In my mind I’m in a granite tower, fog and raindrops,
lichen and moss. The sea above its maritime level
is scattered and forgetful, tiny fish have fins
for swimming and for flight.
I chose a basement cavern and pretense,
Martyrdom Lite without a flower,
I curled up on the runway where
interstellar flights were landing
and bathed in temporal trickles,
lacking seriousness and gravitation,
factualising while my compass spun.
The planet’s hold had waned,
Newton’s fruit was drifting to the West
and ripening, yet I remained
while those around me rose.
There are certain places and certain moments
when a single word you speak will evaporate
your flesh and reveal what lies beneath.
In the distance everything is magnified, desires that
we cannot reach, immensities, improbabilities.
The mountains of dawn are hidden from me now,
but I will see them again.
Some people think we’re all the same beneath our hair,
they hope the thoughts they fear inside their head
are just a common cold. Others, that their
special vision of dominions and desires
is not a stuffy nose.
But I remember turquoise afternoons
when everything was intermediate,
and you and I could be by being,
when all our past was yet to happen
and even sins were innocent.
Thought bubbles must be punctured gently,
deflated with a fine molecular needle.
She lets me do the shopping at the markets,
the hens are in my charge, I sweep the floors,
but I’m a prisoner in her house.
On the crooked kitchen shelving, potions bright,
alluring clues, magic herbs and condiments.
To prepare Bahian fish, she says.
Her eyes are jungle camouflage, her tidal laughter
breaks in waves when nothing is amusing,
mysteries are woven in her hair.
Ghosted fashion, sunglasses
of a darker mist,
and a bridge to be traversed,
although arrivals on the 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.
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.
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 that, should
he name the nameless,
its power will evaporate
and taxes will be levied.
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.
By night I long for vacuum,
yet gravity ties my bones and blood,
wires me to the world, an unbreakable nexus.
I’d prefer a lighter planet, uncored by an iron seed.
We think alike, adversaries and friends,
harmonies of disdain and love,
characters in chiaroscuro,
quotidian actors reading quadrophonic lines.
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.