The Mundane, Sublime and Fantastical: 165 New Poems (6-10)





Sons Also Daughters 

For Tamara Symanska-Golik


Sons Also Daughters

Rummage through your life

Picking this, picking that


Killers all,

Sorting through your bones

Taking this, taking that


Also daughters

Picking at strands of hair

Gawking at roomfuls of combs, ribbons, brushes


Also daughters

Picking what seeds to save

Which to discard

What instances to remember

Which to forget


Sons also daughters

Killers all

Spreading seeds, writing code

One zero one zero

One for life

Zero for nought

One for air

Zero for everything else


Sons also daughters

Bear life

Hold the proof of your existence

In the stories they pick from your things

Your hair brush, your bones

Your fingernail clippings, you clothes, sheets

Shoes, you papers, love letters

Your old spices, the whole kitchen

Your memories of that place

Your loves, regrets, dead dreams


Also sons

Also daughters

Also sons

Also daughters



2014-08-03 11.18.32



Enough with the uneasiness

The not belonging

The where are you from really where are you originally from

Enough with the how long have you been here have you been back when are you going back do you visit often aren’t you lucky to come from a place so warm do you like it here

Enough with the statistics that show that migrants come to this country with a higher level of education than the natural-born citizens and on average their children tend to do better than their parents maybe because they are born citizens but not natural-born citizens and why is there such a lack of nurses and doctors but we can’t trust the level of training they bring so they must mop the hospital floors and drive the gurneys to the morgue and drive taxis with their strong accents because they are used to driving in impossible traffic over there and at least they have a job in these days these terrible days these days of world-wide recession also called an economic down turn

My economic down turn happened way back when we left with some clothes, one photo album no books and plenty of hope because there was a shortage of nurses and they spoke English where we were going and it was not going to be so cold in the winter after all

My economic down turn happened when my job searches were limited to those that required high-school certificates and on the job training otherwise the directions to the human resources office led to the exit at the back of the building where a dark-skinned security guard held a cigarette between a yellowed thumb and index finger and had no smile for me

I want to go home

I’ve got the high-school certificate and years of misdirection, decades of living in paradise aren’t we lucky to live in paradise aren’t we lucky to have the mountains and the beaches and all this aboriginal art to look at to look at to look at don’t touch

I’ve done my stint at washing dishes for twelve-hour shifts working at the golden arches where customers demand white vanilla ice-cream no chocolate on it because I could never have understood that white vanilla ice cream was no swirl and what didn’t we have ice cream where I come from

We all want to go and live in paradise after all this after all this

After all we are not the inheritors of the riches in our backyard because we don’t have any trained geo-physicists to survey the land or ethics panels to tell us

That it is

Not right

not right

not right to




And leave us the pollution to deal with the high unemployment the shine gone from our dark skins the white smiles the ring-wormed children the long train of cervical cancer that they say is on its way to Africa

Now all I need is a passport and a country to call home



2014-08-02 20.54.12


I’ll never smoke again


I’ll never drink again


I’ll only drink for health and only red wine at that


I already drank another one and hid away the can


I lie


I evade


It’s all make up anyway


We all die some day


It’s not really a struggle, it’s a game, I can handle it


You don’t matter


What a fucking disaster


I can’t wait to start again



2014-08-04 16.58.39

Our lands like our bodies like our minds like our mines

for excavation

what’s your blood type?

what’s your blood type?

what’s your blood type?

will you be donating your organs?

If so, tick this box


If not tick this other box

Sign here and here and here and here and here



2014-08-04 15.47.32


And so it was that we slid into things at the beginning of spider season

Spiders across the kitchen floor

Scuttling over the memory of us just there


Spiders along the wall exactly where your palms were


One spider hanged delicately, deliciously

hovered and then climbed up and disappeared into nowhere

Perhaps you were never here after all