H  O  M  E    &    A   W   A   Y      2  0  1  0
   n z e p c
Pam Brown   

All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney             


Windows Wound Down

parked under
a chalky old light pole,
windows wound down,
dozing on the front seat,
on the radio
Chinese classical music

hot night tonight,
across the road
a man is wearing
his hat, indoors.

the stars that I love,
when I remember
to look at them,
blink above the building


I’ve memorised
a Keats sonnet
for February
a Tom Clark poem
for March

julienned the carrots
for spicy carrots
with harissa, cumin,
parsley, garlic, lemon,
while listening
to crazy music –
Albert Ayler


a Czech poetry paperback
bought in 1971,   
there’s a 30 cent ticket
to the Penguin Reserve
on Phillip Island
and a poignant note
tucked between the pages
of a poem marked with a pencilled ‘x’

‘x’ – Vladimir Holan, Changes –
This is our hope : that we have passed
the limits of the last reality.
But while consciousness disappears
it is the very consciousness
whose constant changes
remain . . .

the note –
I can’t bring myself to write
what’s in my head
I am splitting up north I guess
I love you


The Collected Poems
of Gwen Harwood
is on the table
but I should
prepare a talk
for Zines in April


going on online,
a small discussion
(between 3 poets)
about experimental poetry
and free verse that one poet says
is really
anecdotal ‘sincerity’
wrapped up in the unified ‘I’

oh dear I think that must mean me,
with whom I am definitely stuck,
I have
my limitations, though
not always ‘sincere’,
and never ‘unified’ –
only paranoid


do carpenters
read novels
about carpenters?
do pastrycooks
about pastrycooks?
poets read novels
by poets,
Roberto Bolano

yes, it seems so


another phone call
more cancer
and another
a month later

like Michael said,
now we’ll spend
the rest of our lives
watching our friends die.


End of the First Week


by the time they caught Karadzic
everyone here had forgotten
who he was, what he’d done


water on mars?
let’s fuck mars up too

space terrain
flag a claim,
space fear sphere,
see you tomorrow


why not
recalibrate your lifestyle

how did Jean Genet
live in hotels
for so long?


she wiped her face
with the wettex
then turned to kiss me

let me
track your parcel


find a city,
well, find a city first, I agree,
find myself a city to live in.
David Byrne, Cities

I can’t google-map my past,
where we lived is classified


f u Peter P !
u know y


walk the spoodle
and the labradoodle
past the pot of pesto
under the patio gas heater

grown men
with ridiculous dogs


End of the Second Week


the podiatrist’s fingertips
are orange with nicotine,
my corn recoils


lithium eclipse
a new cocktail

ice wine
a minor fever


booking into
the Nasty Uncles Hotel
one moonlit night,
a double-bed room,
a nasty argument,
a bus stop


the first Koreans of the season,
cloth hats, one silver coolie,
comic-print backpacks,
peering over fences at plants
imported from Korea –

it’s Spring


End of the Third Week


gone solar


cicadas sucking sap
underground –
that’s optimism


I’m not going
to Zines in April,
too old too tired too late


still in opposition –
dead prepositions,
and needless adverbs


industrialising pollination

my white paper poem
no conclusion

I would like to see
some viridian,
in my opinion
a neglected colour


End of the Month


First published in Cultural Studies Review 16.1 (2010)




Rehab for Everyone

hands so cold
             fingers cold
tucked under legs
   sitting in insect hiss
           low white noise
   gas heater undertone
        no other sound

almost asleep,
       a car pulling up the hill

        a currawong
  does that shrill thing
                    into pink air

a huge open yawn
           almost breaks my jaw

  the pen that makes the marks
            alters the angles of the letters

a patch
       of yesterday’s chocolate
              stuck to my corduroy sleeve –
a signal
         imagined and interpreted

we look back
            at the years in the tops
     waiting to be taken out of time

red brick
       wall map of Australia
      grass green carpet
mustard coloured plastic chairs
          clumpy piling on the mittens

mitts on the keyboard
         pushing thoughts and jingles
   to Dublin to Seattle,
            Adelaide, Kane`ohe,
                       Faversham, Glebe

sadly notating dim trivia
                    outside community

literary festivals
           can’t help anyone
       like a rehab book sale

making mistakes,
             so different
      from being morally wrong

in an unsettling world
              it‘s a rabbit life,
built the walls from Castrol cases

black tyre ribbons
       like a giant’s licorice
under the striated cutting
             siding on the highway,
say goodbye
           to the Woodford bends

sometimes the clunky
             can incandesce
      but I want to know
how to vitalize gawkiness,

I’m in my no-mind     sometimes
          in a technological mindlessness
  sometimes nowhere near limber,
                          although that’s unusual

some people
          just float along all the time
     accumulating the placid

 when you think you’re going down
                   you’re not,
you’re going straight ahead
                         to a utopia of modernity.


First published in HEAT 21 (2009) and Parthenon West Review 7 (2010)



©Pam Brown