In Taurus

The world crisps up gold like a tide of cornflakes

In shoals of honey-infused breakfast cereals of various titles

In this hourless afternoon now, so few stray birdcalls

You can count them, polished like a jeweller’s tools

Sun’s scrambled radio waves reflecting from the neighbours’ pool

Swimming across their tin garden shed, the water to remain

Unbroken by child muscle & child din until after winter now

The breezes all gone sober are calling the shots

Stooped like Presbyterian race stewards

League-long tall men arc over the bush

Over the telegraph poles, over the coppering light

And the laneway becomes a marmalade label

With festive white butterflies moving across the ruby buckled fence

In the foreground of a background of waves of red leaves


Will Swan


Another Apology to Hank

Two men, State Rail men in dayglo orange vests, stuffing around

Sweeping up one cigarette butt together while they plot a smoke themselves

CANNOT HELP but snarl at the alcoholic with his two little bottles of beer

His face a picturebook Humpty Dumpty

The fat superior one, clearly gagging for a smoke, leers at the alkie

“No alcohol on the platform!”


“The alcohol! You can’t drink the alcohol on the platform!

You’ll have to go up the road or something!”

The alkie is a pain in the arse with his smeared moon face

& his cheap casual K-Mart brochure clothes

But still…

What pisses me off is not the rule against drinking

Though me & my brother & various friends have PURCHASED beer ON

Bloody train platforms in other countries

And anyway, I’m a supra-sober freak who chooses to hear

The oceans roaring in sandstone and who, in the right slant

Of autumn light, can see the length and width of the State

Even across the borders sometimes, i.e. I’ve got better things to do

Than drink anywhere

What pisses me off about this is the Rulebook Language

They could have said

“The beer” or “Your beer” or “Your V.B.”, that being the brand

But it was “the alcohol”. This objectivity coming from the stationmaster

With the beer gut.

I consider now using the less-than-incendiary poetic device of irony

By mentioning the beer garden less than ten meters across the street

The drinkers there cramped with their cockroach faces and their

Total lack of imagination

But I’d prefer to use another poetic device on this fat State Rail man

I’d like to take up this paperback volume of Bukowski which I have here

And swing it like Thor’s hammer and smash out most of his teeth

Knock him square in the mouth

With this chalk-turquoise book that looks like a churchy tablet of sky


Will Swan

Kim Kardashian

Gay bricklayers & plumbers – unofficially gay – coming down off ecstasy

Choose work shorts just a little on the tight side

This is how they like it now, hidden & industrious in plain sight

With the building site radio selling the world its next weekend

Selling them Domino’s Pizza Deluxe

That dyed concubine from Sunday’s hourless morning

(In the arc of sunshine & radio now, the bricklayers & plumbers

Recall him as a toffee sweet ghoul of night)

He’s in a salon snipping at the head on a champagne blimp

& the Hollywood rag mag is slapped open in front of them

Like some toilet stall porn sheets for wiping

And the rinsing concubine & the champagne blimp are throwing opinions

On the styles of Kim Kardashian who turned up somewhere

Looking thoroughly slaked from toe to scalp

Glistened in gouts of cannonade semen (as always)

The snorkelling cameras grind and spit

Meanwhile, back on the building site

The straight ones & the gay ones have all risen this morning

From the pews of the Church of Submerged into the

Church of Emerged

Adult men with their cocks put away now like model train sets

They refer to this evening as a ‘school night’ when invited to the pub

But sink a couple of beers then home for the

Church of Television, some to rattle in the chambers of

The Church of Jerk Off

Parishioners all, moderates in mainline religions

The fundamentalists in the Church of Submerged

Still die of cirrhosis & VD & naked madness

The fundamentalists in the Church of Emerged

Keep the bankers juicy-happy then die dead with various assets


Will Swan