Early Settlement in Australia

What the world needs now (have a rant) Harry and Nicola

I wouldn’t say no, to a hearth and a home But pending a pay rise and then some, I may be content In this tenement Squeezed for two thirds my income

I could use, a break to relax But having just done my income tax, I may choose to unwind By crying at work In the cupboard next to the thumb tacks

At the Opera House (which I think is grouse) I get lost in a reverie But our leader says That pride can cool it That it’s not even Fresh in our memory

Cathy Cathy, to my window come Your Heathcliff waits for you But if perchance You don’t exist A substitute will do

There Is No Reason for Loving

Printed on the back of my notebook in a jaunty colour

Thank tra-la-la Thank sticker fun! Thank kids ‘R’ cool Thank Insta lyfe

Thank price tags thank teens thank youth thank bliss Thank the infinite monkeys that came up with this

Move On

After a walk in nature

Join the escalator rush Human smells, a fluoro crush Trolleys filled with plastic shit Get shitted out near the car park lift

Kids beg ice cream, beg play dates One parent capitulates Move on people, move along Moving on, I move right on

Giant hair and teeth stare down at me, man, colossal, risks collapse

Back lit slender hips and skin, bikini clad wall, shivering

Gold rings gold things, pinstripe man, gold tooth grin, golden hand

Donuts donuts donuts, jam, beef and chicken, cheese and ham

Moving on, I move along Moving’s good I move

Slip round a bend Exhale Respite From SALE SALE SALE

What looks like books A refuge, I take it I wander isles of ink on crisp paper Pencils, pens and tiny staplers Breathe normally The stale stationery air I decide I’ll stay Resolutely there

Any Day

I appear to be in a kitchen, lying on the floor. Down in the world of kitchen cabinet doors, stains running, Large white tiles.

faintly damp?

Faint fridge humming, can’t quite hear a gurgling slug, recently salted, slowly growing, bubbling.

Amongst dust Detritus Little husks Bits of corn A human hair Pencil shavings Eraser rubbings Drippings Sinkings Fridge grime Rot A coin Faintly winking

Fifty cents?

Fifty cents. I make a curious sound.

I place my forehead on the cold tiles and ponder it. Fifty cents.

Fifty cents.

My diaphram spasms.

Fifty cents. Payment due? Fifty cents. Coincidence or? Fifty cents. Extraordinary. Fifty cents. Not my level reach of blue. Fifty cents. Left for me. Fifty cents. But by who? Fifty cents. Makes no sense. Fifty cents no fucking sense.

My stomach tightens, air rushes tears fly I curl into a foetus I roll on the floor I clutch my painful laughing sides, can’t breathe, gasp quick gasp fuck what




to me?

        something new?


That’s how it happened to me, When I knew I’d be okay. That happened to me, so I know, heart, For you it might be any day.


I recall a time long ago Sunkissed sands and holidays When we played and napped and smiled

Long time ago

Before we grew up and weren’t allowed to anymore No time No cash Before the marriage and the job and the work-a-day week and the phone calls and the bills and the everything

Before winters, like cold stones, piled up

    I think you left your car keys on the table in the hall.     Anyway.

I think we were happy once


1988 Harry and Nicola

Looking down Clapped out school shoes caked in dirt Standing on hot clay The soles of my sweaty feet burn The sun is everywhere It bakes the earth under my shoes It bakes the earth coating my shoes It bakes my ankles, my legs, my arms, my neck, my brain I am standing in an oven I am clay

It's OK

struggle to inhale, can’t take a full breath, can’t stretch, just shallow breaths don’t fix the craving, can’t yawn, that reflex, can’t satisfy, but I force it, can’t quell the panic

body shouts


i reply

    it’s OK

just keep gasping, you’ll survive


Ritual Harry and Nicola

Tackle bears! Deliver! Impress! Go team We’ll scream! Dream big and gamble! Win! We’ll laugh We’ll spend our evenings Boozing and wheezing ’Round the city and stealing Time from the clock We’ll go out on yachts Drive fast cars Eat the stars Flip bills at fast women in bars

Shut up, I think Take your morning dump In some other heap This company’s carpet tiles Are miles from your Bikini-clad shores No-one believes you, you twat No-one wants that What’s your damage? Take your ritual and shove it Find some other tortured habitual


Pick two vowels and use them prominently Harry and Nicola

cruel fisted father used us up then twisted ’til my sister cried. not missed, you are not missed.


Pick two vowels and use them prominently Harry and Nicola

ache me, like you do take, what you do make, what you do from me, your clay make me, that way you do


Road Harry and Nicola

I park the car. A row of windshields Reflect the neon stop lights. I stand and my legs creak and stretch My head above the row of salt stained car roofs. I’m met by a breeze carrying Salt, sand, pollen, clay. We are near a highway and near the ocean. The last light fades above a row of dark houses. One stopover before returning to our lives.

This little patch of carpark, growing dim Is just like the one I sulked in as a child, Waiting for adults while they shopped, As children do. So many moments to absorb. Car parks. Highways. Salt, sand, pollen, clay. Wind blasted holiday motels with names like Pacific Oasis. Birds mourning the day with their last plaintive cries.

My country is highway, A stretch of beaches, A stopover. The land of my dreams Stinks like the back of a fish shop.

Your Quieted Koel

You found me once Cooing like a koel

You gave me Would you like a cup of teas And Thought of you todays

You gave me Do you want to come overs And Chin up smiles

You gave me Bark and red seeds And Waking up the neighbours

You gave me Somebody worth loving dearly And To give my time and trouble

I’m so happy now No coo Rises from me mornings No plaintive cry escapes me

I’ve exactly what I want Dearest Thank you thank you You knew just what to give

Your quieted koel


Tuesday roll out of bed and run Haul jackets on And fucking run Hit the side of the bus Climb in Face plant the isle Head butt the window Hurdle unconscious enamelled Speed up bus train turnstile get there Plow keyboards madly Little plastic letters Shit it to production Slam it The clock says run Fucking better A blur beside me shouts HEY A mess of blond hair shouts HEY Lips and legs she grabs me HEY I LIKE YOU Painful yank and the weight of her drags I drag her behind HEY SLOW DOWN I jab at my watch HEY LOOK I toss my head and look daggers

Her hand is outstretched Thumb and index finger, touching Between them, a red seed I stare at it

I stand with rasping breath

Her hand is outstretched Thumb and index finger, touching Between them, a red seed I stare

She grins at me


My door creaks When you go away It moans as you leave It closes on laughter and light

My eyes close When you go away They helplessly hold The arch of your eyebrow and your reposed form

Your face fades When you go away It disintegrates Into the midnight expanse of my inner eye

My lips smile When you go away Each time on that clear cold sky I find a new star you left behind just for me

The Sweet Breaking

Ticking clocks Pensive stares Soft furnishings Stale airs Kind dead eyes Enquiring flatly, How would you define love exactly?

Latin roots Desire and care (He strokes his whitening beard and stares) Proto-Indo-European Germanic high and old affection

He wrinkles his grey etymology, Assails my senses with dusty tweed And bookish curiosity

Well fuck, I say nervously Quite a lot of things let’s see

Far away right now I can see A girl’s fingers busy fumbling and numbing With a boy’s belt buckle Their hearts are drumming Simpatico lust curated by longing Lust is love, or love is something

Elsewhere presently I see A drunken shape slowly stumbling Down a midnight garden path To a lonely light bulb out the back And a note bearing a biro heart In love, stationary plays a part

Somewhere out there I envision A couple in a sunbeam fools For an hour In a tower of pillows Doing nothing much But killing a deadline And repelling an invading to do list Although nobody expressly said it Love is procrastination, a bit

Oh, now my mind is resplendent With a child’s delight Jumping and jiving in bedtime twilight Waving sparklers and coloured lights Objects the extemporaneous girl might receive From some fatherly figure in on the ploy To elicit in her this bursting-with-joy Love is his face weathered and kind Love is her dazzling, smazzling smile

You asked me to define what I meant by love And I had a faltering go But fellow, old man, dear therapist, There are more definitions than you or I know

The Araboolies of Empathy Street

Does the General of Liberty Street have PTSD? Did you think of that, Araboolies? With your kitschy junk and your animal funk You’re disturbing the General’s sleep!

Sure he’s a mean old guy And the kids on the street have to hide But you drove him out of his very own house Not a chance of a compromise!

I don’t believe in baddies, do you? Just folks who are singing the blues So next time you encounter a face that is sour, Stop and think about what he’s gone through.

I'll Make Dinner When I've Finished Editing Your Smack Down Honey

You take verbage for granite It’s from a whole nother planet Let my pronounciation orientate Let it perculate your state Let my rhymes sooth ya Do a Heineken remover Your ordinance is ostensively miniture I’m gonna take ostraya nucular You went to the libary supposably? Your lyrics prespire, depose of them please Your point is mute the parlament voted To be pacific what you got’s a tradgedy Your granma and speling expecially With my volumptuous rhyme This triathlon bitch I wan it

The Creative Thief

Rounding out the curve of a hip It takes over it wins for an hour It steals from you until you come back to waking This taking I’m scared of it slipping and making Me old like my mum charcoal and paper Clutched in a spotty hand shaking

Tannins Tungs Acrylics

Tannins tungs acrylics and sponges Big wool rugs and coffee from plungers Beans slow cooked in a swamp of sauce Haloumi grilling, jasmine on the porch


Gee three, kerpow, my friends never call me Forgot their birthdays, took it personally Kay four, kerblewy, I don’t eat anymore Reg-u-lar-lee, like my gee pee told me Kay two, slammo, I wake up impromtu And perform an act while I lie on my back In the dark being sunk by lucky attacks My rag tag fleet’s now a lonely blip Oh go on life Sink my battleship