Poem in Three Lies

the fat man tells a lie or a series of lies. this means
nothing changes on the Gold Coast Motorrail.
maximum utilization holidaying is the state
in which James Bond breaks world records, wears
dark sunglasses. & the sun comes sitting
on the treasures that we break and would
guard the impersonal: oh idiocy your child
speaks of the coldest beer, fat because the gas
valve is closest to the tube (we go insane
at high altitudes the same way pigeons flutter in mines).
But I don’t and remember Double E Hill &
scattering lithium for four hundred miles in
. . . one week later, under the benevolent
acrobatics of a UFO, to pick them up.

part II

machines now work the odyssey & no one
is oppressed in a reasonably absurd mythology.
battle a southerly, buster, and sear in the boat
like a Berber: today you will die or laugh
if the outboard breaks down or is it dehydration
first? And I have heard stories
from far-away cities, of a heatwave in Melbourne
& Adelaide, how train wheels melt into the tracks &
eggs cook on the pavement. Then we are happy
before a mangrove because 1) the water is so blue
to swim in, 2) relationships are light or dark
but always small from here and 3) who
would spend a day hunting jellyfish?

Love Sonnet

If little turtles ran up your legs
it might be green and cool it might
be like piranhas. If tomorrow
the world turned upside-down
we would slowly adjust to watching
movies, perhaps. Or look before
diving, for fear of the air. If
I was a cowboy! And don’t you love

the word? If you loved it any more
you’d rust. If I could change things
like a sestet is supposed to, do
you suppose I would? As if asleep
I catch a hint of a suggestion
of you. I place it firmly in the shadow box.

Leaving Adolescence

lately and (lightly also) we travel
in the space of sunny afternoons
speaking echoes in the brittle air.

through old stone halls we unravel
lazy words and half-forgotten tunes –
old Memory, sad erratic snare

snapping when least expected
leaves delicate hallucinatory pain
and the beauty of brooding clouds,

dark, full. Grey rolling hills infected
with electricity and a monolithic rain
over us all, shrouds

of noise on the tin roof (but ah, sweet).
lately too when morning reappears in a shaft
of light the world outside is in full swing

felt through the resounding pulse of a heartbeat;
so like an oarsman on a fading raft
I turn, and smile, and out-of-tunely sing.

Commercial Poem IV

Come and see why Mrs Knebel’s kitchens
have the edge on the others

I am deeply philosophical. My material wants
are nil. Well, a Knebel’s kitchen to work in,
perhaps, groovy and modular. One knife for bacon
and one for roast pork. One juicer. One blender.
One mixer. One orange squeezer. One fruit pulper
for reserve purposes. A frogskin microwave.
A neon light in the Seven Day Vegetable Container.
A cinnamon destabilizer. One garlic clamp and
herbalizer. A vitamin pill press. A blow dryer
for shallots. I am the oven of your well-being,
singeing away the starch and fats of disbelief.
I am the archangel of calorie control, the Jane
Fonda of Benedict Spinozas: those who believe in me
will know eternal light, for snacks, at four a.m.


There may be no great award
and you may be the right design and
I’ve just been written by
a wise man. I’m on my verandah,
just like any other verandah and
if the scene was right the play
would go another act. The weather’s
bad, that’s by the way. Now from my blind
the street is like my bedroom, or
any other bedroom. You may be
in a state of grace, an ivory lampshade,
on the bus, a lovely metronome, over
the top, a colour, your heart goes crazy
at times. And all the time meeting in the blue
left hemisphere, or on trains, or the way gliding’s
nice and certain engines look after us.