In Newcastle, In Tokyo …

By and | 1 August 2014

Skye is a 2 bit whore:

“The Nomads Motorcycling Club are inviting local residents”
jumping castles on Chinchen Street filled with April fools.
Walking down the drain as a form of object oriented ontology (ooo)
eventually finding every piece of a child’s rubber jigsaw mat,
as the local kids obliviously, trick or treat their HQ.
When I need to flatter it I reference South King Street twenty years ago:
the pebblecrete poles of the East End speaking to an historicist melancholy
plastered all over Instagram. The soundtrack still Bob Hudson in the 70s,
‘eh geday’, or mythic 80s youth working at The Waratah Philadelphia
Cream Cheese Factory listening to ‘How Soon Is Now?’
These days you can catch a straight-edge punk food-blogging his morning eggs
Benedict or a container ship called ‘Fiction’ loaded with speculative realism.
The newspaper tells me that, in America,
nine little baby girls called Pistol were born last year.

pj harvey

c’mon billy. you said
something. (down
by the water.)
in chinatown, hungover.
so i draw a line.
baby, baby. (bad mouth.)
kamikaze. i want a pistol,
i want a gun.
parked in ultimo.
wait, what? brutalist.
up past fox studios,
that thai place. coogee.
new year’s eve
(on a rooftop in brooklyn)

one nation

misato is serving drinks & miyuki
is waiting tables & haru is at
her second job & kohei’s in the kitchen
but miki took the day off & miu hasn’t
been seen in weeks. clive is on a call &
chris rolled out early & mikey’s playing
hockey & haruki’s getting his knees
checked out. i’m in the basement,
mixin’ up the medicine. it’s all so political.
(so poetic. much artifice. the doge, like in
venice.) search & destroy, kids,
search & destroy. pauline was our palin,
a few years early. so aussie, so bondy,
karma considered as a credit card statement.

brisvegas misremembered

wish being et cetera to the excess
there’s no lack completely
lactose tolerant &
moderately middle-aged half
the wardrobe full of lycra
the rest is mostly uniqlo &
triathlons are best left to those who
can swim, lifeguards in a panic &
what a job description, what a lark,
collecting sisters & cousins until,
at the end of an eight hour
spreadsheet binge, you have to wonder
if frank saw it coming & decided to
simply embrace it, not that we need liquor

Caliope sits:

While Shok busks on Maitland Road, you feel better knowing he’s out there
doing it for all of us. The ghost of Leo Malley, shaking a fist like earthquake
damage to an awning. Tonight I’m watching the Chinese dating show
If You Are The One on SBS 2, and missing Fu Manchu.
Sympathy for Sydney’s poor cousin: the rough & tumblr
of a Lucas Grogan tea-towel and outside the gallery Brett Whitely
has laid a mothra of an egg. The aesthetic is a form of white primitivism
— who knew when I read those sonnets in the library, that I’d later be writing
them in situ, from an office in a world-class ‘gumtree’ University.
While you, the anti-Don Draper of Tokyo, can’t even enjoy a blade of grass
without a whisky handy. It must be Suntory Time, or bedtime (for democracy,
if not the kids). Oh public transport envy! But here the beaches
are over-exposed and under-developed, the surfers are analogue
and I still call all the pelicans at the Cowrie Hole, Mr Percival.

chinese signal

a baby designs a shovel & so he digs, courtesy
japan agriculture, as the climate of shame
elicits amnesia constantly, like yeats.
modernism read backwards is a prelude
to the victorians, & should we go to
the night markets again there’s more than
one hand she’d like to be holding, as if
the beach wasn’t a series of problems,
liminal, fluid, not set in stone & barely
a requirement, operators transcribing the
latest chinese signal, & to elicit a
dependency is a fine thing, among tokens
of her regard. she said / he said. they were
in the shower when the earth quaked

evidently absent

after you finish the re-org, that is, after you
write a last sonnet, that is, after the kids have
grown up, that is, once we’ve had enough of
each other & agreed it’s best to part, that is,
once you can read the newspaper & fill in
all the necessary forms, that is, after you’re
tired of waiting & hopelessness, that is,
if you feel hopeless on occasions, well, why
not, you’re not an idiot, that is, before
the minute hand sweeps around to begin the next
cycle, but just as it announces the current
cycle’s end, that is, after the regrets &
bitterness have aged to a sheen, that is, then,
& only then, capriciousness permitting.


as the buddha said,
we’re all out of our fucking minds!
& later, relaxed into groundlessness,
returned again & again,
to the breath, to a slightest motion,
pissing everything against a wall.
& wrapped quietly, giggling,
as the buddha said, relaxed,
into groundlessness, again & again,
returned, pissing everything
out of our fucking minds!
& later, the breath,
a slightest motion.
a wall, as the buddha said.


The Hamilton Station Hotel with its neon on the blink versus the Hoshino
resort’s endamame on high, perched above the clouds.
Walking with my mother out the breakwater, as she casts her life’s segue
into and out of the human genome. There’s a Misao Okawa in us all,
drinking hot chocolates the way our ancestors made them.
You know we once shared a stage with Jen Cloher, who last year toured
to Tennant Creek. I remember speeding down the Sturt Hwy in a hotted up
red hire car singing ‘Lady Marmalade’, and nearly hitting a brumby.
Now, I’m hardly living in Detroit though a local shop sells pannikins
and Mason jars, the post-industrial as an in situ conceit.
There are small advances, like how I can now walk into a hospital ward
without fainting, read historical fiction, sleep in the same bed as someone.
I finished Burial Rites yesterday and finally switched the car radio
to ABC Classic FM, surprised the breakfast announcer ums.


discounting the eschatology of fail in
the eating & drinking corner (toranomon,
toranomon), your number, waiting for it
to be called, popular song continues
without you, everyone you ever wanted is
here to assist, insufferable diplomas
arranged on the wall & when the doctor
anaesthetises your inner ears you flail &
fall as horny as a teenager but what
you normalise returns & fades on the
ginza line, desire ranged along carriages,
& some time after, back in shimbashi,
a small tremor, two boys look out the window,
watch the signs swing above the ginza lion

unwanted, unwashed

japanese brides drink red wine in the rose
garden as hiro mimes concern, milking
his suave baby’s aplomb. i was
dreaming when i wrote this &
you’re going to the beach all day. shame
about the rain, about the platitudes.
umbrella town. café under the keikyu line,
11:38 am, it is saturday, june 11 in the
year of earthquake fever. you know how
we smell after sex? you wanna smell like
that now? i mean, in a little while? there’s
work to be done first. unwanted,
unwashed. you get used to the weird.
someone starts up their limousine.


the first time with a broken arm is
hardly duchampian, although
the circumstances approach
& you can, after a fashion,
make art from it, appearing heartless
or detached at best.

afterwards, the psychodrama returns,
amplified & obtuse in a third language.

what you miss most, if you stop to think,
is the thrill of quotation, life as
a series of in-jokes.

so to irony, yeah? you’re travolta &
you’re nic cage, the doves wheel
& teeter, heading skywards.

Coal and Cedar:

There’s a middle-aged woman painting abstract expressionism in Maryville
and a valley full of Rothko in the fluro vest economy, reminds me
of my OCD Down’s brother’s un-necessary wardrobe (a cos-play council
worker). Driving past the Diocese there’s the besser block housie hall,
the tribunal tucked around the corner (annulling). There’s always a local
Weegee with his point and click: the actual being virtualised and the virtual
actualised. I’m too lazy with a camera but sometimes I do notice a detail
that proves I’m not a replicant: the milk bottle shaped glass in the Deco Dairy
Farmer’s Building (now selling cars). Once, out on a boat on the harbour,
I caught an eel that nearly cut off its own blood supply wrapping itself around
the line (a bit like these poems). As the white whale, Mingaloo (with hardly a
barnacle on him), snuck past. Some of the old fellah surfers have eyes as blue
as the ocean, but you know it’s bogus, like un-signposted speakeasy bars
the public secret is still knowing what not to know.


it returned plucking flowers in the field
on the stroll road. (we were out of it,
your majesty, but you wouldn’t be
bloody dead for quids.) i went to newcastle
once, he said, inaccurately. now & forever,
up from betty bay, or sitting on the steps in
coogee, smoking furiously. it returned,
plucking flowers. life’s a shambles,
a friggin’ shambles. watching pokemons
watching pokemons fight with pokemons.
sometimes on TV. sunday, monday, off
on tuesday. in the field. behind on payments.
shambling on the stroll road. protocol?
protocol. tomorrow isn’t saturday.


less an age than a phase, more transient,
earlier versions too frail to fail so here we are
& here we go again, waiting for a seat in
the smoking section to clock hourly updates,
temperature data in real time via sms
as if, once recorded on a spreadsheet,
the domain can be flattened & constrained,
retiring the risk of mistaking the model for the
system. last year was teal & this year is lilac
& next year you might conceivably finish, but
first, the official television of FC Barcelona &
so on, it’s hard to ignore the superdemander,
not that we’re more strung out than usual,
not that we’re actively thinking to ignore


you have to get drunk to read
in translation, whitman via o’hara
via mayakovsky via the keikyu line,
usually you catch the 7:43 & transfer
at shinagawa. the kids are asleep
& europe is a hot mess while america is
only a mystery & later we can run
around the palace & debate ethics until
the cows come home, lowing quietly
as the skyline shifts & shimmies.
a tractor in otemachi would be a fine thing.
the best poetics are completely mad,
she said, just totally barking, otherwise
all you have are performance reviews.

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