My Subway is Full of Endorphins, Baby

Paulina: What would happen if they sprayed endorphins in subways?

Chatty: My RL tab

Impromptu dance routines are rare,
Out there, in the open air,
But in this sweltering subway
Something makes me wanna DANCE!

Take that woman there, perchance
She might become the saucy wench
That I so dearly wish her to be,
A diva just for me.

That short blond woman, twelve o’clock,
Glasses tipped, petite head cocked,
Looking at me in the reflection—
I like her head’s inflection.

I like the way she’s dropped her case.
I like the way she’s kissing my face.
I like the place her hands are going.
I like the way our eyes meet, knowing.

“Would you like to see where I work?”
There’s a bed there, and I need to Plurk,
“Oh, you play SecondLife too?” I blab.
“I want to make your RL tab!”

Teen Caterpillar

Paulina: What are the daily thoughts of a caterpillar teenager?

Beatnik: groak… it means, to watch people while they’re eating and secretly hope they will invite you to join them.

Butterflies! I roll my eyes!
So ungrounded, they dare advise!
Wafty sermons they totally deal.

Like they know the pain I go through,
Far away watching her every chew
That leaf I glimpse on a neighbouring tree.
Only Robert Smith truly understands me.

When you want to swap leaves for a chick it’s called “groaking,”
My mates say “bros before hos,” provoking.
They know I’m about to give up
Make like a fly and butter me up.

Pocket Lint

Paulina: Where is the entrance to surreality?

Ariel: pocket lint

Lucas flicked his pocket lint
To the breeze, ran to the trees.
The lint did drift upon the field
Past children—tufts of grass—
It wheeled, and eddied higher
Until a moment rendered it

At last, unseen, the entrance lies
Out in the skies, past weather vanes,
Past clouds and rains,
Past all the pains it once had been.

No more Viking gods to be,
No soon dead princes
No muddy reeds, drifting in a Ganges funk,
No snowflakes caught in alpine seas.

This piece of lint had been all these
And weary now of being needed,
Freed itself of cosmic fetters,
Left us, for a place that’s better
Left to your imagining.

Twenty-Something (In Human Years)

Paulina: What is an anteater’s fast food?

Ariel: battery

At twenty-something (in human years), I
Can no longer eat five thousand ants
Without a commensurate amount a time,
Jogging in anteater sweat pants.

“Oh don’t worry,” they say, “You’ll find you are
Hugely passionate for it one day!
It releases endorphins that are at least on par
With a honeypot soufflé.”

“It recharges your battery, removes all your fears,
Makes the girl anteaters’ hearts pang!
Adds years to your life,” Yeah. Human years.
So I have to multiply that by twenty-six and divide by eighty. Dang.


Remember meeting?
I can’t recall how it felt
The seasons of us


Word: Eggshells

Question: What is the meaning of life?

“The plates need scrubbing,” said my mother.
“You can’t see the germs so you have to keep rubbing.”
I ironed my clothes every night.
She told me to do it or get out of her sight.
I vacuumed my room every single day,
Sometimes twice if she had her way.
My teeth are a testament to her good sense;
They impress my neighbour, chatting over the fence.
I spent most of my life a ne’er-do-well,
Trying not to step on mother’s eggshells.

Yet I was inside a box in my head—
A perfect sanitary cube—
It took me an age to grow tall and see
That I didn’t have to clean things that were clean, or make poems rhyme if I didn’t bloody well feel like it.


Owly’s word: Transubstantiation

Marian’s question: Why does she always scamper away?

My Roman Catholic hamster is never very far but
It’s never very clear,
Why she scampers when I near.

I hold out her food. I call her sweet name.
“Whiskers, look! I got you nice,
The Body and the Blood of Christ!”

Yesterday I figured out why she fusses.
The food for her I’d refrigerated
She prefers pretransubstantiated.

Vorpal Blade

Word: Vorpal Blade

Question: What makes you happy?

Daggers make me giggle,
And staves make me colour.
Polearms are a tickle,
And axes, if they’re duller.

Swords are not as sharp,
As my rogueish wit.
Even if I harp,
On about dice a bit.

Arrows make me smirk,
As long as I evade,
Your precious 1d8 + 1 dirk?
Holds nothing to my Vorpal Blade.


Where Does the Green Wind Blow?

June’s question: Where does the green wind blow?

Marian’s word: Bridge

Under bridge and overpass,
Icy playgrounds after dark,
Rusty shacks in forgotten lands,
Cars in ditches by desert sands,
Surf blasted coves near holiday homes,
Glimpsed from bright roads when alone,
The branches of figs, muscle bound and wet,
Wrestling and struggling dark silhouettes.

Seven Hundred Cigarettes

Petulia’s word: escape

Marian: Where did yxou leave that plume of Fluoro hair?

Jitters and spins about,
The search light sets a frenetic pace.
Yxou sweeps his hair from his face.

Seven hundred cigarettes,
He brushes his hand through a shock of red
Brandished menacingly on his head.

Red strands clump down on ceramic.
The tinny buzz is drowned by the sound:
Men’s boots, dogs barking all around.

Pause to check the job is done
In flashes of light from under the door.
WOAH WOAH. Ferocious sounds outside
The room with the fluoro hair strewn floor.

What is Inside Your Head?

Petulia: curl

Ginger Jorgental: What is inside your head?

The snow curls to the ground and holds your gaze,
Your eyes, alive and white,
Reflected in the window, by the fire,
On these wint’ry nights.

I’ll never ask you to explain,
I hope I never find,
Please never tell me, never lessen with words,
Your quiet heart and mind.

Under Your Feet

Vel Alchemi: What’s that under your foot?

Writers’ Meet word: Mirror

Last night I chanced
Upon the dance
Of my tiny shining soul.
She stood in front of the mirror
While she thought nobody saw.

I didn’t watch her determined jaw,
I certainly didn’t see
Her bottom shake, her elbows jut,
Nor the nervous steps of her feet.

I entered the room, diverting my gaze,
To collect my phone.
Sometimes a father’s pride is not sought
But it’s always there, you know.


Larisa’s question: Write a poem about leaving your eyes on the fence to dry [eh?] (I had to make it a question, you lazy arse Canuck.)

Larisa’s word: Pysanky

The cake went sour
Since I looked at your feet;
The Pysanky rolled there.
I didn’t lift my gaze to meet

You’d see my eyes were not dry.

I vowed I wouldn’t look again
Until I’d packed away the things I feel.
So that you would like me again;
So again you would want me, to be

It’s been a week.

Waiting for my eyes to dry,
I left them on the fence.
My rejection of this curdling cream,
Marking out the days since

I’m tired of staring at pickets. It’s time
I asked you to be mine.

The Jacket Packet Accident

Vel Alchemi’s question: Are you still having costume problems?

Writer’s Meet Word: Jaunt

I didn’t mean to flaunt it
On our jaunt. It’s just that
Sometimes jacket packets
Bought in stores contain some more
Than just the jacket.

See, jackets go over pants
And if nice designers chance
To put jacket tails on some pants
In their packet with the jacket
Then an unsuspecting beau,
As pure as the driven snow,
Could unwittingly unpack it—
Now a folder with a jacket—
And to his outfit, add it.


Now he’s in a jam because he
Used his underpants slot for leg hair
And with his pants no longer there,
Just some jacket tails aren’t enough
To cover all his stuff.

And cold air can be rough.


Petulia’s word: vacant

Bayard’s question: Have you ever been pork sworded?

Down the sweaty hotel walls—your face—
Beads of perspiration trace.
I can see in the mirror—your eyes—
My heaving thighs.
I moan—disguise.

You fuck me like you’re bored—a chore.
Do you even want me anymore?
We are both politely faking—vacant.
Too lazy to leave.
You’re done—reprieve.

What Was Made at 40 Ks

The instant I looked at you, the rush!
My next crush, you telegraphed
Your laugh right past my guard.
I didn’t stand a chance – was lanced,
Upon my train seat by romance.

You saw my trance in fluorescent light
A thousand mem’ries yet to prove
Flickered through my inner sight.
My fingers on my keyboard halted,
Mind assaulted by your smile.

Yeah… it’s been a while,
Since I saw a hurt like mine
Broken by a facial line.

Your stoicism on the floor
Rolled around like an empty can
Nobody was going to claim.
Who could blame? What was made
In that moment at 40 Ks
Was something better, something more,
Something we’d both been waiting for.

Nothing People

Nothing people fill up trains.
When it rains they all complain.
Too cold? Turn up the heat! Too hot?
Fan yourself in your sweaty seat.
Chew your gum and play with gadgets,
You overprivileged wastes of space,
You abysmally stupid middle men,
You perfect examples of the human race.

I, the worst offender,
That’s the certain rub of it.
That’s the biting truth I can’t ignore it anymore,
It’s taken me by force. My heart cannot divorce nor tolerate
This much remorse; there’s no recourse.

I’m a total slacker, pork roll packer,
Trotters stained by the filthy trough,
Of economic slavery. Lord, save me
A grande serve of bacon rolls.
My piggy paunch dressed to the nines,
Drop me off at ancient atolls strung with lights.
It is, you know,
My God forsaken Australian right.


I drove today
amongst the tank-family cars,
grinding their metal on metal dreams
of a defensible position.

To Be Complete

I knew a man spent too many nights
Quiet quiet, wishing for a lover
He didn’t know quite what that meant,
Staring at his own lament.
He’s a picture of roaring fire.
He’s a picture of cold desire.

I knew a man wasted too many days
Staring at skies and picking at petals.
Poor man didn’t know what it meant,
Staring at cement.
He’s a picture of flower beds.
He’s a picture of empty heads.

I knew a man spent too many hours
Curled up pale, ringed and bent.
He was sick, his friends could see.
Nobody else can set you free.
He’s a picture of roaring tides.
He’s a picture of empty insides.

I knew a man who went separate ways.
Looking for the corner prize.
Didn’t realise when he parted,
He’d left it where he started.
He’s a picture of lonesome nights.
He’s a picture of cold daylight.

I knew a man just a moment ago,
Arms full of old things he hugs to his breast;
Rusty old dusty old worthless things—
Photographs and wedding rings.
He’s a picture of a weak heartbeat.
He’s an old picture, framed and complete.

Where Are Your Storage Items Kept?

Writer’s Meet word of the night: Scrutiny

Ginger Jorgental’s question: Where are your storage items kept?

My undies and socks are in compartmentalised stores,
Situated in drawers, from ceiling to floor.
Under the stairs there’re seventeen more.
My craft cupboard spans an entire wall.
Each bobbin, each pin, a space for them all.

If you care to apply some scrutiny
To my collection of records in the attic you’ll see
I sorted them chromatically.
My winter clothes are in vacuum packs,
My ties and my shoes? Their own special racks!

I’ve a special drawer for my cutlery;
It has separate compartments numbering three.
A tool box, a hat stand, a cupboard, pantry,
A seat box, a toy box, one for costuming,
My passion for storage is all consuming!