How I Got To Memphis






When you do something repetitively you lose the hunger.
And today feels like yesterday.

Last week.

Last year.

This whole thing.

I’m tired,
and I ain’t hungry no more.

















I was at Malabar and thought I saw a snake; an eel in the water. Turns out it was a bird, one of those long-necked sheilas that goes fishing. Anyway, she took a dive and I tried to track her direction and speed to see where she’d come up out of the water and I reckoned she was going to smack into the wall of the ocean pool. Smarter than me, she came up early with a fish, but it was flapping around a bit and she dropped it and me, watching intently as I was, exclaimed rather loudly “OH!” and looked up and around for conformation but it was just me and a Chinese fisherman standing on the rocks and he looked at me and he shook his head and he turned his attention back to his own fish.









I often think of sunsets;
Over mountains ranges,
And outrageous deserts,
Way out west.
Past my friends Bluey, Gairdner and Fraser.
Past the triplets Fowler Smokey and Streaky.
Over to Bluff and on to Meelup.
Where the sand goes north and south for miles,
And is stopped by no stone or cliff or bay,
Where the sun sets proper over the Indian.
































Fridays start with instant noodles, coffee and nicotine,

with good intentions and lists.

With multiple trips up and down the stairs,

because you forgot.

You always forget.


Breakfast and showers and teeth and washing all done,

You stare at not one but two screens.

At sporting equipment.

At sporting equipment on a rainy day you can’t even walk through,

Let alone cycle


Five hours and two screens later

your brain is screaming for understimulation,

from a desire to feel anything but what you’re feeling,

for an excuse to keep your head out of the wall.

And your belly from becoming the mixing bowl for red wine…

… And antipsychotics


On Friday the rain buckets.

On your leather shoes.

On your leather jacket.

On your waterproof life.


On Friday the metro is jammed up.

On Friday you can’t find a park.

You just wanted some chips,

just a bag of fucking chips.


Travelling north you notice the traffic grind.

It takes fifteen minutes and a dozen light changes

to crawl one hundred meters over the avenue.

You notice everyone going back to busy,

too busy to notice life is getting worse.


A second attempt at chips is a little more successful,

The second set of shops is rammed

and middle age men in their sex-red cars

go the wrong way down a one-way road

and aggressively avoid your stare.


Too much Friday spent  waiting.

Waiting at the traffic lights,

waiting to turn right,

waiting for an able bodied teenager

to walk impossibly slow over a zebra crossing.

Waiting for Kentucky fried chicken.


Finally you’re at the place you didn’t plan to be.

Here you can dip your now cold chips into less cold potato and gravy,

you can twist the bones in your wings and turn them into nuggets.

You can wink at the persons in the car next to you as you greasily, greedily devour your zinger burger.

As you watch the Pacific roll in.


Then on Friday I return,

and just as soon I try my best to keep an impression of the ocean behind my eyelids, so that I may come back to it someday.

Through my window I gleefully admire an older woman in activewear spark a durrie

and another woman fifty paces away but only one from the cliff edge,

I wonder about asking if she’s going to jump,

and if so would she like company?

And I fall asleep and wake up again and again.


I wake up with a question and mutter into my phone

“Definition of soliloquy”

Because there’s no way I could spell it.

And I fall asleep.

I am woken once again by obnoxious blonde grommets,

I wonder with their blandsome looks their polished faces, their foul mouths and their fouler confidence,

I wonder would they one day come to terrorize an adolescent me?


Friday closes in and you can’t make out the waves.

The lights in the car park sting your eyes,

and you stare past the rocks to the ocean…


…A couple walk into the middle distance,


lock eyes, then mouths,

and for some reason you avert your own eyes,

so as not to interrupt their moment

As they interrupted yours.


















Up to the eyeballs
Drowning in luck
Blood in the water
Blood on the stump

Pulling the carpet
Drinking in vain
Prescribed all the nightmares
A spot on the brain

Lust in the liquor
Too sad to fuck
A dickless wonder
A fuckless drunk.



















January 1st, 2020


At the top of Mount Ainslie
you used to look over
our temple of shitty wars
and further still
the big house
where the little children bicker.
I’m heading down there to see a child too.
She ain’t old enough
to be that stupid.


The tank is running out
The servo is full of ____s
Pale and flushed
red and sweaty
Amok Gao we used to call them

They’re full of gas
full of sausage rolls
full of chocolate flavored cartons of diabetes
full of hot air
and the air is hot!

Me, full of piss and shit and shame
as I jump in the ute
dirt bike in the back
and punch it toward the flames
burning gas
burning bush
what’s the difference

The grey snow blows sideways
collects on the windscreen
Wipers and jets turn it to a mud;
a charcoal paste
can’t see for the smoke
can’t see for the ash
can’t see for the inconvenience
Punch it

I hear they’ve pushed out the boats
black midday skies
bobbing off the coast
hiding under blankets
Bee passes a respirator to her daughter
tiny scoops of smoke between their mouths
Fires to the shore
Roos to the water
Sand to glass

Beer is in order
order is out
Water soaked trackies ’round the face
to stand a chance of passing through
before passing out;
– Comfort bandit –
That Lexus I can barely see
twenty meters ahead
I wonder,
it must be sealed better than this truck…


I hear the fighters are losing
That a flame lifted it’s finger;
taking a truck into the air
turning it over
and burning
And there’s no one to help
There’s nothing to help with.

Carol talks about California
The rabbits running for their lives
dragging the flames forward;
they’re on fire,
trying to stop themselves burning alive.
But they do.
And move the front forward for their efforts.
Firehawks do the same
but they know what they’re doing
where we take our cues from the yanks…

The sky was there
was all you could say
Whether blue
In that order,
someone more cynical might say
at least the budget’s in surplus.

Roll into Ngunnawal country
Roll into Capbell
Roll into Blamey
Roll the windows tight
Roll a cigarette
The fire’s out there,
in here

The fire’s out in here
The child’s in there
What do I tell her?

You’ll have to fight for your life
all your life
and trust
you will pay for our sins


At the top of Mount Ainslie
You used to look over
Our temple of shitty wars
And further still
The big house
where the little children bicker

Now the trees fight the wind
To keep their leaves
From falling
From burning
Against a blood sky
and we can’t see
our wreckage
our panic
each other
for the smoke,
As our little man sits in Hawaii.