Friday, July 21, 2017

Kit Kelen #566 - figment of first light

figment of first light

I am
with this everyday birth
a spun sky surely

see me like the river shining
and still I run

here's luck
the habits of a place


boats are time come to us
fish are the reason unseen
we fill

there are two of us
death's mask
and this fiction singing

there is an impossible amount of detail
here to be born
the books we could fill!

I live in all ages
I'm ages to come

a figment swim

fall words first
into the world
words made
so we were
always there

Kristen de Kline #114 at the end of the day (thanks to Rob Schackne)

at the end of the day     what counts
don't tell me it's love     that tears us apart  
the fire     how well do you walk through it

we speak of darkness and of light    
light fades the evening
darkness strangles dawn

you want to sleep for a thousand years
I want to break your heart in two     it's true

you told me all tomorrow's parties
must begin     today

I say the present is over-rated
it's scattered     all over the place    
blackened   taunting   bleached out

When you put it on paper   it doesn't add up
anything     anymore

I wake up in a hotel room: purple candlewick bedspread, single bed
Somebody passes me a security buzzer set of keys and a jar of instant coffee
It's August
It's Melbourne
It's cold
I wish I'd packed my red ugh boots lipsticks poetry books zines
the three wise monkeys figurine that sat on my desk
I want a cold beer in my palm
a dozen oysters with a lemon wedge and Tabasco garnish
I want to sleep     for a thousand years
stub out another cigarette through the ripped denim on my knee
break myself in two     it's true

When you write it down     it doesn't add up
anymore     anything

Rob Schackne #402 - "Don't tell my family and friends"

Don’t tell my family and friends
Throw my ashes into the sea
Tell my family and friends
I was never an enemy of the State
The world now knows this much
How the State hates its children
It will destroy itself unless it wakes
My ashes now drift with the tide
Having finally reached the bottom
And now they are as free as free
It’s a little darker than prison
And a little less dark than time
Please tell my family and friends
My ashes were thrown into the sea
But my heart was a hopeful one
And my dissent was because of love

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Kelen #565 - old lag

old lag

skating close along the edge here
one must always be looking for signs

looking into that mist
edge of the other world

as if in your own dark sky
an alphabet were written
and you had merely to spell out the key

am I here or halfway?
chained to the waking
the shuffle on to light

so many countries flit

it's only faith keeps me

so I am transported
over again

I am salt sea biscuit
between times
all of that's under
or is the past up?

coin for the hand cupped
water pours through

there's undertow
there's rip
some bastard is keeping this head above water

and suddenly from summer come
come under
tired of the idea itself

fall through that ice
please just let me drown for a bit

you yourself
have to do it
but when you're not there

and then the colour comes
so you are further, further
still other-sided as well

have to insist on the hours that are here

you yourself are the arrow

just get with the river
and swim

Rob Schackne #401 - "How fearless readies us"

How fearless readies us
for unexpected beauty
we are deaf to what we hear
how then I counted the stars
and there were 5 above Shanghai
(which I confess did not seem enough)
though we spoke of this tonight
of the darkness and the light

but already we understood
we are mostly blind to others
standing there in the openness
(the subject of course is love)
it was my second talk today about the heart
about the nature of sincerity
and our powers of detection
and whatever forces were asking

we agreed the matter is vast

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 282 - Night time on the edge of town

  Night time on the edge of town

hush the snoring cats  
 hear  the calling planes   above
the air  still a clear dark crystal
bubble  sliced and set
to wobble  hear 
the ground  it
cricket calls  it
leaks out cold in hands
that touch my centre
with the centre of the globe

I take myself to bed
 I call
the air by name

KIt Kelen #564 - an address to old habits

an address to old habits

die hard
you bastards, die
take no quarter
but please, please take me too

everyone's so polite here
they'll never mention your names
there are so many of you!
each quirky, sometimes
black in the shames

but never feel
you need be lonely
I'm coming along on the journey
and I'm coming home with you

Rob Schackne #400 - "Reach"

a certain age
kill someone
and then retire
(kill the worker

the part that loved
getting up at dawn
to worship their bosses
their enlightened colleagues
to find everlasting good

living a wasted life
cuts and losses
kill that worker

the slave)
and enjoy it

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kerri Shying R # 281 - Retire


we used to sleep adrift
on the endless sea   the murders
caressing round our ears

you said
I can’t watch it

what happened to our
Kevlar-drawn and curtained 
hearts   when
did the place get safe

padded with still air   no
 not enough
to sleep

Kit Kelen #563 - blue between

blue between

in a cloud they make morning
it's a first thing

the light
and it goes all day

a cloud scatter for far and still
plump like so much fleece to harvest

frayed to float
whom we each for island pass

far far above
and deep below

day comes to the world down there
and it's day up here too

sky struck
as we all are

with the light
and it goes on all day

we're drowning in it till we dream
set out among the stars

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kristen de Kline #113 all over the place

all over the place     can't string a line
together     pull a seam apart     can't

pack another box your house my life     photos blackened
taunt from the wallpaper    peroxide bleaches out

your daughter our son    in an Oxford Street photo-booth
the two of us kiss     triplicate images roll out

pull the velvet curtain closed     don't look to the light
it's raining this time another photo-booth another city we've stopped kissing

somebody     something


a hanged man flees the Tarot deck     his muscles concertina
around my neck, press down hard     something

snaps     wish bone? heart string? valve?

willow pattern mosaic shards     float     all over the place
decorating the kitchen like snowflakes   that plate, you aimed it at my head

I duck     it's not a plastic Frisbee     something
somebody     snaps  


all over the place

Rob Schackne #399 - All Prices Clearly Marked

All Prices Clearly Marked

There were voices
all prices clearly marked
yelling come on through
she doesn't wear make-up
her beauty is remarkable
there's nothing she wants to say
it's a goddamn nightmare here
I'm recovering the lost arts
do you see the target do you sir
yes Jim the prices are clearly marked
for some reason lots of gibbons

I'm teaching how to read a timetable
and they are not impressed
I throw myself to the ground
she stares at me like a lemur
sings in a language I don't know

the prices are clearly marked
a truck charges up the bank
there's a moment of quiet
but the body is an ape's

it's a bloody shower
I am on a cliff face
don't be such a chicken shit
all prices clearly marked

our alarm's set for six

Rob Schackne (#27) #398 - Poems For Airports (redux)

Poems For Airports


Black thrumming runway
its deep core solid and hot

there's a beach somewhere
they will not stay there long

the minutes will look fixed
it could be a strange mess

the sea retakes the shells

all tomorrow's parties
must begin today.


Finally at the baggage claim
the humming rock the cradle

cranked away from sight
in sortation through a system

your electric razor's tossed
because it's a useless current

your favourite sweater now
worn by a sweating freak

an undecided cretin tries
to decipher your precious book

the start of the big machine
bumps against a rubber belt

at our big carousel of wanting
a bawling toddler's pointing

at a chicken foot going round
in a fog you can barely see.


From the sky to the stun of day
off the plane down the ramp

she left last week's paper there
and a bad novel dog-eared page 5

the sun is blinding (where is this?)

she sees the goons at 4 o'clock
control her usual breeze of air

waiting for the big bag to come off
Customs Customs moment coming

she's now forgotten al-Qur'an
3 children and an evil mother-in-law

she suspects her faith is wanting.


A loving treatment of time
where did it go post-nostalgia

present serendip cool across
the tarmac and swept away

instead I'm running out of time
sitting in this dark room alone

no more gifts please let me sleep
stop asking if I'm already there

my note to self in a book of hours
buy me a nice watch tomorrow

this morning in the airport pursuant
to baggage claim I claimed nothing.


Note: Writing these poems, I was of course listening to Eno's classic. I owe much to that. But while I once thought they were about airports, air friction, the ground, the weariness of the destination and the weariness of the way back -- now I don't think they are about airports at all, but rather about us all getting safely to the places we're going. God bless. Godspeed. We are bees. 

Kit Kelen #562 - reach a certain age

reach a certain age
(alternative ending for 'when you're ten')

and there's very little I'm prepared to do
I mean there's a lot to be done
more and more in fact
calendar's chocka
and you should see the to-do list!

there's less and less time
truth be told
but what one's up for is another story

I won't sweep streets
won't do the customer interface
I put my name in a data base
to laugh at every job suggestion

who do these young pups think they're dealing with?
who do they think they are?

say it!
I'm insulted, underestimated
completely misunderstood
don't they know talent?
how else could they sneer so adroitly
(little mock of the desk bound)?

fact is the world has moved on
and further into its twilight zone

this is nothing personal
humiliation awaits us all

you think it's ironic
I'm no longer available
for the graveyard shift?

I aim to please myself that's all
nights, I plan to sleep

there is a point at which, beyond all denials
I have to admit I am retired

Kerri Shying R # 280 - Hard Scrabble

Hard scrabble

speak the ground
top down
unsour the soil
remind yourself  an aching bone
it does not strictly count as toil

for somewhere on the sea
a current brings
 a boat of hope    shows no timber
is beyond repair     

dig    speak  abounding
pain speak it under     down to
where capacity
is endless

dig the cemetery    bury
 all the things you know
get them dirty
start again

Kit Kelen #561 - in all the vast of day's pyjamas

in all the vast of day's pyjamas

art works the instances to light

how is it?
who are we?
no one's to know

it's thoughtless
come past weary meaning
never in this story before

all are tickled
hold sides to laugh

mouth dry
in a tummy rumble
all the world rolls round

so something's to be made of it

there are those of a simple struggle to know
there are one's who weigh to know what's worth

but some we few must make a mark
must piss on those world's end pillars like Monkey

deeper and deeper down in pyjamas
bringing ourselves to light

we're under, aren't we?
like a pill gone down
up a garden path

grubby thus far into the journey
still wilting, in pyjamas though

even before I'm awake
I'm at work
even especially
hard at my dirty little secret

the all-falling
and fumbling to catch
to let go

one cough and the ship's down

because in all the vast of day's pyjamas
the tune is first thing bright
chords construct themselves like clouds
because you were never in this mirror before
because it's not the same old story

and all of this amounts to
the one thing you have to believe

it's a draft

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rob Schackne #397 - "Light fades the evening"

Light fades the evening
sound travels different
you can sigh a little
where everything goes
it doesn't matter much to me
knives back in the drawer
cars returned to the factory
there's a girl without make-up
before the big men followed her
I say it doesn't matter much
the drowned boy sitting on the beach
the ones who would notice
not shouting they're laughing
you can sigh a little
but the sea is calm
the hand unpractised
I could unwrite all this
you'd write your first line
Light fades the evening

Kerri Shying R # 279 - Make the pathway home

Make the pathway home

you gotta work
 these whisper worms
curl speaking  in the dirt 
it spreads
it clumps    say where you been
where you really
 been      the same place
as the day I took down
the   for sale   sign 
all the clay is
the chocolate mud I shovel up 
  eaten and excreted

you gotta work
the pink brown heads
cosseting with time
us  unhooved animals above

here    sun in winter
 lemon thyme

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rob Schackne #396 - "I feel a little scattered"

I feel a little scattered
and rather sure it wasn't me
in a Japanese restaurant last night
speaking pretty decent Japanese

(returned after forty years away)
didn't she once say beware
the power of self-delusion

I recall the laughter that it caused
Shanghai doesn't much like Japan
I hold my few languages lightly
love their TV show Midnight Diner
and now we are in China
they are Japanese and we talk 
about the real way to make tonteki
damn it I think I'll write some poems

Kit Kelen #560 - Oblomov-ising or sleeps to go

sleeps to go

backs flat

we say, counting
and hopefully a snooze on the plane

till home or away

taller after lying down though
from telling oneself tall tales

sleeps to go
we say, as a matter of anticipation

we think it's daylight does the trick
steps visible with feet obey

for sleeps to come
our yearning is workaday

and let's not cut it fine
a train is catching us
a last alarm clock rings

it's always summer in this suit
sky dark to smog – activity!

no one knows how many wakings till what (?)
say sleep for euphemism

only two sleeps for Jesus
then a resurrection

seven sleepers had a hundred years
Rip van Winkle was all about regime change

sometimes, as zombie
the take-away
is you're all sleeps to go

then how many wakings will it take
till I dream a way home?

Rob Schackne #395 - "The drink pouring off me"

The drink pouring off me
like a scorching rain
pediatric ICU

lines for life and pain
the big top
the king poles
all that canvas
stopped outside of town
doctor is explaining
this rain is very loud
I love my child

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kristen de Kline #112 Birthday party for a dead girl

dancing and singing up a storm 
blue skin
moon crescent, dark side split open 
red, red wine
candles twenty five    dripping

fuck you, yeah you     haven't had a cry
just wanna whack you and you're not even here

everywhere     the heart is     nowhere     the heart is     

what do you mean life goes on     but
I'll give it a good crack
whadya' mean it's a bit hard     but

does she owe you money?
I accept no responsibility if she does
amplified laughter    scratches on vinyl, snap


pop     twenty-five     she'd have been    
probably looking down on us saying: Mum you're
drunk that's your tenth glass of wine
don't fall over
don't cry

singing and dancing up a storm
streaming live on Facebook
blue skin
red, red wine

whadya' mean life goes on

just want to slap you     hard

not ready to kiss you goodnight

just want to slap you     hard

Billy Bragg - The Sleep Of Reason (Lyric Video)

Kerri Shying R # 278 - My name is ....( helperton)

My name is.......

don’t try
don’t make me over
to a bureaucrat
playing zip zoom
for a warm up
 meeting new people
I’m a toddler
I’m the creative
 don’t imagine me with a new set
of faber castells
in my claw     my gratitude
the pot of gold
 dug up in the field of shit
I came to
at the end of my

Stuart Rawlinson #67 - 'Time for your change, Mr Rawlinson'

It's 2am and in the bare dark
A pee fountain gushes
Down one hand and
Up one cheek
The cheek of a newborn
Mini me micro human
We'll laugh about it tomorrow

Kit Kelen #559 - guembri


like a pencil points
savage scribble

tug down the twine to tune

impression of all things passed
fallen to prayer
made music just to be

there are eyes in everything
a lot of plight to come to colour
just this rhythm

every window blank to see
pigment, scrape

the weather rubs our dark inside
doors a welcome to the world

there's all this why-nottery, atrocity

plan's imagined from above
but the bird's world isn't ours

gods see up through the earth
eyes death

the yellow slippers and the gourd
three strings, a goat skin stretched

no frets and all approximate
hands flexed for these to hold

this air!

Rob Schackne #394 - "I'll take Śavāsana"

I'll take Śavāsana
the corpse pose
any day over
going in to work
half-dead anyway

covered in ants
for the insurance
my Indian friend says
the purpose of life
is making money
a different pose
pop into the dunny
a bizarre turn
I'll die laughing

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Kit Kelen #558 - when you're ten

when you're ten

you could be anyone
sell figs in a market in Fez
you could be concubine with Cleopatra
not knowing what it means

be king – like Lugalzagzi
(watch out for Sargon of Akkad!)
row trireme, hoist on own petard
it's all stout Cortez, gazing out
you'll settle some other planet one day

this is progress!

when you're ten
you walk over the Harbour Bridge
you take the lift up Australia Square Tower
proof that the old world is gone

your first watch
wind and it ticks
now you listen to the wireless
now you set the time
and that's a regular thing
minutes are lost every day!

by ten
you no longer want to be fireman or cop
(never knowing when such ambitions return
keeps parents ever-frowning)

start soccer
learn to play ping pong

there's always the prospect that you'll be someone
books, after all, are full of the famous
likewise banknotes
you can't be queen but you could be Caroline Chisolm

later take the watch apart
it never works again
you lose the innids
quartz will come

and now you're told the time
bells ring
you're presented with career
get there by way of subjects
it's not enough to spell, add up
now there are negative numbers
it's like you have stepped through the mirror

all this space around is future
no wonder one feels cramped
you have to through pimples
wear a tie, tuck shirt in

when you're 16
bottle and weed
heart breaks a little later on
not everyone survives this
swim through the liquor cabinet
that decade of uncles' unwanted scotch

this is the age of boy as erection
which ten year old imagined that?

some of them want me to be a lawyer
but radio suits my broken voice

when one first learns the planet is bung
and atoms everywhere

I go to the book for refuge
I recite the heart
I discover the kama sutra

so poetry's where words have led
a lifetime you had wondered
so wise in words
as never again

all in the deeps
now you look right through the world

so much activity
in the service of misery
it's what I always do

you're 18, you wake up
see the human binge for what it is
almost everyone else has been eaten
but I'm alright Jack
we're on track

consider how we have been with the forest
shall we while away the idyll?

the oyster world, so once-various
becomes a shell your toothpick stands
any big breeze slams

but we must face the day
get a job licking postage stamps
and then you're on the dole
then they abolish that

back of the supermarket
I crush the boxes
by jumping up and down
they let me go
I'm having too much fun

there's nothing but to teach a way
hope you might learn yourself

and dream beyond these narrow bounds
day all arranged
wonder whose biography I'm in

and can I hold your attention?

when breakfast calls
drop from the dream

your parents want you to outlive them
it's best to comply with that

now you travel as unaccompanied baggage
loneliest way to go
so much of me not required on the voyage
though love comes
you keep up the drinking though
dissolve in smoke sometimes

come back and you're an adult now

children must imagine you
one of us will be the ghost
let's guess

there's still the leech on your wrist
it's an age of the alarm clock
(crime against humanity)

you dream beyond these narrow bounds
and yet they've set you up

others stop in their tracks right there
world or they have had enough

weekends the bouts diminish
till a good book beds you down in the plot

you'll notice the vehicle's lack of brakes

so long it seemed your skins were shedding
but already you're becoming a pile
later on will need a cabinet
and some kind of system

fill the drawers with soil
grow dope
but the tail was lost long ago
and it's too late for tatts
stick it out in the garden

you're still a young man of course
young poet, young pup
but the idiots elected now
are younger than you
once again you see through

this old world's fact diaphanous, tatty
it's all to ash with us
Earth the cinder sent

and still no one to thank
to beg, apologize

at the point of 'retirement'
let's say shaking off the dust of the world

limbs creak a little
like one door shuts
and another must be jemmied
you're wearing glasses
and you take the pills prescribed as well

nothing leads inexorably
which is simply to say
conclusions are not logical

the thing of which I'm sure
is that
we are here to invent purpose

how are you going with that?

we hit the wall singing, we do

when you're ten
you live in steampunk time
there's another century in you

you hold that first watch up to your ear
it only ticks if you wind