Monday, May 29, 2017

Rob Schackne #348 - "Very likely true"

Very likely true
what they all said
he went straight there

because every night
on the walk home
he stroked the white cat
from under the dirty car
he chanted good wishes
a few sensible warnings
and some nonsensical words

sure he'd done some shit
but not really a bad life

his soul was weighed
at the last reckoning

on the sacred bounce
one whisker was on the feather

then the keys to the kingdom

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kristen de Kline #100 Friday on my mind

Lawless Way, Friday afternoon    a man with hollow bones smelling of white sugar
breath     fries up bacon and eggs on a hot plate rigged by

fire-proof electrical cords   thrown around like a figure 8     steals
power off the grid    like squatting dole-days hockshops   digging

Saturday Heralds cans of lentils baked beans out of metal food skips
every tin past the Use By date     we drink we dance we sing we fight we

run away     from men in uniforms, numbers hidden    regulation batons swinging
boisterously    their high-beam torches strobing in the darkness like sparklers on

Guy Fawke's night    glowing lights chase us down DEAD END lanes   barking
Alsatians charge haphazardly in the wrong direction  

scrape together enough cash for a bullet and a jug of beer at The Zetland
sing along to red, red wine     on the jukebox

tear apart a blue, blue heart:

stay close to me red,
     red wine

my house still smells of teenage boys     their trails of grease meander across
stainless steel and granite surfaces    macaroni cheese re-heated for the third

time    boy's laughter reverberates from one floor to another    wraps me like a soft, mink
blanket that got lost in the move   a vague sense streaks past    one day this will be behind

me     a whiff of possibility     in the eye of the storm      ugly stones out the back yard  
rocks weeds concrete slabs     an ash tray spills out stubbed butts and murky

rain water     we look up at the stars     floundering like little fish, shaking
the boys handpick the Velvets and Nico, that big yellow banana on the cover:
Sunday morning restless feeling wasted years early dawning Sunday morning

I sit with the boys and leaf through books on Dada Surrealism punk art       do I lose time
or does time kill me?     talk about snow shovels   hat-racks   melting clocks   old vinyls

does the sun set
too soon?

somebody scratches an old Jam vinyl with a needle    it bumps stutters cuts
to the bone   a pocket full of pretty green   darkness hangs off

a pitched roof     threatens to jump and end it all     time stretches  
talk about Jerry Rubin the Yippies the Chelsea Hotel chapbooks zines anarchy in the UK the Velvets Sunday morning pale blue eyes

in the distance you can hear time scratching your Velvet vinyl
like a Medieval torture instrument
the sun sets
too     soon

Kit Kelen #514 - each page is a room in the palace

each page is a room in the palace

now that it's summer all night
the only dark is dreaming

words pile
until the poem's lit

words furnish
where the image burns

be shown to a truth
of how it was so you will be

what pomp
to fix it for a wall

like last days
of a life you've known

dizzy with wings
and the world many-cornered

there are more rooms
than days remaining

under every treasure
is love

so many mansioned
if it were written, books wouldn't hold

it's all a tree like Christmas
this home

you've come in
through an open one

is there a window
looks out?

the writing from the other side
appears like this when framed

Kerri Shying R # 251 - Wrong Lover

Wrong Lover

I have no insight I can’t tell
about the small signs the little moments
in the conversation  in the chatter cupping
holding it like water
on a leaf

no sense of understanding of
the social building blocks
I lurch about   arms out
flailing   railing
to be free

of this impediment  I’m told of
 catch a scold for

see before I never saw it
 now can’t hardly let myself
ignore it  now
there’s you

Stuart Rawlinson #44 - Commutations

The morning commute begins on the hour
As nighttime and daylight adjoin in friction.
Buses interrupt as I squint for my number;
Balanced and hovering on the kerb’s edge
In front of staring commuters like a set
Of unglazed statuettes, wide-eyed and empty.

The bus pulls up and as always not empty:
Bursting at both ends like an overfilled hour-
Glass. Doors open and close, passengers set
To go, but eyeing each other with palpable friction.
With each turn and jerk the people edge
Back to equilibrium. Without name, without number,

In this cattle train – turn down, be number,
Desensitise, pour hope out empty;
Ignore the jostles or be pushed over the edge.
On the 113, seconds like minutes, minutes like hours,
More bodies like atoms increase the friction
And the bus starts to sweat – windows are set

With droplets of water. The bus’ course set
For the pale white offices, where number-
Less hordes sit in cubicles constricted,
For work that is meaningless and empty.
Punch-in and wait frustrated for the punch-out hour:
No wonder so many end up on the ledge.

There’s nothing else to do as the bus starts to edge
Forward but observe the young workers who sit
Without moving for old standers, who for hours,
Incalculable hours, have accepted they’re no longer number
One in this city of self, of missing deeds and empty
Words – an entire people in a constant state of friction.

No-one speaks on board, just project a silent friction.
Nearing my stop, I balance on the step’s edge –
The bus shudders stop; compressed air empties;
Alighters and boarders – on your marks, get set…
Suddenly the doors open and the number
Mix violently – this space is mine, mine, not ‘ours’.

Every day, every hour, numberless people set
In a position of permanent friction.
Edging forwards in their empty lives.

Rob Schackne #347 - The Windowless

The Windowless

The windowless
is the idea behind 
we say never mind
when we most mind
being left behind

O'Leary at the podium
no eye contact
no warmth
no laughter
they get up and leave

The wind blows through
the skull's eye-socket
whistling a song
singing for a beauty
long since passed

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Contribution #107 Claine Keily

"No contribution needed"
she said
but already her face
had turned green
because of all the visits
from all the ones
who arrived
to set things right

It reminded her of
the year her father
decided she was free
to roam about
and she Tie-Dyed her pillowcases
and could breathe
until she found at
the bottom of the staircase
all the wrappers from
the miniature candies
she had eaten
and a bill written in
her mother's hand

Kit Kelen #513 - ephemera


let mind into the vanishing

limbs of the climb
are to ash

follow this trail of light

fish for a shimmer
where the tide goes out
and the sun lies spent

here's thin air
the words are lit
we bodies bear

the lost live
in the pages turned

only the moment

work that's finished
is already gone

have absence for a heart
there's light

consult with the ephemera

end of the trail
a notable absence

we are to this
rise again

the show's all paper
set to burn

great to be gone this way

I am
all are

Stuart Rawlinson #43 - Undated

Flint fragments
Knapped undated
Granite worn away
To form steps
Up the cliff side
Sheep trails snake
Towards the pass
Sheep ribs hover
in the thick grass
Aborted axes confused
In the scree slope
The artisans slipped
Away one unnumbered
Night, into the new
Villages and gene pools
Taking up new trades
Letting the old ones
Fade away

Kerri Shying R # 250 - Three more days alone

Three more days alone

I’m floating again             drifting
room to room             a balloon of solitude
yet intimately            connected
each minute            another droplet
in the news             feed


I am eaten up            un-nourished
waiting for             the dusk here
fire and darkness            sear me whole

Kerri Shying R #249 - Small boy child

Small boy child

you just made it to nine
before you made a rope choice
in the garage  it was your mother
with the washing wet
in her basket 
saw you first
like you saw her facebook posts
what rotten kids you were

I heard you were out running
in the streets
with a bad crowd
at nine  and people said
come and talk if you need to
as if you were an adult

and so you were
tall enough at least to reach
a rafter

tip and gone

Jeff Skewes 52#16 Floored

stars above
laid out
only prayers
will rescue



the falling
reach in
the calling's
the name

our story
told over
it's just me
looking up

image: Unspoken silence  -  acylic & enamel paint, ash on stretched canvas 40x40cm / jskewes

Rob Schackne #346 - "In Norway"

In Norway
off the North Pole
the seed bank
keeps life alive
the permafrost
is melting

idle thought
will you still
need me
will you
still feed me
when I'm 64

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kit Kelen #512 - only a treaty OR how to have a home

only a treaty
how to have a home
(notes towards a villanelle)

only a treaty begins to redress

the silence we were
we have been till now

only a treaty begins to redress
the voicelessness
the lie

the fact of my having this address

the colours in the skin
and the colours on the map
surely that's a conversation
we have to begin?

darkness we've done to be us
and to them

only a treaty begins to redress

my dreaming and yours
and where do we meet?

every animal's in this

the past is the pile of us

acknowledge the wreck
file the collision report
then the party aggrieved
can begin to collect

wouldn't that be
what law's for?

only a treaty begins to redress
sins fathers and mothers
could never confess

if you want to live the country
you'll have to be every animal of it

only a treaty begins to redress
the damage of those who couldn't care less

listen up sisters and brothers
there's no one else to do the job
know – we are the energy for this!

the damage of shoes in a wilderness
the shame we've hidden from the world
from ourselves
the worlds we've hidden as well
the dreaming

only treaty can tell
the truth before pants
truth that is after

truth we make now
is judgement upon us

only a treaty begins to redress
the risk of going on
just as we've come

digging a deeper hole

there isn't a re-set button
but we need a new Year Dot

only a treaty begins to redress
the voicelessness
the lie

fact of my having an address

it's always been the time to speak
so the time is now

every clock strikes
at our failure

we have to be able
to begin to bless
our country

Kerri shying R # 248 - Rise


waken in the warm
scent of yesterday’s tea

holding to the curtains
woven in the winter mornings

where the raising  goes
harder    the gristle in me

whinges  I take the crutch
of the blue sky  the black

and white peewits waiting
at the boat ramp with the coffee

and I rise

Stuart Rawlinson #42 - Ignition Point

Every gas has its ignition point
A temperature reached
Where each atom decides
Fuck this. Enough is enough
A tiny cataclysm
Beyond microscopic
Moving along the chain
Exponential expansion
Into the world of view
Out of nothing, it seems
Lighting up the sky
Yellow to red to white
Fuck this. Enough is enough

Rob Schackne poem #345 - "Just as they"

Just as they 
don't write here
on the city walls
where boredom is
not the threshold
of great deeds
but repression
real and otherwise
phones glued to
real and otherwise
the sky is moving
under the weight

all heads down
no more damned
than this inclines
me to be bored

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kristen de Kline #99 The Coke sign at the Cross

Workmen in blue overalls fly high on
scaffolding     the chief electrician presses down
on a flashing globe     eight hundred neon lights blink to
nothingness     don't look back

together     we'll always be  
dismantled     letter by
letter     together in electric dreams    

a man holding a steel hammer auctions off letters
I just close my eyes
in the morning    
E n j o y  C o c a -C o la
an upper case 'C'?     a lower case 'a'?
is this where we us ends begins rewinds forgets
I just close my eyes
in the morning     electric dreams  
back-fire    gun shots

A big yellow taxi   the Coke sign tubes, flickering  
crimes scenes    stolen kisses    ecstasy peaking
together     we'll always be
together     dis-assembled     piece by
piece   the sign     comes
down     eccy Tuesday lands with a
thump      you she we    

Out Lawless way    
somebody bought the hyphen    
tossed it on a vacant plot
a dead man with hollow bones tags it with luminous lime spray-paint
you start smoking    again     stubbing out butts through denim flesh
ashes fall like flakes
icing on the hyphen
Out Lawless way

Stolen kisses big yellow taxi on off on off neon lighting  
cheap hotel room Chinese landscape, waterfalls
running down a golden frame     throw
away     kisses love promises     not running on time
writhe around in electric dreams
eight hundred lights blink
paint it black
don't look back

Kit Kelen #511 - to the vanishing - come!

to the vanishing – come!

compelled by likeness

something gets in
gets under
it's skin

show the sun

it's here
all signs
of the hidden

compelled by likeness
let a season in

the forest
is simply a song

the poem is sap
run up like a flag

take on the colours
take everything in

every animal's under the spell
come into the picture

come in

something grows up
twines round

forget how feet fell
forget a way here

by tendril twirl
so seeking

signs of the hidden
come and be under

the line that's lost
still shines within

a fire unfolds
- say heart


James Walton #58 Leary Presents at the Writers Festival

(In this world
love has no colour –
yet how deeply
my body
is stained by yours)
Izumi Shikibu

What remains struggles for the hand grip of language, the shake of letters, the whirly get you moment of transparency in this ever expanding universe of no departure intersect indifferent to the eternity of loss, and how he draws a profile in any reflective surface, through all grains of  furniture. Undisturbed by answers, a scent of daily grief, the vanilla of her vapour trail sky writing in every hotel shower.

The M.C will introduce him, still living off his seminal ‘Aspects of the Aesthetic Dialectic between Long and Short Prose - the Powershift of Form’. It chased him down, that title, the whippet pack of ideas to his skinny frantic rabbit, wanting to join Alice or Aesop, disappear into a picture edition fable. His working title ‘Barbed Wire in the Soul – a Treatise of Meaning’ unacceptable.

Leary pretends to be attentive, shuffles papers, now in larger typeface, tries not to pick his nose, or do that ear thing Marjorie complained about. Soon there will have to be a beginning, but his armpits are itchy, and concentrating on the front row, all he can think about are piano keys and how sitting is an unnatural algorithm, a human is more of a tightened spring, no wonder then that people have back problems or fucking haiku.

Fucking haiku, flash fiction, found fucking plagiarism, discovered poetry, witnessed presence, closing in, this oily slick of a black hole, each syllable putting out another light, quenching meaning, dragging down lanterns. There’s some mirth in the audience, a joke about that Title, a quip about models and electronic start. He puts on the appreciative smile, the knowing in joke, the clown’s cosmos enlightened by occasional surprise.

Leary knows soon there will have to be a beginning, but fifteen dollars for a fucking chapbook, stapled with tetanus and bloodied fingerprints. A slow soft hammer of depth through the temples, resounding in afterthought, a volume you can get a bookmark in, or remember the page number chapters later, a handwritten line you keep beside the chair, twenty five dollars of light years.

A Plenary Session, a stage, there’ll be questions. His short piece should be to the point. Enough to tantalise, provoke, not offend. His notes are becoming origami, his fingers holding kite strings, the meniscus between earth and that fucking dialectic cumuli brain matter eroding. Dressed in clandestine hunger a Greek eats de lapin with sage and onion sauce, fish get their scales by weighing submerged thought.

Leary knows she’s a maize year in decades a saffron ticking weapons grade love that is metered in care of oats the flowing in plainsongs all intimacies drawn to the sane touch of palms reading lines of brine coast mourning departures by fountain pen gifts to breach the past. The imprint of gesture when she waved away his idiosyncrasies, dropped the commas from his tongue, closed his mouth with lips of reason.

Death defying chance comes uninvited paradigm of genius and clothes of the Imperial Court kimono courtesan love abridged between centuries trees felled for pages a big bang created all birth truth is found in the deceit of clay feet in synopsis is interred breadth her absence in every room. He is being introduced, and he knows there is a beginning for every conclusion, as short or as long as every fucking haiku, written in a Komachi or Shikibu smile.

Rob Schackne #344 - "No clear trail through memory"

"No clear trail through memory"

No clear trail through memory
the few stars we remember
I also have ears for it
a bird comes slowly closer
another bottle of wine
the smells of winter
a broken shipyard
a schooner drifting west
an expiring reef system
the awful injury then
a bloody long deep breath
send some laughter this way
you ever breathe out again

stop your whingeing

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stuart Rawlinson #41 - Satellite Towns

Every city is great
Every home is truth
From cul-de-sac to continent
Pride clings to its own

You won't break us, but
We might just break ourselves

Opinions in constant flux
In Tarleton tonight
The spectators are lacking
A brand to pin
To their chests

We stand together

In provincial towns
No meme for the memory
No football chants

Co-opting sympathy
Parasitic empathy
In satellite towns

We claim for ourselves

Kit Kelen #510 - on the bright side

on the bright side

here I am
here's light to let in

all the yet to do
and all the yet to be

all good
much thanks

not to mention
how far I've come

and here's what I have to get on with

these little failures of the machine
'nobody died' – they say
but that can't have true for long

still the sun
takes up its summer

and here's a cloud tucked under
where the garden prays for rain

and so the colours come

on the bright side
where the light lets in

at a price I can afford

all unbidden
the music comes
as if a neighbour knew

a march
a minuet
a pose struck for my statue

best medicine
this laughter

and staring down the barrel
how a tunnel's end brings light

things truly lost
won't bother again

here's hindsight
and you see
it was all
a warmup

one does a pirouette

go on
in ordure
know the nose works well

and where the light gets in
under the cloud of flies
the sun shines steaming
into the cowpat

it is shaped in elaborate ways
the artist could only emulate
minutely detailed
creviced, much travelled
where the ants take down

and soon
and so soon

Stuart Rawlinson #40 - The Last View of Sea

there was a prize
for whoever saw it first
a dense blue sliver
between two low hills
at sea level, the water
chopped and fizzed
waves unable to hold
together under the
moon's duress. eyes
squinted in a golden
glare of not-quite-real
sand. hair matted
in the salty air
backs turned, towels
shaken, the wide open
expanse narrowed
like clock hands
reaching for noon

Kristen de Kline #98 Some days

Some days     a scattered patch of blue
bleeds    through water colours

revving down the Monash    passing a black van
loaded with semi-automatics     paused in a parking bay

you circle down Lawless where dead men leave their hollow bones  
and Former People hoist up chrome car corpses

that gasp for air     take your  breath

Some days     you wake to Dvorjak's New World Symphony
gun fire     pelting
the end of the world as we know it
every rose has a thorn
life during wartime
stop    making     sense

Some days     unannounced, Josef K turns up at your front door
bangs on about being unlawfully detained

an unknown crime, a blotchy summons
words weep over a bright pink manila folder

on the desk in a lawyer's office    breathless
it's dire it's dire it's dire   he repeats     stubbing butts out

in a metallic retro ash-tray where a naked woman
reclines, lazily

Some days the living    break    things    up
a sudden kiss a slap on the cheek a double-bladed butcher's

knife stabs Mr. K's flesh   rotates
clock-wise     heart-strings tangle, wrangle    

as he whimpers his last words: "like a dog"

Some days    I wake up in the body of a cockroach    slurp
curdled milk gnaw mouldy bread    transfixed by sliced diced chopped

carrots cabbage potato    lingering on the kitchen floor
rotting waiting  rotting     like aimless extras from a sub-titled Russian movie

you saw when your world     crashed    at ten and a half
your Mother loved it     you didn't understand a word

Some days     you see a burst of
colour streak across darkened skies    

a flash of possibilities ripple past
the Gods smile    upon you    

colour   possibilities  scattered
patches of blue     some days

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 247 - Test for those remaining spores

Tests for those remaining  spores

my underarm
 stays black and

I give thanks
 for no  fluorescent green

 this uv lamp
some kind of test (for fungus)

I read it in a forum
on the internet  you bet then

afraid to sleep tonight    again
 drift  to rearrange
set the room just so    plug in my cd player
 get a book  Dan Disney   out

 blast the cranberry  stave off yet
 another uti      pets skulk

 throw looks to shoot
the bulbs right out of

deco retro 
op-shop shades

it will be a long night  
armpits  Dan 
bladder sad pets extension cord
and now this player 

 the one I had
when I met him 

 the one who
well he’s dead now but

 we both had the exact
same cd player  when

 there were
sixteen years between us

my friend said
 it was like you left fourth form and

 someone gave you a baby
  said now raise it    it’s your lover

yes we were drunk
 went HA not eww

I’m sweaty and
this one last aide-memoire

it clicks

no disc
 you see

that whole thing  sits   
 right here

 in my hand  
  so over 

I just had to turn
 it on