I Am Not Your Freedom

It’s easy to turn a person into poetry when you spend enough time apart,

So before you say too much,
Please,

First go to where your heart
can rest it’s pumping gun,

I am not your freedom
I will not set you free,

I’m still mending puncture wounds
others have left
in my vital organs,

The butterfly sanctuary you see in me
is a false interpretation
of what lies before you in unmuddled sight;

I’m a tiger’s den
up in flames,

So don’t come too close
You might burn your fingers,

and I don’t want to be the one that turns your heart to black ashes,

That rips those red buds from their stems,

That spits on the last slice of cake,

That uses the last clean towel,

That spends all the spare change in the couch,

That breathes cold air down a warm spine,

I want to tell you to run away,

But I can’t; I want you to stay…

But maybe you should go now,

and retreat

away from my ashes and drowned bones,

back to where you left off…

Measuring Existence (is Futile)

People freaking out about what Jesus looks like

And not what blind faith in this faceless dude

Can do to the people around us

we only become indebted to ourselves

And innocent bystanders

when we bolt our own feet and hands to the crucifix of our mere existence,

We convince our unmediated minds that

It’s not futile if we all believe

There’s a big guy

Watching over us

In the endless sky

For the feeling of emptiness,

when nothingness is all too much to bare

We convince ourselves that the colour of our complexion and the size of our hips

Are adequate measures of how one exists

We often look with our eyes then blindside our minds

Just so that the open sky won’t swallow us whole and shatter our structured bones

From the roots of the grass

Melbourne is my home,

at least for now,

I’m a full-time day dreamer

with my feet firmly planted on this ground,

still a little all over the place,

a little off kilter,

I like a place that has secrets and hidden treasures

in unknown corners,

and people that smile as they walk by

and strangers that are down for deep conversations

and old friends that get you without having to explain yourself,

and flings that unfurl in any season,

and that long-term lover that weaves in and out of your years as you do through theirs,

Sunsets by the beach

Trams that screech

Bustling streets

Rainbow dresses

girls with sleeves

boys with long hair, short hair, no hair, dont care,

I like it when taboos juxtapose the main streets,

and renowned musicians busk on the streets

where busy-ness people stop and watch in awe,

I live for spontaneous adventures,

Climbing cranes

as high as six-storey buildings

in the forbidden night hours,

Sunset walks home from work,

Green-grass and flower-filled parks,

Slamming our poems in attic-bars

and basement studios

and dance halls

and friends’ backyards,

Idea-driven discussions

and drinking the syrup of imagination,

Stretching into downward dog,

Swimming laps before breakfast,

Sipping Sailor Jerry’s and ginger-ale,

while watching a live J Dilla rendition in a private bar from a public balcony,

To the people who squat under abandoned roofs

and make music

and drawings

and jewellery

and graffiti art,

to those who run second-hand bookstores and public libraries

and public art installations,

Laneway markets and local artists,

Conscious local businesses

and local publishers,

To those who work from the roots of the grass,

and those who bloom from the seedlings they plant,

People who bolt swings made from an abandoned fire hose to the ceiling of a ramshackle warehouse,

People that volunteer for a cause they care about,

People that are helping the people on the streets,

People that are kind

and generous

and playful

and adventurous,

walking by sunflowers sprouting from communal gardens

built for those who don’t have a garden of their own,

People who volunteer to share their skills and wisdom

at cafes and bike sheds,

universities and libraries,

People that give hope

and support

and patience,

To the talented dreamers

with the perseverance of Pharlap,

To the people that sustain legacies,

To the sun worshippers,

and those who sleep in,

To those with poor time-management

and those who are well-organised,

To those who work 80-hour-weeks

and those who are unemployed but are working on their dreams,

and to those who juggle both,

To those who educate themselves,

To those who’ve found their niche

and those who are still looking,

To those who feel like they don’t belong anywhere,

I promise

One day

You will find

Somewhere,

And those who pioneer pockets of the community,

To the immigrants, travellers, refugees, interstate movers, endless nomads, the wanderers and the gypsies and those who grew up here,

This city is a beaming beacon that pulls you in,

kisses your forehead

and gives you a platform to be who you’ve always been.

The internal cringe

Perched on the edge of my seat

answering to the big boss,

telling me I’m too friendly with the people making purchases,

telling me it’s my duty to tend to the salesmen,

that “the girls should keep to their role at the front,”

grin and greet,

don’t converse,

oh “you’re lovely, but you’re a girl”,

don’t wander

don’t ponder,

assume your position,

keep to the “yes sir”, “yes madame”,

stand there,

by the window,

there you go,

that’s where you go,

now don’t deviate,

leave the tough tasks

to the big boys,

don’t dirty your pretty fingers,

stand by that window.

*

Hey, hello,

I’m in here,

drowning in this perpetual fish bowl,

can you see me

for who I really am,

or do you just see a piece of flesh

that you could gnaw your teeth into

as you walk by us

perched on the rim of our designated cages,

you know we’re just trying to have a good time

while making a dime,

goofing around

’cause, hey,

we’re still getting the job done,

we’re just having some fun,

and dreaming of

maybe the day

that we’ll be able to tear away these barricades

and shatter that shiny glass

that intercepts this unequal batting ground.

*

Until then we’ll breathe hot air against your solid glass-shield

and draw protestations with our fingers,

taking on the tasks you tell us not to,

just to surpass the illusory roles that you try to cloak us in.

Humans Being

I have a tendency to listen to your melodies on repeat

in the black bleakness of sleepless nights,

the notes of you echo

through this limbo time-shadow,

When my heart hurts

and my eyes won’t stay shut,

hmm, maybe it’s just me keeping myself from moving on a linear plain,

’cause I don’t really know how

to stay

in one place

long enough

for the dark eyes

of the night sky

to make an incision

in my mind

and wake me,

shake me,

to stir these

pulled apart

thoughts

on the fork of my existence,

to thread the split strings

that dangle from the many corners of my mind,

but maybe this time I will

tie the loose ends together

to light the fuse

that grounds me

in one place

for long enough

this time,

like I never have before,

from all the times I led myself astray for the comfort of convenience

that kept me from facing the parroting panic bells

that do fire all at once

against the night sky

inside this tortued brain,

see, now I’m starting to peel the wool

I pulled over my eyes,

and after all this time,

after seeing you in the flesh

after tasting your breath

and kissing your lips

and cuddling into your chest,

once again,

makes you less of a far-away dream

and more of a human being,

just like me.

Wandering the streets of my mind

I’ve been up all night

wandering the streets of my mind,

dreaming of the sour kiss

of a fresh peach

and the brush of a blossom bush

as I carry my feet deeper

and deeper into the summer eve,

stepping over twigs and crunching on leaves

just to feel the sun-drenched concrete blister my feet

and the dry air rasp its breath upon my flesh,

to welcome the day

to brush away the shade,

it’s dark outside

but in here I can see the sunlight,

or so it seems,

so I keep this lamp burning,

my eyes flickering through space,

couldn’t sleep if I wanted to

so I may as well dream…

Haven’t slept well in months,

I think that puncture left a wound

that can’t be bandaged up.

I can feel it fast approaching,

heaving itself upon my shoulders

and breathing down my neck,

a shadow that lingers

and whispers sweet poison

that seeps into my wandering thoughts

and weaves chains around my ankles and wrists,

got to get some sleep

before the darkness leaks into my dreams…