What time is wasted?

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There are no oceans on the moon—
that’s why I want to swim in them.
Listening to a dead man’s voice,
willing to believe his lies.

We are never where we think we are.
I am eight years old…
sand in my teeth…
I hear laughing.

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Aesthetics of emotion

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A life story told in moments
only one person cares to sew together,

“I had a dream the other night…
you were in it!” only now you listen.

Perhaps our stories are sewn up
together in places, like pleats…

to pick them apart would spoil everything.

We like things to be pretty:
it helps draw attention from all the ugliness.

Words

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One writer
in this anthology
gave up writing.

The others kept going
—their names
are in book lists.

No one knows
where the writer
went.

The writer may be
a suicide; left rotten,
forgotten in the woods.

Their writing
in this anthology
does suggest the possibility.

Perhaps they just decided
that writing such things
was pointless,

and are quite happy
somewhere, doing things,
and not writing about them.

Only the words
left in this anthology
remind us

there was
a writer at all.

Imaginary gravity

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on this rock
round this star
through space and time
I pretend to orbit you—
another hurtling speck

Here

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we have been down every corridor
each door we open
holds a different scene

but we have been
through it

we search for an exit
from this maze
a door to some new place

but it is endless
here

Declension of pain

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He is in love with someone’s eye.
She is in love with a prosthetic history .

He is in love with places he hasn’t visited.
She is love with feelings she hasn’t experienced.

They are in love with someone else’s loves.

I am in love with your sensibilities.
You are in love with a curator.

We are in love with something to be deleted.

Dream woman

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A woman floats through a dream.
In your dream, she dreams of you—
in hers, another floats dreaming through.

No more luck

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Another mirror in a thousand pieces—
sweep the floor clean,
leave the wall bare.

Jerusalem lost

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we don’t ramble or rove
coastlines pining death
no sea kelp kisses
or obsidian hickies
for us please
the salt spray foam
the wild horses
trigger allergies

we eat kumara
with garlic aioli
and the noise of traffic
drowns the voice
of any god who calls
though we remember haka
when drunk enough
and beer is still the rage

and the rain’s choir still visits
—the tin roofs of cbd apartments
are not unlike rabbiters’ huts
there are still traps here
but these islands
have been given shape
they resemble dystopian
backstories to tween romances
they feel like sitcoms

some of us still wax lyrical
under gibbous moons
our nails are stained yellow
we still look savage roaming streets
peddling poetry on card and paper
we still bear the heavy musk of tobacco
some of us remember our geography
by rambling coastlines

and I guess I strike a heroic figure
in my skinny jeans
and am a mopey fuck like you too
so there is that

Another river

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The moon does not cast our shadows
into the water. The pebbles do not watch
our shadows drift over as we leave them.
That river has been dry for years.

Sometimes I’m still scared

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I might go blind
if I look at you too long.
It’s like I’m holding audience
with the most holy thing
my godless brain can invent:
you emit this religious kind of light
that touches me in the same way
the sun touches plants.

If Jesus himself busted in on this poem,
in an explosion of sunbeams,
rainbows, and neon angels,
I’d probably just glance over
at that whole dull scene,
put on some dark sunglasses,
apply some SPF 50,
and then turn straight back to you.

Taupiri’s warning

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The light abandons us
to another night.
Tree tips become membranes:
Sky and Earth share skin.
Ink mists gather:
blue blood bleeding
into black horizons.
We fold senseless
into it all:
a boundless origami
of forest and river,
their creatures and their filth.
Hills and mountains rise:
Igneous whales
from lava oceans beneath.
Up turns down,
and inside, out.
Another cataclsym:
the void reclaims us.
Do what you can now:
The light will not return.

Homelands

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in this square oasis
family talk a tongue
I have never learned

the thermostat is set
at the temperature of a country
I have never visited

foreign rugs hang
on the walls of a home
I have never left behind