keeping at experience as a function of

the contemporary edit: self / un-self / msg.


if i proved anything in the way i said sorry

(that time) it’s everything. there’s a million shots


from aside the harbor bridge only one of them is true –

so i’ll keep at this. not much else to choose.


my princess bubblegum but much more

with & without hope. backchannel subtleties,


implications, & legit withdrawal. everything

is apt i guess though, as contemporary


people, circling structures, etching glory.

earlier & my daughter plays piano.


there’s this fickle smell of rotting crustacean.

i burnt down the microwave she says,


right now, as if on cue. totally cute.

the retirees fell asleep but clapped & you know,


it was & is hard to determine a position.

it is what it is is a thing we say.


i took photos from a low angle courting ‘spectacular’:

of course you’re in on that: sharpen & saturate. de-fringe.


this afternoon i wrote then backspaced: it’s been harder than

i thought. kicked my thong, paid the swim-teacher.


how good is regret & how keen, i mean. anything

to get you talking. so gross. this is so atonal.


detail / mask / amount


samurai emerging from the flatlands

saltlake pool for eyes meaning in measurements

of feet that’s how you do beach: underwing, yellow

& bronze at the insistent flecks who cares

what antimacassar means?


later she’ll chew her lip at the notion

maneuverable we’ll be out in the sun featuring

the low cut dress from behind a profound

dip from shoulder to thread the city has gout

inflamed at every crossing my hopes of lush

unseasonals just whispered over the bar

everything feels blue verging on cobalt

convenient though: the plot played out in

a flattened lizard its patterns a corrosive veil

fractal songlines in the haze & i wrote –

observations matter less & less


you ask are you ok & that’s fucking final

never hearing words again me in a thousand years

you’re hugging knees it’s a series finale the episode

filmed in the grassed amphitheatre i read everything

in your voice since inside my head where we all

live alone


powering down so this will function as my

history of things described as ‘patchwork’

you are you experiencing this now, struck

with an autonomous sensory meridian response

a projection of my flaws to make you feel


the final boarding call: connection as commodity

a simple viewfinder to the roofbeams a splay of fingers

under the table we’re a silly blanket agreement


wow getting back-to-community your contact

details have dissolved a bright green slick

an apex of fabric began the world &

now forgetting feels dangerous


a dumb stance: hidden experience in the poem

(i got that) in the lag the over-sharp afternoon

backlit the tarmac

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


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