08 March 2011


under these stars
next to you
yr shoulder at my hip
i must have been yr tongue
the violent salt of yr lips
then my fingers impossibly deep
as time stops beyond logic
or science, and we chase history
before it happens, my stubble
scratching each thigh
each shaven monument to us
and we bleed each others blood
again, this time higher
than the last time


i forget these days of hard
hot reds, tasting you
then rolling thin sticks of wet tarmac splashes
and the velvet cumin seed rushes
or a bitter toast of us in the coastal soak
now we're building holes in each others breath
tight-walkin branches of body-parts
each limb lithe and taut, flexed in the sunlight sweat
our turgid secrets spent, thrust deep
and in the glass city of blisters
we've lost count of the times
we've fucked
each other

05 March 2011

REVIEW - meet me at gethsemane - by Paul Harrison

Here's a quick look at my friend Paul's book:

Hey, I'm privileged.

Having heard Paul Harrison read his dark, witty and iconic poetry at slams, poetry-gigs, backyards, loungerooms and car-parks around Perth over the last few years (as well as over the phone, in txt messages and backseats of cars) - its almost impossible not to hear his rich voice, the thick Irish cadence - as I consume this collection of his poetry.

Published by Coral Carter's gutsy - and very new - little Western Australian publishing venture: Mulla Mulla Press, meet me at gethsemane is a collection of over 30 poems, some previously appearing in various zines and online publications.

Its difficult at times to remember that this is Harrison's first book. The poems spill down the page with inherent readability. His economical, reflective phrasing, the deliberate poetic intention, the bold lack of pretension is honest. Brutal. Powerful.

These poems are complex nuggets of simple language - all presented in lower-case text, no punctuation - just clever use of white-space and enjambment to carry an image, an emotion, a reflection.

Each poem stands alone, in solid skeletal punch, yet somehow marries the next, and the next and the next one - perhaps conjoined in the bitter taste that permeates the book's 68 pages.

There is gutteral sadness here - and drinking - lots of drunken pain. There is violence, sex and truth - all told in ordinary prose. As in love one another:
...me and her
sometime in the early hours
had our usual
psycho-sexual brawl
and so
before any more windows or lamps
got broken
i jumped in the car
and fucked of for more
rear-ending some prick
stopped on green...
Short sharp bony bursts of well-crafted punch. Harrison shares hard tales of mental asylum inhabitants, too-many cigarettes smoked, raw emotions spat, drugs and regret and self-reflexive anger.

The way he writes is the way he speaks. This is not avant garde, process-driven, experimental wankery - Paul's well-written narrative carries each piece, allowing us to fully realise each moment shared.

This is the poetry of isolation and despair. This collection finds little hope in the human condition, and certainly no love for the malicious capitalist culture we share. Peppered throughout though, there is a wicked, dark humour and a gift for subtle description. And whilst the darkness flows within these pages, there is fragility and even a hidden beauty amongst this work.

Get it.

Its ten bucks from Mulla Mulla Press:

middle city format - too stubborn to die

thick summer sheets ride this middle-city tonight, beside churches sit tall crooked letters, those fat drops hit alsynite in smacks, i'm breathing deerfoofed. this cape-lilac wall. some sprayed easterly in gusts - our southern-tinted words, they state in typical command: dont change. a thing.

speed smokin up king william, colonel light street-walk rush, its 4.57 for a 5pm show, tuxedo cat at yr 2. manic 3rd floor stomp, seeking coopers without a rider, brow gleaming in stage light, in this deconstuctionist sweat, words drip. seven minutes in. time. stops. still.

slump. foothill city monuments, another overcast bitumen transition, at gate 14, we're lugging carry-on heavy-eye, brittle rundle omelettes, spinach-feta narratives, wincing in aviator gold - yesterday's pale green tales, almost masking that inner-suburban toxic hydrocity, skinned-up in thin joints. before the cab. before boarding.

back on western edges. in scorch. on driveway sunset, almost tangible thunderheads to the east, sheets of distant lightning. yet breathing is hard in this city now, a thick hot inhale, of tarmac and carpark heat-sink. we're stille pale green froth, seeking reasons not to live. here.