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vit d

I have walked the length of the fish from tail to spout - jk baxter
I cannot, will not, stay and suffer through another winter - ks stephenson
Studies show in Brisbane everyone is happier - s dwyer

In a state of misery, there is only so far you can walk in sun,
across sand and rocks,
school fields and tarmac,
past aimless teenagers licking icecream and kids on bikes,
before your mood lifts.
And you pass through some invisible barrier,
shimmering heatwave airlock,
To the otherside,
which is a trip backwards sinking syropily into pleasure,
as much as forward and upwards on a rising air current.
Thus transformed,
even Moby Dick becomes a treasure chest of beautiful sentences to open in the sun,
rather than a behometh to be conquered

thought process

on a five minute walk between mine and a friend's
i lament the lack of alcohol wholesalers on the way,
and despite the huge cost to the nation, the premature death and destruction i hear of everyday,
i curse the 'hysterical teatotallers' who would applaud this situation.
Then traversing the long route which passes by liquor park,
a man jogs by, taking the hill in his well trained stride.
i'm filled with regret, remorse and shame
and the desire not to drink, but to run.
i hand over change to the allegedly homeless man on the street,
while he talks about the cold weather and how it's not a good night to be homeless on.
with the rest of my money i buy wine to keep winter at bay

Moby Dick

The white whale,

the book like a metaphor for itself

reading it like an interminable journey across a vast ocean

only a demented madman such as Ahab would stay the course,

plunging into the depths on some doomed voyage,

in the hopes of capturing it

Still life with cats

Housesitting in Ponsonby,
still jobless,
still trying to write.
Some days it feels like I'm slowly drifting off the edge of the world.

In the dark of an afternoon movie,
I hold Michael's hand,
trying to anchor myself

But he is spinning so fast,
with missed appointments piling up on each other
that he himself just skims the perimeter
and can offer no ballast.

Instead it's me, Charlie and Jackson
Building our routine of early rising, door opening, feeding
and pats.
Charlie a cautious couch cuddler
and Jackson, like an old silverback gorilla,
soulful eyed sitting on the porch.
Still life with cats.

writing not writing

Some days I know the only thing that will make me feel better, allow me to hold my head up at the end of the day, relieve me of the great burden of sentences filling my brain, causing my head to rest on the table, is to write.
But still I concoct elaborate schemes to avoid doing just this. It's like I'm labouring under an enchantment which stops me from doing the very thing which would actually break the spell once and for all.
Finding the magician who cast the spell in the first place, pouring through ancient tomes for an answer, searching for the charm which will break the curse, chasing my own shadow across the archipelago, instead of simply staying still, is all part of the deception, but part of the fabric also.


I once wrote a story while sunbathing naked on a rocky beach in Croatia, but now I dream of an office, with a fireplace for the animals to sit in front of, a stacked bookshelf and an antique desk with secret recesses which spring open when the correct button is pushed. I want the kind of office where Ratty or Badger or Mole would write their memoirs. I want the kind of childhood-adult fantasy dream office that I'm not sure anyone even has these days..but even most of these would do

A good citizen

bikeBeing unemployed makes me a better citizen. I ride my bike, walk and catch public transport more, instead of driving. I take the time to helpfully fill in surveys and add my name to online petitions.
I use the library with the other library users who don't have their own printer either, and laugh along with the other staff when one of the librarians accidentally goes home with my library card in his pocket.
I can go to children's after school birthday parties and take medicine to sick relatives. I chat with the dairy owner about what I'm going to cook with my purchases, with the secondhand bookshop owner about writing, the gregarious, stylish Opshop assistant about colour coordination and the movie ticket seller about Mexican politics.
I take time to appreciate the busker who is singing to the policeman, ushering traffic around the truck broken down in the middle of the road.
I luxuriate in the abundance of free time and the feeling of fellowship with all the other non-corporate citizens.
DSCF2518Writing the novel is slow and laborious. Flashes of inspiration make brief appearances in between the construction work, the foundation work, the joining of things together to make them coherent. The beautiful flow of a poem or a letter of even a random stream of consciousness, all with a rush and immediacy of the present, is lacking. But still I labour. And still I occasionally make myself laugh, or rub my hands in glee when a scene springs to mind or the characters suddenly reveal to me how they fit together.

30 poems in 30 days: 4


Every day the neighbours walk their dog,
Buddha, at some ungodly hour of the morning.
Such cheerfulness so early,
is difficult to bear
until turned to a koan.
my morning call to prayer

30 poems in 30 days: 3

Veiled city

Auckland sits
like a myth
on a milky sea

Distant lightning-rod citadels
illuminated sky
and spurs of land jutting darkly into the water

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September 2014


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