Fish Head

The two halves of one face zipped
Together, coccyx to C1
Hold pensively taut as a dried leaf
Fish hanging from a clothes horse outside
A supermarket, tasked with somehow
Learning to ride the latter
That horse become body, body become
Head, the head already gone along
With the head of the head: the flounder’s eye
In pursuit, as near its other self as it
Will ever get, now sunset lights
Like a lantern this dried semblance: a sign
That one will keep until
The time comes to be eaten

The Bone Balloon

The wind pours sand
Through vetch and skids
Out of sight, over
Imaginary water
Flailing, nay flaying
The bearer of this
Impermeably sutured
Skull that if not wired
In place fossil-fashion
Would float far off
Sure as science, to seek
Its stellar origin
With foregone negative
Conclusion, airtight
As a space helmet
Too busy thinking
To acquire a face
Instead like an egg
Brooding on itself

Appellation d’origine contrôlée

On the quiet freeway out front of the new place
The new governor holds the railing on
A truck float, waving

Credit his election slogan
My region is renowned for its disinfectant
True as far as it went
A towbar tethered to anyone’s little finger

              There was a film over the garden
              You, riddled with deformations
              We were watching
              The grass
              Bug hearths. It seemed
              A landscape gardener grew
              A giant, his client a
              Disgruntled dwarf
              I forgot to mention

I saw your disease in a herbalist’s window
Years ago, implying
It’s been around for some time
And can be treated if not cured

Sandbags to hold in the mountain’s guts
Out front, and round the sides a little wall
The height of your waist, behind which may be found
Flash frozen veg, still green

The governor floats by on a truck wave, railing

Red Light Long Jump

And when the traffic light went red
The stars unwound their skeins
And she was gone and I was left to drive
Off the freeway without slowing down
Off the road, over a hill and through a paddock
And so on, in the light of early morning
Reaching a place I never before had visited: hers
The front door was open, a smell of prawn toast
In the living room where children’s toys
Food wrappers and takeaway containers
Lay under dust in corners
Like sleeping palace guards
I walked past them, heading for the bedroom
Where the love I’d thought of as being
Adventitious was waiting for me
To come and wake her with a kiss

On getting up to go to the toilet
I noticed her daughter in a family photograph
She was out that night with a boyfriend of her own
(The eldest, that was—the youngest she’d drugged asleep)
And realised that I knew the girl already
But kept this knowledge to myself. (It seemed
She was in hospital right now
Having a previously unnoticed teratoma
Removed from in-between her womb
And bowel). I stayed that morning until the sound
Of groggy tears from the room across the hall
Informed me it was time to go

Next time I saw her must have been, what
Seventeen years earlier. My heart
Rejuvenated, so I thought, and
Facilitated by what can only
Have been telepathy, the unspoken
Complicity was so pronounced
In the PE storeroom, over the long jump mats
I found the path to her epicentre. I remember
How it struck but did not distract me
That there seemed to be only one hole down there
The coloured lights soon growing sparser
Minutes later it was dark inside her

Time Was Running Out

So whenever someone took some the others had to stop
Curl and float up like specimens in jars and into space
Till they were finished. There needed to be a roster

Even the man who had personally designed and built
All of the playground equipment, or thought he had
He and his ill-mannered children had to agree

Ants in the dog’s bowl showed how it should be done
While you and I took turns waiting by the phone
To find out if our opportunistic offer would be accepted