Martyr

A Church in mourning
looks out over Woolworths.

The homeless man spits
and sits
on golden steps.

He lights up, then splutters.
Plastic bags pole-dance round the steeple,
their sides torn out.

A rotting capsicum,
cereal-box toys
slide down stained glass.

Mother Mary watches.

Yellowed fingers clutch
a nearly empty bottle
Holy Water only $6.99!

A headless Pokémon
falls on his own shaking head.
He looks up

The heavens are thick with fumes
Trees wave elegant arms
It starts to rain.

Jesus takes another swig
legs to one side,
liquid dribbles down his chin.

A Nike-dressed lady with a pram
rolls her eyes,
forced to jog around Him

as He passes out on the ground.

Drunk in Brussels

  

She is talking to me through the air

“Where will we go ne-“

A hand burnt on hand
A hand on a handburn
A hazy half-ternoon hand

“wasn’t that Accordian player -“

Sun.
Fingers crashing into beer
glass that is lifted,
By Magic!

A slurping of fizzy brown

Next-door mouths babble and sing
what language is
that
or, the language of

Drink

The mint leaves in his glass
Light coddled warm

Sliding up the wall, His head is the
centre of time

Green are trees
Head is shaking her girl
in the corner

His Open is shirt in the
Sky.

Overhung

I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink
alone

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.

Pub night


There’s that couple
I watch flatly, an ugly slice of lemon hanging from my lip
 
A smart purple tie next to me
gesticulating into his beer
 
That song from a dream
gurgling softly in my head
 
A man laughs too loud,
Slaps his knee after every plump silence
 
The pub atmosphere is hollow
and brown
 
On the cover it’s all smiles
Inside it’s grubby ice
 
Walking out I say thanks to the wall
giving up to the night.

I prefer red

I prefer red

to crumbs on the table that nobody sees

drinking, they don’t notice the pictures on the wall

or worse

The stars falling at 5pm

in the eyes of strangers outside.