Many things, amongst them, Martians,
are allegorically immune,
just and only themselves.
What might now be learned?
Shall we hang our knowledge bright
on wooden poles, defiant glows beneath the arc
of Google Sky?
When the ladybugs conquered my kitchen
their ultimatum made reference to aphids and fleas,
and so with the Martians—a hunger for
Ghosted fashion, sunglasses of darker mist,
and a bridge to be traversed,
although arrivals on a further shore
are never the ones who left.
For her, no warm embraces,
no distant tears;
without a moment’s regretful hesitation
she begins her journey.
The river far below is flowing russet, jetsam waves,
and tiny stars above are
little suns that can’t grow up, afterimages of
a universe long lost, afloat in panoramic darkness.
They’re digging at Sandringham, open cut,
the hunt for the lost Six Ten
that diverted from its accustomed route
and burrowed in the sand.
This morning from my cottage
on the edge of the Sandringham pit
I saw pantographs protruding,
spines of a fossilized dinosaur,
and now the spools on cranes are
grinding sure and slow, steel cables taut,
extracting the commuter carriages
with unexpected tenderness,
not to rend their couplings.
For thirteen years it’s traveled far below,
but today the sunlight’s harsh reality
will illuminate the Sandringham Six Ten.
Once the sun was planetary, with
the earth its moon.
Once gravity followed a different rule
and the morning’s colors mattered.
Now the earth falls round the sun,
the moon around the earth,
but while our memories echo
with violets and fragrance, fragments of volition,
come with me, my friend.
In the photocopied forest,
where origami birds shed origami feathers,
where duplicates with papered eyes
riffle through the files of our dreaming,
where carbon copied life is rampant,
Rosalyn shows me a quick start guide
for human prototypes,
their care and feeding, how to keep them far
from wheels and fire,
and recirculant mechanics.
Our bonsai minds are caged and shaped,
replicas in miniature of something greater:
trains, the sky, and lightning.
I didn’t pay the bills electric,
now no lights electric,
just a fluid glimmer—
the ghosts from yesterday
illuminate my ectoplasmic reading.
Outside a spinning wind is rising,
furrowing the earth and sky,
and on the far horizon, mechanical invaders
with razored paddle wheels
scalpel air to vortices,
curling slinkies that cannot be
Do spaces matter without context?
Atoms to cells to Wilma to planets
and beyond more empty spaces.
All might be forgiven today,
prescriptive facts unfaced,
turned to continuous movement
in a land of distant windmills.
In a daydream I attended
an exponential function
hosted by his eminence,
the summit of his self creation;
close acquaintances only, commonality
reassured in glyphic communication.
His hacienda was mostly atria,
potted green, and rain washed
marble chessboards where gardeners
wearing chefs’ hats offered fertilizer
Colors round the clock
and I await the pale hour,
I listen beat my heart breathe my breath,
call dullness meditation,
by contrast grey becomes another shadow.
pink anodic glows
I flew to other times in zones,
tinted suns, ascendant vectors,
daylight saving lost,
neon tubes with unequilibrated
their flickering hypnotics in gaudy
On the balcony, quadcopter drones
are hovering with the doves.
Occasionally a pigeon spatters
them with guano.
I breathe and hear
the thrumming of the armatures
spinning in their casings,
their music becoming solid
and returning to the motors.
Day twenty nine, a synesthetic blizzard
all around. Maths is melting,
braindrops trickling down
the paper windowpanes
chasing swirls of tangled crossings out.
I read back from my diary,
each over-written page of logic
countersigned and stamped
by cat’s paw on the inkpad,
with spattered blood from scratches
in the margin.
in the pavlova recipe
Sorry, I have to take this,
the pavlova says. The microwave
is ringing and they speak together in whispers.
Down by the seas of roads and rails—tarmacs lined
with dashes on the runways to the shallows—
the metropolitan trains approach a nexus
where all begins and ends.
Once my life was stippled on those waters
and broken on those shores.
Tell me something true and real, she says—I
notice her fangs are
a little blunt—you can tell the cat
~ / ~
I came to planet Crypton years ago,
traveled in a sky-blue pod from Earth,
its vaporous madness left behind.
It looks a lot like Earth itself,
more crystalline than you’d expect
and everyone is strangers.
I pour a glass of water, try the hot and cold,
but it doesn’t make a difference, only steam today.
My hair’s dissolved as well, or perhaps
I just misplaced it long ago.
The fridge has flown out through the kitchen
window, appliances in
migratory flocks are traveling north,
and I’ve put my ice cream
in the oven, no need for any baking.
People, so cute they are, Paulo thinks,
the same way up.
He envies those with certain knowledge,
in their environs no cloud or mist;
on their loci, labelled points,
soluble in warm
water, formulae taken
twice a day with ritual and promise.
Still Paulo knows if he should name
its power will evaporate
and taxes will be levied.
Celestial lights, fusion powered stars,
that was all they wanted,
four dimensions, timely space in a matrix,
yet planetary nuisances appeared in each
galactic spiral, and random strikes
with over-budget meteors
didn’t really help.
Venus and Mars,
hide and seek,
catch and release,
Charon dreamt of riding on a comet,
of fiery petals flaming,
a switch from her elliptic circuit
closer to the sun.
All Sutherland birds are flightless, the local
tiny holes in fences for the poor
creatures to hop
through, and we are strangers lost
and roaming in a lonely place.
Riders within us direct our dreams,
we who imagine ourselves
untouched by the local weather,
and yet a storm is brewing
by the picture rail in the dining room
where the larks are pecking at the carpet,
and Docinha’s head is hidden inside
a fluffy philosophical cloud.
Three ghosts are in the hall. On the cable
internet outside, two currawongs are pecking,
but the mysteries of past and present,
of calendars, dates and numbers are best
left for numerical processors.
When time was thick and sweet and I couldn’t breathe,
when you wept and left me wondering,
when the blue of clouds and day was painted
on the land to resist the night’s temptations,
I could start six lines and finish them,
know what I’d just said and order wine.
A thunderstorm’s approaching underground.
Along the shore, waves of sand
competing with the ocean,
from ancient graveyards ghosts will float
into the world, freed from roiling earth,
to the weather forecast
and I prepare our breakfast:
spinach, pastry, thoughts of eggs,
peel a purple onion, layer after layer,
until just the memory of an onion’s left.
Through the window, washes
on a watercolor planet,
rainy autumn shades in spring, and
in the early evening, scattered photon showers
are forecast, a luminous return of light
from the shadow sun.
Indoors there are smaller mysteries,
trailing motes in negative space—
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.
We’re squeezed like toothpaste into wires,
an atmospheric phantom network
bouncing off the sea bed and the sky,
and if we don’t pay the bills:
discontinuities in reality.
They’re deep, best not to fall in.
I remember burning forests in the wind
when the air was thick as a roast chicken smoothie,
when nature, lightning and amino acids
made single cells in starter packs,
ever changing, revisable.
But now each heart is pizza sliced in four quaternions,
one alone, the other three—
an irresolvable triangle of love.
I’ve breathed the air chirped by sparrows,
critically appraised everything
I didn’t understand,
searched for magica potenta
in urban mysteries, shaded quantum clouds,
on bedroom ceilings, and found echidna quills,
kookaburra beaks, sobriety, all the words
I didn’t want to write.
Three knocks at the door-to-door,
I said I don’t want any, thank you,
not knowing what I didn’t desire.
You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.
My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.
I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.
At the Hotel Miramar beside the Atlantic,
breakers are breaking, storm clouds
are brewing like coffee,
and no-one is interested.
At the Hotel Miramar, everyone
must play the piano, read a novel
in a cigarette’s glow
and occasionally set a page on fire.
Here are 5 reasons to make your writing incomprehensible—
- impenetrable words allow the reader to focus on the prosody
- mystification creates enigmas, unresolved mystery
- if the meaning is obscured the reader can invent their own
- writing that doesn’t make sense is more likely to be original, less likely to feel familiar
- life makes very little sense—to me at least—so why should writing?