Index of poets

Les Wicks


Andrew Burke
Jen Crawford
MTC Cronin
Del Ray Cross
Laurie Duggan
kari edwards
Michael Farrell
William Fox
Angela Gardner
Kristin Hannaford
Jill Jones
Jayne Fenton Keane
S.K. Kelen
John Leonard
Anthony Lynch
Aoife Mannix
Chris Mansell
Heather Matthew
Peter Minter
Brendan Ryan
Jaya Savige
Gerald Schwartz
Lawrence Upton
Les Wicks
Tim Yu


"The heads of the Furies were wreathed in serpents & their whole appearance was terrific & appalling."      Bullfinch "Stories of Gods & Heroes"

So they sit before the promiscuous colour of television
an argument wet & sleek
some expunged organ
at their thickpile stainguard feet.

Love has fallen over
their mortgage wants custody
& the crossbreed cat licks his arse in bored despair.

But tv won't give them up -
its loved-funny souls with floorpolish lines....
torpid family eyelids are teased upward
to the bright closure
on yet another day.

They are healed with a horrid certainty
on the rock of an ikea couch.
Goodnight kiss
as damaged flesh is wrapped
in sleep-forgiven flannel.



"Summer time"                sand fleas
& gammy knees
                        plus waterside jazz - so low, so growling
its like a cattle dog
under the floorboards.

Menu special - curried goat
The crowd                all ages, all stages
brewed as they stand.
My hand
on your throat.
A line from death to purring
strung across a torc of pearl muscles.
You have a plan to get away
but trip on the snare drums.
I know it sounds mundane
but there are 3 men at the nearest table.
They all have long beards & hair
white as cocaine on a xmas tree.

You're caught
like a fox in cream.
Breeze is playing outside by the old set of swings,
the bay is turning over on its sandstone lilo.

Clouds in dungarees.

The couple across the room
are working up a storm
in each others' pockets
& the sax man needs to take a break.
His cigarette shakes time.



It reflects light like clear glass eyes, who would wear THAT
to illustrate the gape
& a whacked burglary of  tropical sunlight?

No compass -  the syringe was there, television
screaming from its cabinet -
favourite both of users
& quaking parents. Their eyes run away
from the scrutinies of dividing fence,
circus trained vine rose.
Both swallow their terror
then settle
for the tarantella of blue light, a jingle from McDonalds

A famous one died last week.
She was not found for a while -
like her syringe, waited patiently as a spare tyre.
Barely fell into a new millennium
like our country
a smile that was young, but in the balance.

Needle standing -
her moment back like the flash of an old love,
the body a defining part of each paper shred.
She was sex, breakfast, the vacuumed rug.
A paint undercoat for what HE was.

Again, I touch that shoulder, this time on grainy newsprint
as though it's the old black school-leather path home,
toes finding gear as bike
hits the hill.

That shoulder turned  was an amputation.
Its return meant more loss smothered in
warmth & debility.

The powder, the spoon                bleak reunion
water as precious as anything from inland sands.
Plunger draw back (you IN the syringe) , then the shove,
less & more than sexual.

She went with him & then her life was everyone's/
each an explanation whether brother
or the audience on the news.
No stink around the mirror's baby
nothing but mint from a polished smile.
The photo of her naked,
tears as the Noosa house burned down. In later years
a battle for whales so righteous yet privately
she laughed & called it "flapping".

The same day she was discovered my daughter treads on a sewing needle.
Hopping in tears & screaming///
radiant fragments jut like spears from dark pixies.
I should have held her,
wrapped the terror in this old nest of cardigan.
Instead we howled her bedroom mess,
the failure to bind herself in hurtless care
& never tear
our fragile tranquillity.

I tried, apologised later.
Steel is extracted, then tossed.
Is this ended
are lives designed to career from slip & shatter?

The famous one said her parents never understood.
I wonder why they should?
To reach in through another's skin
that reckless anarchy of love
which only a powder can do without
shaking the tides.

This former one once looked at me with intent, said
"There's more psychopaths than sweeties
at the average book launch..."
preferred the art of Melbourne money.
She made millions while
I couldn't spend// years of
cast offs & reduced to clear
leaves me  a few "assets", "capital".
Against this the signs, sketches others drew &
held to her like contracts.
I've been married 20 years
picked scraps of power
from the lapels of fourteen suits.
She'd have been impressed
only at the moment I let it all go...
a polite, saltless speech & okay champagne.

Our time together
was so long ago
that minotaurs roar around the memory, a
black satin reminiscence of campfires & holocaust.
Midden in the dunes,
300 years uncovered in the turning of a tabloid page.

The famous one believed she understood everything
at a tiny prothesis,
some chapel in the corner
of an airport departure lounge.

She had been writing her obituary for years.


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