Magdalena Jagelke

Marotten

Mein Schlüsselbein ist gebrochen. Ich spüre im voraus Regen, das jagt mir Angst ein. Wären nicht Schmerzen Pflichten und die mürrische Floristin, könnte ich den süßen Tropfen in der Kaffeetasse schmecken. Du mit deinen schnellen Füßen machst mich so unglaublich wütend. Zugegeben ist es unschön, Anderer Schuhe zu stehlen, aber trete ich wie du, erscheint das Pflaster mir sicher.

Christian H. Soetemann

Ontic Stories

Basic Statement: Everything is.

As there as there can get

Ray of sunlight reflected by the silver clasp of my writing board. It’s a tiny dot mirroring the presence of the sun, but it’s one evidence revealing itself. Others are more apparent, I see, like the vast amount of light coming into this room through large windows, like the pleasant warmth I feel when standing in the light mentioned above.
Others can be found, too, e. g. the solar system the earth is part of being kept in order, in process, by the sun’s being. Quite a macro-perspective, I agree, and how petty it could seem to others — me referring to the reflection on the surface of the silver clasp of my writing board.
But let’s get ontic again, and you’ll notice that the reflection on the clasp is as present as the giant sun itself. They’re both there, as there as there can get. Boy! how presence can blow me away…

Loose conception of Greenland

It’s a geographical romance, geometrical lines on maps of the world, vertical and horizontal. In between, up north, the presence of Greenland is indicated. I put my finger on the map, not completely without a sense of longing. Having never been there, I imagine icebergs and deserted vales with pretty flowers, face to face with endless white. Documentaries and pictures offer images to construct a loose conception of Greenland. Oh, you come along, all your witty self, saying, “You’ve never been there. How could you know it exists?” — and you’re right, I’m not an eyewitness. Rest assured, though, as the vales, the water and the ice don’t care for us at all. They are, regardless of us having been there or not. Even if Greenland was another crude fantasy of mine, it would at least exist as this loose conception of Greenland which I happen to have. Right, conceptions are not equal to landscapes — still, this landscape couldn’t even be amused by our thoughts on its presence. It just lies there, until something else might emerge.

Not about longing

When you lift the lid of the waste basket in the train, mounted below the window, in blunt silver, you may find objects thrown away. You follow my instructions, you lift the lid to take a look. You turn your head towards where I stand and tell me “It’s empty. There’s nothing inside.” You may not have found an object that has been thrown away, but inside, there is space. Air. Dust. Oh, I could go on… and now you’re calling me a trainspotter, of all things. You may do so — already have done — but everywhere in the world, there is something. Perhaps you won’t find what you’re looking for, but this is not about longing: it’s about being.

Woodblock morals

Did you see that woodblock too? Well I broke it in two. You may conclude I destroyed it, I say I changed the functionality. Listen, the pitch has changed, higher notes emerge when you hit the piece of wood. And is there less wood? No. The sum of matter has remained, the outcome’s changed. There is as much in the world as before. Your attempt to compare it to woodcutting does not devalue my aforementioned statement, but it’s the morals that provide a dividing line right here.

Prasenjit Maiti

Prose Poetry from India

Sound of Silence

You are there and you are not as the doors would neither open nor close and I may see you now while the very next moment my sorrows blind me, my sorrows that are quite so gay and straight and black that I may not see you dressed in white in a darker room and smiling for a moment as you are angry like evermore … I may even touch you in the nude and may or may not feel jovially embarassed, my new found delights that pain me like nobody’s business as you are always there and never once haunting my rich city of memories, the Chinese downtown and the WASP*) countryside, my poor city of oblivion and joyous hatred … You are there and you are not as the doors would neither open nor close like a clash of cymbals that I may or may not enjoy like Coca-Cola as you are there and you are not dressed in white and naked stark …

*) white anglo saxon protestant /
weisser angelsächsischer Protestant

Klang der Stille

Du bist dort und doch nicht, so wie die Türen sich weder öffnen noch schließen, und ich kann dich jetzt sehen, während schon im nächsten Augenblick meine Sorgen mich blenden, meine Sorgen, die so nachdrücklich und direkt und schwarz sind, dass ich dich nicht einmal in weiß gekleidet in einem dunkleren Raum wahrnehmen kann, einen Moment lächelnd, wo du doch zorniger bist als je zuvor … Es mag sogar sein, dass ich dich in deiner Nacktheit berühren darf und mich in heiterer Verwirrung empfinde oder auch nicht, meine eben erst gefundenen Freuden, die mich so sehr quälen wie nichts einen Menschen quälen kann, da du immer dort bist und doch nie wieder meine reiche Stadt der Erinnerungen aufsuchst, das chinesische Viertel und die Landschaft der WASP*), meine arme Stadt aus Vergessen und fröhlichem Haß … du bist dort und du bist nicht dort, so wie die Türen sich weder öffnen noch schließen, wie das Anklingen von Zimbeln, die ich genieße oder auch nicht, wie Coca-Cola, da du dort bist und nicht in weiß gekleidet and gänzlich nackt …

White Diamonds

Your white chiffon burns as the sky burns in Calcutta and I dig inside molten sundae and ketchup like religion like recluse like fantasy, your white chiffon burns as I admire the riverfront and the bridge girdled like chastity, the breeze and its fragrance like a woman in season and panting, your white diamonds burn like your eyes, black like Bengal’s sorrows and ranting, your white diamonds burn like ashes like Coventry like merry sex like royalty

Weisse Diamanten

Dein weißer Chiffon brennt wie der Himmel über Calcutta und ich vergrabe mich im Becher mit schmelzendem Eis und Ketchup wie in Religion, in Klausur, in Phantasie, dein weißer Chiffon brennt, während ich die Flußpromenade bewundere und die wie ein Keuschheitsgürtel wappnende Brücke, die Brise und ihren Duft wie eine Frau in der Schonzeit und schwer atmend, deine weißen Diamanten brennen wie deine Augen, schwarz wie die Schmerzen Begalens und tobend, deine weißen Diamanten brennen wie Asche wie Coventry wie fröhlicher Sex wie ein Königreich

Calcutta Oh Calcutta!

My City never sleeps and can never live down her boisterous indifference whenever there are those dark rain clouds hovering across the skies of Bengal. I know her vanity and inanity and sick desires and yet cannot do anything to redeem her glory that is rightfully hers. Calcutta my beloved is a cat crossing the thoroughfares of sorrow and desperation like myself, Calcutta my desire is myself driving my auto in confusion into the night. My City nowadays never even dreams her colonial dreams of grandeur and divide and rule. My City never ever sleeps the sleep of the dead or divine.

 

Calcutta oh Calcutta!

Meine Stadt schläft niemals und wird nie ihre heftige Unbekümmertheit zu Tode leben, wann immer diese dunklen Regenwolken über den Himmeln von Bengalen hängen. Ich kenne ihre Eitelkeit und ihre Hohlheit und kranken Wünsche und kann dennoch nichts tun, um ihren Ruhm wieder zu erlangen, der ihr zurecht gebührt. Calcutta, meine Liebe, ist eine Katze, die die Durchgangsstraßen aus Schmerz und Verzweiflung überquert wie ich selbst, Calcutta mein Begehren, das bin ich, der seinen Wagen in Aufgelöstheit durch die Nacht fährt. Meine Stadt träumt heute nicht einmal ihre kolonialen Träume von Größe und Erfindergeist und Herrschaft. Meine Stadt schläft niemals den Schlaf der Toten oder Begnadeten.

Übersetzung aus dem Englischen: Petra Ganglbauer

 

Christian H. Soetemann

‘ontic’ short stories

//Grey lever

The ironing board possesses a small grey adjustment lever on one side which serves to open up this object so that the process of ironing clothes &c. can begin. Hence this lever, probably made of steel, has got a distinct purpose. Yes, I do iron my clothes from time to time, and yet this lever means much more to me than a means to utilize the generally accepted function of the object we call ironing board. I let the board rest against the wall, and with sincere pleasure, I press down the height adjustment lever, not wanting to open up the board at all. My sole intention is to push down the lever. In addition to that, I enjoy regarding the grey lever, being able to refrain from pressing it down if I can control my ego functions. I realize this grey lever is there. It’s part of the world, just like the clothes, the house, the dust on the shelves, the mental picture of the lever (now that I am considering the role the lever plays in my life), like everything else that is there. The grey lever gives me a tender feeling.

//The man who searched for nothingness

The man who searched for nothingness failed abysmally. He looked under carpets, amongst brushwood, outside the realm of street lanterns, but nothingness was nowhere to be found. He stared at little holes in trousers, tablecloths, shirts and linen – but there were always holes; nothingness was nowhere to be found. He turned around all of a sudden, just to see whether nothingness was laughing at him behind his back – still, nothingness was nowhere to be found. He observed sunspots, but even those turned out to be lower temperature areas amidst this giant mass of gas – so nothingness was nowhere to be found. He threw glasses and vases to the ground to wait for nothingness to reveal, but there were only broken fragments of porcelain and glass, so nothingness was nowhere to be found. He witnessed a neighbour pass away and rushed to see the corpse being carried into the ambulance – but there was a body, if only a dead one, and nothingness was nowhere to be found. The man who searched for nothingness finally gave up and committed suicide, expecting nothingness to dawn on him in the very moment of his death. But nothingness was nowhere to be found, and the presence of his corpse meant his final experiment had failed, even with him being unable to observe the result.

//Mirror magazine

Did you see the man on the bench, sitting and reading a magazine? Actually, I haven’t spoken to him at all – that would have been rather embarrassing. For a moment, though, let’s imagine I would have got up from my bench, would have walked over to him and proposed the following: namely, to put the magazine on the ground, with the front cover facing the sky. Then I would have loved to take a silver safety pin out of the inner pocket of my coat. Subsequently, I would have put this safety pin on the surface of the magazine cover. It would have been a perfect fit of two objects which form a part of the world, of two present objects, both – like everything else in the world – occurring. Why a perfect fit? The cover of a magazine displayed a large mirror, and I so cherish combinations of silver objects. They happen to be there. And think of the potential pleasure stemming from a safety pin lying on the picture of a mirror, without the mirror being able to reflect. You might argue, this wasn’t a mirror at all, and as far as materialistic organization of mass goes, you’re right. This is not what we call a mirror. However, it would have made for an enjoyable co-existence of two things. In the end, of course, none of this came true. Who knows whether the man would have agreed to my proposition. I went for a more solipsist option and bought a copy of the mag myself, just to create this enjoyable co-existence in my private rooms. I heartily recommend it to you too!

//Presence of a candle

The candle is white, has been fit into a silver stand. Now it resides exactly in the middle of the dark-brown wooden table. We currently do not have any information on who bought either table or candle; neither can we enlighten you regarding the question: why a candle of white colour? I’d assume it is down to the personal taste of the subject X who purchased (or even made – what do we know) the candle. At the moment, the candle is lit, thus spreading its light across the small room which contains all of the aforementioned objects. Without this situation being one that has got an obvious background or that at least suggests an interpretation as to how it might have turned out this way, we can easily maintain the presence of the candle. You might as well state the presence of the room, the table & the stand … or whatever. Still, the candle is. There can be no debate.

Chris Chapman

Poème en prose

LINUS

(walks) up the street, of any inner suburban domain. up the laneway, into the main street, on the corner is a smart italian restaurant, but those people eating their $25 vongole at the stainless-steel tables on the footpath, aren’t they a little freaked by the:

drunk homeless guy,
hungry punters from the TAB passing to the milkbar for their burger,
lesbo chick with shaven head,
local non-anglo teens in homeboy uniform …?

on the bus: it’s 11 am. the british tourist couples in their sixties move so the scraggly but i’m sure perfectly respectably eccentric guy gets up to get off. his passage to the centre door is clear but he wants to disembark via the front door. that’s cool.

on the train: why is that elderly middle eastern guy looking at me? is he?

HEARS (on railway platform): happy holidays! (teacher to students).

HEARS (on train, upstairs) the aboriginal girls in the two big seats in front making fake cosmetic ads and laughing loudly. when they leave their names and a diagram of the ABORIGINAL FLAG is tagged on the vinyl seat.

from the windows of the train: terrace houses, industrial buildings, shopping centres, cheap apartment blocks, the olympic park, a mosque.

at the front of the bread shop is a stack of styro cartons full of market garden greens and a cardboard sign “70cents”.

URBAN TIP: when passing someone say HELLO, or nod so.

April 2002

THIS WAKING LIFE

What a strange turn of events, an unexpected path my days have taken. An introspection that seems inevitable surrounds me.

This sense of being treads a path between internalism, and absorption. The pleasure gained can be immense and heartening, when there is a feeling that the flow is all that there is, which of course is the case.

Sometimes this approaches a state of meditation, of shikantaza, “themeless sitting in zazen, that is, abondoning all thoughts of good or bad, enlightenment or illusion, and just sitting.” (John Stevens, Introduction to One Robe, One Bowl, The Zen Poetry of Ryokan, Weatherhill, Tokyo (1977) 1979, page 15.)

This is especially good for afternoons, say, at the northern parkland at Bondi Beach, and watching the people, the weather, recognising the colour of the sky and ocean change gradually.

And sometimes in a state of half-sleep a similar feeling emerges where there is a floating sensation, the mind half aware of external reality, half aware that it is dreaming.

February 2002

SUBWAY

Down the stairs into the western Elizabeth Street entrance to the underground railway. I buy a return ticket to the Cross, browse some magazines and eventually take the escalator down to the platform where I’ve just missed one train but the next will arrive in seven minutes. I walk halfway along the almost empty platform and sit on a benchseat. I’m casually looking to my right in an unfocussed kind of way, and when the guy, who is walking in my direction, is about six feet away, I consciously realise I had noticed his sandals, second-hand brown suitpants, red zip-up sports jacket (also retro), and his good looking and scruffy head. I’m snapped out of my daydream by a doubletake because he looks briefly familiar, and because he sits on the bench next to me.

I think nothing more of it after the train arrives and at Kings Cross I take the Victoria Street exit. For some reason I’m a bit surprised at how leafy-green the street is, and I’m in daydream land again, enjoying the atmosphere: the cafes, the backpackers’ hostels, the backpackers. I turn right into whatever street it is that heads back up to Macleay Street just where the post office is (on the quiet side of the park with the fountain), head into the section where the post boxes are, and emerge with a magazine I’d contributed to and Money Mark’s latest cd I had ordered over the net. Outside, in the sun, I decide to open the plastic magazine pack to see if the cheque for my writing is in there too, thinking I could walk up the street and bank it. I’d considered sitting on some stone steps in the sun, but instead use the chest-high sandstone wall right beside them as a shelf to peruse my mail. Well, the cheque must be mailed separately, no problem. I’m absorbed in flicking through the mag to find my review and to see what else is in it, and then I notice that sitting on the steps right there is the scruffy/cute guy smoking a cigarette.

Weird. Then things got decidedly weirder. I met J at X gallery and checked out the work which was nice. A couple of beers with J started things off, really. Then dinner at the great SuperBowl Chinese restaurant in Goulburn Street. We’d taken a six pack and had two left so I suggested we wander down to the nearby southern end of Darling Harbour to sit by the water and drink the remaining two bottles. We’re passing an open-air Japanese restaurant and bar full of people when J recognises his friend S who is involved with the said event – a function for the promoters of the current tennis tournaments, and their guests. She invites us in where we proceed to consume complimentary beverages for at least a couple of hours.

Stupidly, instead of grabbing a taxi and heading home, I take one up to Oxford Street. I meet a very nice guy who is a chef at one of Sydney’s most fashionable restaurants, then, on some kind of whim, decide to take a walk but not before buying a disposable camera and kindly requesting streetfolk to pose for my documentary snaps. Then I call in to the Stonewall for a vodka, and, taken by a particularly humourous advertisement in the boys’ room, leave a note on the bar with my empty glass requesting the bar staff to phone me if I’m able to have one of the posters when they change them over. This is after I’d tried unsuccessfully to remove one from its perspex display-frame myself. Hey, it gets worse.

Another camera purchased and another walk around the neighbourhood and now the sky is starting to lighten. Back to the Oxford Hotel for a bloody mary (!), and a chat to a charming Torres Strait Islander, for whom I offer to buy breakfast for at Bondi Beach. As I do. Before that we’d sat on the beach for a while, and afterwards bussed it back into the city and spent a couple of hours dozing on the lawn beneath a Moreton Bay fig in the Botanic Gardens.

I now have four disposable cameras as testimonials to this and two previous all-nighters. Fucking hell. The photographs should be either very interesting and inspired, or uselessly bad. That is, unless I find myself without the money required to process them because I’d spent it all on alcohol and breakfasts. I don’t want to think about how much of my rapidly dwindling savings I chewed through last night. Oh well; all in the service of a supremely enjoyable, if slightly out-of-control, time. It is the big city after all. And I haven’t found myself in a tricky situation yet, save for the assumption being made, on two occassions, that I was a cop. Maybe my unusual photography subject matter had something to do with it, and possibly the fact that on one evening I arrived at Taylor Square in a cab immediately after police officers had blitzed numerous nightclubs in the vicitiny for the presence of amphetamines and ecstasy. No wonder I was mistaken for a Narc.

After a couple of hours of fitfull pesudosleep (recalling details of last night vividly), my brother and his mate C and I walked the few blocks up to the Belgian Beer cafe, under faint rain, blue dusk, and purple jacaranda flowers (which are everywhere in Sydney). There we drank some Hoegaarden beers and I left them to it for more. Settling instead for a toasted cheese and ham sandwich here. And now I’m listening to the pretty acoustic sounds and vocals of the Norwegian boys Eirik and Erlend of ‘Kings of Convenience’. With the clarity and sweetness of morning rain, is how I would describe their cd ‘Quiet is the New Loud’.

November 2001

Michael Crane

24 Postcards
From the End of the World

Postcard

Dear citizens of Earth,

We are the defeated and the betrayed. We are the vagabonds begging forgiveness. We are the crippled and the maimed. We are alone and unloved. We are the aged and the weary. There is no happiness or joy. There is no depression or tears. When we venture to your town, you walk past us as though we were invisible. We exist only in the memory of stray cats and trees. Here at the end of the world there is no light and the nights are never-ending. Strange things happen here. Failed businessmen jump off tall buildings and keep falling, never to hit the ground. Beautiful women beg on the street for kisses and hugs. Politicians donate their wages to the poor. When a young girl cries, saxophones wail in the streets. Salesmen give their merchandise away for free. When it hails, yellow and red tulips fall from the sky. There is no wealth here because money does not exist. There is no crime. Policemen sing in karaoke bars: songs about love and loss. Music is the only currency. Inside every heart there is a song waiting to be sung: songs of bitterness and confusion; songs of life and death; songs of salvation and redemption. These postcards are songs too, strange songs sung by soft whispering voices echoing at the end of the world.

Hello and goodbye,
from the man
with the invisible limp.

Time

Dear supermodel with the bucked-tooth lisp,

I am a history professor. Last night I had a strange dream. The government had invented a time machine, but there was a problem – it could not bring people back to the present: a one-way ticket to the past. The world was on the brink of World War Three and oblivion. The plan was to send me back to the garden of Eden and to tell Adam and Eve of the horrors of the world so they could warn future generations. A few seconds later I appeared in Eden standing next to Eve. She was beautiful and perfectly formed, but Adam was a few feet away and hadn’t fully evolved. He was half ape, half man, and had not learned to speak. I took Eve aside and told her of humanity’s dark future. I told her of Jesus and the crucifixion, and of the murder and pillage in the centuries to follow. I told her of the reign of Mussolini, and the destruction caused by the atom bomb. She listened carefully and a worried frown appeared on her brow. She looked so beautiful I asked her to be mine. Eve thought long and hard, and every second felt like an eternity. She looked up at me and told me she couldn’t because I was from the future, and mixing our blood might cause problems with our children. She put her arm around my shoulder and said that she knew Adam was a bit dumb but that she liked dark and silent men anyway. She told me we could still be friends, it wasn’t the end of the world. I woke up with the feeling of an intense and unbearable longing.

Cordially yours,
the organ grinder from hell.

Concubine

Dear Pontius the red-necked parrot,

I’m miserable when I shouldn’t be. Any man would die for my job. I’m paid by my boss to make love to all the secretaries in his company. It is my duty to keep them sexually satisfied so they can keep their minds focussed on the job, and not get distracted by life outside of work chasing boyfriends. I have sex three times a night, six days a week, and each time is with a different girl. They are all beautiful and could easily find work as models. I am a lucky man, yet I feel so empty. There is one condition. I am not allowed to talk to the girls or kiss them, because the boss does not want them to get emotionally attached to me and lose concentration at work. I am there for their physical needs only. At first it was heaven, but soon I began to miss the little things I hadn’t thought important before. I miss the laughter of the one you care about when you tell them a funny joke. I miss the proud smile on their faces when you are introduced to their friends and family. I miss the intense look on their faces as they squeeze a pimple on your chin. I miss their wisdom when they give you advice on a dilemma you thought could not be solved. But most of all I miss smelling the scent from their bodies the first time you kiss them. I feel as lonely and forsaken as Christ on the cross. I’m in heaven but it feels like hell.

Kind regards,
from the sad hunchback
from a place too far to care.

Bicycle

Dear Genghis Khan and his seven dwarves,

A friend of mine told me a story about her twin sister Mary, who was overweight. She went to see her family doctor. He told her she had to exercise more and gave her the address of a bicycle shop. He said it was important that she told the owner that he had sent her. She was given a blue bicycle with wooden wheels. She decided she would ride it home and then lock it in the garage forever. But when she arrived home, she couldn’t get off the bicycle because her feet were stuck to the pedals. She rode through the afternoon and into the night. When she wanted to sleep she closed her eyes and the bicycle steered itself, the pedals working on their own. Every morning at seven-thirty a.m. and every night at seven-thirty p.m. no matter where she was, the same man would be waiting on the roadside to hand her special dietary food in a brown paper bag as she rode past. She rode non-stop for exactly one year until she came to a glistening blue river. The pedals on the bicycle seized up and it came to a stop. Mary got off and sat on the bank to rest, and noticed her reflection in the clear water. She was slim and her hair had grown down her back. Someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was the man who had always given her food. He stroked her hair and told her she looked beautiful although he’d quite liked her the way she was before. A deep sound rumbled in her throat for a long time, almost like the sound of a cat purring.

Hooray for Hollywood,
from Sally, when I say goodbye
I only mean for ever.

Vow

Dear Sasha the princess of pain,

It is our wedding next week and I feel that it is vital that I share my thoughts with you before we exchange rings. I know that you are beautiful. You are sex on a stick. You are wealthy and move in the same circles as many well-known celebrities. Fashion gurus seek your advice. Children smile when you walk into a room. But I don’t love you for these reasons. I want to marry you because you crack me up every time you open your mouth, and I laugh so much I almost wet myself. I laugh when you are in the bath and fart, and there is a shy mischievous grin on your face as the bubbles rise to the surface. I laugh when we are at the beach and you rip my shirt off and kiss me with a passion centuries old. I laugh when you belch so loud in public that people stop in their tracks. I laugh at when we were at the gift shop and you picked up a candle in the shape and colour of a banana and took a bite. You are not afraid of anyone, and tall strong men with tattoos tremble at your feet and it makes me laugh. Most of all I laugh when you have an orgasm and raise your fists to the sky, shouting “Eureka, thar she blows!” I know that if I marry you I will be laughing till the day I die and will go to the grave a happy man. This postcard is my wedding vow to you.

Love,
from the corpse with
the foolish grin.

Bridesmaid

Dear waitress with the haughty walk,

I was going to kill myself. I had planned it for months. I had withdrawn my savings from the bank and donated them to the local cat’s home. Had written farewell letters to my friends, which I gave to a stranger to post after my death. Had decided which bridge to jump from. I went to the local McDonald’s as I usually do to read the morning paper. Then it happened. Two white stretch limousines stopped outside. It was a wedding party. The bride and groom entered McDonald’s followed by seven bridesmaids and seven groomsmen. The bridesmaids wore long orange gowns. They ordered their Big Macs and french fries and sat a few feet opposite me. When they had finished eating the youngest bridesmaid, who was about fifteen years old, caught me staring at them and smiled. She got up and walked to my table. She asked my why I was sad. I told her that life is difficult. She said “Yet it is a sad and beautiful world”. She put her left hand on my forehead and told me not to worry, and that things would get better. Then she walked back to the wedding party, which got up to leave. I called out to her as she was leaving that maybe we’d meet again one day. She turned around, smiled, and said “yes – if you play your cards right”. I forgave her coyness and arrogance because I knew I had been blessed by a silver winged wraith. Maybe I won’t go to that bridge tonight. Perhaps I’ll jump on a plane and travel the world for awhile and come back to this restaurant in a few years and be blessed by some other dark-skinned angel.

Remember me
When there is
no-one to call your name.

Photograph

Dear Bearded Lady with the great hairy sideburns,

I read an article today about a famous photographer who was holding an exhibition in a museum. I walked amongst the crowds who spoke in awe of his camerawork and use of shade and light in black and white stills. I listened to a speaker recount the photographer’s glittering career. I looked at the many famous celebrities smiling at the camera. I then remembered a photograph in one of my mother’s many albums. It was taken when I was three years old and sitting with four other children in my family’s suburban back yard. My sister (who was twelve months younger than me) sat to my left and was looking down at a ragged doll in her lap. To my right were three friends. Gary, my closest friend for many years, was staring hard at the camera. His brother Paul was sitting next to him, looking to his right at Leanne, my next-door neighbour. Even at age two she was a rare beauty. She stared straight at the camera with a Mona Lisa smile. Thirty-five years later I am standing in a crowded museum. I look at the famous celebrities but they mean nothing to me. My sister and I drifted apart and I haven’t seen her for years. I don’t know what happened to Gary, Paul or Leanne. They may be married, in jail, junkies or dead. But that photograph will never fade away in my mind, and I will carry it with me till I die. It may seem strange, but I would trade all the successful lives of those celebrities at the exhibition if I could go back in time to that day when five children sat in the back yard, unafraid and oblivious to the world.

With deepest sympathy
from the solemn bastard
you always see at funerals.

Guru

Dear Sword-swallower of great renown,

My life felt empty. I couldn’t get out of bed no matter how blue the sky. Love and happiness seemed an impossible dream. There was no light at the end of my tunnel. I had to do something. I went to see a guru. He wore a long pale orange robe and had gold earrings in both ears. His head was shaven and he wore a finely trimmed grey goatee. His skin was well-tanned and he walked with a silver-plated cane. He gave me a high quality coloured brochure detailing the many courses on offer. There was rebirthing, meditation and breathing classes, and also monthly retreats. He claimed that there was nothing he could not teach so long as I was prepared to learn. I left his studio and walked down the street. A woman with a pram and her two-year old son were walking towards me. As I walked past her a black purse fell from the pram onto the ground. I picked up the purse and called out to her. She was so surprised that a stranger would help her she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. I looked down at her son who was smiling at me because I had made his mother happy. He gave me a smile of unconditional trust. Now I visit his mother once a week and baby-sit her son. I now have a new guru. He only has ten teeth and needs to have his nappy changed twice a day but he teaches me everything I need to know.

All the best …
the fool on the hill
who can’t stop laughing.

Goodbye

Dear Morticia the ice queen,

I’ve known you for a long time and I care for you dearly. I don’t mind that you cheated on me and had sex with a bouncer while I was in the lounge room watching the Greco-Roman wrestling event from the Olympic Games. It’s okay that you hate cats and keep a python in a large fishtank and feed it live kittens. I didn’t think twice when I heard you were the prime suspect in a serial murder investigation involving the death of seven nubile young men (although seven has always been your lucky number.) I wasn’t angry when I found out that you had sabotaged every relationship I had since we broke up by telling my girlfriends that I had AIDS I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled. The fact that you modelled your philosophy of life on the teachings of Charles Manson didn’t shock me. I was a little concerned that your last three boyfriends had died from the same mystery illness and that you were the sole beneficiary of their wills, but I put it down as a strange coincidence. But today I heard the most shocking news yet. I heard that you think Kylie Minogue is a goddess, and that Ricky Martin is the new Elvis. Really, Morticia – that is too much. May God have mercy on you. There are some things I can’t forgive and I think we had better not see each other any more.

All my love,
from Harry Houdini
and his magic sword.

Car

Dear Matilda the walking and talking mannequin,

I said goodbye to my mother today or should I say she said goodbye to me. We had been on the road together for the last five years. I remember that first night together in the car when we left my father’s house. It was my twelfth birthday and they were arguing late at night. They were swearing at each other and then I heard a loud slapping sound from the kitchen and my mother soon came up the stairs and took me by the hand and led me out of the house and into the station wagon. I remember that first night in the car when we left the city and drove through the countryside and sitting in the back seat looking up at the thousands of stars in the cloudless night sky. We drove from one town to the next staying long enough for mum to take countless photographs of people and the town buildings. I remember driving over tall bridges high above the coastal rivers and looking at the mangrove swamps and the whit ibis fossicking in the mud. I remember looking up at the galahs perched high above the power lines on the side of the roads. I remember the many overnight caravans we stayed and meeting one of the owners Jim for the first time and how mum laughed at his strange stories of people who had stayed in his caravan park. Mum always sent him a postcard from each town we stopped at. One night we came to the town where my aunt lived and mum told me that she wanted me to stay there from now on. She told me she loved me and gave me two large boxes filled with many photographs taken during our five years on the road. She said she was going to live with Jim. I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again, but looking at those photographs now, won’t stop me from missing her.

A warm hello
from the inspector
of broken dreams.

Crap

Dear Shirley temple with the pot-plant-pilfering eyes,

You know that I have been a nurse at the hospital for many years and I never talk about my work, but one of our patients had been admitted for severe constipation and for two weeks we tried every medication and technique to get his bowels moving but nothing worked. One morning he read a letter to me from his girlfriend Cynthia telling him that she was leaving him for a man who has perfect bowel movement. She added that he even had total control of his bladder as well. Then it happened. He said that he needed to go to the toilet but all the cubicles were busy so I gave him a bed pan and closed the curtain around him, A few seconds later he let out a long, loud grunt. I went to pick up the bed pan from him and he had a smile on his face. I looked inside and there in the pan was a perfectly formed faeces in the shape of the letter D. The same thing happened for the next 60 days. Every morning at exactly ten a.m. he would leave a letter from the alphabet in his bedpan. Soon every one was talking about it because he seemed to be leaving a message for the world to see. TV crews appeared and interviewed him. Newspaper journalists wrote daily articles announcing the arrival of each new letter. A movie producer offered him lot of money to make a film about his life. And then on the sixtieth day it stopped. From then on his bowels were normal and left no faeces in the shape of a letter. He discharged himself from the hospital. He had arrived as just another patient and left a national celebrity. That afternoon the newspaper printed his message in full and I couldn’t stop laughing. “Dear Cynthia, you whore you broke my heart, but nothing beats a good purge.”

From Florence Nightingale
and her three Burmese cats.

River

Dear Albert Einstein and your love machine,

I met a man with a golden voice tonight. I am a literary agent and one of my clients was getting married. Theirs was an unconventional wedding. They had hired a restaurant beside the river and had prepared a stage for the band to play after dinner. They had hired a celebrant and after they exchanged their vows a friend of theirs read a poem by Gregory Corso proclaiming that lovers should denounce tradition and rebel together against the world. He had a deep husky voice and I noticed every single woman in the room watching him intently. Later I walked to his table and talked to him and he said he was a writer but didn’t want to talk shop and he asked me to dance. When we got to the dance floor, several other women got up to dance close to us and were all looking at him. They were all beautiful. I knew I couldn’t compete with them and I walked out into the cool night and sat on the pier. I could smell the water below and looked at the lights from the city buildings reflecting on the water. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and he sat down beside me. We spoke for a little while and he told me how his father used to take him swimming in a river when he was a young child. It reminded me when we lived on the bank of the Clarence River and when I was young my father would row my mother and I across to the other side. We kissed for a moment and I let him take me home and as we left the wedding and walked to the car I could hear the music from the band echo through the night.

Cordially yours,
the independent woman
with the need for love.

Losers

Dear Sir, madam and all potential members,

So you want to join our club. The fact that you want to be one of us makes you automatically eligible. No fees apply here at the Losers Club. We pride ourselves that our dreams are small and attainable. Our visions are of the everyday. We don’t crave wealth and power. A friendly greeting from a stranger is money in our vaults. We go to gambling houses and when playing black jack always buy a card when sitting on twenty. We don’t go to the races to gamble but to listen to the hooves pound on the turf when they approach the home turn. We wait in bars and hand red carnations to single women and then leave without asking them anything in return. We go to mental hospitals and visit each new admission telling them we know they are not mad and to just go along for the ride. We go to cemeteries and mourn the dead and forgotten. Our only mission in life is to wander silently through the streets at the end of the world and listen patiently to the stories of the broken hearted. Every night at twelve o’clock we meet in an empty café and recount those stories to each other listening with the ears of hearts and souls. It’s a strange club we run here friend. Money won’t buy you entry. Fast cars and big houses do not impress us But if you can tell us of your sorrow, if you can tell us of your despair, if you get knocked down by life and get up smiling then you are a member of our club because friend sooner or later you will win and your courage and humility will shine like a beacon over the murky waters here at the end of the world.

From the man
with the voice
of seven drunken angels.

Murder

Dear Hopalong Cassidy and his silver maned palomino,

When I first saw Tammara, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She was almost six feet tall with blonde hair and nice sized breasts. She wore a tight fitting silver dress and was dancing alone in the night club. I noticed other men watching her from the bar so I decided to take a chance and walked up to her. I didn’t say a word, I just smiled at her and began to dance keeping my body in time with the rhythm of her dancing. I didn’t try to talk to her but after twenty minutes, I took her hand and led her to a dark part of the nightclub and kissed her. Her lips were full and sensual and no one had ever kissed me like her before. It was always a dream of mine to be with someone like her. I took her to my place and we drank wine and I found out that we many things in common: the same taste in music and literature. We had similar heroes and we even liked the same sports. I knew that I had to make love to her there and then. She stopped me before I could take things further by telling me that her secret fantasy was to feel what it was like to kill someone, to have that power over life and death. I don’t know if she was recruiting me to fulfil her fantasy but I knew then no matter how much I desired her I had to leave. A few weeks later I saw a report on the news of two suspects in a murder case. Tamara was standing beside her new boyfriend smiling at the camera denying any involvement in the murder and blaming her boyfriend. He looked at her crushed and defeated. I studied that smiling killer with the face and body of a Goddess and I thought of her that night dancing alone in the nightclub wearing that glittering silver dress.

Yours in pain,
from the man
who no one loved.

Hate

Dear Samantha the wandering temptress with the serpent eyes,

I hate you because you are so arrogant that you think the world was created for you alone. I hate you because when you think you are scorned, your rage is cruel and merciless. I hate you because you know you are beautiful but don’t realise that this gift is not everlasting and is temporary like a full moon. I hate you because you cannot see that your friends are parasites who feed off your beauty and power. I hate you because your need to be desired is all consuming and is the reason that you breathe. I hate you because you give the secrets of your heart to your friends but deny them to the one who loves you. I hate your delusions that mystery equates to romance. For all your wisdom and experience you don’t realise that to your suitors you are merely a trophy. I hate you because you are prone to fits of rage that could be silenced simply by an honest conversation. I hate your coyness. I hate your vanity and ego. Most of all I hate you because you are the only woman I have ever loved but my desire for you can never be returned. I see the reflection of your cold hard eyes stare at me every day in the mirror and my heart is dying a slow and miserable death. I hate you because I love you.

With fond regrets
from Fabio
the moustache twirler.

Funeral

Dear pretty perfect Priscilla with the enormous beehive,

I didn’t know Paul that well. He was an actor and theatre producer and there were so many people at his funeral it was like an opening night for one of his plays. There were two different generations of people there standing outside the funeral parlour as the coffin was carried into a grey limousine. Elvis Presley was singing “American trilogy” over the loudspeaker and I saw a couple of people smiling at Paul’s final joke. Paul had jumped onto the rails of an oncoming train. I had never looked down into an open grave before and I dropped flowers petal down into the dark pit. I felt guilty that I was probably there more for my own experience of having never been to a funeral rather than to mourn Paul. A fleck of dust flew into my eyes and brought a tear which I tried to wipe away. One of his aunts saw me and grabbed my elbow and said that I must have really loved Paul. She walked away before I could reply and I guess my silent lie was my gift for Paul. I heard he had written a thirty page suicide letter and that he had many dangerous addictions. I never read the letter and would have been too critical anyway. I’ve never liked long speeches. Really Paul, Elvis singing “American” as your coffin left the building that grey winters morning said more to me than any letter could have.

Happiness is a warm gun
from the man who could
not stop laughing.

Thomas

Dear he who chants Mantras while feeding his goldfish,

The twelve men of the Body Corporate sat around the long table waiting for the director to address them. He had entered the room looking sad and dejected. He sat there for a long time before he took a thick manilla folder from his briefcase. After a few minutes of stroking his blonde beard, he finally spoke. He told them that things looked grim and that the apartment building wasn’t attracting high bids on the markets and might have to be knocked down so they could at least sell the land. He looked at them and said there are at least a couple of opportunities out there and they just had to have patience and faith. Thomas was the only one who didn’t seemed convinced. He told the director that it would need a miracle to save them The director replied that he had never failed them before and sometimes miracles did occur. Thomas, said no one could get them out of this mess this time. The directors replied that he had heard on the grapevine that Japanese investors had read the prospectus and were interested and that real estate prices would jump back to the normal level soon. Thomas was quiet this time. The director looked thoughtfully at the group. He knew that one of them in the group would deny that they had this meeting and would leave them to go to another organisation and forsake them. He knew that one of them would betray them and take a lesser offer and sell the property beneath them. He knew that nothing would resurrect their company but he liked his companions and they ordered pizzas and drank red wine and toasted to the success of their venture.

Love from the blue-eyed,
blonde haired surfer
of your dreams.

Hospital

Dear Albert Schweitzer and his harem of pygmy women,

I’ve never considered myself lucky. In fact the opposite. Never won a prize in a lottery. Never married or fathered a child. I have a few friends but don’t see them often. I tried to promote music and poetry to a wider audience but never made any money. Today however I was reflecting that sometimes luck isn’t equated to love or money, or success. I remembered five years ago being taken to a mental hospital and I appealed. My case was reviewed by ten doctors in a large room. They said that I was depressed and I replied that I was a writer and led a depressing life. They told me that if I was a writer, to recite them a poem. I was unaware that it was reported that I might be dangerous and a threat to the community. I recited an allegorical poem about how I gave up a life of violence to become an artist. I could have chosen to recite any number of poems but I chose that one and was released from the hospital the next day. Recently I was admitted into a hospital suffering from burns caused by a cooking accident. The ambulance officer said that I had a mental illness and the admissions clerk did not check my wounds and I was allocated a place far down in the queue. I was in great pain and a nurse walking past saw me grimacing and complained to the clerk. She administered me morphine. Nothing can take away the pain of a lonely life. For a while my burns stopped hurting. Luck sometimes comes in many forms and always when you least expect it.

With respect
from the captain who sailed
out to sea on a ship made from hope.

You

Dear psychotic, philandering prick,

You bastard. You horrible, heinous, hypocrite. You liar. You malicious, manipulating maggot. You. You. You corrupt, conniving con artist. Torturer of innocent victims. Twisted and cruel. Mean and vicious. You architect of the world’s pain. You with the blood of the losers on your hands. You with the head of the dreamer impaled on your sword. You. You who rapes his own muse. You sly scheming, swindling, rattle snake. Hitler’s got nothing on you. You would sell your own children down the river. Traitor. You would make a cannibal eat his own flesh. Fraud. You. You demon. You Machiavellian Prince with the integrity of a serial killer. You Dorian Gray with the heart so black your own reflection in the mirror is turned to stone. You. You. You slut whose soul lights the fire of hell. You untalented, unscrupulous, unoriginal un-poet. You whore. Death stalks you in the dark shadows. You mind fucker. You pompous, pretentious, pontificating ponce. You. You are not my enemy, you are an emema, you lifeless shit. You. You. You. Aghhh. Now I’ve gone and wasted a postcard on you. You. You… You win again.

Die and dance
with the worms
forever you fiend.

Muse

Dear ferocious, unforgiving, femme fatale with the filigree earrings,

I had an idea to write my first poem tonight. I’ve never written even a single line before. Yesterday I broke up with my girlfriend Michelle. We always argued and have broken up many times before but I know it is over now. She always wore opportunity shop clothes, that no matter how ragged they were, looked sexy on her. She was a kleptomaniac and every moment I had to be her lookout as she stole groceries, televisions, ornamental vases. She was the only woman who could satisfy me when giving oral sex and she loved swallowing my semen but it’s all over now. Tonight I felt like an emotional volcano and started writing a poem. I wrote how her smile was like the sun. How her tears were made of moonbeams. How her hair cascaded down like a waterfall. I had almost finished the poem when a vision of her appeared in the candle light. She seemed to be real to me. She looked at me with contempt and took my poem and ripped it up. She told me to stop writing this sentimental crap. She told me to write from my soul not with the syrupy juices of my hallmark card heart. She slapped me on the face and told me to shape up and then she was gone. I then wrote a poem about how I once saw her hanging all her newly dyed black clothes on the line and how they looked like bats hanging from a tree. I wrote how my lust for her was an untamed thing and I must never forget that although she is my muse, she is not some mythological Goddess but a woman made of flesh and blood living forever in my memory.

From the dazed
and confused man
standing on the deck
of the Manly Ferry.

God

Dear pious, self righteous, smug archangel,

My God cannot perform miracles. He doesn’t have silvery hair and wear a long white robe. He doesn’t have a deep resonant voice. He never listens to my prayers. My God doesn’t live in a palace high above the rolling clouds. He could be a she but that doesn’t worry me. He speaks to everyone but nobody listens. He guides me through treachery by giving me a memory that reminds me of the lessons of the past. My God is an anarchist who cares not to be worshipped. He has the flaws and frailty of a normal human being. There are those that worship their Gods to give them high standing among others. There are those who would kill those who do not believe in their God’s teachings. My God is a hairy arm pitted womanising drunk who does not care if people believe in him or not. My God did not create the universe yet he gives me the vision to see through the lies of world. I never blame my god or ask for his help, because my God does not exist yet I know that he is always there. He is there when a child cries. He is there when the suicides leap. He is there at the end of the world. He is that bird on the bough, the hill in the distance, that long legged woman who trips over her high heels, that dried up river bed, that cold winter’s rain.

God Bless you
from the choir boy
with the slingshot
in his hands.

Serpent

To the hero who lies dying in the seaweed,

My mother and I have just returned from Bali. She paid for my trip to help me get over my divorce with Gary. One of our days there we were in a remote village and one of the old ladies saw the small tattoo of a snake on my wrist and she grabbed my arm and made me sit down with her. She told me of the Serpent Woman who terrorised the village for two centuries. She had the body of a gigantic snake and the torso of a beautiful woman with long black hair and green eyes that put you in a trance. Spears or fire could not kill her. She came to the village twice a year to kill and eat one of the young men. Women and children did not interest her. The old lady told me that she had three sons and was worried that she would lose them. Her anguished tears worried her oldest son and one night when the Serpent woman was due to come to the village he went to the beach to wait for her. A few hours later he saw her form in the waves a few yards away. He began to sing a song as she got closer and when he was only a few feet away he looked into her deep green eyes and told her that he loved her. He walked up to her and put his hands under her chin and kissed her and he heard her give out a long sigh. He got on her back and began to sing again as she returned back into the ocean and carried her lover to her island far away never to return. I don’t know why but for the first time I stopped thinking of Gary with a feeling of regret and sorrow.

From the girl
with the blue
pick up truck.

Fairytale

Dear Goldilocks and the three muscle builders,

I am the wicked witch the most hated being in the kingdom, but lately I’ve grown tired of evil. You can only make so many poisoned apples. You get weary of eating children and turning princes into frogs. I want to get my long fingernails cut and painted and plastic surgery done to straighten my crooked nose. I arranged a meeting with Cinderella and snow white to let them know of my decision to be nice. I sent them my book of spells to let them know it wasn’t a trap. The two beauties came to my castle and I thought they would be pleased but they were both angry. They told me that I was ruining everything. It seemed that me being wicked and ugly made them look good and admired in the land and they were afraid they would stop getting dates. They told me that there was a whole industry based on me and that I would put a lot of princes rescuing damsels in distress out of work. Also because I was bad and always failing, a lot of witches decided to take the path of being good and the whole kingdom was getting their wishes granted and doing rather nicely. They pleaded with me not to change. For the first time in my life I felt wanted and I agreed to their wish and decided to wave my wand and give them a bag of gold. But I’m not good at doing good deed and I turned them into roasts chickens. It was a bit of a shame but I was hungry and they tasted so sweet. It seems even when I’m good, I end up being bad.

From Broomhilda
the good time gal
in a room filled with mirrors.

Dolphin

Dear happy hooker with the degree in fine arts,

Sometimes you need to dig deep in your memory to find out more about yourself. Last night I was thinking about my childhood. I remember one of my aunts telling me stories about Mickey Mouse living underneath my bed and how sailors when they drowned turned into dolphins. I remember when I turned eighteen my father taking me aside and warning me to never get married and end up with a shrew for the rest of my life. This morning I broke up with my fiancée Karen. We had been together for five years and she always wanted a white wedding. I told her that the problem was me, that everyday when I walk the streets I see beautiful women and fall in love ten times a day. She screamed and ran out the house and I heard her start her car and drive off. I didn’t want it to end this way so I got into my car and tried to follow. She drove well above the speed limit and it was hard keeping up with her. An hour later she stopped at the beach and was walking into the water when I had arrived. I ran onto the beach and took off my shoes and jacket and was about to swim after but when I looked up she was gone. I waited for a couple of minutes desperately hoping that she would surface. Forty yards out a sleek black dolphin leapt out of the waves and somersaulted. It appeared again and it raised its body above the water an stood there for a few seconds in the air waving its fin and then it too was gone. I waited for a few minutes more staring into the ocean and then I walked back to my car.

From the man
who sings like a
drunken weary angel.

Vivien Eime

12 poems and two poèms en prose

in time

hurry the day when
i may be out of the race
say what i like
spit peas out at night.

perhaps this time will be gold
methinks if it were
my heart would breathe at last
my tears might be less and
my shoulder more able

refuse to drip blood
and do not ooze
stay within me so i may
be thicker with myself.

 

herald

the brightest light
flies ahead, calling
back as the avant-garde.
the mass of strength
trusts her sight and
follows faithfully
as she holds her
heraldry responsibly.
a glimmer to begin and
the mass to cover the
wake.

 

a lump too bulky

i gather the falls of my life
and make a pile; a lump too
bulky to kick along this endless dusty road.

with a shiver of power
a candle lit is added,
innocent only seconds before.

the lick of fire creates
waxen tears as the felled pile erupts.

through the flames
the road is clear.

 

first slipper

leaf claws extend from the stump of a frangipani arm
as i walk beneath the moon’s first slipper;
evening frost of a sunfilled day dampens my skin;
touching my cheek brings me back into my surrounds.
i am reminded of the earth as it spins
the reality of asphalt
the intrusion of traffic lights
the harsh treatment of mind over body
and the simplicity of my heart.
how desperately i try to control my tears.
clutching my clothes to gain strength to overcome
a wrenching need to pour my eyes away completely.
a cool instruction binding me closed:
be calm
relax
and don’t be sad.

 

her

i don’t know how to speak of her.
not strange as she has no words of her own.
objectively though, you’d think there was
a chance to have her stated, even blankly;
for one crushed – just existing.
we even know the cause of extinguishment
– time and circumstance the assassin –
what is that though but dough for baking
into bread – cut spread and eaten, it passes
through to become process unto its own extinction.
on from the meal of recognition lies choice.
arise from the table, clear implements,
place all right and know it is complete.
a stage; a section; a feast of self.
or, hover ‚mongst the mess of preparation
stagnate with prey eaten; sigh with satiation
and fall slothlike into sleep and dream.

Uninspiring? yes, it is. i agree.

so there are no words to describe her
except, perhaps, she still lives.

 

scarlet woman

i once clenched my jaw and proffered
my chin never wincing as the pincers
gripped and pulled.
the lips that were ground with
another pair accepted any pain as necessary to endure.
but tonight i will proffer my jaw
unclenched; will wait to feel the
pincers lose interest.
tonight the razor edge of
discovery will slash away
the other pair of lips
which bind me to pain.
i shall wrench myself
free with one slash.
one bright red slash.
‚tis a vision of the
pool of blood which
spurs me on.
to emerge smeared and sinewed
to the surface. wait for
the reddish veil to slip
and see sights clear.

 

decision

a cry in the inner sanctum
a corridor out
step quickly into it
and out
you see the door – its open!
now – OUT.
and don’t turn back,
for if you do you’ll see
the screamer;
have a thought to
reach back in and
save her
but she’ll be running
to slam the door
and your arm shall be caught
snap.

 

the importance of punctuation

the sound of a bass voice:
a true connection to the
inky black from which we squirt.

should we say sir?
should we say madam.

and the bass booms:
in the black, people,
address does not matter.
remember only your end
in fullstop.

 

viewing humanity

by the light of a distant star
a great heard viewed from a distance
hears a scream issue forth.

their heads incline and, intent,
their feet shuffle as they
whisper who its it? who screams?

yes. yes? others mutter and why.

it is one of their own, one
who has left her washed clothes dripping
and views humanity from afar.

 

to be struck down dead

i do not wish to die
– of course –
but to be struck down dead.
to have a javelin crack gunshot
cleave my shirt into a crimson soak;
hear a shrill ring build until
i fall bent to my knees as
the grey sponge bursts.

to leave in a band
instead of a
wheezing
choir.

 

when

is the most demanding voice I have
when cold fictual mass en masse emerges.

over short or long, traversed or un,
above the ready world I sit alone to consider
I am an innately selfish creature and
there are oh so many more of me.

true, with a desire – even though ‚tis only
an inkling – toward generosity.
ah – but this I see is trace of survival
immaturity.

behold the species and be brave.

 

she will smile

a slim juggler of buttered curls
attempting to ignore a
temporary existence
bites at specific points
in her self made arcs.

no time to pine
whilst she remains in action
fear not the motion
as it is self which propels.

the feet are firmly planted after all.

 

Two Seasons

cacklehoned

spring. in the sun. lying on grass with my twin skin next to me. close next to me. watching wispy clouds relating stories in 3-d. mermaids meet dragons clasp hands to dissipate into a wishing well with 2 jills and no jack. modern times. modern stories.

is it true that butterflies evolve from caterpillars and live for a week? crawl through winter to fly into spring. only for a week? or was it only for a day. do i remember a day or a week. would they?

i feel the grass on my back, imagine myself long only eating eating eating eating until a silent call urges me to coil my long self into a ball. coocooned and waiting. imagine.

rolling over now to begin the coil and come face to face with my twin skin. out of my imagination – out of my coocoon – face to face. me and my twin skin touching front to front. eyes an inch from eyes noses receding from the pressure breast to breast hips hipped knees and feet balancing. i wonder why i don’t fall in. melted by the sun. to just meld. we could name ourself cainannabelle or joan whale. i realise we wouldn’t survive on one income. a tragedy. devastation on such a beautiful day.

earthed from dreams i stretch and feel my stomach growl. think about dinner. remember the grass and begin to graze.

black hued lacklore

suddenly winter. i rise above a leunig landscape and it is night. such a sense of light as i glide toward the stars (or the few that he will allow) a venused grouplinged heaven where orion, upturned, only ever stands fist raised.

from where did i acquire wings? and how long may i have them?? i am not dead for they are brown and i am glad, absurdly, to have vision bifocal… suddenly feel for the ibis.

thoughts of all those things that i have left as my home whisper and flood my mind as i glide. i have left them, left them all. i spy you and wonder where your home is; hover, continuing to spy your lone figure foot watching toward a raised flat stone. still now, father sown and mother tended, allowing one tear to well and fall you talk as if those you visit are still where you placed them feet together eyes closed.

to whom do you speak? and your head turns – as does mine – to find the owl. but it is i who hooted. i who spoke… a feather flicks in my mouth. i am the owl… madam as seen in the master’s world. i have stepped over the welcome mat, cut my legs from the earth to find i appear only ever as another’s vision.

too easily this sadness may bind me – for i know what it is to live for the other – look up so i might breathe space and catch the larger vision… at last sense my advance. each toe has an end you see.

with a tremor i prepare to travel with wings – in flight! fassung, twit-twoo.

Ania Walwicz

Poème en prose

travelling

the train goes and the station moves away what time is it we’re going to a jungle hot palms i fall asleep drunk talked to himself i know what i have to do did you see the house on fire out of the window did you see the house on fire out of the window did you see the house on fire out of the window where are we now in my map i don’t know too scared to ask am i on the right train are we going the right way where are we now voices in the train soldiers coming loud louder then soft softer then they go away i was asleep then i woke up voices come back then loud then softer then they very soft now softer whisper it is dawn first little pink line in the moving sky gets lighter can i roll the blind now put your blanket little lights of waking towns pass us at night houses sleep in the field dawn drunk gone i didn’t see him my ticket and coffee my cup jumps they play cards and laugh little reading light i can’t sleep the ship in my port they opened the porthole the ship moves to sea huge wave curls near my fingers shining on edges surges wave rises curls slowly near me i can touch it i can touch it sun on water green deep bending a wave right near me crashes i am wet i woke up at the middle of the night they lit a fire in a field they stood around and warmed their hands near the border when the plane lifts there is music and lift we fly in a soft cloud the train flew over the lake i couldn’t see the rails the bridge flashed by with girders with girders with girders the boat leaves the pier swims away the lake was so still you couldn’t see horizon oars dip are we moving it is quiet now the dusk is the same as dawn over india red soil i flew above the alps they were below me sharp peaks model mountains the train goes into a tunnel it is dark and dark i’m scared it was hot my feet got too big for my shoes we were going back there is going to be a war he told us the train is slow we were standing in the middle of dark there was an accident at the railway crossing we have to wait when is the train coming the station had big black numbers on each platform my sister told me funny stories we were cold put your arms in your trousers put your legs in your jumper on my feet i wear my hat i put my pants on my head i was laughing and laughing and laughing i lost three hours on the plane it gets earlier all the time people stand in my lit up window did i pack everything did i leave the window open it’s too late we are far away now i left my jacket i ride backwards we eat red lolly berries he was talking africa and tigers she was with her son she gave him an apple she eats sausage greasy fingers talk how to use a camera i can’t listen greasy fingers and the sausage a book of lists and murders fall asleep it’s faster how the lens goodbye at the station she waves her arms and disappears i am flying little cars he went away plane a dot in the sky at night houses have lights on and look warm the city below sparkles diamonds the last tram at night travels home

Divider Line

neons

light me bright me match me cigarette me bright city turn on be loud tell everybody switch yes sing red pencil tick me to on centre mid town go go glow sky lit lines wire buzz me to see ring on me in neon on heady excite me thrill me hold me to tight rush rush be big loud go right through now leap nerve me beat drums loud louder fast run fast right now once go places all the time eat more restaurant flash me show me lively dance put lipstick on neons all colour zap me power lines shine letter light big name glow me put high fast see me watch zing my string best bouncy tube glow in me get ready do it now don’t wait hurry get it right first time do it once not again switch me on i travel fast light switch me on pink candy say words loudspeaker my microphone leap high as can big city centre city big very buildings whole wide world hot lights on stage line my eyes breathe deep all revved up fast car go fast good kill somebody dress to top fashion strut get them wiggle pink face daze me amaze shine me neons on sweet buzz meter front room seat skip dance non stop favourite flower colour allans sweets on river shine thrill me thrill me rise in a loop get up early do lots the more better fast faster lit light on me in such show glow me ania it’s now don’t wait hurry up top tip they clap they whistle stomp yell out aloud more on high want more and more fresh new dare do do new do now very it just here spot lit wear shiny glisteny get tight tonight darling neon electric buy me eat sweets almonds go places every day get money work now just right dare do do new flash me up bow come out lit shine me coca cola i don’t sleep seven up fun city pin ball parlour amusements ride sky mid night click throw me bright lines whirlwind wake up little suzy break dark venture fling adventure red bulbs around my lights stage mirror my name bright around and around light up found this does me out aloud each letter after neon thrill lights wonderful to wonderful stop my breath split thrill me delight move me collect thrills one he brave live now don’t go back again have ones big thrills lights above red town break out fast do once twice glow shine me see me what’s what glow colour in dark tiger put sugar gold eyes on bright lights lively now lively up fix me up lips dance all night loud band hot pepper bite me on highway lights jewel see get to glow just do did it cinema lit flash sign best form top push you can see me now shake spout give me a thrill burst aureole spangles boots with spurs lips ruby glass red fluorescent lit light tubes shine me vinyl head on neon high city red fingernails look at me curve shine lines easy do see me show gas blow me light up shine up shape up pull my socks all up me neon can’t miss spiv can’t take my eyes curve arc shine me night best in dark stick me up stand out sparkling fresh hit triple whisky pink angel centre lights dance dancing can do anything switch me on zag zig sky glow bulb ready whole sky shine get on up