You find yourself in a long dark and wonder how much long dark you can last through when you have such small eyes and your hands can’t see a fucking thing

Then one morning,
you wake next to blond hair,
eyes blue like sky,
and two tiny hands asleep beside you.
See all of you was made for this.
That all of this is yours.
And you lasted after all.

Notes from another apocalypse

Imagine the good fortune of the generation that gets to see the end of the world. This is as marvelous as being there at the beginning….. Jean Baudrillard

Exfoliating beads were turning up in all the major lakes;
islands of plastic, foam and bones
had formed like unwanted new limbs
around the pacific and you could almost see the air.

There was probably a war on somewhere-
there’s always a war.

Seals came ashore catatonic,
shucking their skin like bad dreams.
Polar bears found religion
and lit themselves alight for nature documentaries
as something ancient turned to vapour in Fukushima
and melted into a sea
reaching into dry places
hurling up waves like fuck you middle fingers.

A red flower bloomed across the digital pacific;
another map unfurled across a dead territory.

Fishermen saw signs of the apocalypse
in the keloidal skin of jellyfish that threw themselves
in wet desperation from the water
and some dolphins suicided.

Salarymen offered themselves up like fresh hearts
as holiday plans were made, remade and finally unmade.

We talked of throwing ourselves from cliffs
onto the rocks below but decided against it
on grounds that radical critique
had become self-negating
and we were more or less dead already anyway;
passion was for the young and their starry eyes-
only passionate because they were young
and had starry eyes.

I thought of us that way
-so full of light,
so full of new and fresh flight- and wondered
which gap we’d fallen through on landing
as we sat huddled like good ghosts,
locked away in doomsday bunkers,
curling our slow selves round tiny HD screens,
reading ghosts back into machines,
waiting for Revelation after the one Big Crunch,
waiting for the all the lights to finally go out
at once.

How slow we grow

from those nights we
kissed like lions,
catastrophes of teeth in throats and raking claws,
until one would fall and the other would slink away
bleeding and breathing out red pearls
from an opened throat,
turning in descending circles
having found some quiet shaded place
to lay down in,
licking the ribbons uncoiling from sagging flanks
and waiting for the dark at the edges
to paint its slow self in
to the sepia fading centre.

How slow we grow
into the red and waiting earth.

How have we come back to this

The pacific seems calmer than it is,
its tongue weighted
by the quiet of white guilt,
a knot now in all of our throats.

At my back there is so much earth,
every inch of it stolen
and stained red,
a rock held to the skull
and a wail of grief.

So much dirt
but so it seems,
not enough to share.

Somewhere beyond the horizon
a fishing boat is sinking,
carrying the signifying dead,
the ghosts of law
and whatever dignity we had left.

Dear Kevin,
This year,
we’re none of us

International people, you might have seen in the media recently ,coverage of the fact that we in Australia are currently counting down to an election and of the recent decisions by our standing government to pursue a much more aggressive policy towards deterring asylum seekers from coming to Australia. Essentially, any asylum seekers who arrive in Australia ‘by boat’ will now be moved directly to Papua New Guinea. I consider this one of the most devastating decisions that a government that claims to represent me has ever made.  Here’s a link to an article that explains and critiques the policy much more articulately than I ever could.

school poets yup

Something different today.  Not sure if this is the right medium  but let’s have a go anyway…

For those who don’t know, I’m a teacher at a high school in Brisbane and over the last month or so, Scott Sneddon and I have been working on developing a little crew of performance poets and will be running a school slam at the end of next week. Massive success so far. Really impressive work coming from the kids.

So here’s the next step.

I can see a lot of potential to go beyond just what we are doing at school. We have interschool sport, interschool debating, I wanna make some kind of interschool poetry thing happen.

So here’s the request: if you are reading this and you’re a teacher in Queensland who is interested in doing something similar, or you know someone who is, then I want to have a conversation.

Move you mustangs
spit bridle run
flint shod shoes on hard dark
split light upshot sparks
hard dark

Brisbane New Voices V: Submissions Open

Opportunity comes a knockin’…

Another Lost Shark

The Brisbane New Voices series is something I am incredibly proud of. So far I have had the privilege of working with Jonathan Hadwen, Fiona Privitera, Chris Lynch, John Koenig, Carmen Leigh-Keates, Vanessa Page, Trudie Murrell and Vuong Pham; a stellar line up indeed!

Next year will see the series celebrating it’s 5th anniversary, so to keep things fresh and interesting, a special edition featuring five Brisbane poets will be published and launched in the first half of 2014. Planning for Brisbane New Voices V is underway and two poets have already been selected for publication. I will be announcing the first of these two poets later this week, so be sure to keep an eye on the site. That leaves three places in the final publication, so it is with great excitement that I am, for the first time ever, accepting submissions for Brisbane New Voices.

Here are the Submission Guidelines:


Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Entrants must reside in the…

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