surprise meeting

this evening I saw him:
I-who-is-at-death, in shadowed bathroom light
he held my gaze and when
I moved, he didn’t. He was locked there, true story,
with an easy severity, he held my gaze
cropped hair, a name in a Teuton saga
skald caste, pliant with identity –
his own form of lived, loose warriorhood
he looked directly at me.
I could sense there around him
the universes of a great many books I’ve not yet read
the energy of his parents, whom he knew as friends
and will soon know again, and the vocal ghosts
of many a woman I’ve not met
and somewhere close, the dim sugary crimson light
of one who prevailed; I do not know this older woman
but she was there in the background, pagan all the way
an aura of red, but
it was him looking at me, nobody else
his stare said
“you have unlearnt what you’ve unlearnt
those days of remorse, wages & loans hacked into
a flying loam of red wine, vomiting up the world
none of it mattered
being grated by the ignorant, and
those tailspins of desperation, as if any woman could really
warrant such dumb need; you’ve unlearnt all that – good;
we’ll take that as a given. Now, boyo,
don’t you fuck it up. You destroy the skeleton
of each second, every second, pulverize them
pulverize it all. Revel in this.
You see me boyo, you can’t unsee me now
So don’t you fuck it up. . . ”

And I turned, and he didn’t
he stayed fixed there in the mirror
in the corner of my eye


Scotch & Dirt

looking for mister rite r u the one
just need a down too earth guy (sic)
she had written, which made no difference to Mister Wrong
who stirred and clawed out from all of
thirty seconds sleep, wrecked awake by
a frigging mobile phone that bleeped its own depletion
like this somehow mattered, and some idiot cohabitant
that whimpered away three meters behind a thin wall
in its Tourette inability to stay serene and quiet. At all. Ever.

oh, Miss Right, look at you tonight
in your fifty dozen hoping little forms

eyes cut from bright white carpet and

six millimetres of forehead and a face which some pervert
somewhere out there wants to violate
but which someone else wants to shine and appease:
God help him.

men like tubs of playdough sleep alone
and sleep alongside DTE Miss Rights
soured with gravity
men mothered in contracts, occasionally
slipping loose in lounge rooms, startled with scotch
in expansive confusions of weird glee
like bats flying through mud
but mostly they are as still as turnips
the Miss Rights pull them from nightclubs, offices, cafeterias
and thrust them squat into their own acreage
– thus lodged, they are garnished with leisure wear
puppy fat, nodal brain sacs
tendrils gripping lightly
at the underworld of housing estates

spared woeful Icarus; the dooms and whims
the women pack the precious earth
around their turnips
and the turnips learn gratitude

Icarus gave up flying at the sun ages ago
it was no big deal, just painful at the time
and it was wasn’t the fall that hurt, only the landing
so now he uses a gliders or jetpacks
flies more or less horizontal
vaults across rooftops
sits atop chimney stacks and shopping centres at night
smoking a cigarette, patient – and weary – but mainly patient
waiting for the sun he has learnt to respect
while the turnips
buried down with the offal and hearts of the dead
are fixed asleep in a starched static
that passes for dreaming.

three eggs

the high hour of ten: a skyblue wall is held in place
by a rank of palm trees which obscure
block red letters
and a bat chirps above, my encouraging merry friend
in the balcony seats
as I trudge back home like a fisherman, a samurai
to a scoured steel sink
a baking tin and three eggs in clean water
in the cleanest night
I am grateful for it all – the days to be
are a showbag of adventure
but this night is perfect, this night is enough
and I am balanced now
in perfect gratitude