States of Poetry 2016
I wore my grandmother's clothes
and sat on her doorstep.
Monday to Friday.
'I'll teach you how to write,' I said
pretending I could
hold a pen.
'Mouse will eat your ears,' she smiled.
At night we leaned on pillows
watched TV with subtitles.
I made up foreign words.
I tol ... More
I walk through my hometown
as an uninvited guest.
the old street has taken back
its maiden name.
I follow the steps of a lost child
from the curtains
of memory's windows.
The doors of St Nicholas church
are rusty but open.
Inside familiar faces
and a sign
Buy candle ... More
birds have their own topography : overlaid
on ours : which is vertical & detailed :
with its own system of needs :
its own deviations : the nerve-ends
in my fingertips : & a tremor in my latissimus dorsi
rouse me : a domestic industry
starts up : a saw : or sander : on some abutting title :
the sound raw : with alternating notes :
one c ... More
They say morning's temper
binds you to this world
of taking. As if the air said,
all you need is to scram
or laugh. If it's real payback,
why try to earn it.
There are better things to do
with your shoes.
This is no mystery.
Movement chafes expectancy
till it hurts and hackles.
It's a pissing contest,
round that hew
the hours hand ... More
Sometimes it's better in our clothes.
We are together as we are not,
we come as we are.
The sky is immense and frail,
we are full of lists and feedback,
there are no private numbers.
Why does everyone care?
The smell of sun is in the
A flower is a flower, flowers now
becoming a book of consummations.
As light enters a house,
ther ... More
This may be the new hunger, walking
through buildings that are off limits.
Fraught kisses on the carpark stairs.
Tripping on rubble that does not build.
Meanwhile, the clucky gestures
towards klutzy. Choices that seem
wrong somehow. Sentiment or sensibility.
A plantation daring not to flower.
A vacant bouquet you can't throw
over the skyline. A table ... More
On this bright morning
a cruel wind is up.
I don't care –
last night I strode among the stars.
Black swan shelter in the sandhills' lee,
while pelicans stand preening
on the lagoon's edge.
We each must share our little pill
of poison – a tattooed drummer,
a drunk, a married man –
while we sit at kitchen tables
drinking tea with other ... More
How's Possibly doing today?
She's okay, she's possibly
recovering from a possible asthma attack.
What's Possibly doing? The impossible,
That's what. Attending to twenty students
some of whom will possibly fail
tasks Possibly set which they feel
are impossibly high.
Possibly is cooking dinner for ten
and being polite in impossibly demanding
situa ... More
To enter the bed we kneel
And fall into the white abyss.
Sleep is a form of fainting
The altar of the pillows swirls with wisps
Of fading consciousness – a priest
Comes down the aisle flicking dreams out
From an ancient ewer.
Watch a sleeping man
Even then they still seem awesome
To me with an air of tragedy
Like a fal ... More