rainbow
refracted and remorselessly perfected
no frail human hand
may grasp my venomous essence
as I pour from the thunderous heavens.

 

Note – today I did some reading about the Vietnam War, and learnt that Orange wasn’t the only colour we painted the landscape. We also used Agents Blue, White, Green, Pink and Purple. No care for the people we dropped it on, whether they were on the other ‘side’ or ours, nor the generations who came after. Who knew that war-crime was so bloody colourful?

Thirty Rusted Lawnmowers, Forty Busted Boat Motors, & One Caravan Full of Nightmares

Mowing the lawn?
You’re doing it
wrong
but I care just enough
to provide for you son
my life’s
only lesson.

Don’t break your back
staggering around your stack
with a thrashing howling living machine
rock shard and cut grass spraying
sweat cooking on your back…
No! you take that mower
and you rip it apart
scatter its guts all over the yard
let the blades rust in the Summer sun
then you go buy another one
and repeat this every weekend
until every inch of earth on your land
is home to some ruined piece of machinery
and the lawn will be
the least of your worries.

Take it from me, I’m a puzzling man
that is,
I’ve framed all the jigsaws I’ve ever done
and when I’m gone that’s all I’ll leave behind
puzzles and garbage
pornography and dreams
and my shack with views of the ocean deep.

 

Author’s note – Long story short, I went a bit crazy the last few weeks and nearly bought an alleged ‘house’ (in reality a run down rubbish-strewn shack in the middle of nowhere about four hours away from where I, or anyone else lives). In between dealing with all the loan sharks and real estate double agents, I spent a long time inspecting the place with the caretaker. It was a deceased estate, and the family hadn’t made even the barest effort to clean. And as I stood there in among the busted asbestos panels, tangled fishing rods, faded filth magazines, and all the accumulated detritus of another human’s life, I had a bit of a moment…