Street Secretary

The poet sits

On a maize sack

Of his only things


He eyes the world

He listens


to the chorus

of unmarked human deeds


A symphony of dirty tricks

And hopeless daily chores

Noted methodically







On second-hand paper

With a crumbling pencil dream

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Black mirrors pool in the street
shaped by the hollows of concrete
I see the space inverted in realm, where
white light flashes and blue flickers from screens

Through the windows of upstairs
snatches of life float about
The pixels of a larger collage
forever parted by time and space.

I gaze the world into focus,
frame it with the apertures of eyes
It develops with neurons
archived in a shifting memory

Beyond the camera of my head
I feel and taste the colours
And know that unlike the image
this vision will never die young.

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Flight of Fancy

Goodnight, sweet flight of fancy,

the dawn is here


Long may the song of our love dancing

Echo on the ear


For where the careful heart finds rest

In arms so handsome,


Long may the flight of fancy linger there




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A booze bus left me stoned in town again

The flotsome fuck of city’s jettison fame

Loping, deranged, in lonely bliss regained

(An acid-eyed travellor on the run from shame)


Far out to sea a solitary light begins to gleam

And I enslaved to moon upon its pain

Do chance to dream it Daisey’s harbour beam

– that capitalist fuckwit’s unrequited claim.


A rage so pure and putrid fills my nose

And I, engulfed, cry “Dreamer, you are tamed!”

Look here on love’s dejected, cast-off rose

And in these eyes a soul so grossly maimed.


I left the cradle bold and full of hope

And here am I rejected, lost, alone.





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Where have you gone?

The years between come round and round

Our old haunts grown lush and green

or paved for someone else’s dream.


The stain of paint it lingers on

in places built against our will.

Grief flows past in swaths of silk,

a haunting, yes, but also a glimpse


of how relations linger still

beyond the pale of this drear world.

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Deep Blue

The room was tidal, salty

seaweedy flow suspending us


so preciously


Billowing kelp hair on pillow

The slither of tame sharks


In the half light

Of shallow sheets

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The Open Palm (or live like this)

Live like this

Palms open, fingers extended

Cupping the coming experiences


Catch them

the beautiful, the ugly

The tragic, the sublime


with your heart like this:

Wide open and vulnerable

Catch the dew and the hailstorm


The stars and dark voids of despair

Do not shy away

Do not retract your fingers


Live with your heart like this

It is far braver

Then facing the world with fists.


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Conjugation Patterns

(To be, to have been and will be.)


I don’t know why I love

Your voice

too brash,
With your unpolished opinions
Like sand in the bed sheets.


I don’t know why I loved
You occupying spaces

so brazenly.
I had to diminish
like a superficial damage.


I don’t know why I love

You, your abandon

So reckless

And the way you sleep clutching
The apron strings of my heart.





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A Meeting Imagined

I only write love stories. The complexity is too delicious: the truth and the lie, the novelty followed by the mundane, the idea and the reality. I fell in love with a man who had such a beautiful idea of himself. I loved the idea and the man that fell short of it. I used to write him poems on his fridge. The disappointments only added to the gap between him and the illusion such that I thought I had found a secret worth keeping. But it was only a secret he hoped to reject.

I love the way that our ideas fall short of their reality. It is something in the striving, in the dreaming of them that is so beautiful and sad and poignant and pure and true and real and unravelling.

To hold contradiction: that is the challenge of my age.

And so it is that I meet you at a coffee shop in the early hours of a Friday morning, after a week of work – of trying to work – of emotional setback and some victories. It is a sunny autumn morning. There have been birds in the early hours, happy sounding, and the sound of the ocean as an echo of the summer.

We talk of practical things, safe things. I long to tell you that I still love you, that you will always drive me to passionate distraction but that I still love you for that. That I will bear our children, build our house together and argue until the day yawns again – but all the while I will love you in the arguing and in the making up and in the children and the dreaming and the building and the breaking down.

But instead we talk of practical things like jobs and cars and weather and friends and food. I smile at your seriousness for these practical things and think of all the other things. And I miss you – even though you are right here, in front of me, ordering your coffee and eating your eggs because it is early morning and there is a day of activity ahead of us: each in our own separate ways. Perhaps I wonder why I wanted to meet with you, but it is a fleeting thought. I know that I wanted to brush up against the future I had imagined and affirm the present that we have chosen instead.

The coffee is good and the eggs are fortifying. You seem well, in your way and I cannot imagine my skin against yours, my breath in your ear my world in your world because we have been so rent apart and our orbits are so distinct now: as we are from one another. But the memory of before our parting still lingers, like a secret that we do not wish to keep. And yet, in its way, it is that secret that keeps us together.

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Fagan Inspection

When you held me
(with childlike intensity)
strong arms folded
where white doves were released

Our laughter beyond the firewall
shaped dreams
(easter eggs for safekeeping)
in caravan parks
by the sea

Naïve in my outlook
I watch you erasing
(Not the love letter expected)
those daemons of living
– your feelings

Still I haunt you
with memory leaks
(as all true love ought to)
From ignorant surgery
a bitter tinnitus

Notes to Mum:
Fagan Inspection – a structured process of finding defects in development documents such as programming code, specifications, designs and other phases of software development processes. Named after Michael Fagan who is credited with inventing formal software inspections.
Firewall – These are used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.
Easter eggs – A gaming term referring to intentional inside jokes or hidden messages within an interactive interface such as a computer program, video game or DVD menu screen. The name evokes the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.
Love letter –was a computer worm that attacked tens of millions of personal computers in May 2000. It originated in the Philippines as an attachment in an email with the subject heading ‘ILOVEYOU.’ Upon opening the attachment, the worm damaged the local machine by overwriting image files and sent a copy of itself to all addresses used by Microsoft Outlook. It’s damage was more extensive then the Melissa virus which only sent copies to the first 50 contacts.
daemons – In multitasking computer operating systems, a daemon is a computer program that runs as a background process, rather then being under the direct control of an interactive user. The term was coined by MIT programmers. They took the name from Maxwell’s demon, an imaginary being from a thought experiment that constantly works in the background, sorting molecules. Maxwell’s demon is consistent with Greek mythology’s interpretation of a daemon as a supernatural being working in the background, with no particular bias towards good or evil.
Memory leaks – In computer science, a memory leak is a type of resource leak that occurs when a program does not release memory that is no longer needed, thus slowing down the operating system. In object-orientated programming, a memory leak occurs when an object is stored in memory but cannot be accessed by the running code. Because they exhaust available system memory as an application runs, memory leaks are often the cause of software aging.
ignorant surgery – D.L. Parnas of Drexel University considers ‘ignorant surgery’ as one of two key reasons for software aging. He describes it as changes made to software by people who do not understand the original software structure. As a result, the software structure degrades. After many changes, there reaches a point where no one can understand the software. Characteristics of ignorant surgery include reduced performance and decreasing software reliability.

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