Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kristen de Kline #115 Where this ends

I don't know where this     ends

1. Cops.

Officers pound on the front door
a detective paces up the driveway
smokes a couple of Winnie Blues   flicks ash on the crown
of the golden Buddha, hiding in the shrubs

Our boy loved to make shrines for the Buddha, fat and laughing
buried him with plastic lotus flowers     incense sticks
orange tea light candles    offerings of stray fruit - a pink lady
or two     laughing and fat, the Buddha      

2. Court Room No. 3

You fold the poems into origami darts, aim paper
planes at the presiding magistrate's bench:

...   at the edge of Lawless  
a man with hollow bones chatters in the darkness
chrome car corpses hoisted up on wooden beer crates
gasp     for breath
two meth heads languish in a V-line carriage     a voice crackles about a delay
an 'incident' up the line:     another jumper  
broken     hearted  
former     person
undone ...

3. The car.

You've lost the car     again
fourth espresso at the café   pins piercing a voodoo doll
glass shards from a broken mobile spike your index finger
the duty clerk scrambles your name on the PA
your ex tells the cashier: She can pay for her own bloody coffee
again     you leave the keys in the car
carry your sons' luminous basketball boots     walk away
search for your MyKi   wait for the last train to Southern Cross
4. Broken     (not).

...  at the edge of Lawless
ropes burn      spoons bend
cars rust   that's just the way it is
children drink her blood
patches of blue bleed across the skies
is that your heart  
malfunctioning ...

can I rip it out?

Where this ends I don't     know

Rob Schackne #405 - A Faint Dictionary of Scars (2) "Chute no"

Chute no
Escape no
Maybe Spanish later
The circadian brain
Clicks to mend itself
While wrapped in sleep

Was the navel the first fighter
To defend against a knife
God help this violence
Against ourselves
If we were born to know
The worst about people

The body heals in time
It grows bigger and it falls
Learns to say it hurts
To cry against the world
Defend against authority

This heart begins to scar

It sleeps like a child
Because you are a child
Fated to keep on growing
Through schoolyard gravel
Young lungs trying cigarettes
And whacks across the head

Kit Kelen #567 - gospel


no church in the trees
no cloud temples

here I am at the turning
all my own dark

no beard beginning all

gravity, kinesis
all carrying across

just meaning

no hand to turn this world
or any of the numberless others

no fakery among the stones arranged
just where they are fallen

in the heart there's not a thorn
wire's barbed just where we twist

no church in the trees
no cloud temples

here I am
and having to shine
through my own dark

let's just take the eye
let's put an ear to it
let's touch

dim the day
when prayer was invented

Earth is a birth

no science to the miracle
no miracles in science

dust and wind
and fire and rain
all elemental
my dear

the ship's not safe because of a saint

no, it's all us
the everywhere
no one-ness to it
except all are

shape of the world
was always a question

mumble a spell
cast your curse

we are the story
to tell

among the gods
in everything
it's we are the selves

no cloud temples
no church in the trees

it's falls to us
to talk

Rob Schackne #404 - "Yeah you're right"

            (for KdK)

Yeah you're right
lawless poetry
won't crack it

bump it or cut it
banshees of fuck
what did we ever do

steal a bloody car
the highway not
to hell exactly

we'll get some beer
a canny detour

bloody remand
for how long
they're joking

Rob Schackne #403 - A Faint Dictionary Of Scars (1) "Hard & fearless"

Hard & fearless

On a good day
How the body speaks

With all this skin it says
Where do you begin

I hear a shout
Saltwater expelled
Two lungs filled
Light and different touch
Bleeding from a forceps cut
On a small cheek

At this point
We were scared
With the noisy air
The first punch
We went rigid
Exhausted in a minute

Who remembers this
When form started
Regret kicking in
All that jazz
Pain wrapped up
Something hurting

Friday, July 21, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 283 - Bedside


the liquid lip   such
 rapidity     her comfort

damped in
lightly-steeped tisane

of earth
of bough

 of leaf
the scent

 the chest
inhaling  home

choke greediness by hand
 and let the thermos

go   with the small pot
 have the single cup

Malaise # 111 Claine Keily

She remembers her doctor saying
"You know so well
how to be happy, and that is why you suffer
because you are prevented
from doing what it is
you know will bring you joy,
and so you have this malaise
this melancholy."

Kit Kelen #566 - figment of first light

figment of first light

I am
with this everyday birth
a spun sky surely

see me like the river shining
and still I run

here's luck
the habits of a place


boats are time come to us
fish are the reason unseen
we fill

there are two of us
death's mask
and this fiction singing

there is an impossible amount of detail
here to be born
the books we could fill!

I live in all ages
I'm ages to come

a figment swim

fall words first
into the world
words made
so we were
always there

Kristen de Kline #114 at the end of the day (thanks to Rob Schackne)

at the end of the day     what counts
don't tell me it's love     that tears us apart  
the fire     how well do you walk through it

we speak of darkness and of light    
light fades the evening
darkness strangles dawn

you want to sleep for a thousand years
I want to break your heart in two     it's true

you told me all tomorrow's parties
must begin     today

I say the present is over-rated
it's scattered     all over the place    
blackened   taunting   bleached out

When you put it on paper   it doesn't add up
anything     anymore

I wake up in a hotel room: purple candlewick bedspread, single bed
Somebody passes me a security buzzer set of keys and a jar of instant coffee
It's August
It's Melbourne
It's cold
I wish I'd packed my red ugh boots lipsticks poetry books zines
the three wise monkeys figurine that sat on my desk
I want a cold beer in my palm
a dozen oysters with a lemon wedge and Tabasco garnish
I want to sleep     for a thousand years
stub out another cigarette through the ripped denim on my knee
break myself in two     it's true

When you write it down     it doesn't add up
anymore     anything

Rob Schackne #402 - "Don't tell my family and friends"

Don’t tell my family and friends
Throw my ashes into the sea
Tell my family and friends
I was never an enemy of the State
The world now knows this much
How the State hates its children
It will destroy itself unless it wakes
My ashes now drift with the tide
Having finally reached the bottom
And now they are as free as free
It’s a little darker than prison
And a little less dark than time
Please tell my family and friends
My ashes were thrown into the sea
But my heart was a hopeful one
And my dissent was because of love

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Kelen #565 - old lag

old lag

skating close along the edge here
one must always be looking for signs

looking into that mist
edge of the other world

as if in your own dark sky
an alphabet were written
and you had merely to spell out the key

am I here or halfway?
chained to the waking
the shuffle on to light

so many countries flit

it's only faith keeps me

so I am transported
over again

I am salt sea biscuit
between times
all of that's under
or is the past up?

coin for the hand cupped
water pours through

there's undertow
there's rip
some bastard is keeping this head above water

and suddenly from summer come
come under
tired of the idea itself

fall through that ice
please just let me drown for a bit

you yourself
have to do it
but when you're not there

and then the colour comes
so you are further, further
still other-sided as well

have to insist on the hours that are here

you yourself are the arrow

just get with the river
and swim

Rob Schackne #401 - "How fearless readies us"

How fearless readies us
for unexpected beauty
we are deaf to what we hear
how then I counted the stars
and there were 5 above Shanghai
(which I confess did not seem enough)
though we spoke of this tonight
of the darkness and the light

but already we understood
we are mostly blind to others
standing there in the openness
(the subject of course is love)
it was my second talk today about the heart
about the nature of sincerity
and our powers of detection
and whatever forces were asking

we agreed the matter is vast

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 282 - Night time on the edge of town

  Night time on the edge of town

hush the snoring cats  
 hear  the calling planes   above
the air  still a clear dark crystal
bubble  sliced and set
to wobble  hear 
the ground  it
cricket calls  it
leaks out cold in hands
that touch my centre
with the centre of the globe

I take myself to bed
 I call
the air by name

KIt Kelen #564 - an address to old habits

an address to old habits

die hard
you bastards, die
take no quarter
but please, please take me too

everyone's so polite here
they'll never mention your names
there are so many of you!
each quirky, sometimes
black in the shames

but never feel
you need be lonely
I'm coming along on the journey
and I'm coming home with you

Rob Schackne #400 - "Reach"

a certain age
kill someone
and then retire
(kill the worker

the part that loved
getting up at dawn
to worship their bosses
their enlightened colleagues
to find everlasting good

living a wasted life
cuts and losses
kill that worker

the slave)
and enjoy it

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 281 - Retire


we used to sleep adrift
on the endless sea   the murders
caressing round our ears

you said
I can’t watch it

what happened to our
Kevlar-drawn and curtained 
hearts   when
did the place get safe

padded with still air   no
 not enough
to sleep

Kit Kelen #563 - blue between

blue between

in a cloud they make morning
it's a first thing

the light
and it goes all day

a cloud scatter for far and still
plump like so much fleece to harvest

frayed to float
whom we each for island pass

far far above
and deep below

day comes to the world down there
and it's day up here too

sky struck
as we all are

with the light
and it goes on all day

we're drowning in it till we dream
set out among the stars

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kristen de Kline #113 all over the place

all over the place     can't string a line
together     pull a seam apart     can't

pack another box your house my life     photos blackened
taunt from the wallpaper    peroxide bleaches out

your daughter our son    in an Oxford Street photo-booth
the two of us kiss     triplicate images roll out

pull the velvet curtain closed     don't look to the light
it's raining this time another photo-booth another city we've stopped kissing

somebody     something


a hanged man flees the Tarot deck     his muscles concertina
around my neck, press down hard     something

snaps     wish bone? heart string? valve?

willow pattern mosaic shards     float     all over the place
decorating the kitchen like snowflakes   that plate, you aimed it at my head

I duck     it's not a plastic Frisbee     something
somebody     snaps  


all over the place

Rob Schackne #399 - All Prices Clearly Marked

All Prices Clearly Marked

There were voices
all prices clearly marked
yelling come on through
she doesn't wear make-up
her beauty is remarkable
there's nothing she wants to say
it's a goddamn nightmare here
I'm recovering the lost arts
do you see the target do you sir
yes Jim the prices are clearly marked
for some reason lots of gibbons

I'm teaching how to read a timetable
and they are not impressed
I throw myself to the ground
she stares at me like a lemur
sings in a language I don't know

the prices are clearly marked
a truck charges up the bank
there's a moment of quiet
but the body is an ape's

it's a bloody shower
I am on a cliff face
don't be such a chicken shit
all prices clearly marked

our alarm's set for six

Rob Schackne (#27) #398 - Poems For Airports (redux)

Poems For Airports


Black thrumming runway
its deep core solid and hot

there's a beach somewhere
they will not stay there long

the minutes will look fixed
it could be a strange mess

the sea retakes the shells

all tomorrow's parties
must begin today.


Finally at the baggage claim
the humming rock the cradle

cranked away from sight
in sortation through a system

your electric razor's tossed
because it's a useless current

your favourite sweater now
worn by a sweating freak

an undecided cretin tries
to decipher your precious book

the start of the big machine
bumps against a rubber belt

at our big carousel of wanting
a bawling toddler's pointing

at a chicken foot going round
in a fog you can barely see.


From the sky to the stun of day
off the plane down the ramp

she left last week's paper there
and a bad novel dog-eared page 5

the sun is blinding (where is this?)

she sees the goons at 4 o'clock
control her usual breeze of air

waiting for the big bag to come off
Customs Customs moment coming

she's now forgotten al-Qur'an
3 children and an evil mother-in-law

she suspects her faith is wanting.


A loving treatment of time
where did it go post-nostalgia

present serendip cool across
the tarmac and swept away

instead I'm running out of time
sitting in this dark room alone

no more gifts please let me sleep
stop asking if I'm already there

my note to self in a book of hours
buy me a nice watch tomorrow

this morning in the airport pursuant
to baggage claim I claimed nothing.


Note: Writing these poems, I was of course listening to Eno's classic. I owe much to that. But while I once thought they were about airports, air friction, the ground, the weariness of the destination and the weariness of the way back -- now I don't think they are about airports at all, but rather about us all getting safely to the places we're going. God bless. Godspeed. We are bees. 

Kit Kelen #562 - reach a certain age

reach a certain age
(alternative ending for 'when you're ten')

and there's very little I'm prepared to do
I mean there's a lot to be done
more and more in fact
calendar's chocka
and you should see the to-do list!

there's less and less time
truth be told
but what one's up for is another story

I won't sweep streets
won't do the customer interface
I put my name in a data base
to laugh at every job suggestion

who do these young pups think they're dealing with?
who do they think they are?

say it!
I'm insulted, underestimated
completely misunderstood
don't they know talent?
how else could they sneer so adroitly
(little mock of the desk bound)?

fact is the world has moved on
and further into its twilight zone

this is nothing personal
humiliation awaits us all

you think it's ironic
I'm no longer available
for the graveyard shift?

I aim to please myself that's all
nights, I plan to sleep

there is a point at which, beyond all denials
I have to admit I am retired

Kerri Shying R # 280 - Hard Scrabble

Hard scrabble

speak the ground
top down
unsour the soil
remind yourself  an aching bone
it does not strictly count as toil

for somewhere on the sea
a current brings
 a boat of hope    shows no timber
is beyond repair     

dig    speak  abounding
pain speak it under     down to
where capacity
is endless

dig the cemetery    bury
 all the things you know
get them dirty
start again

Kit Kelen #561 - in all the vast of day's pyjamas

in all the vast of day's pyjamas

art works the instances to light

how is it?
who are we?
no one's to know

it's thoughtless
come past weary meaning
never in this story before

all are tickled
hold sides to laugh

mouth dry
in a tummy rumble
all the world rolls round

so something's to be made of it

there are those of a simple struggle to know
there are one's who weigh to know what's worth

but some we few must make a mark
must piss on those world's end pillars like Monkey

deeper and deeper down in pyjamas
bringing ourselves to light

we're under, aren't we?
like a pill gone down
up a garden path

grubby thus far into the journey
still wilting, in pyjamas though

even before I'm awake
I'm at work
even especially
hard at my dirty little secret

the all-falling
and fumbling to catch
to let go

one cough and the ship's down

because in all the vast of day's pyjamas
the tune is first thing bright
chords construct themselves like clouds
because you were never in this mirror before
because it's not the same old story

and all of this amounts to
the one thing you have to believe

it's a draft

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rob Schackne #397 - "Light fades the evening"

Light fades the evening
sound travels different
you can sigh a little
where everything goes
it doesn't matter much to me
knives back in the drawer
cars returned to the factory
there's a girl without make-up
before the big men followed her
I say it doesn't matter much
the drowned boy sitting on the beach
the ones who would notice
not shouting they're laughing
you can sigh a little
but the sea is calm
the hand unpractised
I could unwrite all this
you'd write your first line
Light fades the evening

Kerri Shying R # 279 - Make the pathway home

Make the pathway home

you gotta work
 these whisper worms
curl speaking  in the dirt 
it spreads
it clumps    say where you been
where you really
 been      the same place
as the day I took down
the   for sale   sign 
all the clay is
the chocolate mud I shovel up 
  eaten and excreted

you gotta work
the pink brown heads
cosseting with time
us  unhooved animals above

here    sun in winter
 lemon thyme

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rob Schackne #396 - "I feel a little scattered"

I feel a little scattered
and rather sure it wasn't me
in a Japanese restaurant last night
speaking pretty decent Japanese

(returned after forty years away)
didn't she once say beware
the power of self-delusion

I recall the laughter that it caused
Shanghai doesn't much like Japan
I hold my few languages lightly
love their TV show Midnight Diner
and now we are in China
they are Japanese and we talk 
about the real way to make tonteki
damn it I think I'll write some poems

Kit Kelen #560 - Oblomov-ising or sleeps to go

sleeps to go

backs flat

we say, counting
and hopefully a snooze on the plane

till home or away

taller after lying down though
from telling oneself tall tales

sleeps to go
we say, as a matter of anticipation

we think it's daylight does the trick
steps visible with feet obey

for sleeps to come
our yearning is workaday

and let's not cut it fine
a train is catching us
a last alarm clock rings

it's always summer in this suit
sky dark to smog – activity!

no one knows how many wakings till what (?)
say sleep for euphemism

only two sleeps for Jesus
then a resurrection

seven sleepers had a hundred years
Rip van Winkle was all about regime change

sometimes, as zombie
the take-away
is you're all sleeps to go

then how many wakings will it take
till I dream a way home?

Rob Schackne #395 - "The drink pouring off me"

The drink pouring off me
like a scorching rain
pediatric ICU

lines for life and pain
the big top
the king poles
all that canvas
stopped outside of town
doctor is explaining
this rain is very loud
I love my child

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kristen de Kline #112 Birthday party for a dead girl

dancing and singing up a storm 
blue skin
moon crescent, dark side split open 
red, red wine
candles twenty five    dripping

fuck you, yeah you     haven't had a cry
just wanna whack you and you're not even here

everywhere     the heart is     nowhere     the heart is     

what do you mean life goes on     but
I'll give it a good crack
whadya' mean it's a bit hard     but

does she owe you money?
I accept no responsibility if she does
amplified laughter    scratches on vinyl, snap


pop     twenty-five     she'd have been    
probably looking down on us saying: Mum you're
drunk that's your tenth glass of wine
don't fall over
don't cry

singing and dancing up a storm
streaming live on Facebook
blue skin
red, red wine

whadya' mean life goes on

just want to slap you     hard

not ready to kiss you goodnight

just want to slap you     hard

Billy Bragg - The Sleep Of Reason (Lyric Video)

Kerri Shying R # 278 - My name is ....( helperton)

My name is.......

don’t try
don’t make me over
to a bureaucrat
playing zip zoom
for a warm up
 meeting new people
I’m a toddler
I’m the creative
 don’t imagine me with a new set
of faber castells
in my claw     my gratitude
the pot of gold
 dug up in the field of shit
I came to
at the end of my