Lightning in your eyes

I remember running through the paddocks in a thunderstorm,
My four pairs of socks and gumboots,
Your rough coat of black fur shining in the rain;
Artillery blasting holes through the stratosphere.
We ran and ran and ran and I’ve never felt so free.
Crash-tackling into the grass,
Wet paws and wetter arse.
You nuzzling into my side,
Both staring way up at the dancers in the sky
Thrashing and tumbling, you and I
Were monochromed matadors courting the lights
– Those great rods of thunder bursting through the veil –
And feeling petty and frail but happy as all hell
As you breathed fire to my frozen neck
And propelled us forward with that skipping tail.

Blasting through the hail.
Bonnie my love, though you can now barely move,
I see the lightning in your eyes
And I dream of us there still
Me 14, you just a pup,
Running up that hill.

And I hope you know when I hold your paw
For the final time
That, though my gum of memory
Is now missing teeth,
I will always be there with you running
Through the paddocks,
Just two joyous silhouettes stained against
Those short-lived skies.

[Do you remember when you slayed the red-belly
And I nursed your stuttering chest through recovery?
My lancelot, my knight in dark shining fur,
Sleep well my strong-headed baby
I’m sorry that I wasn’t there.]

break/through

The clouds smile wide
The skinks sun their backs
The garden weeds rise
The dog curls on my lap
And I think I’m happy, even
Though it’s all gone in a flash.

Revolving home a thoroughfare
For sometime ago friends
Barely scratched tickets
Potential for riches
But I can’t make out the digits
Vague penumbral entities

This is no place to find a family
To penetrate the atriums
Of carefully-potted planetary systems
The orbits always misalign
And I’m Halley’s once again
Trailing through the inky brine.

I Wish To Rise Like The Rain

Our bodies dancing along the orange jasmine leaves
In the soft spring showers.
Molecular attraction plus surface tension
Beads our hearts together
In some new splendid invention.

This love weighs a little more than a feather
– Anubis sees right through us –
The heavier our mass the further it slides us
Down the valleyed tongue and into unforever.

Empty, vacuous and covetous creatures
We cling onto each other as we fall the three meters,
Hit the bricks, blur our boundaries until we’ve lost all dimension –
Just some general wetness.
A shimmer the sun’s morning rays eat for breakfast.

Suspends us into the thinnest of vapours.
Abducts us with tractor beams and electromagnetic lasers
Into great big clouds, bloated with boom-and-bust schemes
Though our trickle down would be no neoliberal dream.

Some may see us as Sisyphus but
I’d see us clearest as
Pleasantly swaying in Samsara.
There’d be no-one to separate us from our labour when
We’d live for the falling, surrender our spirits
And hold fast to our neighbour.

Crumbs

You held me
Out digging for fireweed
Buckteeth blooming with buckwheat
Pastoral fiction

Ranch dressing, flannel heading
Blue jeans giddying up
Belt straining

Your knees were dirty
You told me you’d been praying

Feeding licorice to horses
Mixed with medicine

Remember me when I was him
Or when the sea salt stained my chin

Vol-au-vents stuffed to the brim
With tuna and all the breadcrumbs that
Blew away with the wind.

Plucked

I love you but could these wings fly?
Freshly plucked, flesh dry and petrified
The sky is burnt marshmallow
And the southerly blows hard against the swallows

Fighting stance looks oddly
Like a mating dance

Less than whole
Wholy empty
Arms are limp
Shoulders plenty

Priceless pain
Strategic folds of brain
Origami avoidance
I crane my neck to dodge
The oncoming thesauraus

Trauma euphemisms
Build distance from hyperventalism
Avoiding romantic vandalism
Light a candle for love handles
Gripped too tight.

Now Only

I dread the animals that are close to me

My soul longs for anonymity

All my turrets are slurry on the shore

Handles rattle on deadlocked doors

Core hard with membrane jellied

Scales black with my beet red belly

My hedgehog depends on the sad song

You’re bleating —

What went wrong when quills thronged the bed

You were seeding.

To the swine we pour our pearls and red wine

Cast our sins off the cliffs and turn our soul to the divine

The brine grows, the monkey crows,

What loves goes and we dodge

Time’s blows that mean to kill us,

Close our eyes and bite down on the lime in hopes it fills us.

Hindsight brings light on the inevitable catastrophe

But I prefer the illusion of autonomy

So now only.

Blunted

Taking refuge in unfilled potential.
A farewell to arms and stencils,
We free-hand with blunted pencils
Our crude etchings of the inconsequential.

I try to follow the scattered crumbs
Of a prior ideation, the Wunderkind
I was never to become – the youth sensation.

Most books are left un-creased,
The others in-one-ear and out-on-the-street-
Curb your expectations for you won’t be
So enthused when you’re breaking up the pavement.

Pray that your rubble may be gravel
For some hardened enamel to travel upon.

Gather your pawns and set them forth
To clear the way
For the Artists, Architects, Administrative Officers
And all the other capitalized A’s.

We mightn’t be sharp but we lay ourselves down
Like a paint-stained tarp and
You may take of my atoms and
Stitch them up with your stars.

Formlessly Collapsing

Socks up on the headrest,
Bare chests
Shining the moonlight;
Breathless.

Windows fogged, Winter’s clogs
Tapping.
An enging in the distance
Forcing a hasty
Rewrapping.

I wore your pants
Backwards, my shirt formlessly
Collapsing
Over your small breasts.

Your eyes gently batting at this
New wakefulness,
This wilful entanglement.
Realising, you offered to take it off.
I told you to keep it.

Autumn Aches

Oh mother God,
I long for that bosom;
For your long hair that once tickled
My chubby cheeks, spilling
Over me as I fed.

I have found many avatars
And their candles flicker and fade,
Falling in sequence
From up along the palisades.

Autumn is on the verge with
Winter in the wings,
Shoulder-blades scarred from
My hot glue wonderings.

Frost keeps my eyelashes
Sewn and tethered in their place.
I flip the coin a million times
But never see your face.

What are the odds that you
And I would find ourselves
So utterly divorced?
But you were baptised in the rapids
And you knew this river’s course.

Oh Mother, Lover, Sister,
Dearest friend.
I’m smothered, covered, twisted
And I miss the peace you’d bring.

Buckshot

I still have footage of a bucks party for a marriage that has long-since fallen apart. I was supposed to edit it into a coherent video for the friends and family to gawk at. It was a bright sunny day. The blind-folded, machete-wielding fruit ninja; the henna tattoos, leaving messages for the bride; running through a hedge maze nude, chased by men with ping pong paddles; charging at bulls through the paddocks, running for your life as they pursued you back; shocking your genitals on an electric fence; wearing an adult diaper and sprinting through town praying that as few people who knew you as possible were lining the streets; and getting prank-arrested by some too-eager-to-assist officers in the evening. I must admit, it would’ve been a fun video. One for the ages.

But we’re no longer brothers and my duty as memory-keeper has fallen out of recollection from all parties, I can imagine. All parties except for me. I’m worried that if I press play on one of these juvenile clips I’ll start crying, let alone assemble it into a collected form. It is fragments, collected on my hard-drive alone, of a day that no longer seems to exist. The day of preparation. It’s purpose is moot. Preparing for what? The fruits are long-rotted, the branches all tinder, so what use is one scattered root?

If my hard-drive were to fail – a not insignificant concern as my ancient laptop’s wheezing has grown more and more asthmatic – then it seems this event would be wiped from the face of the earth. Maybe one of your mates would remember a moment to himself one day but who would he mention it to? What purpose does the day hold other than a reminder of what is gone? What more is it for me than a duty I couldn’t fulfil? A job I couldn’t be bothered to complete until the very crust of the planet on which that memory inhabited had crumbled to dust.