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December 29, 2018

the past comes calling
older now and with
the wrinkles and belly
of wisdom

a surprise message
into a hypnotic reminiscence
that starts with a gentle

wobbling back and forth
in astonished conversation
that somehow there can be
a falling on the feet

we retreat in the night
to our other worlds
with pinpricks of light
like stars
leading the way
both backwards and forwards




December 26, 2018

the colour of the day
the colour of the night
struck through with
unbidden unguarantees

I do not know
how to get there

taking tiny snaps
snips shines
as if taking photographs
of photographs
to prove that photographs
have been taken

Phnom Penh couplets

December 18, 2018

when is a traffic light
not a traffic light?

don’t look for Wat Lanka
on Wat Lanka Street

out across the chequerboard (of days and nights)
on motos under skies both dark and bright

the guys I use drive for a living
which is a good reason to choose them

tourists with terrified eyes sit forward in tuktuks
embracing their luggage for comfort

meanwhile the beer for breakfast crowd
fail to recollect that they once did that too

when is Christmas
not really Christmas?

taking your shoes off for a while
makes your feet healthy

where are you headed?
where do you think?

it’s been days since I won a can of beer with a ring pull
perhaps the policy has changed

and then, just like that
I won another beer

Kilgore Trout

December 17, 2018

contemporary mood:
viewing the western world
through a basketful of
stereopticonic hallucinations

all is unfolding
like a Kurt Vonnegut novel
or worse,
like a Kilgore Trout story

shattered into

a slurry of
the bland where
there is no impact
but that of
in a sock

searching for unreasonable reasons
as for a noodle in a haystack
behind a carnival of fakes
waiting for the fate train
to roll on down the lime

old enough to know better
dumb enough to give it a try

art never got anywhere
by hanging around
waiting for permission
or payment


Imaginary works with real titles: for Frank

December 17, 2018

You do what I can only name – Frank O’Hara

Glass kites on a windless day

Cousins a la masquerade

Jimmy, my God, they’re burning down the barn again

A life among the inflatables

Clifton Hill reflections


Weeping woman unable to afford the latest iPhone upgrade

It’s not about balance, it’s about wobble

Ramadan is done

The last time I saw Constantinople

Inchoate chocolate butterflies

I know a gunslinger when I see one

Flaneur: Napoleon’s ghost in St Helena

Self-portrait with daemons

autobiographical fragment: job interviews

December 17, 2018

once I interviewed to be a writer of singing telegrams
everything had to be written to the same tune
a prayer: thank goodness

once I interviewed to do job training in retail
and was told I’d have to cut my hair
a prayer: thank goodness

once I interviewed to run a warehouse for a shampoo distributor
and was warned that the sales team would try to trick me
a prayer: thank goodness

once I was interviewed to work for an internet search results aggregator
they seemed to think I was overqualified
a prayer: thank goodness

once I was interviewed as a waiter in a waterfront cafe
apparently I was too old
a prayer: thank goodness

once I was interviewed to transcribe Parliamentary proceedings in Canberra
seemed like a good idea at the time
a prayer: thank goodness

once I was interviewed to transcribe at home in Hobart
lost serious points for attending in a leather jacket
a prayer: thank goodness

once I interviewed to transcribe court proceedings in Cambodia
just when life looked bleakest
a prayer: thank goodness


December 14, 2018

life is
when you
don’t know
what time
it is