Monday, September 28, 2015

Now would be good - 28/09/2015


never get enough bread
with my soup
or sleep

always feel
just a little too fat
to fit into my afternoon

want to reheat the thing
I just said

could get way more stuff done
if I wasn't already busy
doing stuff

have a very good idea
of what will make me happy
it's whatever is over there
just out of reach
in another colour
yeah like the one they have

I'm pretty satisfied
with my level of dissatisfaction
at the moment
for now

I guess.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some Loose Change - 29/07/2015


busker over there is so bad
think he owes me a few dollars out of his hat

last night owes me three hours more sleep
smokers on the lawn here owe me cleaner air
cars owe me a whole lane to myself
plus a few less opened-door fractures on my ribs
X girlfriend owes me like a year and a half back
poetry in Melbourne owes me at least five more
social work another ten on top of that
and a hairline intact
Tony Abbott owes me a whole fucking country
owe my sanity to a bicycle
and myself a bit more self respect
no one is going to collect on those debts

as for that woman coming up to me crying
homeless over my Bento box, well...

‘spose I owed her at least a brief listen to her story
stuck together cluster of excuses that it was
it was also all true, that
you get no centrelink for up to six months
in some cases
and no support without a fixed address to check
doesn't mesh so well with being homeless
these are called poverty traps
amongst fucks to give I know this is all relative

besides buying the odd Big Issue
I don't give money to beggars
any more than I feel the need to feed these birds

but today just this once
reach into my pocket
drop a few gold coins
into her scaly hand

not because anybody is owed anything
just because I think
it's where that money should be
this afternoon

don't care what the fuck she spends it on
'long as it doesn't go to that busker over there




Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rouge Rider - 19/07/2015


I'm looking out the window at this shiny red woman's bike, locked to a hoop on Sydney road with a matching red helmet. I'm madly in love with this bike and it's imaginary owner.

Really I should go out there and wait next to it with a single red rose, and when she shows up I'll simply explain that I have have a red bike too, and that this makes us soul mates. This will all be very cute, she will not be quite convinced of course, but charmed.

Then I should stammer that my bike isn't actually red, but I've accessorized it that way. Of course she will be impressed with my use of the word 'accessorize' and she will not find any of this creepy. Because I'm not like a creep or nothing, yeah. She'll see through my awkwardness for sincere spirit and strength, and then look at me like a sunrise in the mountains. I will hand her the rose without the slightest shake in my hand.

She will pause a moment, swallow some decision with a shadow across her face, drop her handbag (not red because that would just be silly) into the bike's front basket before kissing me playfully. I kiss her back. Somehow the brims of our hats won't get in the way at all. Onlookers disappear, the traffic is gone, the rain falls silent. Re-materializing in my house we then have a night of passionate loving intense enough to strip religion off church walls.

She will have forgotten all about her bike, just as I forgot about my stuff at the Laundromat. Don't ask me what happened to the rose.

In the morning we will walk back here with dumb looks on our faces, back here to her shiny red bike and unlock it, together...

...or, I'll just sit here instead eating with my mouth open, not noticing that dollop of sauce dropped into my crotch as I was scoffing down these withered lukewarm french fries, with BBQ sauce. Tangy and salty.

An unimaginative choice.




Friday, July 3, 2015

Still Haven’t Ever Gone Fishing Yet - 03/07/2015


as a writer
I’m better with prose
than with poetry
though I’m a better poet
than I am a social worker
but a better social worker
than I was last time round

as employee, I’m an honest man
and as an honest man I’m better
... not saying anything else

better with telling the story
rather than listening
wonderful lover, lousy partner
better at making friends
than keeping them
better with burning bridges
than just saying no
better at talking my way in
than talking my way out

never really been good at much
except covering
or compensating for
what I’m not good at

started doing poetry
because I looked around
didn’t see hardly anyone
doing it right

stops writing poetry
every time I look around
and see
the same damn thing

worst thing I can say
about others’ writing
is the same as the best thing
I can say

 fuckers make me want to write

there is great admiration
and pride for the self-contained

it’s a discipline, a strength
that from the minute I discovered
self expression
I’ve never been able to develop

bombs go off inside our brains
all the time
sometimes it’s beautiful
most of the time
it just leaves bodies

the self contained types
bury them
instead I take photos
share a few around
asking if anyone can identify

      the victims

don’t want to die here
in my head
            don’t want to die, period

I will of course
but before I go
I’ll keep trying to do better
with the things I do

because I have to
or else
find more things
to be better at

than writing about it




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tom Morello's "Pacific Rim" theme on repeat, since you asked. And no it's not Helping - 01/07/2015


I don't feel like the whole World's against me

more that the whole World's got it's headphones in
and listens to crap music really loud
while standing close, far too close to me

some days
my own music insufficient to drown it out




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back-up - 30/06/2015


The PC repair man thanked me for not crying in front of him, because apparently he has that happen a lot.

See, calling it a first world problem wouldn't have helped, but telling me about a mother whose computer he worked on, had lost all her baby photos, yeah that did.

He wasn't able to recover much from her PC, but one of the few folders he retrieved turned out to have some naked photos of herself. That's embarrassing.

She cried, I didn't.  I wanted to though, only reason I didn't is that I generally can't in front of other people. It's like urination stage fright, or performance anxiety.

So, I've lost over six weeks work on sorting out photos for the book I'm putting together, what I've been working on since early May.

I'd been saving into an external hard drive that I accidentally pulled off the desk via the power cables at the back, while rearranging a plant and a lamp. It landed with an almighty whack and it now refuses to open. Dozens and dozens of hours work. All gone, because I wasn't watching my feet properly.

He was the arch -IT/tech looking guy. Obese, shabbily dressed, haircut like a schoolboy and laconicly unhurried in his work for the $160 per hour he was charging for his services. I can't imagine how he'd handle people crying in front of him. Then again what do I know.

No crying, but went and  hyperventilated a bit though, in the corner behind my bookshelves where he couldn't see. Behind my weights and back rollers and piles of DVDs and y'know, everything I own that doesn't make this a cliche single guy's pad. Fuck it.

Anyway I hope he didn't hear me, He was phoning in his job summary. Just reiterating loudly to his boss that we couldn't get anything of the drive.

I was pacing my place waiting for him to leave making fists, breathing deep through my nose, probably most people who be very uncomfortable being in the same room with me. If he noticed my body language at all he didn't care.

Figured I'd cry or smash something after he'd left, but I didn't. Went straight down to JB to buy a new 2TB hard drive to start over again, from scratch. Because that's doing something. Because it feels better to do things. Like actual functional, emotionally intelligent people do. So today I'll pretend to be one of those.

Still pretty numb though, at least I don't feel like crying or breaking anything now. Don't get me wrong, if I thought it would make me feel better, even temporarily, then I would. Ultimately it'd just be another mess I'd made that I have to clean up.

As soon as I finish this piece of writing I have to crack open that box and start over. Writing helps. The time I didn't cry because I didn't lose baby photos and no one random saw my tits and I hooray still live in the first world. (Although first-world is a term that refers to the cold war era -with the Soviet Block and allies being the second world, so technically I don't live in the first world anymore.)

Anyway, here I go again. I'll watch my feet better next time.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

a fire just waiting for fuel - 25/06/2015


legs feel like arse
your hands and elbows stiff from making fists
and you wouldn't have needed to burn off
that whole bowl of chips worth of fat
with a boxing class
if you hadn't eaten them
in the first place

you wouldn't feel like going away
if you hadn't have come back
wouldn't want to write it down
if you were happier
but writing it down
does make you happy

you wouldn't be so hard on yourself
unless being hard on yourself
was what makes you happy
you like people you can talk with
about the people you don't

you chase loneliness away
with the kind of company
that sends you screaming
back into your own

you like porn instead of
sex instead of porn instead
of hungry for a healthy appetite
and the hardest times you have
are in trying to do
those things un-challenging

like cycling somewhere better
than actually getting somewhere
and look where it gets you

you're looking for fuel
a stomach full of empty grumbles
being there
to tear it down
to build it back up
to get even better still
at tearing it all down again


then burn it off again


Sorry folks for things being so dead quiet round these parts in June. I've been busy sorting through travel photos and lots of stuff in preparation for a future book and other writing. Expect some more poems and pieces of writing here soon, promise.  Stay tuned!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015



I did not hear tonight's question

but my answer is no




Sunday, June 7, 2015

P.S. I Hate Cops - 07/06/2015


If I wasn't feeling lousy when I rode here, then by the time I got done with two police officers here debating the semantics of where the train station starts and ends, and where I stopped cycling to avoid a fine, did the trick.

Feel lousy, but dodged the fine. Think it's easier to talk a cop down now that I'm older than most of these constables you'll meet out on street patrol. I can 'speak with authority when questioning it' but my insides still churn while I'm doing it.

I'm numb, and this weekend has driven reasons to be happy in and out of me like an air exchange under my breath. Spent the afternoon with my family, sat for the last half hour before I left watching my father playing Monopoly with his two grandchildren.

He can laugh. I tell you he laughs, animated and bright in a way I never saw myself when I was the childrens' age. That jovial spirit, he was never this lively before my niece and nephew came along. Was that sense of play always there under his gruff and cynical surface? I'd like to think so.

Like when I play with a cat, rubbing noses and dangling string, and wanting that part of me out front all the time. It would be a great way to operate in the world, all the time.

Except for when dealing with cops trying to impose on you, then I need to be as intimidating and assertively confident as I possible. I can do that.

I love being out cycling through the dark under amber light on cold quiet streets on a night like tonight. But I don't like that I'm going home to an equally cold and deserted home.

I like making peace but also like standing up for myself. I wish I had a cat to pat right now, wished I'd joined in that instead Monopoly game instead of just watching to the side having a beer quietly. I sat there the way my Dad would've when he was, say, the age I am now. I'm still uneasy around young kids, like they'll see what an emotional fraud I am. The way cats do.

I wonder if, or where I can cross over into that more playful territory. Instead of standing of standing my ground at a train station, debating boundary lines here, out in the cold.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"You're not wrong Walter, you're just an asshole." - 05/06/2015


my injury collection
is about as interesting
to everybody else
as everybody else'
tattoo collection
is to me

guess it's just a matter
of dressing for the cold
not to show off how much
skin I have in this game

the worst thing
that ever happened
to me
told me she'll also be
there, tonight

have to not be
a complete tool
to not be
a petty little man

in theory
I should be living
by that tenet
everyday anyway
of course

in practice
I have to stop digging
all these holes
in my moral high ground
no matter how big a plot
of land
it occupies

or at least use one
in which to bury
this hatchet
held so tight
in the digging

anyway not to worry
about digging in
or anything to bury down
that's not where we're at

because no one's throwing a party on my moral high ground




Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Which has lead you inexorably... here." - 01/06/2015


religion is fundamentally
any given civilization's attempt
to ask the question

                'So why should humans bother trying to be good?'

only problem with that
is that if God does exist
I'm pretty sure she thinks

              it's a stupid fucking question.


(finally a poem my Dad might like)



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sex Hair - 28/05/2015


"sex hair"

somehow he'd never heard that phrase
before she mentioned it
it caught him
saying it over and over
kid with a new toy
sex hair, sex hair haha
her sex hair yeah
I like your sex hair

he writes down everything he likes
he likes to use everything he likes
he likes to show people what he writes
himself into corners
just to work phrases in
to figure things out
and she didn't like
the things he wrote

he could respect that
poems aren't good places
to find yourself in

he sees the writing on the wall
but then again he sees writing
everywhere he looks

it's on the lamp
left on in the other room
all night

sees it in
two whisky glasses
abandoned on the floor
one not as empty

see it in the disturbed
contents of an open draw
rummaged through bedside
for material

sees it interrupted
sleep in the evocative
tangle in the eyes
in the sheets
of paper

worse still is when
he sees things to write
about what is not there
for others to read in too
a disservice to wordless
urges made worthless
sleep on it, absent-minded
while that writing on the wall

"some things you really shouldn't share"

he wasn't reading
those words back though
too preoccupied

         waxing lyrical about sex hair.




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day One - 27/05/2015


have to stop
instantly falling in love
with any woman out cycling
in the morning

        then again
        maybe I don't

microwaved food
sugar and beer
and porn
and casual sex

so desperate
to be better
setting a reminder
that tells me
'stop hating'
each morning
at 9am

what I can go without
is being this fucking good
at telling you all about
what I should be
going without

got enough shoulds here
to starve a whole village
of artists

I can do privation
like it's a vice
and vice versa

need another fix
of fixing
gimme another hit
of withdrawal

and all the while
only thing really wrong
with me is
I keep looking
so hard
to find

something that is wrong with me




Saturday, May 23, 2015

much of our muchness - 24/05/2015


there was a time
when we didn't incessantly post up
every thought and feeling online

we were not given to display
each and every wound
for random strangers and stalkers
for the creeps, freaks, frenemies
and the odd lurking relative
to read

of course we were better
much better
in our own private companies
back then

also we were happier
much happier
with who we were being
back then

naturally I was better
so much better
at lying

what I have now become.




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Growth Patterns -21/05/2015


a hammer
looking for something to nail
didn't know what to do
or what to say to you

took me a long time
to grow into my own mouth
open up this chest
to fill my shoes

empty when I first found them
skin so thin couldn't conceal
the heart on my sleeve
chip on my shoulder
the bruises all over my ego

took years of awkward
exchanges on aching knees
to figure out where I stood
waiting for a place in this world
to find me

saw red
while watching this space
burnt bridges
just to keep this spot warm

when I grew up
I wanted to be
the best thing
that ever happened to you

        and then that never happened

                  ...and the story gets confused

                                  ‘round the time they told me

                                                  I couldn’t ever touch you

transfused blood virus
before we’d ever figured out
what exactly touch was for

life on hold
a hammer
looking for something
a blunt instrument
missing the mark
missing the right questions to ask
there was a hole to fill in my mouth
and I couldn’t grow up fast enough
to catch it

I caught Hepatitis C

had it by the tail
-end of my fourteenth year
and wasn't going to live past thirty
had it so I couldn’t have sex
had it and that became
everything that I couldn’t get
women a thing I couldn’t get
you became only
what I could get mad at

couldn’t reach out to you
you couldn’t touch this
infectious adolescence
I hated you for that

indulged my fat anger
when I couldn't
satisfy my starving affection

threw out so much
over-muscled rage
trying to shake
it was raw
it was big and loud
hard down there
it had no handles
no sides to hold on to
to get over

said fuck the world
really just wanted
to make out with it

until one day
a cure came for me
out of nowhere
injected six months of
interferon into my life

for whatever doesn't kill you
makes you a prick
of a needle
in the belly
by twenty six
of the longest weeks suffered
it worked
it worked the poison out my blood

that was nine years ago
and I have been negative
ever since
so to speak

escaped that fate of a failed liver
I got to live without expiry dates
or a best before label, again

so where now
I was a prick
looking for a cure
hammer looking for a nail
growing into touch
learning how to feel it
how to express

it took me
a long time
an awful-long time in the getting
to grow into my own mouth
to open up this chest
to fill my shoes

I got through Interferon
got over the Hepatitis C
that I got from being a Haemophiliac
and in all of that
I got older
faster than I should

acting like such a tool
like such a prick
you haven’t felt
the needles the nails
the medicine the waste
the policy of no refunds
on years spent angry

can't change the past
but can unmask my scars

medication taken
health restored
liver forgiven
to heal this
ridiculous long list
of everything left unfixed

filling my own shoes
no small feat
if you want to keep growing

                    I want to keep growing

I am a man
given another chance
I survived long enough
to tell you this story
how it is
that I’m not dead yet
more life left to me
than I quite know what to do with

very much alive
and plan on staying that way
but beyond needles and nails
I still have no idea, really
how it is

                              I’m supposed to be living