Tuesday, May 20, 2008

KDJ.

Damn it, I never knew
that you and I were friends
- while I was blind and trying
to find
my own way
through.

And
so were you.

But I will cry too.
Cry for your words which
have reached me as
mine reached you.

And you've given me a gift,
the gift of knowing it was worth it
all of these words were worth it.

I'm so sorry.

And tonight,
tonight I'll sit outside and smoke
a cigarette and I'll look at the sky
as though we were close
and I'll think of times we never had
times when I laughed and so did you

and I'll find our star and say

adieu.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speared.

I will be the savage sea,
the murderer of souls,
swallowed whole those
memories to drown
down from the dark
a spark of starlight
as a new dawn fades.

And I will be the lover
luna mother
silver tongued and
distant, ruler of tides
and your broken insides
are reflected in mine
and I'll play your tune
my Man of the Moon.

And you?
You, I spit -
Your cock the rock
to smash the siren's
dock that no more men
may sight again the bitter
hope of land ahoy or the
melodic joy of their
oral pleasures,
you, I spit
a fate far worse than
lonely curse
could hope to damn
you,
half man
of inaction
you small bouy
afloat a sea too
small for me
and too large for two
this ocean I once cried
for us
which now I leave
for you.

Last Waltz.

Death and I are close these days.

We talk a lot, we drink
a little, not like we used to
but enough to let the honesty out,
just enough so that we don't
have to feel
the awkward moments before
the kiss, as I look at the floor
and she stares out the window
and it's only a question of when now
and do I make the first move
or will she?

Death and I are close these days,
and in the mornings
we'll walk along the track
by the creek and I'll say things
like, please,
or, somebody,
or maybe I'll grab my hair
in a fist and pull it hard
to try to wake myself up
or maybe as the pedestrians
stroll past me with their dog,
I'll smile and say, g'day
and Death will hide in my heart
silent until they pass
and fuck me
I'll try to keep that smile
on my face
as long as I can
hold her back
hold Death back
please
somebody
but she'll always come back
out.

Death and I are close these days.

And maybe this is her writing now,
tap tapping the abacus
and counting the days
and working out ways
to finish the job
and get paid

because we both know
this prose is no painting
it won't increase in value
after I die,
but I'll damn myself to Hell
today, thinking
maybe
it's worth a try.

Wishful Thinking.

And how is Melbourne, the Big City?

Blah. It has a good point somewhere, I'm sure. It's okay, continuing to suck my soul out and leave me hollow - in a slow death sort of way. Woo! Actually? I hate it. I need trees and paddocks and that smell, that air, I need to leave the door unlocked, I need to smile at passers by, I need to just look at the mountains and the water and say, that's enough. Because it is, because I really don't care about what anyone does for a fucking living, and I really don't care about the latest band, or restaurant - I mean I like it when we all sit around with a guitar, and play and eat whatever we cook and the stars come out and the smell of the fire sticks to me and every time I am there I am truly happy and straight up - every time I come back to the city, I am truly, honestly and completely fucking depressed. I fucking hate it here. I fucking HATE it here.

Ok, let's get you the Hell out of there right now...come home, Mathew. Come home.

Ok.

Auto B.

We're sitting in the back yard
of the family home, chain smoking
and drinking tea and there's no need
to hide here, everything is on display,
and I wonder if it's my turn to be strong
or if it's yours?

It's yours,
she says.

If it was only one thing, or two,
I say,
as I'm feeling blue -
then of course I could do it,
of course I'd get through.
If it was only the memories
which still dance just out of reach
and if you permit me
I'll empty now to teach
myself how -

a spider in a pool
a man throws me in
a hand in my hair
bunched tight
my tears on a sheet
her blood on the street
and glass in my eye
and a thousand and one
fucking reasons to hide
to bury this panic
as a time capsule,
not to open
until you're really not prepared
God
I was so scared
that day I came home
from the funeral
so scared in fact that half the time
we were there - I was scared
scared she was fucking him
while I was away
on my Mother's last day
and she was
(in front of the mirror even
the photo said,
as though they wanted me
to be the reflection)
but at least that stopped the fear -
Anger, I was used to, Anger I could
use to vent the savage cauldron
which had been boiling for years
and I ripped them both in half
and had a sad, sad, vicious laugh
about it all
over some beers and whisky
late into the night
and then on -
on to end a tiny life
on to punish myself
for never making it forward
on to hurting you
as you hurt me
because pain is the only language left
when you're dying and cold
this verbal release
grows old
and I don't want it anymore.

It's the account of my past
which has given me no currency
for the future
but for a few careless words
which leave a sad clown and
failed poet
and you know it
don't you?

You know it.

We're sitting in the back yard
of the family home, chain smoking
and drinking tea and there's no need
to hide here, everything is on display,
and I guess today
no

we don't have to be strong,
not today.

Strange Fruit.

I'm dreaming fevers and fanciful
fantastics and everything is red
for blood and green for money
and blue - my fucking brains
out - for the terror I hold of
the deep blue sea.
So I stick close
to the trees.

Here.

I am not terrified
to be alone in these woods,
I am fearful
only of the riddles
which hang on each branch
and stink of over ripe
of too late
of never known
they've grown
brown and yellow and soft
in the wait.

I pick them one by one
and eat the sallow flesh
of hope, and the core of each reads:

Are you the sea
or the creatures that slide
without effort under my feet
when I am gasping for breath
on the surface?

Are you the stars
or the light that shines
through the tiny holes in the
night?

Are you the dirt beneath my feet
or the loving touch and life giving
mother?

Are you the past
that I should run from,
or the future
I should fight for?

I look further down the orchard
and see these woods last forever
-
-
-

but I know you're in there somewhere,
I can smell the fire.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Smith.

Did you kill that boy in High School?

Were you the final blow that shattered his
brittle heart?

when you were afraid to be outcast
and branded, the other side of the line
and so as he walked past you and they
dared you and
watched as you ran and pushed him over
and felt your knee hit the soft flesh of
his thigh
as he cried
out, why?

And they laughed but didn't understand
that you had just played a hand
in his death - six months later he hung himself
and you walked alone by the river that day
and you thought, Mathew, that you were crying
for him, but you were really crying for yourself.

Crying for The Devil inside
which you try to hide
for the rest of your life
though you wear his mark
upon your cheek
for all to see
you murdered the
meek.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blister.

The Bionic Man action figure stood on the edge of the roof,
trembling
in the wind.

My sister and I leaned out of our
second story bedroom window
and tried to reach it but we couldn't.

My eyes started to water.

We were two stories up
in a house in Sydney, in Bankstown
or Georges Hall.

I don't know why we
lived there, but we did, for a year
in 1979.

I remember that year,
was the first time I thought
to race a leaf in a gutter
after the rains.

I remember that year
all of a sudden three kids
in the back seat of a car
outside a Women's Hostel
and I didn't know I remembered
that until now.

I remember Fireworks had their own night
in the niddle of the year and the whole street
had a party and the dog from over the road
never left my Mother's side - he loved her
more than his Master. Dogs always did.

And I remember Steve Austin - The Bionic Man
out on the roof of our house and me thinking him lost
and my ten year old sister clambering out on to the tiles
to get him two stories up and my jaw was locked in terror
and my eyes wide shut as I hoped with such might
the she could do it right and carry him back to safety
and in through the window and then she was back
and she had and I held Steve Austin tight and smiled
as my sister grabbed me and said in her toughest voice,
don't tell Mum I went out there or I'll kill you.

And Hell,
for years I always threatened to,
but I never did.

Happy Birthday, Sis.

x

The Burger.

My car is sick.

It sits on a lonely street
a few blocks from my house.

The engine doesn't want to start,
it's a little reflection of me
when I give up hope.

And the window is broken
so when it rains
it gets cold inside.

And people are walking past it
and thinking it has been dumped,
it's a little reflection of me
when I feel blue.

It needs to be resprayed,
the paint is peeling
and the tyres are bald
but hey,
it plays music pretty good,
and it's got some books in it
and a few old magazines
and a towel
and a tent
and some gum boots
and some rocks and shells
from the places it has been,
it's a little reflection of me
and the places we've seen
together.

And we'll never give up
on each other,
me and my car,
though we might go through
some rough times
and those parking fines
are stacking up,
it's a little reflection of me
and how the world makes us pay
even for just sitting
on the side of the road
and watching everyone else
rush around this mad house
of money, it's a little me,
my car, and the smell of a rag
so far.

So far.

One day
my car and I
will sit Australian
idle in a paddock
somewhere
rusty in the grass
and happy in the hay
and one day we'll die
my little car and I.

But not today little car.

Short Story.

A few weeks ago
I sat in Town Hall
and was interviewed
in regards to a speech writing position.

I see you have Hemingway listed under your interests,
the Council Woman said.

Yes ma'am,
I said.

Hemingway is over rated,
she replied.
He was a masculine pig
who treated women with contempt.
And his writing?
His writing is unstudied and
unsophisticated. Disingenuous,
affected and naive.

I laughed.
I mean, I really laughed.

Well ma'am,
I can see why you two
would never have got along.
You just used a half dozen adjectives
to describe something simple.

Kind of funny,
don't you think?

I didn't get the job.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not Poem.

Everyone is either

a writer or
a musician or
owns a cafe or
has a baby or
is buying a house or
is looking to further their career or
has just opened a bar or
is djing this weekend
or is friends with your friend
or has just hooked up or
has eaten at that place
isn't it AMAZING or
has just been published
or wook at the widdle pooochie
or has just returned
from Thailand
or France
or The States
or The Tour was great
or "we knew it was fate
as soon as we looked in each other's eyes"
or have just bought a car
or a brand new guitar
or this is my new place,
you like my yard?
You want some coke?
Really? Because,
I've given that shit up
like, ages ago,
did nothing for me.
Here's my painting
it's in that gallery
you know,
on Brunswick St,
and I'll be on TV
soon,
with The Band that
just made it,
they used to play at that
run down old pub
but they're good friends of mine
like, we hang out, you know?
Do you play?
Do you paint?
Do you cook?
Do you
do
anything?
Nothing?

Hm.

Weird.

Well,
gotta go.

Which I guess
is fine.

Don't want to be bitter.
Not bitter.

I just sometimes wonder

if anyone plays Dungeons & Dragons anymore.

Or Risk.

Or Trivial Pursuit.

That'd be cool.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Party.

I went to this party
that Popularity was hosting.

Everyone was there.

I stood in the doorway for a while
and looked around to see if there
was anyone I knew,
anyone I could talk to while I waited
for Popularity to notice me.

Of course,
the first person I saw was Debauchery.
Pants down and flapping
a sail escaped from its mast.

I smiled politely and stuck to the walls,
stuck to the outside where I could see inward
and try to remain unnoticed.

Honesty was there, I saw,
sitting quietly on the couch.
You look like shit, she said,
you should fucking eat more, Matty.

Goddamn Honesty.

Anyway,
I spent an hour or so
mingling
with Shy
Outspoken
Flirtatious
and
Odd
but there was something missing,
something wasn't right.
I didn't feel right.

Eventually Popularity came over
and said, Hi! Didn't see you there
Stranger!

And he clapped his hands and
made a fucking scene and I could
hear him shout,
Everybody, attention please!
This here is my good friend...

but he turned around and I was long gone,
out the door
onto the street
into the rain
and cold and memories
and
walking hand
in hand
with my old and trusted friend
Loneliness.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Video.

I've owned the one porno video for twenty years.

It's like an old friend.

And whenever I move house
or clean my room,
I think,
I'll throw it away
I don't even watch it.
but something will stop
me and I'll bury it beneath
the rubble and forget about it
until I'm lonely and cold
and the middle of the night
keeps whispering to me
poems and songs
and rights and wrongs
and i'll turn before i toss
and stick it in and watch
the faces I remember from
so many viewings and
the In Jokes I tell
myself
like the one about the scene
where the long haired man
keeps whispering to the lady who
is otherwise occupied,
he doesn't join in
he just stands beside her, whispering
and I don't know what he is saying
and I always wonder - but gee
look at him -
i'm glad he doesn't join in.

And the other scene,
there's a man on the couch
watching television
ignoring his wife who is
on the bed staring out the window
at the gardener or the pool boy
or handyman with his handy hands
and she smiles through the glass
and he walks toward her and
the screen fades to black and
then fades back
to see the wife and he
in savage glee and skin and cum
yeah now baby, that's the one
while on the couch the husband is
bound and gagged and forced to watch
a sad affair

and in the middle of the night
I lie awake and think of him
and wonder,

did he get to have sex later?
I hope so.

And sometimes I think that's funny.

And sometimes I think
that's

sad.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

War of the Roses.

When I was very young
I always wanted to be a soldier.

And I have been.

I've charged into battle
with blood
lust and fury.
I've run like a coward
from the weak
shivering
wounded.
I've been
explosive
volcanic
a cold
killer
mechanic.

I've been the grave of the unknown.
Another name in a row,
covered in leavings
with just an ex and a name
to remember my passing.

I've done my duty.

I've never deserted.
I've hurt
the innocent
collateral damage
so I could take the hill.

But i've still
not
taken the hill.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bugle.

We're walking down the street together.
You and me, Matilda.

It's Autumn,
which means everything around us is dying.
And all that gold is washed away,
along the gutters,
with the rains,
the golden streets gone down the drains,
today's refrain
hangs still as yesterday's dream,
but it seems yet that you are tomorrow.

What did you do, before the internet?
You ask me.
Did you still write? Did you still tell everyone everything?
All the facts and moods
of your day to day mundane
and pain?

Well, I say,
hirsute now and wise,
wiser,
well, I say,
it was harder back then,
a lot more work.

I used to send out newsletters,
The Daily Hell,
and I'd handwrite them
all about myself
with all my writings
and sometimes
even a picture.

But the hardest part was
knowing three days in advance,
what I would be feeling,
and what I would be doing,
because you know,
I had to post the newsletters
mail them to all my friends,
and so that meant
three long days to arrive.

You are wide eyed,
my love,
when you ask,
You mean, you could see the future?

No,
well,
yes actually...
[and I can't help but smile]
what I did was,

I looked at the long range weather forecast,
I looked at the ingredients inside my refrigerator,
I calculated the positions of the Sun, Moon and Saturn,
I ironed half of my shirts
I rearranged my sock drawer
I left a half lit cigarette, burning outside in the ashtray
I whispered to my friends, however far they were, that I loved them
I told The Devil, to leave well enough alone

and then,
I'd take a pocket full of coins,
wait until midnight, when the moon
had my loins, slightly a' flutter
like that leaf (I point) in the gutter
and when clouds did gather thick
on top the hill beside my house,
I'd stick my fist
and rattle and twist
the coins aloft
and read their flight
a shining knight?
of stars his armour?
a travelling man
a top a llama?
a payment paid late?
a twist of fate?
what will become
three days from
one?

and
that way
I'd know what I was doing in three days time
and I'd know what to write in my newsletter.

Then later that night
I'd type it all up
nice and neat,
with a picture: complete.
Enveloped
Developed.

Wow!

you say,
here,
today,
in the future,
when you read this.

I like that way MUCH better
than the internet!

And I hold your hand in my Autumn
and say:

Me too, love.
Me.
Too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Patience.

The abyss is so close.

I need some money so I decide to sell my laptop. When I say sell I mean pawn, but these days I never know what's going to happen, so I resign myself to the fact that I'm selling it.

Before I leave the house I dress myself in a fine, clean shirt and some clean pants with my black leather shoes. I figure this will give the Pawnbroker the impression that I am not in dire straits, merely relieving myself of an extra laptop, of which I have no use for since upgrading to a newer model. This is the first symptom of my insanity, my depression. That I must act this way, that I must lie to someone I have never met, just so I do not fall into the abyss.

If I can put one hundred dollars into my pocket, I think, I will not fall into the abyss tonight.

The Pawnbroker's name is Levi, which I am impressed with. Levi inspects the laptop and me and says, I'll give you fifty and I wave my hand in a nonchalant fashion as though the actual figure meant nothing to me, as though I would happily pay him to take this computer off my hands. I sign the paper, take the money and walk out.

It's raining.

I buy some cigarettes, they help the moment last. They help the minutes stay put, so I don't tumble, so I can just be just breathe - in and out, the burning heat, the now, the now.

It's raining but I have no place to go anymore.

I think of places that I could be,
and places that are that would have me,
and places where he or she could make me laugh
or help me flee the panic, the panic, do you ever get the panic?
When every day is crushing upon you,
when nothing you have wished or imagined or
loved or dreamed has ever come true?
I've got the panic, the panic, the panic, the panic, the panic,

Hey there,
says the voice, not a mate, or an acquaintance, but somewhere in between. I have my Pawnbroker act not far from the surface so it's fine.

Hey, I say,
er...what a beautiful day!

I don't like the rain, they say,
and I know then why we never made friends.
So, how's that job? That trip overseas? Ever write that book?
Ever do ANYTHING you said you would?
And they're smiling at me, looking behind me at the Pawnbroker and they don't even let me reply, just laugh as they walk off, and
I try to say, you don't know how much I try
how much it hurts inside
you don't feel the black
that I can't trace
when all I want to see is a face,
any face,
or maybe a hand,
reaching through the darkness but all I see
is fear,
and tears,
and the oh dear
oh dears as across the street
I see them meet with another I knew
and they're talking about me, they're talking about you...

The rain stops just as I make it to my car.

The rear window is missing so the back seat is covered in ice and water from the storm and there are some books I borrowed from the library which are ruined. I try to start the engine and it is dead and the rain starts again - this time heavier this time it blinds me and burns me the rain tearing through the glass the glass in my eyes the water and glass and rain in my eyes, but it's not rain.

I'm crying.
By the side of the road in a broken down car in a wet seat in a dead beat life.

But shit,

It's not such a bad Hell, as far as Hells go.

And when I think that, the rain starts again and I sit inside and watch the water dance on the bonnet, and I listen to the rhythm of the storm as it flashes and flagellates my little rusty car. And outside in the street people run for cover as the storm hits for real and I'm smiling at them as they slip and slide and splash and cry and shriek and dash and damn it all

this is my Hell

so out I go, into the street, letting the rain wash the self pity from my face, letting the thunder give my feet a reason to dance, and letting the lightning give me reason to scream with glee.

You're fucking mad, I hear someone scream. He's lost his mind.

But all I can think is:

It's not such a bad Hell, as far as Hells go.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I know how to use them.

One day I woke up and my legs no longer worked.

It didn't feel like they were broken,
or ill,
it more felt like my legs were
depressed.

Trust my legs to
be so fucking sensitive.

Anyway,
that morning I crawled along the carpet
and ran a bath, thinking
I'd treat my legs to something special,
a soak, some candles,
I could feel my feet getting excited about it,
but my legs remained silent,
even as the bubbles swallowed
all my other guys, my toes
my fingers and even my nose.

What's wrong with you, legs?
I asked.
What's wrong with you?

And the strangest thing,
two eyes on my thighs
caught me by surprise
and two mouths in my knees
had me glued to my seat
(my rump, he never complains)
and they both said in unison:

We've forgotten our friend,
we've forgotten what to do.
Do you know what that feels like?

God yes, I said,
yes I really fucking do.