They painted over the graffiti

Getting my skeptical leftist liberal arts student on

They painted over the graffiti
They privatised the psych ward
They automated the nurses
Their breasts are always perky
And their eyes are always sparkly

You feed them copper coins
And quality service comes out
The coffee comes from Mexico
It comes in
Cryogenically sealed tubes
From the past
When Mexico had coffee

I sip my
Genetically-delicious latte
I go to the bathroom
They’ve painted over the grafitti
It’s all white now

No one loves anyone anymore
Spelt L-U-V
No one is a cocksucker
No one loves Jason’s mum
It’s all white

They’ve privatised the psych war
Now they dispense
Happiness that
Melts on your tongue
And comes in plastic bottles
With golden-arch logos
Now you can
Monopolize the Botox
And the happy pills
And sell them at a profit

And build a bigger, better nuthouse!


Now the nurses are robots
And they smile all the time
They smile at you
Even if you yell at them
Even as they slip the needle i
But if you don’t tip
They’ll read you your rights
And ask for more copper coins
But their breasts are still perky
And their eyes

Always sparkle


Caffeinated Love


For my love, for love, for love of love… and coffee

Sipping artificial sleep
From a coffee cup
Feel caffeine
Prop up drooping eyelids
Lingering feeling
Of a bus stop
Somewhere in Europe
With you
Beside me.

Real Life Crime Fiction

Bestseller illustration

She wrote her bestseller in the belly of a train
When the trams had all gone home to roost
And the young ones were spooning in Fitzroy beds
And the coffee machines were snoring
And the graffiti figures had closed their fluorescent eyes

She wrote her bestseller in the belly of a train
About how she’d murdered her husband
One evening last Spring
And dumped his body in a council bin (glass recycling)
And felt bad she hadn’t put him in with the organics
But she’d been in a hurry, had just time to scurry
Back down the alley to her house

Leaving rubies of blood in her wake

She wrote her bestseller in the belly of a train
Wondered what jail was like
And reflected that, if Mandela could do it, so could she
And that no bars could imprison her words

The train intestine-twisted into the night
Heading nowhere.

Poetry Money

poetry money illustration

We spent our poetry money on pizza –

Slumped on the carpet with gooey fingers and stringy cheese
Back to back episodes of Dr Who,
Doing laps of childhood visions
Decisions made in finger traced,
Lovemade nuclear fission
Crinkle-cut eyes and rough palms running over backs,
Blades, breasts
Questions tangled in sheets and
Handheld moments.

We spent our poetry money on porn –

On silicon love factory climaxes
Plaster cast body parts
Searching for resurrection in a
12-inch erection
Digging fingers into our imperfect flesh
Seeking forgiveness for that time I said
You should dress your age
You said
I was hotter when you first met me.

We spent our poetry money on drugs –

Spiralling, kaleidoscoping into each other
Melting minds into numb dreaming rivers
Or the witless heights of hummingbirds darting
While our bodies sat like parked cars
On opposite sides of the room
And we didn’t know what we were anymore,
Or when I stopped
Being the start of you,
And you began being
The end of me.

We spent our poetry money on love,
And we spent it on painkillers,
On op-shop travesties and
Pop culture dieties,
Trips to Spain and
Trips to Maccas,
Oh! We spent our poetry money on lots of things…

But mostly,
We just spent it on pizza.


A Spanish city, recession, heat, love.

In Valencia
Skinny people walk skinny dogs
With big balls
See that couple there?
Swagger past the shop that sells
Catholic relics naked nailed Jesus
Past the condom store all
Rainbow sex lollypop lust
She’s narrow
Like prison bars
Shoulder blades so sharp
They cut the dusk air
But the sway in her hips say
She don’t give a fuck ’cause
She owns nothin’ but the boy beside her
The one with his pants hanging
Halfway to his knees
And big, big sunglasses to hide
That he still feels scared sometimes

Their bare soled feet slap the Valencian pavement
Soak up dusty August heat
She has a hand in his back pocket
(maybe to hold his pants up)
He drapes an arm over her shoulders
(Maybe so her sharp bones don’t cut the air)
One free hand each, hers and his
Clutch frayed ropes for leads
Each walking something like a dog
More like a bag of bones and bristles and mean eyes
Between sunburnt buildings they weave
Cracked looming walls beat down gazes
And the buildings know these two are
Children of the street

But they don’t give a fuck
Just keep on keepin’ on, owning only
Each other
Not even the bone dogs with big balls
That’s just mutual convenience
A temporary
Retracting of claws

Behind sunglasses (his)
And mascara (hers)
They see, there, on the shaded park bench
Grandpa and grandma
Walnut-wrinkled hands
Entwined like ancient vines
Encased in stillness and time
Pa and Ma smell sex on the young ones
The dry river beds of their veins
Hum with remembered passion
Old woman’s skin flutters like eyelids long in sleep
Old man’s gaze tastes the sway
In the girl’s hips

Then, the young ones slide on
Into the Valencian night
And the Old Ones
Sew their silhouettes
Into their waking dreams.