View or Print Issue vol. 7, no. 5
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)
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Hands that plait with fingers rigid
Spectrum’s special son
Weaving rings in whitewashed sand
Wrapped tight to thwart undone
revolving hands and shoeless toes
border a tangled mind
and caged amongst the chaos
is nature’s anomalous design
Sifting through the labyrinth
that weaves with true intent
A young man projects an innocence
unchanged by temperament
His mother appears indifferent
to the stares of vacationing youth
she knows the curiosity
is to comprehend his truth
The dank ditch clutches
what the ashen skies dropped.
The water grays with gravel it
ferries from the footpaths,
a landslide of gritty sludge and dirt.
It whooshes its way
to the growing ditch,
challenging passersby’s footing.
From their precarious position
on the disappearing banks below
footfalls, vivid yellow dandelions sit.
Their colours roaring against the hoary stream,
“We’ll out-weather you,
so thank you for the drink.”
YOU ARE STANDING ON THE ORIGINAL SITE OF
THE HISTORICAL CAPITAL THEATRE, A 2014 SEAT
THEATRE BUILT IN 1929 BY THE PLAYERS COMPANY
I tell ballcapped raincoated tourists
about the peculiar bylaw loophole
that gave hi-rise to this concrete monolith.
They hum with agreement.
What a shame, what a shame,
you know all these skylines simply ruined
But for all the way the ocean’s been walled off
the real tragedy is hidden below street level
tangled in escalators
nightclubs and fluorescents.
You will not find it unless (even if)
you know it’s there:
ringing filigreed frescoes reduced to
one glassed-in metre. A lonely golden lion
guarding the ghosts of velvet rows,
grainy greyscale photos trying desperately
to recall the roar and murmur of a crowd
that does more than click smartly by.
What a thing it is to wake
Breathe fresh the calm peaceful reverie
That we as voyagers can see in darkness
The burning crimson fire of flying rocks
Which came from whence and when
We shall not of our place know
For we live on another rock amongst rocks
Flying forever together about the void
staring into the urinal
in the way of men
careful of cross checking
watching with wonder
as the draining piddle
sparkles and dances
hyperactive water beads
circumnavigating the silver
drain cover disappearing
into the white porcelain
wormhole and dimensions
The tighter you close your eye
The longer the line
The less you hear
The deeper the grind
The less you know
The wider the gap
The smaller you grow
The greater the crack
Faith heals everything
Even the cracks.
You were here.
You left your
Fingerprints on the glass
Fingerprints on the brass
Food wrapper on the floor
Tickets and tissues tossed here
There and everywhere
Piss on the floor in the men’s room
Piss on the seats in the women’s
Booze bottles in both
Tampons and condoms in sinks
Toilets and everywhere
Hair falling from your body
Flakes falling from your skin
Dirt from your shoes
Combine and cover the floors
Stairs and everywhere
I sweep and spray and soak
With acids, aerosols, abrasives
Removing your traces
Erasing, eradicating, you
Your marks, from everywhere.
You were never here.
I just, had a dream.
I just, remember it!
I just, had a dream,
that I could fly.
I just, had a dream,
that all, things are possible!
I just, had a dream.
I am brought into the world by your voice,
moving in you, the moments cease
to bloat and splinter.
I notice. I breathe.
We develop a language.
I am moving towards love
through the dusty anecdotes.
1. I sat next to my mother
when our family had dinner
at an Italian restaurant
a few weeks ago. There was
a television playing The Visitor. In the film,
Katherine Hepburn, her wide eyes and
her blue dress
go to Venice. The television was muted
so I cannot tell you why. My mother,
sighed and said
that she had thought
that her life would be like that.
What about the rats?
There’s rats everywhere,
2. There’s a scene in that old movie
Midnight Express where
the prisoner’s girlfriend comes
to visit and,
through the glass, the prisoner
to remove her shirt and reveal
to him her small, smooth breasts.
I watched this with my mother and we
talked about it the next day:
It’s just skin,
it’s only ever someone else’s skin,
Wartime conscription student essay for
A failing friend to save his deferment so
Not forced to fight please excuse from
School of war but he was unsure, I left
Name on a Washington Wall?
Never knew which way he went.
We talk in public they say affair
Remembrance Day warmth of smile gone
Idle story untrue her man upset, I left
Never knew which way it went.
Some clusters of conflict have changed
Free right a smart pop song surfing
No depth, stolid left a cardigan classic
Earnest elbow patches in a mind
Never know how it goes.
Slivers of splinters shatter into shards
Shavings of stories scatter books to the sky
Scholarship of slaughter, fear of the joy
A swirl of ideas with no sense of self
Swerve like a steward of snow gone in spring
Never knew where they went.
A small boy on father’s shoulders
In dust and heat to the ocean
Summer and sand gone
Never knew where it went.
The same rain falls on many stories
and I see aqueducts.
Though crumbling columns divert my wash,
yet still the splash proceeds me.
how do you come back into the world
.. .. ..
of your past self
but those tinny deja’s
you don’t come back smoking
or with the rail of coke in the dresser
it’s been too long
how do you come back again
i suppose it’s much like the infants
tinny but strong hearts
knowing all to come is all
how do you come back again
and who you decide to be
is often the same person
slightly cheated by age
aging by the drink
and drinking older whiskey
did you call them?
do you call
how deep is your love
she asks you,
I stroked my cold
on the warm yard floor.
When the flies
around its flickering eye
I called the man
to club it on the head.
I hugged the cage
who gathered wraps
around her chill.
We both preferred
The snow is clean here,
sown with sea-salt
Pools freeze gently
Translucent giraffe-spots of ice
crowd into the harbour
on a slow tide.
I saw a hundred on the dresser…….
bottles, jars, tins and tubes,
packets, boxes, sprays and lubes,
green ones, brown ones, red and blue,
black, white, purple, – even ecru,
rouge and lipstick, powder and paint,
antiperspirants, perfumes, scent,
softeners, smoothers, shiny glosses,
cleansers, soaps, puffs and flosses,
ointments, creams, oils and lotions,
wrinkle removers, salves and potions,
pancake, colours, darkeners, lighteners,
enhancers, shaders, toners, whiteners,
scissors, depilators, desquamators too,
conditioners, bleaches and shampoo,
curlers, straighteners, setters, dyes,
tints, shading, pencil for eyes,
tweezers, eye-lashes, clippers, brushes,
combs, clips, pins and blushes,
nail polish, solvents – little files,
everything in the latest styles,
all applied with the utmost care;
…….. but still she wasn’t beautiful.