new zealand electronic poetry centre
Jack Ross
3rd Birthday


1 – Cover
2 – Code
3 – Stories
4 – Safe House
5 – Signs
6 – The Opposition
7 – Inside
8 – Blown



I – Cover

That scent of air-conditioned air
as you pass a door,
cave-cold; fur
of condensation
            on a beer:
Auckland midsummer.

The Mexican Navy’s here
in town, picking up
girls in khaki shorts – the lights
are out.
            A yellow-backed cop
claps his hands twice.

II – Code

                                                DRIVE                 Drive and sleep         SLEEP
                                DRIVE                              in the whorls                                    SLEEP
                LIVE                  AND                 the moon creates        AND                 LEAP
                                SLEEP                                     a gap                                DRIVE
                                                SLEEP                it does, you know       DRIVE

                                                EUROPE           Europe made easy       EASY
                                EUROPE                       Ave des Perdrix                      EASY
                RISE                  MADE                  Patrijzenlaan                         MADE               REST
                                EASY                                 I found it                              EUROPE
                                                EASY                    by the birds              EUROPE


III – Stories

Red truck on a stubble field;
red light – BUSH RD –
sparks green.   Two figures, finger-
tall, talk: girl,
singlet, overalls, with man in
             yellow coat.

Converging forces.   “It is, above all,
to make you see.”   Car heading up the hill:
tan field, red truck, dun
raincloud – static
signing, as I
             vector past.


IV – Safe House

Shop-assistants in Dymocks
Princesses lointaines
a pack of plastic spines
to give them backbone
( xeroxed inside-out)

the pilot light deceives me
as I fail to sleep
later each night
– high heels, insomnia –


V – Signs

                    Rocks for sale
you are contemplating a change
                                          would give the htrae

Marina magic
        … sullen, brown, lagoon …
                             No Exit.


VI – The Opposition

School for strangeness:
             “this seat is really warm;
it’s scaring me.”
             Trawling for silence.

Anne Batten MP
can you tell me
             the way to the Mews?

Articulated truck
jack-knifes.   Chew Juicy Fruit
(Alicia’s fault) – up there, the crescent moon.


VII – Inside

Indian summer – CK: Calvin Klein;
a grove of lopped, topped
eucalyptus trees.

Smoke-signals over the Waitak’s.
Abdullah Mohamed
lives, with his nephew, in a two-roomed flat:
$210 a week.

We cannot master
the art of parallelism:
so much, so many – so few.


VIII – Blown

white boat
you’re blue
contact lens



© Jack Ross 2004


Last updated 18 October, 2018