VI – preview – each pale song

 

each pale song

your hair has grown deep
into the green stone of age

just as hills have grown between us
and oceans salt everything –
sunbathers
and their pastel umbrellas
get away with nothing here

and driftwood piles
in hours
heaped upon
what few memories I have gathered

even as my head spills them
in a dance of clouds,
torsos thin,
each pale song
a gouge in my chest

but it is simple enough:
I want you

and now the statues have turned all
shoulders
tear-drop smooth

and the polish of feet
across your body,
how many is it now?

your hands were so wide,
as if to rival Atlas
who was always just out of sight
who was slowly unfreezing
and whose pulse
was seismic
but who could not fit you
within his stern gaze

and I will forgive every stumble
each scratch
each sour bite you give
when ignored
and even, envy so great
as to rattle my very bones

but you hid so well,
caught,
suspended
between a breath
and the settling of night

your sweet face

I wonder
did you ever truly need to paint it?

your own voice grew young
in my listening
and
I leant against cool railings
and you called me back to see
secrets
that were everyone’s
but become ours
by the whispers I couldn’t fully unearth,
as crowds of automated eyes
pillaged you
as I myself would later do
as so many could not resist to do
and what I kept
could never satisfy

your immortality dried
as we worked,
great deserts in our fingertips
and dust in our kisses

and though I cannot feel more shame
knowing that I want more

at least when change came
thank god
you were not part of its neon creeping.

 

About 12 days to go until release of VI 😀

slow clap

in photographs of me
in the canals
my face eating the sunlight
I smile
because
it’s amazing
in my memory
and even now that
winter is heavy
upon us
I somehow forget
wanting to push
my fellow tourists
into the green
and simply get on with
taking comfort
from once, years ago now
once being so far out
of reach
and no longer
thinking of jackets
thick socks
or desperately
hot showers,
just the slow clap
of feet on dry stone.

venice

Between Giants & Old Stone – Combined Edition

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to let you know that Ginninderra Press is soon releasing a combined edition of my last two collections between giants and old stone: haiku, senryu & haibun in both digital and print formats.

Right now you can actually pre-order the kindle version for under five dollars – there’s over 100 pages of poetry in there so it’s longer than my usual collections. I’m very excited about this one – here’s the new cover and stay tuned for a print release, which should be around the same time as the June release of the ebook.

Amazon AU
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

bgandos(small)

 

 

garnish

.

on our last night in Rome
the thrill of nicotine as garnish
has worn off

and the waitress at the hotel
knows I’ll order
panna cotta for dessert.

after a long search
for band aids
the next morning

we return
to the Trevi Fountain
and throw a coin

and much later
on the plane,
talk about how we both

had wondered just
how many times
we appeared
in other people’s photographs.

 

RIMG0083

Poem from ‘Old Stone’

old stone - sample

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

Next up, planning for this year (2014) will be old stone. Here I want to bring together a collection that features haiku, haibun and senryu, with both more traditional forms and experimental pieces. Not quite gendai haiku style, but hopefully pushing the form a little.

Here’s a piece that should appear:

 

Firenze

beneath the Duomo, cameras mill about like ants. their owners are most dutiful, clicking then looking. inside my skull are painted green and white stripes and when I look back, it’s with some terror. I don’t know if I wanted to go home. the air here is warm, eternal pink, as if trapped in a fairytale. the tourists are so alive, even as they kill the moment with SLR

grand bells
cross the rooftops
our hands meet

 

Poem from ‘Between Giants’

betweengiants(web)

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Skip a year or two and onto 2012 for between giants. My obsession with travel kicks in, though the collection has a wider span of topics of course – but my trip to Italy features heavily. The act of being a tourist features too, something which I still feel conflicted about.

With that in mind – here’s a non-travel one 😀

 

one of the townsfolk

despite our closeness
after all the hours I’ve spent
at its feet
from childhood with sticky fingers
& wide pupils
to today, sneering at it from the couch
but still unable to switch it off
for good,
it waits
making no overtures
from plastic feet,
so still but still so predatory;
the remote, its sly little
Puck
its patience like an old, desert stone
waiting for rain.
it knows I will push, press
& stab at it with lazy fingers
circling
in an almost stoned
fish-bowl dance
& I wonder what the television gives me

not just the pleasant cut-outs
of the sitcom & their dependability
being so utterly unlikely
to change,
nor is it shameful joy
beamed in via predictable
celebrity-failures
or even the news
when all I seem to want is mild weather,
& so if I’m not David
then I’m one of the squashed townsfolk
& I know that whatever resistance
I put up
is hardly going to wrap up a Western
or save planet earth.

 

a haibun

.

Roman Forum (1)

the spot where Caesar’s body was burnt seems to scare our guide. she does not look at the flowers, a sheen of sweat on her face as the sun works its centuries-slow destruction on pillars in the Forum

uneven footing
horns from
the imperial road

up where the Vestal Virgins had their garden, rose beds breathe easy. green pools might once have hidden tears or swallowed sighs. of the many statues, only two have heads and their creamy robes are mute. people rest before them, hands on hips

posing for photos
other tourists
fill the frame

.

RIMG0116 - Copy