Pteropus poliocephalus

Streaming over fire station, over cherry hot highway

On their cool resolve & warm wingpits, the flying fox legions

In a storm’s flush of gnats, called out every time for bats

A healthy post-human pestilence of motored sky

Flyover applauding twilight trees, gone seaweed black in silhouette

They are what make these trees tall

The moon tumbles bronchial in clouds of gushing mutiny

I mug up at ‘em with oxblood boxing glove face

And they swarm as water, these mice who watched crows

Then took that teetering release, away from root veins

Tightening the finger of some Devil older than Hebrews

At the end of the square world

Where the oceans fall into galaxies

They gush from the devil-father who keeps them in his bright eye

Possibility, in every swimming wing


Will Swan


Trunk full of MEMORIES & SLEEP & WANKING & DEATH… & all that

The flatmate left the backdoor open, deadlock sprung & useless, ajar

He was in a hurry to get wanking, $3.50 People mags

He was very cheap. Headed out the front door afterwards

He didn’t drink but was more careless than most

Lost his computer to thieves

I lost a CD of sea shanties, English folk archival stuff

It went back out to sea

Somebody must’ve picked it up in a hockshop

The flatmate moved back home to the mother.


I survey an oval where I ran alongside a terrier

On a deluged day, the whole field sunk like a pancake

In a syrup of rain

His bones are fossilizing, that’s where his bright energy lies

His name tattooed on my left arm


The tattooist, spoken of in hard tones of awe & pride

By those in the know, and by the usual dilettantes

The tattooist has gushed out the drain, inks diluted

By heroin & schooner beer & by some rank cold cordial of the soul

Washed out to sea now


I float along these lanes in juicy jungles of memories

On my raft, my sneakers

The industry gives way to a seascape of afternoons

Sex and sunlight, dogs inextinguishable as carnivorous gods

First names bulging like green toads croaking under shaded walls

Cemeteries and kitchen tables, casks of Dry Red

All is the sea, as I cut across it


Will Swan

Cabramatta bodhisattva

Aquariums & silk witches

Salmonbelly slit, phlung to ice, in ribbons

Loaded life living in $5 kilogram lungs

Babies’ red laughter on trays of plug tongues

Carpark a slack cobweb globbed with old rain

In this slush of herbs my hands smell hard

With iron handling of trains

Lagoon bird people blue-shadowed in sound

Vendor & monger sold their larynxes for meat

Replaced them with cheap throttling amps

From the karaoke hive up the street

Neighbourhood houses, puppet dragons at six feet

Air-shod on verandahs

Each beast the wattage of a peach

Front yard shrine, blue troll in perspex case

Watching incense skyward rolling

To roll around as hail

As hoses smash delivery docks

In fugues blood & basil sweet

The hulking rows of flats catching laundry, sanctuary

Where goes one witch in florapocalypse of perfume

Holding her cigarette like a buzzard

From sun & sunglasses

To a migrated dry darkness


A loopy blossom bush’s arm, reaching over a fence

Bops me on the shoulder says

“Yep, I can see you

And you know me through all those market fish eyes

Looking back from me through the ore eyes

Of monsters risen in the town square

Your crucified duck heart window beating, aglaze in glucose

Slapping a pulse with the yellow banners

Running alongside me as the urine in the troughs

Singing along with me

As the batteries in plastic Sony slots”


(translated from the Australian by) Will Swan


A ceiling fan, halo belting

Drapes of tin rain receding

Bowl of clearing sky filling swiftly with nothing

Little fist in coffee slugging, queasiness fleeting

In guise of lit stick, sandalwood lapping

Gusting of ghost-beards, floating & ebbing

Field mouse heart cycling, birdsong gushing

Airports slamming through space, sun-flooding

Illusions fed merely with blood, still slumbering

Left on the doormat for now, untroubling


Will Swan

Kings Cross

Other glory holes gone plastered with chillout, plugged with Auto-Tune

Kings Cross still fresh torn, newborn as a tray of loin chops

Skink lizards a’slap atop the circus generator

Club signs cool as cobwebs, waiting out

All-day-breakfast day, pale spearmint gum reptiles

Can suck pink neon barium for grains of glucose

When night sweeps in, a feathered High Priest

Kings Cross, monkey skull of the city’s Siamese twin

Where football hero dreams of Sales Execs bounce off tiles

In dayghost light while numbers are crunched in Martin Place

This is where double garage sperm donors don’t pick up kids’ socks

This is where they lost, on bleating stag liners

The one & only red garter cutlass night of their souls

Now hourless, the pale gum people press up into corners

Recoil from tropic battery of Montagnard rain

Flipping madness in a doorway, a mouth drier than El Alamein


Will Swan