davey dreamnation

seething since 2001

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Category: Poems (page 2 of 5)

As of October 2011, I’d posted over three hundred poems on this site, including many sonnets and search poems, as well as numerous poems that didn’t make it into chapbooks such as Abendland and Morgenland. I then ceased posting poems here, choosing instead to distribute them via my poem of the week newsletter. Then I stopped doing that too. Every now and then I post a poem here … but not as often as I’d like.

Sich Öffnen

(open! all hours in a million states 
/ face facts we're broken / up to 
our necks in technicalities! --->
smitten! by sunny smiles & hazy 
sprays / we prayed for endings /
we prayed for endings yes & for 
gamma rays! poetry is relative! 
at least it's relatively cheap / so 
strap yourself on don't disappoint 
me when the future leaves! --->
... we'll drop a bomb upon ourselves
& rip the snails from all the shells /
i've had a vision of their truths &
now i'm drowning in 100% proof ...
(a-oooh, ooh!) (a-oooh, ooh!) --->
(overloaded! we've had too much 
& now it's time / believing bullshit /
that kind of bullshit it makes us all
second-rate! ---> (in a hole! one we 
have dug here for ourselves / it's 
time to STFU / just STFU while you 
still have the chance! (organise your 
funerals / coz nobody one else will 
really care (about the little details / 
what are your mothers doing here? 
watched you write / watched you 
fight / i'll watch youse fade away 
(a-oooh, ooh!) (a-oooh, ooh!) --->
watched you breathe / i heard you 
leave / i cried for several days (ah-
oooh, ooh!) --> now for the bridge!
(a-oooh, ooh!) ---> another bridge!
(a-oooh, ooh!) ---> (repeat: OPEN!
open for several hours & then not /
i wish you peace & / nothing spoken
nothing else left out / if you insisted!
i'd make a case for growing old / but
you're so twisted / i can't be arsed &
so - auf wiedersehen! (a-oooh, ooh!) 
---> (a-oooh, ooh!) ---> (a-oooh --->
ooh!) ---> (a-oooh, ooh!) ---> & you 
fade (a-oooh, ooh!) ---> & fade & --->
fade away (a-oooh, ooh!) ------->


testing ah testing one two three four five six –
is this thing on? can you hear me up the back
there? no? okay how about now? that’s good
that’s better (okay damn the PA what i came
here to say is quite simple really (just listen to
me now you’ve heard what everybody else has
to say it’s a matter of common decency isn’t it
i’d appreciate a bit of silence (are you sure it’s
switched on? what? i see (it sounds like no one
here can hear me i say you up the back there
you there walking out the door would you all
just shut up for a moment what i’ve got to say
is extremely important i’ll only take a minute of
your time after which you’re free to say what
you like this is a free country after all & while
i disagree with what you say i’ll defend forever
your right to say it (right after i’ve said my piece
frankly i don’t think it’s very fair to characterise
me that way (on this occasion & on this day we
come together to remember how things were &
how i’d like them to remain (if you’d kindly put
that down sir i don’t think there’s any need for
that wouldn’t you agree? sorry i can’t hear you
i don’t think this thing’s even switched on is it?
would you speak up please? could we have a
bit of quiet? is this thing on? can you hear me?

The Day Britney Died

was standing in the bathroom shaving my head
when the news came through about how britney
had died & i just choked up you know i had an
emotional malfunction kept scratching my face
like some academic stunned by the shrill levity
that followed & all the drive-time scrambling for
moronic puns as far as i could tell no one really
cared about britney at all it was as if she hadn’t
actually died but only gone crazy maybe shaved
her head for cancer research i looked at the tufts
of my hair on the tiles & started crying i didn’t
know why but somehow they reminded me of
french collaborators during the war the women
paraded in village squares & their shaved heads
the self-righteous stares & the grim satisfaction
as if you could eradicate someone’s shame with
a pair of clippers & therefore exonerate society
or just yourself i swept up my dwindling clumps
& thought it’s no use selling this on ebay is it?
when it just grows back (unlike a severed head
i switched the radio off & britney was still dead

Afternoon Clouds Sprinkles

Reading your electrical poems in a Northcote
bar in winter made me long for Sydney where
July was windy and wet but not cold. I sat in a
laudromat once, read Faulkner to stay warm –

& by September the frangipani was exploding
along the Chippendale lanes. A sock got cold.
I tramped through Central Station & hoped in
desperation that if I closed my eyes I might

pretend to be living somewhere else but as I
had never lived outside of New South Wales
all I could think of was Sydney in the 1920s,
the futurism of Bondi travel posters (and I’d

already been there, once. I wish I could turn
to poetry the dismal warehouse districts of
Fouveaux Street & surrounds, the whipped
palm trees, the blackboard menus inside the

Atlantic Cafe but I can’t – they removed the
soul of Strawberry Hills just to make houses
from its yellow clay years ago & the pub that
shares its name has now stopped playing jazz.

Oh yes, it blows just like the wind. The paper
today carried another article about Australian
poetry, written for everyone over sixty. I am
reminded of seasons, the way they insinuate

themselves inside culture & how we insulate
ourselves from change (unless the climate is
at stake, in which case Sydney blows its bum
notes all along ‘Broadway’. So I light another

Craven A, crack a silver bullet, chomp down
on those sausages Bert Newton ate in Fatty
, dreaming of the days when trams lit up
Sydney skies with meteor showers of sparks.

chmod r-w-x


she changed mode from mod to journo
helsinki bound on a sleigh west of NO!
bottle-blonde furies stalking XY stage
shaken three-piece tour posters blur


lyrics in crayon lying dead in a field
frozen shut her eyebrow raised when
she plays my ipod says NO WA(VE)Y!
like sue me helsinki! (art school’s ok


showcase tiny amounts of WWII flak –
trigger spirals morph blow waves NY!
like why WAY! when you can say GO!
that’s what they call love of diagrams

Day One Rabbit

“Every time a rabbit comes out of its burrow,
it is facing Vietnam the whole of its life …”
Allen Carr (R.I.P.)
they call me pirate dave just to piss me off
i am the vietnam rabbit coming out of a hole
out of a burrow blown to bits i am a rabbit
coming out of my hole every day for the rest
of my life it’s vietnam i’m on pirate radio
for twenty one days bury me face down so you
can all kiss my arse i am a white rabbit on
pirate radio this is my story don’t call me
dave i’m fragging myself i’m fire in a hole
i’m a rabbit on fire in a hole it’s vietnam
on the radio pirates coaxing rabbits out of
holes a memory of a bitumen street at home
i was just dave no one bothered to check if
that was okay by me well fuck you all i am
a rabbit you can call me pirate dave i was
watching tv when vietnam happened we were
eating tv dinners in front of vietnam on a
tv my father made himself from a kit it was
his birthday when they rolled the dice & he
was gone in a puff of smoke someone calls it
magic i called it vietnam i got kicked out
of the band because they had too many daves
in the lineup already so i volunteered for
chopper duty started smoking watching puffs
of smoke from the relative luxury of some
chinook in the sky i dreamed of rabbits in
fluffy white cloud uniforms coming out of
holes in the sky above vietnam we were all
smiles for the tv i saw my mother’s face in
that camera’s lens & blessed america dove
into that hole full of pirates all named
dave on tv daves pulled faces from barrells
full of birthdays dad’s was one of them off
he went a puff of smoke cigarette dangling
from his jazzy lip the tv stopped working
the day he left i bought a magician’s cape
& started fooling around with mirrors magic
dave they called me fuck them all i said
what’s your name pal he said richard nixon
i said how about if i called you dickhead
he said fine by me & disappeared in a puff
of smoke that didn’t come from a cigarette
it came from vietnam where we smoke rabbits
out of holes not just the white ones but the
red and blue ones too i was colour blind as
noah i had a rabbit his name was charlie he
never called me dave just sat there smoking
cigarettes day in day out listening to duke
ellington driving me crazy with that stuff
he was smoking charlie i said you ever meet
richard nixon say what day’s your birthday
charlie never answered back just put those
headphones on & ignored me my penitentiary
was the graveyard shift insufficient wattage
to spook charlie who never did dig the radio
anyway stuck in his hole smoking cigarettes
charlie started turning blue right in front
of me started coughing up red gunk from his
lungs started turning white as vietnam on a
high school map that was the hole they said
dave you gotta get into that hole you gotta
save that rabbit & i said hey don’t call me
dave i’m vietnam i’m pirate radio & i am no
fucking maggot i’m twenty one days of rumour
control twenty one nights of vietnam smokes
& rabbits coming out of my arse i had a hard
on for radio jane fonda she’s a foxy rabbit
in a puff of smoke it all disappeared wiped
those tapes couldn’t bear to hear the loops
winding over & over vietnam awol dave i am
a pirate rabbit clambering out of the hole
the grenades bounce off me as i yell fugazi
or sebadoh running towards the px the depot
every time a rabbit comes out of its burrow …

Recognition of Prior Learning

recognition of
prior learning
hindsight benefit
who’s got medicine?

easy bodyguard
take it to the yard
dont you run away
look who’s turning grey

I’m taking my own direction on
starpower the intersection of
what you believe and
what i’ve got

recognition of
prior learning
pass the physical
just look busy or

study harder still
sacrifice your will
cruise to second place
the resources race

I’m taking my own direction on
starpower the intersection of
what you believe and
what i’ve got


Two of the poems I wrote in Seoul, namely “Hoju Bihang-gi” and “imaginary cities: saga” have just been published in the second issue of Peril, the Asian-Australia literary magazine. It’s a pretty nifty site, actually, and you can even rate the poems out of ten! Other writers featured in this issue include Michael Farrell, Christopher Kelen and Adam Aitken, plus a tribute to Lisa Bellear. It’s also exciting for me that another imaginary city has found a home – this makes five so far this year!

Karin Revisited: The Audio

Karin Revisited: The Audio

00:00 / 6:06
Last Friday’s Poetry Picture Show event in Sydney was a lot of fun. Ten poets reading out poems about the moving image, followed by short films based on the contents of those poems.

Highlights for me were Kate Lilley’s take on Mildred Pierce and John Tranter’s Paris Blues but of course everyone was wonderful.

The crowd was great too, packing out the old Darlington School hall, a building I’d never even been to, though it’s in the grounds of Sydney University, where I scraped through an undergraduate degree.

You can read my poem Karin Revisited (inspired by the film Can You Feel Me Dancing, starring Justine Bateman as Karin) online or listen to an audio version above.

One thing I noticed about the text version of my poem, which is written in four line stanzas, is that I inadvertently included a stanza with only three lines.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the fourth line?

Here is what it looks like right now, in context:

Dancing makes you free. You're in an invisible
machine, standing upright, & each movement of
your body bends space & time. For Karin, that
moment before lift-off comes like a swoon, or

a screen kiss at the end of a dance. She freezes
in mid-air like Superman before a blue screen,
or a magician's assistant, supported by strings,

listening for the end of each scene. A minimum
of crowd noise, just the tube's silver surf. The
way it was that afternoon at home when she sat
& listened all the way through it. That silence ...

Any ideas?

Guru Josh, Softblow & GDS

Last night’s Going Down Swinging launch, held at Yelza in Fitzroy, was great fun. So much fun in fact that I’m only now on the verge of consciousness, my detox plans having been shredded, thrown out and then reassembled by the mysterious power of Guru Josh, whose track “Infinity” is only slightly overshadowed by its b-side, the “Spacey Saxophone Mix”.

Words cannot begin to express the effect that this song, this man, this ouevre have had on me over the past fifteen years. Suffice it to say, the guy is completely untold.

Also untold and slightly bulk ace, the Singapore-based webzine Softblow features one new poem (“Back To the Tourist III”) and two of my imaginary cities, namely “Coni” and “Cubi”. Read them at Softblow today!

But if there was an award for bulk ace, it’d surely have to go to outgoing GDS editor and owner of her own rollerskates, alicia sometimes. Last night, I believe, marked her sixteen thousandth public appearance, and for that reason alone, I salute her. Bulk ace and fully untold!

New Space Seasons

(1) high

season before anyone gets there. clean airports. season for new roads and sidewalks. haircuts to die for. fancy dress outfitters. convenience stores. spare parts for rocket ships. strong coffee.

(2) slack

season of our eventual reunion. in a sunny room where it’s always possible to forecast the weather. bicycle riding. small kittens and dictionaries. rocks thrown at windows. expensive bath mats. blindfolds.

(3) wet

season of immigration towers and state peace. aladdin released. addresses blocked. visas refused. unfinished books. boredom. looping playlists. correspondences. hot telephones. text. scarves. puddles.

(4) slow

season of skyline highs. arranging escapes. throwing out old clothes. empty flats. one bowl of milk per day. subtitles and dark sunglasses. blurry stars. postcards. batteries. champagne.

Anonymous (Fake

there is something very
pseudo about all this –
there is something very
pseudo about you – every
thing you do is fake (you
are a fake – is nothing
real to you? your ‘art’
(if you can call it that)
is mediocre) it’s all so
juvenile and all so –
‘middlebrow’ … king of
kmart – it’s all just a
little game for you –
for some of us it’s real†

And we attacked the world and it worked

two hearts rushing into the freaky world
busted compromised lonely to be pitied –
smashed our glasses & instead went blind
no way back thrashed beaten or overcome†

& so we attacked the world & it worked –
put our divisions into place & attacked
attacked their betrayals & coded silence
coded our response to meet unmet demands

why do you do what you do you dead people
& why do you bother learning to scream –
or even to fly (you know how that’s okay
but what the fuck’s your problem anyway?

two hearts thrashing at the stolen world
& so we attacked the truth & it exploded
fine by us we said here’s another radio –
scorned by some ubiquitous social scenes

driven like a bus through horizontal snow
they turned up a heater instead of an amp
& so we attacked each other & it worked –
flew into flight plans destined for death

we attacked the dead & they said nothing –
attacked attacked & thrashed against poles
tore down maps trudged through wrongs ways
now the seasons crawl like stupid traffic

& the crows find food even in plastic bags
attacked attacked (i can’t find your lips
maybe you just needed to cry rivers drains
two hearts pushing into the freaky stream –

attacked the line attacked each other till
the emptiness of forever the brittle calls
the studded avenues of mistakes brawling –
we attacked the world & it fucking worked

Pomes what I have wrote

Here in Washington DC it’s muggy and my credit’s running out so this is peppy: check out some of me poems online here at nthposition. They’re entitled “in heaven itís always raining”, “why do you cry run lola run” and “when we were in the wild poems” – all of which may sound a bit confusing except for the fact that the poems are named after their opening lines. Okay, look busy.

Pattern poem

lying on the beach i got hassled
cheating’s a way of life for some
hating can lead men to violence
stealing has been misunderstood

shooting heroin sure beats guns
tooting horns make no difference
screaming is one form of release
killing was a bad idea at the time

lying’s a way of life for some
cheating can lead men to violence
hating has been misunderstood
stealing heroin sure beats guns

shooting horns make no difference
tooting is one form of release
screaming was a bad idea at the time
killing on the beach i got hassled

lying can lead men to violence
cheating has been misunderstood
hating heroin sure beats guns
stealing horns make no difference

shooting is one form of release
tooting was a bad idea at the time
screaming on the beach i got hassled
killing’s a way of life for some

lying has been misunderstood
cheating heroin sure beats guns
hating horns make no difference
stealing is one form of release

shooting was a bad idea at the time
tooting on the beach i got hassled
screaming’s a way of life for some
killing can lead men to violence

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