Saturdays with Sauce

Saturdays with Sauce

Bus stops and tomato sauce
are inseparable.

The nutter
will always find you.

What makes hot buns cross? What cross
did you bear when my arms went cold?

We were inseparable
and the surgery was cruel.

What could possibly
alarm an alarm?
It’s already screaming his name
this fucking early.

Sometimes you’ll bruise legs
getting a spider or a lover
past their death wish.

Poster sells ‘The Lost Boys’.
But aren’t they all?
All aching for the womb but fighting reason
and the GPS.

Muscle and tatts but scared stiff
her long, blonde hair will be too strong for him.

Two things died on their heartfelt leap to beauty.
One was a frog.
I was there at the time.

Autotype punches ‘orgasm’,
‘orgasm’. But it’s ‘organising’
I’m after, and not for a threesome.

Intimacy. No. None of that.
A man’s body finds mine
and I scream and have to apologise
to the bus stop: ‘Sorry.
Was not expecting flesh.’

All of that
on a messed up Saturday morning
with too many deadlines and not enough sex
or frogs.
Then he says he’s proud of me.
And buns, crosses and tomato sauce
make sense at last.
And it’s almost happiness.
Perhaps not at this stop
but the one after.

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Matchbox Engineer

Matchbox Engineer

Trying not to burn bridges
but your fingers hiss like flame throwers,
your hair is soaked in metho
and your feet tap
tunes for a bomb.
Trying not to burn bridges
but you watch him drive away
without objections.
Your hair reeks.
Your feet would chase after him
but they’re somewhere beneath a bridge
and an incoming tide.
You are no engineer
and struggle with bridges,
burning or saving.
Due to this lack of training,
your lover leaves you
with a river of grief
to cross.




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Double-Shot Homeless

fish heads edited






Double-Shot Homeless
we’re all on the brink of crazy. we pick
our scabs in the street, ride
caffeine like horses, take
the hand squeeze.
we wet our faces
when nothing can be done, forget
our words, whisper
when the pain hurts our ears. we eat
what little we can – our guts
crammed with pleas
we wish our mothers would rise. we wish
our mothers would rise. we lose
our sons,
breathe other families heading home.

Pleasures grow small,
laughter crawls.
In the morning, rosella petals,
tissue-thin but, nonetheless, pink.

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Please don’t walk in the dark

Please don’t walk in the dark

She buys the wrong aftershave –
florals that hide your natural musk.

She tries your dirty talk. But it sounds
like a talking book for the blind
without the verbs.

You’re working blind, poor thing,
bungling love and loss
without your glasses.

Huntsman keeps a grasshopper in her clutches.
Holding on to him is holding on to death.
You’re meant to eat him. You’re meant to taste.

Frog is fading in the sink.
It’s hard to save something that small
but that’s what your heart’s for.

You wear the new scent
so I will forget you,
so I will look for you and come to a dead end.

I refresh my old scent
so you can find me
and to remind you we’re older than Valentine’s Day.

In a group-devised, stream-of-consciousness poem,
the word that drops from my lips
is ‘lost’.
Countryman tells me, yes, I’m going the right way
but, please, don’t walk in the dark.

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Do we need to test this again?

Do we need to test this again?

Leaves pile by the door. Gecko
scat arrives in threes. The dog
whines when I leave.

I understand exile.
It’s a metre or a month
away from your scent.

The hermit crab drags
a circle through the sand.
And here you are again.

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Super Moon, Super Wet

Back on the homefront, the Super Moon on January 31 coincided with a monsoonal trough. This meant a lot of ocean, a lot of wind, rain, damage and erosion of beaches. The tides were over 8 metres high (a King Tide here is normally 7). It was awe-inspiring.

The end of what we know

Once it starts, it won’t stop –
an advance party cresting
eight metres;
more like a fist-shaking prophecy
than an ocean.

The tide takes liberties
with cliffs and cars and tanks
from a World War.
It strips back camping trips
and nights of gritty sex, dumps
the gossip at someone else’s fence.

The sea on Schoolies:
picking up crabs, vomiting sticks
and plastic mysteries.
Doing speed.
Chewing through the grass.
Asking Mum to fix the damage
at the end.

The heaving sea,
red with the theft of land.
Dirty as a ride in a cop car,
cuffed, hungry, waiting
for the moon to come close.

Borders erode.
Lips reach my neck.
Our fingers conspire to lift the lid
on my wet thirst, my body
collapses against you
like the dunes,
and the waves push through,
ignoring voyeurs.
You were always in charge –
at least, with the moon behind you.

Kidnapped by your lips.
Again, again,
advance/retreat, meet
somewhere between, take,
linger, subside.
The waterways get lost
in each other, bleed into one.

We are one of an animal kind
and I don’t regret a breaking thing.

We’re filthy as roots,
freshly exposed.

We’re dangerous as the moon,
a peeping Tom tonight –
too close for comfort,
too dark to hold.

Ocean cresting the dunes

Ocean cresting the dunes

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Smoking the Mattress

Smoking the Mattress

Buy it –
that double frame and mattress
at the hotel closing sale.

Buy it – he’s mad,
your kind of mad.
Laughter is saving you both
from the real world.

Smoke it – the slept-on mattress.
Work out those dreams:
missed planes, girl with a blue face,
a man who tells his girlfriend,
yes, he fucked her but he never inhaled.

Smoke it –
keep that narrative running.
It’s far from the truth
but let it run to its sticky end
because that’s your job.

Look away from the broken heart
you uncover on the left side. Look away
from the threads about to unravel.

While you’re in there with frankincense,
work on all those feet –
the arrivals, the stories:
that woman with a burnt leg
and a dead son.
Her panic to make check-out by 10 a.m.
as if that really matters –
he’s been gone a year,
a year today.

Do your best with this.
Clear narrative, empty
the mattress. Await
his boots at your door. Sweep
his body from spurs to stars. Find
a set of bewildered eyes.
He’s a cowboy looking for a ride
that will take him home.

He comes with a posse and guns,
and says he’s afraid.
And you buy it
because you love a man brave enough
to admit that.
He delivers a newborn poem
and you take that, too.
You admire a man who reveals
first steps. He draws
a lightning cartoon
and you pay a slice of heart
to laugh and keep laughing for a week.

And then, on the empty mattress,
he lays his head on your womb.
He considers a smoke.
But your scent and talk of death
draw him deeper and deeper,
galloping towards his past
and the mother
who never wanted to leave.




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