Showing posts from August, 2005

Relationship City

a fine place for a village she turns the first clod let it be here & so it comes into being with the barest fore-planning to be truthful yet soon enough the characteristic boulevardes thoroughfares cross-town tunnels appear dictating future streets lanes & public spaces though who will build them isn't quite clear so slowly surely a city breathes & lives despite the intermittent natural disasters power failures riots its shape endures within its walls our new community & culture is created similar to yet sufficiently different from those other metropolises that its name becomes known its parades & summer festivals the envy of other cities (people begin to migrate there pull up their roots & start a new life & they are all welcome the city grows & grows then bends two ways the first an ever-spiralling sprawl the other its antonym the dystopia the smashed windows & abandoned cars underground solicitations & street closures midnight rai

Käthy Kruse

the hands that made the hands then passed her to the second set the hands that plucked the human hairs & threaded them into a wig the hands she passed her to then sewing on the little yellow jacket passing then to unknown hands that gave her eyes to see herself mouth to breathe in cotton hands to hold her head until she fell asleep two hands that made her cheeks pink in case she was called upon to blush the hands that filled her little belly full of spätzle or gruel hands that kept her upright while they sewed her tiny feet into place made her shoes & then left her there wobbling but alive alone but made of human hands of hair the petite skirt to hide her girlhood hair combed then platted maybe depending upon her mood & then the hands that transplanted the still-beating hand-made heart into her chest her covered breasts & silken brain with which käthy produced her first truly human thought: their hands have stroked my arms & legs my doll's face into

Pink Building 4


Pink Building 3


Pink Building 2


Pink Building 1


Pink City

bad boy scouts wearing red bandannas & hiking boots prowl the outdoor bars bringing alpine airs to ljubljana - i won't be climbing the steps to the castle won't conquer what's not even there (the view the haze) instead i'll walk around photographing pink buildings for you ... do you remember that cold afternoon at sheherezade after the mallarme gig? i can see why you liked it here where the boys ride bicycles & sit by the river smoking long whites joints - & even sparrows sport beckham spikes & boys bum cigarettes from strangers for a lark - i missed primoz by two weeks but there's poetry here in the inventiveness of the street performers or the flowers on the cobblers' bridge ... i know that somewhere here there's a boy you once loved if even for that one short visit - it's summer & all the pastel's aglow despite the crumbling flaking skins i can hear you & only wish these few photographs could capture their audible

Leaving Croatia ...


Interface District

so i made some tapes from sonsg i ripped off the internet fed the cabel from the computer into my [pre-ipod] walkman but the songs all came out mono got the wrong stereo jack so now i listen to the songs in one ear while the other tries to hear leans in yearns for the music & my brain too (this interface) tries to reconvert to create a whole town or district from the one channel i've given it on the ferry i felt like belfast like a city caught in the cross- fade that moment between beats when anything could happen - if violence erupts i will think of my brother & of sinn fein - of murals of armagh & of the bloody weekdays/ weekends yearning for stereo sanctity cursed by my own lack of tech (my pre-digital tape deck ... boys whose anthems need no vinyl no top of the pop-offs & with this wind in my hair or these drunk americans who believe all croatians are up themselves i'm listening with that other ear to music: the peacemaker & the mix-tape that saves

Split 7"

zaboravljani hitovski / forgotten hits obscure releases/ cocks & tits trophy girlfriends/ love hotels apartment farewells/ shower scenes warren beatty/ madonna bombs roulette tables/ passport songs slippery marble/ jadrolinjia sunday evenings/ predictable buskers where are the bands?/ where are the rebels? life's all ordinary/ transplant palms little venetia/ terrible pizza another old city/ next to the new city slime/ bikinis on extendable clotheslines switching languages/ bisexuality waitresses in pineapple tops/ wharves diesel fume & gelati/ melting holidays dirt-cheap brandy/ marko polo get us out of here/ busting boys coastal horrors/ marble cliffs swere whiffs/ roman catacombs vulgar postcards/ damp hvala satellite air-con/ red-wine ice cubes daily telegraph/ get me out of here beige monotones/ misplaced arrogance the music stopped/ the sunday shops split 7"/ unknown bands (too bland) ferry oils/ zigzags on the ocean

"Summer In Sipan"

well it's summer in sipan & the town is full of models they're all at the restaurant but they're only eating entrees while the eunuchs dart around making stressful little sounds in the leafy hotel grounds we ate dinner then we ran yeah that summer in sipan well it's summer in sipan we go riding with maria she's got white bleach in her hair she looks like sinead o'connor & it's thirty eight degrees & we can't find any trees by the end i'm on my knees holding ice cube sin my hands yeah it's summer in sipan well it's summer in sipan & we're kayaking together through a turquoise coloured sea full of motor boats & fishes & the boats are making waves & the bay becomes a grave for the kayak we can't save time to make another plan yeah it's summer in sipan well it's summer in sipan & we're swimming off the jetty with the girls all deeply tanned & the guys with giant six packs next t

Abandoned Youth Camp

the planes fly well overhead now & couples no longer dawdle down by the jetty where an old dinghy rises & falls on the fluke waves of passing powerboats ... & now cicadas chorale across an empty bay old pipes protrude from the muddy shallows & the trees though blooming still billow untended & unloved (though the summer & this giant cross remain drifters are its only pilgrims - snorkellers scan the basin for discarded bikinis or martini glasses (the old wreck of a hotel still hopes for a reunion with its past loves the storms at sunset or the mock evacuations - shells bursting underfoot as the guys with their miniature five string ukeleles serenade two lovers demolishing a lobster - all gone to the great fairground in the sky now packed up like crates of beer bottles shipped off to another island another beachside retreat for nuns with cystic fibrosis ... now i hear the choppers swing low coming in for their daily sightseeing pass - dissecting sea mi

Martello Tower

july has been a month of forts ... (i write out my self-imposed exile) from central park to sandy cove belgrade's citadel to old dubrovnik (but maybe now i'll write a modern poem disregard historical valour) i like the way joyce twisted facts made buck mulligan & the other one appear more evil than they truly were (although there's something of deceit in that as well of malicious intents behind that sorrowful eye patch ...) i prefer the fort that's crumbling whose original enemy remains unclear the one that oscar wilde's father had a hand in shoring up on the aran islands its stones sprawling now over acres of tourist-stamped ground mystical as the ancients (napoleon never did invade ireland) & now the martello tower's a museum but dubrovnik still remembers bombs medieval chic ... where is history hiding now? the pigeon squats in the shade picking at stones in the hope of a stray pistahcio shell ... likewise the cameras line up with the tower in


she emerges from the bobble- cordoned bathing area with her pigtails wet & sticking out like unicorn horns from the back of her head - instantly she's a girl again the shining happy memory of herself as a strong swimmer dancer & singer all at once like a sea monkey queen reacting with water swirled & sequined in the jar for all to see - i've been reading too much murakami not to understand what does drive the mind growing older what cues the eye interprets as "summer holiday": such tropes as chipped nail polish tan lines of a different bikini beneath the current pair we stretched out legs on a gaudy beach towel airport novel open at a random page & left there like the roof of a swiss house on the rocks ... sometimes i forget that i can't speak japanese that this book is just a translation irritating in its americanisms like this endless parade of paris hilton stunt doubles along the beach whose vacuous stares thankfully are hidden from

Le Tan

in vietnam of course we'd all be considered peasants up to our necks in sweat & sun cancers - our tans coooked in a coconut sauce the cannibal implications of which i don't care to explore but here where a thousand & one dalmations sizzle on stones with all the intelligence of their namesakes those spotted dogs to a soundtrack of oasis tom jones elton & george michael singing don't let the sun go down on me (i should be so lucky) that radiant far-off fireball sends its death rays across space to slowly fry us on the pebbled beach - sunbeds like flaming takitori grills an outdoor steak house where we liberally apply our SPF 0.5 marinades & then cheerfully head home to the ovens those airless apartments where we gasp the incendiary nights away - of course as an australian i'm in no position to sneer or feel superior - our melanoma-riddled culture taught the world everything it knows about "the beach" or so we suppose having faile

Jihad (Ultra Mild)

i could murder a cigarette but i'll hold off for now - the time is not right - & if i ignite here wow who knows what might go up with me there in the stratos, in the fear the wind-up bird that's growing old constrained at every turn the signs to left & right declaring rauchen verboten - except in open spaces where (we presume) one's less liable to hurts - subways & buses (natch) are right out & on holidays well it's understandably hard to resist sparking up - & yet you must for after brennschluss well what then? what ticket stubs from heaven will you produce to clear your name? of lines i'm careless still - we've plenty left to fill - but breaths? & words? how to enunciate these when your lungs are still the cilia have ceased their beat? without air bodies are mere meat & we just the memories of braveries dares - but still the trigger impulse or this drunken affair sitting on some backstep while smoke drifts in the london ai

Citadels & Crosses

the parchment's overgrown now & flies no longer buzz down by the hydro-electric facilities - the bus route's open for business all along it twenty four hour cafes spring up like pillboxes some people speak of screams in the night houses on fire & some barely speak at all just a fingerbone or shattered skull whispers eloquent poems from a time long past but still living along winding trails known only to animals & their shepherds whil miniature obelisks mark the cemeteries of the present tentse & crosses send down rays of pure conviction from the rock- strewn hills & miraculous shrines small wonder then that this boy on the bus who thinks he has missed his stop wakes up shrieking - trying frantically to get out (who knows what kind of bad dreams he's running from - we've seen it all before we reassure him ... we know why his mouth opens just there where the bones are only so deep where the mosque is a finger of warning now black & every

Mit Gas!

could you be flirting with me (tiny periwinkle of a trip-hop soundtrack? was that a smile (pretty vacuous air bubble at the bottom of this glass? come here slide down my throat (abstract freckle of a thirst quencher hobo of the backwash past (reboot the soda stream of our invisible passions (poet of the cafe bar menu (lifeguard of the frozen bottle (remove yourself from this moment (stolen password of my internet identities (echo chamber of my dream lover�s rehearsal refill this loneliness (unbranded apple flavoured liquid cinnamon doughnut of a daydream (drink me wearing sunglasses (crucial sunshade of a postcard meeting (intern of the hotel romancers change my channel (aqua blue but invisible shapeless nomad of my early morning coffee headband greeting (effervesce my face (pigtail non-plussed crude translation of a mineral (once more mit gas (repeat mit gas (i kiss your aerated body (pump the spray (ignite the liquid gel of your sihouetted trace in the neverending launch

The Two Faces of Zlatyu Boyadziev

(1) crystal: dignitary portraits his men clean-shaven the women stern children on sleds if you remember rightly panoramas of coal mine towns silly dogs chins pointing to the future the sun - gold haloes spirits with whiskers windowframes ... (2) crumpled: just out of bed or home from a long night of drinking all traces of artifice stripped away peasant loves more silly dogs the omnipresent minarets bulgarian eternities lifeless eyes trembling brushes a grandmother in every canvas ... [plovdiv, july 05]

Death In Dubrovnik

you dispense with direct emotion/ experience & become the second person the observer - it's safer here you see & as for your reader well she's gone her own way she'll meet you later in the old town - for now be content to sit & watch as tourists wait impatiently for their boat to arrive a three island cruise you suppose - it's late & the harried salesgirl repeats in three or four languages - one more hour seven more minutes five more now - then someone challenges her in italian - that was ten minutes ago! she raises her hand as if to hit the sky & the frenchman looks at his poor tired beaten wife - at his command she rises - he flashes his ticket at the brown girl & demands the expected - a refund & while she's off to fetch it you see the sad look in that french woman's eyes the impatience in her husband's & sensing some small part of yourself there you close your eyes to the beautiful adriatic sparkle & sunshine &

Subterrannean Yellowcake Alien

we landed emus on the moon & fed them cake until they glowed until we could see them from maralinga or woomera (from whence they came) its petri-satellite dishes growing absurd corruptions of our original superpower dreams [hiroshima moruroa maralinga] a future where girls worry their bikini lines into shape formations of crystals metamorphose into undersea microphones in stereo & we are alone now on our rocky outcrop of a signal station babe did you see that flash? it's british aerospace dude & the natives can go walkabout (the ground glows underfoot persistent rumours of odd illnesses the dreamtime sicknesses [los alamos nagasaki yucca flats] somehow affecting even our general macarthur born in the loading bay that night in incheon he gathered mushrooms from the pacific theatre's map the optional korean solution impregnated like a microchip for lost dogs somewhere above another numberless parallel babes go topless in the radiant heat one size to reveal

Stari Most

in a scene from the cassandra crossing pitch black serbian night gives way to the acetylene of factories tunnels & dams ringed by lights blazing passports waving (facsimiles of concrete aqueducts soldered bridges inch over ravines & the night mists are pumped from some arcane machines we followed the blue line of the bosniak river through that notional republik stopping at magical intervals along our meandering switchback journey seeing the impossibly lush mountains (giving way at last to sandblasted hills - & the roman semicircular white stone bridges become perfect circles in dawn's reflective air all at once to be resolved in the new stari most winking in the fresh day glare peeking around the green river bend a new parapet from which to fearlessly leap (prove one's man- hood demonstrate whisper secrets a daze of new icons reconstructed in unforseen though shady places


who will give colour to joe sacco's black & white cartoons of gora&#382de safe haven - & who will go there is it needed are the people safe? when will the mist shrouds on the mountains give up their secrets these criminals those war dead & weary - which daughters sons? how are we to read the inverse braille of bullet-studded buildings riverside mosques that pierce the sky the river itself a great onward flow? what happened to the primitive generators the flywheels paddlesteamers hydro- power creators that fed the people juice to watch war movies in the dark? & where do you go joe sacco in your sleep - is it black & white or do colours invade that paperthin canvas & bleed the edges of your stolen dreams?

Fast Flowing Rivers

symbolic of our electrical impulse simple swift & filled with dreams fast flowing rivers sweep away all these tedious fears & expectations & dump them at a delta somewhere marry them with saltwater tears then disappear forever rivers flood the villages irrigate graves flash like camera bulbs as in the olden days catch our passing in the picture cage & trap us there until the sepia fades away dust & highwater marks on bollards or levees - surge over the dry wastes of our skin our lips our hair & ears deprive us of light & bury all our memories under silt & rain - or else call it pain & pass over like the thunderbolts inside a storm from this island's past - we are a part of these silent rivers now - we are the same these streams & me until the next tide swallows up this flotsam we will not be free

Infa Riot

here the stencil art seems more restrained or better placed (my favourite so far a do the right thing image: chuck swastikas in the bin but then there's the rifles silhouetted soldier slogans like 'make your own world' these meanings are clear: & all for a spray can or stains graffiti's private symbols i'm in no position to appreciate or decipher like city streets off the main thoroughfares their messages become tawdry old worn-out & finally disused

It's A Mountain

all the world's a beograd restaurant & everybody's smoking there before & during after dinner - no one stops to smell the air (which i guess is just as well it's full of lead besides the noise) you've just got to write on through it trust that one day upon your return you'll find a poem in the place of all these jottings decipher your own moods in your own hand- writing discover a mountain where once there was only smoke

Macho: Tour

hey sofia the beers were warm & you were smarmy I couldn�t care belgrade girls you�re disappearing underneath us beds are exploding plovdiv babe our time was short though not climactic poets writhe london darling just in passing shoreditch chicks I am alive & new york honey drop the mustard take a long look at your dirty boots yo d.c. women I�m disgusted no just joking nice to see you too sister cities this is my greeting coming over the busted wires time for the once-over recurring tourist's ceaseless playmate parade

Koala Strawberries

for keiji (again) i compose a few lines - it's useless i'll never be a haiku writer (my destiny lies amid the cyrillic paperbacks the apartment blocks & spines of books i'll never read or pay to have published if we are poets then cities are koala strawberries rotting cherries in cardboard boxes: we'll write poems on them then laugh at ourselves we beautiful boys & girls as the autumn wind blows in from some obscure clime between seasons on the floor of the euro disco a sunspot on that wretched ikebana


the hotel bedsprings creak with her free rhythm haiku - it is morning it is night this weekend in sofia thousands of people are making love wearing out the beds the floors the sheets the sounds of lovers penetrate thick walls like doof doof or the ocean though not so soft as that her voice grows with tsunami passion wires da da - oh now she has fallen off the bed - i look across you're asleep but tomorrow morning we too will make love & i'll listen to our sounds melting into bedsprings

Oh Bulgaria

what has money done to you no one here has change girls & striptease club posters make us all less human oh bulgaria! your elevators have doors to trick foreigners pretty girls in miniskirts keep our change as tips they serve red beer & white beer & green salads and flags your children play hackey-sac in subterranean liquor stores can i buy a bus ticket? i try to mime a bus on the boulevard where i meet my haiku friends we are almost strangers

Sofia Dogs

like me they cannot speak of the slavic memory soviet tanks so they bark all night the echoes emptied like the abandoned palaces of culture science & agriculture dreams of living & speaking again a slippery tongue translated into coffee grounds contact with nocturnal demolition crews the car wash & look! a dilapidated tram ozone washes bleeding off the bark some broken glass & a rusted monument hiding in a maze of nameless parks

A Chara / Is Mise

Madam - most everywhere that ... when/if breaks ... clouds appear ... someone homestly enough exclaims ... their made-up tales ... instincts widely fields sown reaped ... loves lights crossed ... solemnity comes to us like consecutive lived truths ... we then made escapes ... reinvented ... for the wheels of death tracks ... wished rather ... wait for lives days slowly hereafter with burning ... the kindled to be carefully burnt ... over-wander to satsfy vows ... living surprises help & how is that ... says immediately ... suddenly through sunshine ... they find ... you peoples unfortunate? Yours, etc

Eire Supply

a steady supply of singers songwriters buskers and dancers a shortage of accompaniment readers snall change and steps a melodious air of sorrows entropy usefulness and delight a shortage of handkerchiefs space horizons and encounters this entire (knows if a smile suggests tragedy broken glass betrays midnight solitary is the last aran wicker basket weaver the busker's very first coin dangled like bait in his upturned hat an atlantan breeze against an invisible harp string

18 Fields

18 fields (sites, battlegrounds) 17 banners (standards, uniforms) 16 bands (spartan, militaristic) 15 ribbons (loose, fluttering) 14 sashes (bright, coloured) 13 clouds (grey, foreboding) 12 drums (clipped, regimental) 11 fires (effigies, crackers) 10 rows (deep, breasted)  9 steps (slippery, barnacled)  8 hours (waiting, working)  7 days (blessed, counting)  6 rounds (fired, targetted)  5 friends (rioting, missing)  4 slogans (graffitied, shouting)  3 leaders (inspired, pathological)  2 winds (changing, dying)  1 blow (kingdoms, coming)

Recreational Rioting

here - the incessant sounds of trucks reversing safety switches valves clips iron foundries kids nothing but the shields against a frightened forewarned oblivion - blast bombs spherical footfalls or death stars just as vulnerable to teenage kicks or malfunctions spare the women & the marshalls the ingominy of water cannons - let your fused chroming minds roam across deserted carriageways the parade grounds of historical accidents purposes stolen hates dim causes shadow boxing with kids who didn't go to peace camp