Tag Archives: Andrew Phillips

there’s always a reason

it’s not always the little rusted spring
that slipped off the governor
on the mower I borrowed

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A warm winter’s bank

I sit reading Snyder
on a cedar log skateboard

there’s a wattle tree
next to the river

I stand and go to it
to touch it’s yellow existence

and while i’m still stunned by it
being here in california

a man walking his dog asks
about the log skateboard

and I ask him about the wattle

he’s a landscaper
and doesn’t know the wattle’s name here

but knows there are very few
I tell him aboriginal tribes

favour the timber
for making boomerangs

and he asks again
about the cedar log

I made into a skateboard.

Regulations

Walk your Skateboard!

Umm…
          pardon?

Walk your board across the bridge!

I stop. Swap my ten month old daughter to my right arm
and kick the board to my other hand, call out
to my three sons on bikes to stop.
The uniform keeps walking but is looking back
knows I’m going to ask.

Sure. Umm bikes too?

No, bikes are fine.

Right, so, why must I
walk my skateboard
across this bridge?

It’s policy.

Yes, I’m sure it is.
Why, is it policy to walk my skateboard
across this bridge.

 It’s policy.

I stare at him.
Then check that my three boys haven’t already
crossed the bridge to explore the trails on the other side.
I look back at him, swap my daughter to the other arm
and lean the skateboard against myself.
He drops his head, steps a little closer to reduce any scene.

The glass panels
get broken by skateboards.

Right, thanks. I guess
the skaters who are
ollieing yeah? The type
without a baby in their arms?

I turn and walk my board and daughter
across the bridge.
We enjoy the ducks below
with their butts
in the air.

to walk over there

it just became more and more difficult
to wear the responsibility of skin. never a glance

down a barrel aimed with shot
yet this is the modern loaded gun; glances
packed with distance

and sure you’ve got a clip
full of questions
questions

this timber bench seat has been painted dozens of times – so much sitting – the grass isn’t worn into tracks – the concrete path is wide – you could drive tanks full of handshakes and smiles down there

sorry isn’t sorry
if it sits down afterwards
sympathy feels wet and dripping
yet you’ve gotta carry something over there

what is the average weight of an accidental condescending comment? nothing
weighed against an attempt plus forgiveness smile, which is a collaboration

between two
arms folded
looking down at the same spot of ground
standing in a park in south brisbane

Ashes

 (inspired from David Stavanger @readerinres ‘ashes’)

a bruised face records the good shots
an inelegant swann spins from vulture street
I miss the hill – I don’t
miss the dog track – what happened
to Happy Jack?

we aussies sing in beautiful chorus
when the lyric includes ‘wanker’ – Broad is
conducting crowds in a deep square
the kid in front is seeing the beach ball
like fruit-flys

the umpire doesn’t have his eye in
the member’s haze on stanley is rich
boxes come in air-conditioned
or extremely humid

Section 14 Row T seat 7 is bellow
XXXX survives on event monopoly
slow motion replays reveal VB stepped on
toes over the border

 the umpire called
‘bye’

 It requires 6 x ten, nine, eight, seven, six,
five, four, three, two, one for a Mexican 2 pi R

white is a canvas
bowlers draw batsmen
holding the bat out
there’s a spot they missed
for advertising

Wooloon-cappemm (jagerra)
means place of swirling plastic beer cups

skin is drum tight and has no rhythm

7 turns 8 and the new watch arrives. It’s water
resistant. We wait for a trickle past her knee.
4 might make it to 5 in a few weeks if he’d just Keep
your hands to yourself!
2 will probably wake early and shout
at the top of his voice that he’s 2
holding three fingers above his head.
Next week the eternal 10 weeks stops our heart
for the 6th time. 6! Where did 6 go?
0 is overdue by a week and a day. Batteries are low
in the remote and need charging if you want to fast-forward
from the floor. Ticked-off ticks off another
level of candy crush. A new record.
Eyes roll anti-clockwise.

Swirling concrete

for Matt Reid

& for Nathan Damianopoulos

1.

you wake from vineyards

the improvised

fingers

of keith jarrett

off beat

grapes

slow-drip        through                      veins

it’s a morning that promised thunder                    full of     broken

clouds

and a new promise;          you can pour

            a house

                        if you want the money

2.

first touch of shovel is heavy

on ears

across a ribbed tray               the six thirty sun      wincing grapefruit eyes

wait

for conctete

the diesel engine
before it turns

into the street

3.

your screed levels the first steps of a new family

sun’s hand on your back           you are papery

notes of sand pungent soapy lime            you forgot to swipe
underarm       fruity lactic   wipe a nose

across your shoulder                        a cedar blend

of Barossa Adelaide hills and a dusty
mushroom across your neck

when you wash

the wood float

it is furry

there are there there are

a million things

on in Brisbane right now. this

is one 

shameless self-promotion 

riverwords photo

Brisbane Fringe Festival is in it’s second year. I really wanted to perform some poems on this river of ours. Partly to interact with the river in a different way, partly because it devastated us not so long ago and I want to learn how to love it again and also maybe just because we can get in a tinny and read some poetry (and that can be fun). If you’re interested… I’d love you to be there.

It’s this Friday night.

Two sessions –  6pm and 8pm.

Get a ticket – 6pm session

Get a ticket – 8pm session

or reserve a seat here: Brisbane Fringe Festival – Riverwords.  and here

is a poem I’ll read on Friday night (first published in fourW magazine 2012)   

 

In need of a poem

Fingernails full
of river can’t be
explained.   

Thoughts seep into the carpet.  

I want the nose of the knee-deep
throwing wet bags of stand back.   

They bulldoze novels into a council pile of lounge chairs.


In need of a poem that’ll break the silence
with the river we loved, point out
we are still deeply in love, but don’t

know how.  Like Grammar girls first time
back, stroking 5am oars. 

Because it drifts past like a dog at the back
fence wondering
what it did on the carpet. 

In need of a poem
so I asked some buddies, who
shared their river.

 

Facebook Event: Riverwords

 

Winter Ginko: City Botanic Gardens

Graham Nunn (Another Lost Shark) led us on a ginko (a haiku walk) on Sunday. Here are some of the local Brisbane poets and our haiku here:

Winter Ginko: City Botanic Gardens.

 

 

unfolding you

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

you place you on top of the aeroplane pile
big-eyes, arms-out, standing on grass
it’s for me.

I pick you up and crease you with my thumb

cross your arms
turn your eyes over
and press your head into the table

when it’s almost complete
for test-flight hand over

you dissolve into sobs.

take gulpfuls to unfold your words.

I have no idea what I’ve done.

.

for Nogsy

Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. & Meanjin

Check out this installation from the totally wonderful Pascalle Burton:  Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. There are circular poems from feature poets that Pascalle has made into stamps (these will be at QPF in August) meanwhile other poets are interacting with the project online with their own circular poems. Mine is here:    Circular Poetry Contributor: Andrew Phillips.

In other news, my piece ‘Cooee’ is published in the current Meanjin Vol 72. I can’t tell you how stoked I am to be in such a beautiful and well read publication. I’m one super stoked prawn.