An Argument

Crazy.  We’re all insane
individually, in groups
inside our languages
as a species.  It’s inbuilt.
We’re in up to the hilt
and this makes us prejudiced.
Besides, it’s so complex
and these mental models
we exchange each time we speak
   are approximations
we use to justify or to guess
all predicated on the inherent
   value of our own

survival.  Beyond that
you may teach yourself to see
   but the feelings
the feelings will always be
irrational and come from the body
you in your precious carbon form
and conscious magically.

   Physical reality exists
certainly, we’re part of it
and we have our systems
of thought we put so much work
into them and their implications
and they’re vital and stunning
and enlightened and pragmatic

and insane.  Keep fighting,
keep trying, keep improving
    but first, accept this.

Closing the System

the pakeha tikanga
                                                                                              with pins
 and lightest nets
                                                                        trawling computers
  for your information   
                                                                     genus, order
          family name -       
                                                       The new century's
                    fascism is  
                                                      mild  - wisely
                    you're a better human
                           when you will
                                           willingly wear
                                   and this fashion of
                                      static   wings


this is the event of fire.
sleeping in
town and the roof is phat with birds.
it is a very dogged
lust that wolves us

lying beside u
feels in motion
like the photo of a fall
the language body seethes
    u make me nerve  us

come a bit close
desire's a pleasure
           that erases
evidence of its own fullness
danger sharpens the attention
i love  because u r

this is a stroke of the heart. 
your context is coming loose
        i am an object
             with feelings
increase yourself to my needs


Diversions turn
you into something else.
Time rolls
     into a ditch
and all that’s left
is a cupboard full
of half-finished projects.

We secure the future
with mighty words.
We hold the past down
to keep it from hurting anyone.

                 -  oh my god   -

     live with me here
in this quiet outpost
we’ll be self-sufficient
in our pleasures, all our joys
  locally sourced

Peace bleaches the spirit
into incandescence
and I practise compassion.
I practise and practise
and may slowly be improving

or could just be
hiding my vulnerabilities
better, living in comfort
so can afford now, to be sweet.

Morality starts from intuition
and walks backward
  justifying itself.
In lieu of emergency

I place attention
   on what emerges
and try to learn to love.

Heaps of loads of loads of heaps

Around here we don’t say: I like what you did.
Bloodflow and block compete
 to make such a well-articulated river
which I call your aesthetic.

  Our culture is so stilted
and with sticks on the end of each finger,
we’re struggling even to touch. 
The muscle tone of the language lost definition.
 Speaking sounds funny with a wooden mouth.

The love we get has a gutter cough,
 ripped out pages, lines demarcating
areas of shame: nothing too full, direct or detailed
 is the local rule of thumb for love. 

Feeling self-conscious in meanings that used
   to fit, the house is a dense
    semiotic   battle  switched off at the seams,
 the community’s worn right through
in patches and you consider whether
to abandon it all by the side of the road
or put in a whole new motor.

There’s depth to such meaty living,
knowing what it is to eat and be eaten. 
  There’s no bombs here, yet,
yet the white people tend to stick together.  
The cars, trees, honey, the children bitter.
Even the dust in the corners is shattered.
  Such stupidly ugly streets.

The Unit

Privacy can turn to
privation of the heart
and you forget how to get

together the courage
to negotiate daily
with these warm, chaotic

inscrutable others.
Alone, your stories
make a strict sense

and all flavours
can be mixed
to go with bitterness.

storming in

We wait and work and watch
and wait for the lightning to hit.

The charm pours down onto the ground
    and the ants drown.
We’re drunk on convenience
and the speed with which we shift
between identities    /    desires.
Our skin slackens with spirit’s
                         The poignant minute
poised as you brushed my cheek
with your fingertips                  catches
up with me in the middle of the night.
   It webs me in a feeling      I have
      to rehearse till I get its name right

      I run short of time
and these moments pile up and
     I can see now
                  this is what aging means.

That, and falling from worlds
  I thought defined me.
     The role can’t hold us
still in time, any more than
the power of love or the photograph.

  I can’t compete.
My heart is just an organ, my dreams
the way I process in my sleep.
                 Our dramas warm us
               and we heat the earth

(we don’t like to talk about that yet)

On Core

When I recall that you’re going to die,
I cry.  Poetry has wrecked me from an early age,
drawing circles of loss and mortal business.
On the page it can all get held in the same taste.

My heart burns.  Soon the heart stops.
The lines make visible the patterns
of your desires to knowing strangers.

I’m so full of love, feelings spill clouded colour
all over polite conversation.  Tidal response, moods,

structural mysteries.  You are like hot water in winter.
The ones I love derail vigilant ordering.
  They play in the cold, hard fact.
Engagement is the stable ground of trust.
Some times we need to ask, at others to protect.

       when the nothing is come, a kind word,
           a soft strong touch, in the hope
       the intention will spin up some luck

   I met you.  The love sets in.
I will die, and you’ll have to tell your deep mind,
that asks after me, that you can’t satisfy.
Here is a hunger you’ll have
to live with, like an ex-gambler,
starting fresh each day, but worse.

Maybe you’ll find God then,
the one who’ll never leave you,
and if you feel lost, then the answer is to know
  the system has it all covered.
As long as we are able to we’ll keep this thing 

black crow n

I told a story that was funny and cruel
   words pulling each other further out over
the comic distortions are tragic in the flesh
 - images made real for you
      by this magic

the hunchback hitching into town
finds a unicorn lying down in the long grass
     its eye rolling
he approaches slowly
hears my words rushing by like traffic

he holds the creature
where the truck
     broke it
and for the first time
feels a real fear for this planet

St. Colette

My lids reflect the gaze back in.
I don’t feel a thing
but the residue of your skin.

Listen. The ocean keeps exploding
a storming display of work, all for
a few rocks cracked open a step
    closer to sand

Amongst all this, I find my
  way back to your lips

and the energy shuttling between us
breaking waves the symptoms
of deeper wilder wider movements
power crashing onto each other’s
                     my weakness
against this is comforting

           - it wants for nothing


The police pull roses from a boy's mouth.
Access is granted to extreme tikanga
only when all the words have been gathered.

We multiply signs;
they get their own vivacious life,
turn vicious when the evening's ending
complaining that they're still not loved enough.

Dictate a pleasure dragon.
Sensation writes out bodies in code.
This mood is a whole new map we come to in
in which we learn to find systems.

I accelerate from the last letters,
you try going backwards thinking of art films,
when the trees lift off the screen we're stuck in

something has worked.             Lose the knack
start over, walking South like you did
last time, forgetting it all, left eye on the rocks
staring through as if in far distances
and going so slow that you cup your breath.

When we're inside this luxury
with the lights on, concentration's magic:
the inflated city inside molecules
holds us right off the ground.


They pushed the beds together
  -  you keep pulling your dog mind back.
The earth opened a wound
and your dog just wants to drink and drink

Thinking it was menopause
you went for some space
leaving them alone in your house
 your tane and your guest
and they were meant to be singles but
they pushed the beds

I'm riding with you in your car.
You're on your way to where the criminals are
and though it is clear that you would rather
    be talking about the weather
  -  they pushed the beds together

they pushed the beds
and your hurting mess
      of a dog
can't make sense
of its own appetite.


cure my insecturity
"it" is all about me, staring
in thru curtain cracks.
I'm scared you'll reduce me to how u read me
             every heart fails    
                                      your tears get me wet

I was high and I saw that ethics
can't compete.  Give generously                in
There is no communication, only       crestfelling
ritual transmission of effect        enjointment

               all day i thought nothing at all.
                                  was wrong
                nothing hurts here, and so bad
                     it pushes ajar my jaws -
         survival    blossoms    meaning

Plastic exploits us, provides
for ever more efficient categories.
        the plotline of a cigarette
          begins when i lit it:  stable, satifsying,
                 we burn down towards our bad ends.

being / longing

   All this sexual tension
between the earth and sky
saturates my day with pornographic
feelings, inside the lightning field
  generated by their dancing.

No wonder we can’t concentrate
falling into pools
of their post-orgasmic sleep

emerging years later, older
without ambition, time for once
absent from our mouths.
   I love you

with some of the love
thick and clear, that slides
between their long glances.

Stand between them
    or feel excluded

be like a piece of air
moving between them
   right into lungs,
into cells, into skin
       with me.

Pauanui (Paradise)

Ride white lines
that travel down tarseal
to retire under blue
and emerald mountains.
Wetlands are preserved
so we can enjoy
the uncompromised habitat.

White.  White.  It’s a haven.
Everything we eat
is from the store
  and the jetskis roar
this is what land is for:
an abstract use
taking up slack energy
we needed when we
were still animals.

I’ve educated myself
   into a corner.
Money’s disproportions
swell the power of our house.

The hills here are fantastical.
They make the playground
      look crazy
even though it’s not
 the plastic trash
growing up in council flats
 - even the perfectly smooth
cement of the skatepark
  (hardly tagged)
 can’t compete.

In this bright white light
rich people are nice
when they go by on bikes
  in their biplanes
 on the golf course
   walking their spoilt
dogs and kids.
The wives seem nervous –
  what a waste
   of privilege.
          It’s so comforting
like health, easy to forget
when you’ve got it
and the destitute drink
gasoline, somewhere else...

Relations forged with money
have money as their blood.
Your wealth buys the labour
of people who need the rent
for houses you own
  you let them live in.
They fix the road and smile
looking at my legs.

My whiteness makes
  me make sense
      in Pauanui
where nothing has ever happened
we can believe, guilt free, and rest.

What we have here
is a model community.
The old are cared for
the young entertained.
There’s no reason
  to be anxious

except the terror
emanates from the ground
 of a ghost town
with jewelled appendages
 on dull houses
with too many rooms.

10 fl. Inches

                     say it with
words.  plastic is one thing u can't fake.
work makes a web in which we wait
for chance to deliver fuel for narrative

 one of these long and lonely nights
you'll spit out the cliche you now eat.
pert aphorisms light up our eyes
trickling metal in the gutter thickens

         my throat is clear
     the bruise on the cheekbone
echoes an earlier ego wound.
jesus takes the world too personally

our little crimes show
   free choice takes more time than
    day allows.  we're nothing
 but taught nerves and language

the howling dog feels like caught wolf
       we were not ourselves
 history is an accumulation
  of bits to put to use

the dark

The crazy bad moods
 we cultivate to justify
our self-obsessions
       allow us all this
 familiar excess.

  When I start up
the walls disappear,
  windows blow
    our brains out with
such vicious clear flatness -
  hallucinating some dense
dimensions to the outside’s romance

What was it I was thinking?
   What you said?      sounds tumble
     like a bottle down steps
        smash into coherent
sentences.  Paranoia
keeps me safe from everything

         that isn’t it.
When we fall into the sun
 finally, there’ll be
  no more darkness.

The Growth

It was an act of defiance
  I laboured under.
The animal body examined itself.
From under the rags of self-loathing
I found out the holy itch
and struck out after it

I got a baby blowing inside me
stretching a hole into my skin
   for its animal to fit.
It had a physical effect
as the brain dried out in my head :

all the gifts my culture gave me -
  reason, ego, spirit, will -
  cut up like a side of beef
now the flesh grows back between.

I asked a hundred mothers
and they all told me this same thing:
mind shrinking back
  under skull’s grin
will never rule again.


In our most difficult shoes
we reneg all our attempts
to eradicate gender borders.
A lisp's magnetism makes
it much easier to cross space
in my edible skin suit

& her hair.  Her hair.  In sex wars
it's grinding time we're up against.

We bleed attention
and feed the water.
I'm singular.  We're single.
I compose odes to my gold sandals.

We are a little black hole mouth
feeding across the face of the city.
  These simulations
stimulate us, creatures
become men during the dance.
Set up opposing postures,
drink out this heat into night.

Back home, I take off my bangles,
dip myself into the speed of sleep.
I am littered with impressions
I trace internally, as they fade

smooth, rested, plump,
the loud marks of femininity
wipe clean away.


                                      These lines are
This is our very best dystopic mess.
Hold the note while it devalues.
You concentrate on deformity
on the crass curiosities of decay

disfigurement, distortion, chaos. 
The squalor in your spirit
is carelessly tended, which
 accelerates your character development.

The fingertips are gender positions.
Some genes persist by lucky powers
and chance and well, here you are.
Don’t fall for your own charisma
 - but you have, you have to.

The work convinces me of its necessity
like a palm to the cheek, either fast
or soft depending on how well
I’m learning.  Precious, ornate terrors

await those without real ones. 
Nobody is starving in our street. 
Ennui sets the youth reeling.
Metaphors attack you in your sleep

and you wake thick tongued and blinded
with belligerent meanings.
All the drugs, the super cool kids
on the run from their family mansions
make themselves available to the concrete

art.  The illness, receding, leaves our eyes bright.
The world is awash in wasted brilliance.
How crazy were we to think
this mode of transport would be effective?

You’ve finally been imperfected.
Anything that gets made in passion stays
in the current second, keeps getting invented
as long as we both shall live.
What I miss most is your early work.


Mist is thick around us.
I weigh words out onto a page.

So this is the land
that was confiscated.
In 1868 the town was laid
out on cultivations, on forest, on swamp
on a detailed map, sent back
to the Mother Country.

The first “settlers”
who’d fought their way here
mostly couldn’t prosper
couldn’t garden, couldn’t get work
- walked off, back to Auckland.

My neighbour says
 his hapu taught
 the ones who stayed
how to make huts, to get food
(this isn’t mentioned in the books)

We’ve chosen a house to rent
at the edge of that early block
  by the old town belt
now a marae, a school, a velodrome
acres of grass, the deerstalker’s club
- next year, when they get the money
the motorway goes through.

My family came north
a couple of generations after
the invasion, and generations
  after that, to prosper.
It’s warm here and the soil’s rich.

I’m the child of the future
  in whose name
the work has been done.

Today, I can look at the sun direct
through thin layers of white
cloud that lies over     between us
drops of water fill the air like static.

My parents left.  I’ve tried
  to too, but here I sit
writing poetry, prospering
   in the city’s glittering vision
& the milk in my coffee, the corn
    - oh jewel of the Waikato.

We come back.  We come back.
History persists
in every one of us.

Dry / drty

the ideology's all thru me now.
To be distressed about
being stuck in the world of signs
is so late nineties.
We burn off, fat
tyres squeal like girls.

  symbilosis                    getting the horn
   dreamage                          of good hope

       disturbution                here is a body
  cosmonautical     emptied for your play
                 thoughts are weak nails

     Tv shelters me, it feeds
in to the living room, the way
the supermarket keeps you from fields
or our heads caught scrolling
   the book's grammatical beat
safe fron the mess of
  the                 concrete          
                  florid              hoha

      I fat right in there.
                 You must push yourself
back into place.
                 You must pace yourself
   up and down rooms
the smell of burning hair in the shed
 an abandoned landscape
                ripe with families

              ALL NEW ISSUES

The relation is cleaned by money.
Economics has no ethical
language you could question it in.
           fur coats fall
         the shaken city
bruising and abruptly more kind.

Your mouth's an act of violence
centuries of self-hate
accumulate in your hips
       pornopathy     mathesocial
my presence is tence

Meaning's an illusion
  with consequences.
Spring's prickling

giving me fat lips, broken nails
lassitude in the face of order
        speed       in          dreams
a sustained note  taking
    shape                 sharpens
ablaze.    The trick

is learning how to live
with what we know.