States of Poetry SA poems
Friesian cows are leaning
over the fence
their eyes are an intense study
a bus load of Japanese tourists
the cows take black and white
snap shots of them
in the art room
The school flag
to half mast
In the assembly hall
vases of lilies
the children sit together
a little tighter
a minute’s silence
T.S. Eliot's couch
There was once a couch in the Grolier Poetry Bookshop
in Cambridge where T.S. Eliot snoozed.
Send out scouts to track it down and when they do,
stand two strong men, one at each end.
Let them count and on the shout of three
One minute the bird is cutting a curve – blue
in two, the swift repair of air – the next,
it’s glottal-stopped in the throat of a dog.
Beyond lies the dog’s muscled tongue-hug
forcing the bird in a slavered-leather
slide past the pharynx, down the gullet
into the gunge and gore of a slaughterhouse floor.
From their front row seats in the corporate b ...
Peter Roget suffered from depression, disconsolation,
gloom, melancholia, pessimism ...
He lived a life of bitterness, desolation, grief, irritation,
lamentation, misery, pain ...
Not that there weren’t periods of bliss, exuberance,
happiness, joy, light-heartedness ...
Not that he wasn’t awake to the wonders of the world,
to its beauty, brillianc ...
After Karin Gottshall
Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my mother just because
I like saying it. I like it for its mouth feel and pleasure:
... meet my mother.
It was a phone call at 3 am drove those words away.
Three years later, with no conscious effort on my part,
they followed an overgrown but still navigable path
all the way t ...
At the National Gallery I pay sixteen outraged pounds
to view the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition. No chiaro
to speak of, only scuro, each canvas caked in mud-brown
and bad-blood red on a background of black black black.
I dodge the ladies of the U3A religious art class, decline
the complimentary depressive illness, and in a quick s ...
standing on the Puente Romano
watching the rio Guadalquivir
like time itself
I do the math
2,000 divided by 44=45
history is nothing more than this
45 times a life of error and uncertainty
the main lesson of monuments in Europe
for which you only queue twice
unless you want the audio guide too
but mostly we take ...
I wake up
in the middle of the night
in a panic
about my dead-end job
the credit card
the housing market
until poetry appears
like a window
I go through
a couple of works
by day light
they won’t be much
but it’s enough
to get me
through the night.
Wednesday 28 November 2016, Adelaide
the day of the storm
I had a poetry reading
with Nathan Curnow
overland from Ballarat
to launch his collection
The Apocalypse Awards
an hour into the unprecedented
I took his call
you brought the apocalypse with you