two part harmony

house shadows shuffle & snort the night it

overreaches posting its superfluous hand signals

& incantations it’s inverse emptiness a piece of string

tied to your finger as he skims a stone you sigh

my torso is sometimes a tree root a bicarbonate

of existence an interview with virginia trioli a can

of fosters six seconds of eye contact & kids tap

the shop window magnitude dots on anti-maps

the deep passage to dubbo the profound lake

over a bowser your heart all hands free glib

at the handbrake making interest into interesting


thanks there is nothing talismanic in lookouts

the flat vantage ground a conceptual sugar fix

into the gourmet remains of crunch / the sound /

some heroic afternoon you’re not even _listening_

i’m naming demons here baby an open-minded strut

through canola a clothed memory avalanche we

weren’t born here the places of watchful service

chairperson of success at the roundabout i’ve

dried out in the hills for a week feel so lawson-esque

scheduling my 8.45 emails like a prick everything

is beautiful hobart crumbling to a single brick

a $5 note the moon a discarded thong


the meningococcal click bold in the skull’s belfry

a why do anything morning-long pang of regret


unreal acidity rolls around like luggage the

temporary fog was cheeky but only that


steering committees / head-lit roadsigns &

our hopes layered up in a routine bay


midday is so harsh it ought not exist you blink

to unlock the achievements trembling like a plant


like sketches, lava lamps, recorded conversation

in the nothing stretch you need to acquit the morning


that humming fluorescent light a taskmaster

coffee poured, words said, if only i lived more intensely


collected more parking fines while young

bronzed statuettes recant & kiss hello


the memories in this work

should evaporate









while you talk of empty rum bottles there’s also

the handwritten note, all jokes to be made


cross-legged on the carpet another monday

catching the bus checking my hair


in the newsagent window April dries & i’m barefoot

watching, forever an uncertain construct of the ride


home in bed visualise the window-seat the girl

obstinately straightening her hair get it right


before dinner divide the image by your vocabulary

never a sleeting style rain when you’ve missed your ride


only here in a room, April in the rain, pre-96

thoughts of an artistic career cresting the bridge


& anyway the horsepower of the heart strains

to animate you, hentai tentacle percussionist,


abject photon receptacle

mouth words

tailgating numbers into view for you all

pollen & rounded vowels / a cotton field

trembling to the buzz of clavier preludes.

she’s jogging past a fictional silo we’re here

after excelling. you chuckle in the low-lying

cloud with 18th century fish a-thrash in the

channel. western sweetness. fronting the

historical society: i’ll be dead before any

thing happens. anyway. just now that was.

a regional pair of shoes stood down dried

and sugared like ginger. i’ve listed the tasks

for tomorrow are you still keen? deflated

& part of the spindle i belt out a seasonal

honouring industry / worry at tarmac witches

hats / yawn over sprung harmony / get my own

baleful kicks. ambergris covers a bail of

needles & like a blogger i read about

legislation. though who’s left freckled in

america after you mobilise the left &

introduce a remainder of stroboscopic

love-fest scenarios at the mall – you’re sure

each answer is proximate. urban planned

copyright pyro-geographic afterthought:

inside a house of physics, forlorn at the tea

bags, the phone dialed. i’ve never been to me

nor booked a table traditionally. link me up

riverine style help me ogle ambient irrigation,

get high on peppermint. birthdays are

unlawful / barrels of remuneration.


beer wine & pungent coleslaw

are you derek meet everyone

gain purchase on fevered clicks

blobs of chemical smooth &

slowish you will never receive

feedback or sleep again

previously the same winter’s

candied midday would ignite

real life a slower sunset so

punctual stay indoors it’s

a hardware suburb dull &

epiphanic above maleate

gestures king hit an earpiece

her edits spiral footnotes

zipping up setting a course

the market of life jigsawed

into mime observe your

strategy listen like an orc

submit breath in the garret

it’s pointless note colours

meditate on friends dressed

in red two skin conditions

blame the rug the lexicon

gosh she slipped literal rain

into literal sight & now


a million colourbond

afternoons receeding

near lightspeed derek

the immigrant closer to

a hardware store now

an eftpos transaction

away from glass ladders

high-vis girls meters from

my car you disown air

ether splashed with

text your shoes inert

a touching thing

you are older. & catch me seeming attentive. then, some windows begin shaking while flies ascend. we swat them. you oversaw the futility. past & present clearly defined. a film version of our thoughts, prequel to sequel. a Harley Davidson cake. last year, newsprint replaced the window. your walls were marked with whispers. adulthood means forgetting maths. you reckoned on the impossibility of life, or happiness. i acted out a violent scenario. a dull & grimy set, naturally viewed from below. it’s pleasurable to sigh now. you can listen for me in the past. you touched the wall & your fingers were simply the furthest part of you.


as if we couldn’t have seen a growth of mist

over the day bounce loose from our demolished

yet never straight torsos. we stifled all signals

for a handful of fire. i don’t have a readable

aura & soon you’ll compel us all to think of

common sights, sense restaurant semantics.

tunneling forward to respite care, here:

sharks at card-games are losers, snapping

at a stooping tall man with a dual-speed

register, drawing on his peace-of-mind,

semi-sonic. i ate mint teeth when the music

stopped. the ghosts are energised at your

agenda, imprisoned for now though we

swam out of the found river mouth, suspended

character actors, falls of powdered sugar.

sure you meant to say that, impact bending,

my pipe charred, expenditure a low-level

deep-rinse spin-cycle. the dog set

to a howl out back. i’d hoped to pick

up a southern accent, get butchered in

Victoria, says cheap flights & your PIN on a slip

of yellowing paper. oh i’m a spent wayfarer

out past that one-bowser desert station, past

crimped fox carcasses, just a green digit

of rage. investment in hotel packet coffee

laced with starch. billions cluster.

punch drunk

water beading towards the glass rim the bar trimmed

of rumination like a hot afternoon whittled to its core,

she’s mindful of fainting spells, cocooned in a gusseted calico.


bartenders are all miserly. comes with the vocation.

to this we herd the desperation of our Acre blocks,

sidestepping all logic and entering the parlour of gazes.

now the fan rattles and she baulks at my first word,

another blade, turns…


it bleeds out this history, slowly. works around

& aground like a pathetic joke a stalemate

bringing on the tired 5 seconds of awkward

silence. shadow boxing with my thoughts


i wish for mermaids

talking animals

cucumber sandwiches & tea.

regress with me.


anyway no. we’d do well not to get lost

in such narratives: imagine yourself 13

imagine yourself 18 imagine yourself

25 imagine yourself 55. whatever:

inflate in the views of others;

use the power of yarn. do it.


instead of ‘girl makes good’ instead

there’s an endless alpine of peaks & troughs

a story of nothings & everythings jolts

in both quick & slow succession,

depending on the micro-gusts of

weather. nothing matters.


sketching out witticisms i celebrate you

i’m enamoured & momentous. so far.

the plains of separation are so peculiar

to me alone, you know. the common weeds grow,

although it’s so damned hard & slow, to nail your character.


not so much, a hook for a picture frame is it?

i’m failing at life: drinking my way to a pine box

not even breaking a corseted sweat,

before two paths meet, a thirst wet:


let’s shuffle stools and make haste and speak, then.

punch words above our weights,

all our lives, all things in common:

battling to go faster,

to escape the collected burdens.


from How Stumpy Made the Weight (2014) – available through Western Riverina Arts

The Silver 2003 Tarago Car Club

The sound that a car makes when it hits a human being is often described as a ‘sickening thump’ but this really is contextual, and if you couldn’t see anything, and if you couldn’t hear any sort of preceding screeching of brakes, then the sound of the impact might be mistaken for the sound a sizeable watermelon makes when it is accidently dropped onto a carpeted floor. That’s not sickening at all. But just before the non-sickening watermelon hitting the carpet kind of sound she turned and saw the car. It’s such an instantaneous thing – you could read anything you want into the eyes of such a person, fear, horror, foreboding, acceptance, joy, anything. It was just a wide-eyed look that says nothing surer than I see an object coming towards me. And then her body was flung onto the windscreen where it rolled upwards and over the hood, just like in a movie. There was no blood but half of the windscreen had almost completely caved in, and her body appeared to be a motionless heap in the rearview mirror. ‘Motionless heap’ is perhaps quite an appropriate way of describing what could actually be seen, although, come to think of it, we don’t usually observe a ‘heap’ of something (dirty clothes comes to mind) and comment or dwell upon its state of motionlessness.  Maybe there is no real way to represent any true events that happen in the world.  Continue reading


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