Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More Than I Love You

What’s the most beautiful thing a child has ever said to you?
Question from Jessica Obersby 

I love you more than I love you.
He speaks in tongues, honey & milk.
I breathe his breath, summer sweet,
as I lie down to sing him to sleep.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Is that music?

For Thirzah

It’s late, the guy next door practices bass,
Silence staggers between sounds,

Two, one two, one two.
Hurts so much, human.
And it’s not easy, but you think you’re alone, only
Thirzah and I are listening.

Meat, muscle, memory. Not music, but
Undermusic, the subaquatic strum.
Ssh. I hate it but I love it,
In the dark you are the song of the dark, impure,
Counting out loud, in your head.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How do I defend myself from a territorial cassowary?

Dedicated to Sean M. Elliott

How do I defend myself against anything?
I can protect the body but not the soul, not the soil
of the soul, not its rich cake. Nothing will ever become of us
so you have time to think it over, but still
cassowaries love cassowaries. Something has occurred
in this space, like a cassowary word: too low for the human ear,
the only recorded human death.
A boy who threw a horse's bridle at it,
and took a claw in the neck.  He died of negative blood. 

If you should see a territorial cassowary,
drive your car slowly, back away, keep your dog close,
place something between you and the bird
like your backpack or a hundred a years of history.

Live as you would like to be remembered 
by the cassowary, father of sons.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


He kissed her lips
and she fell asleep for a hundred years
of the fully mouth,
wordless conversation
which is, somehow,
all about him

(After a challenge set by Kathy to write a 'kiss' poem)

Friday, January 13, 2017

On the chances of running into my 21yo self in Brunswick Street: Sevenling

For Jessica Louisa

Then: time was the consistency and colour
of pumpkin soup, nicotine stains, last night's beer bottles.
A night would last a week and summer went forever.

Now: a deck of days – can't be held in one hand –
shuffled, dealt, played, swept up. Ever played 52 pick-up?
52 cards, 52 weeks, pick 'em up.

Science of subjective time travel totally checks out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


 We talk of how the dog, now young,
will slow with age, how age will diminish
his ambition, no longer will he wander
up the wild scent paths.
We say he will learn to stand at thresholds,
bearing those mingled odours:
the perfumes of chaos, rivalry and escape.
He’ll grow out of digging up the neighbours’ gardens,
eating their garbage,
busting their screen doors and breaking into their houses,
bowling over their toddlers,
running with the other dogs in the street.
Time passes for all of us and one day
fox stink is just fox stink,
same as it always was,
but the appetite for it is gone.

We talk of the dog, sit on the deck,
eating crackers with cream cheese, and chips and dip.
The kids get rowdy in the pool. The trees 
are mirrored in the window glass.
The birds sing the evening up out of the river.
Clay, matter, time, stories: 
the smell of the river wafts up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

But the mornings ring clear

When you give it up, give up swimming
In the dry water, the hush goes quiet,
Night comes and the light stays on,
Everyone is having more fun than you