Saturday, July 7, 2012


The lamp broods on the table
In its predatory circle of light
Dust rains down on an open book

The suburbs ebb into darkness
Hungry and desolate under antennae
Rats hunt in the weeds

You thought it was beauty
That shocked you to a husk
All your life a collusion with dying

Even the air tastes bitter
Her skeletal wings slice the walls
She lands and opens her eyes
Published in The Australian, July 1 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Poetry on tv

yesterday I was sick as a dog
           so I took all my drugs and turned on the tv 
I don't usually watch tv because I find it too depressing
                      all this stuff I am supposed to buy
and those botoxed commentators ratcheting up the fear meter
           cancer scares life threatening elevators terrorists &c
                      but anyway there I was pasted to the sofa 
and I saw two programs with poets in them!
                                 one was all about counter-terrorism in Yemen
a handsome poet whose name I didn't write down went out
           to tribal villages with his ceremonial knife in his belt
and in a long room would speak his poems to about forty men
                      who would chew mildly narcotic leaves
while listening to the true way of Islam 
           how it is a religion of peace and tolerance
                      and how killing people is not Islamic
this poet was a former army officer but was now a man of peace
            and he was greatly honoured among the villagers
then I got embarrassed because the Australian journalist
                      was interviewing some boys in an Islamic school in Yemen
                                 and all he would talk about was Al Qaeda
           so I switched and there was a program about The Last Poets
and how poetry was about Revolution
                      and Black Power and how poetry
                                            saved at least one person's life
because it stopped this guy when he was about to drive a knife
           into another person's heart because he was a gangster
then they talked about rap and money
                      and how the whole thing had got corrupt
                                 and I began to feel depressed again
because in both of these programs there was not one woman
           mentioned or spoken to
                      and nobody seemed to think this was strange
                                 or worth talking about