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2019 SpringT3POETS

Three Poems

By December 19, 2019March 29th, 2024No Comments
© London at night, 1930s, London, by Eric Lee-Johnson. Te Papa (O.030666)

© London at night, 1930s, London, by Eric Lee-Johnson. Te Papa (O.030666)

temporal anomalies


New York City


winking lights swimming amongst the thunderstorm
will-o-wisps of comfort that linger in the
thunder forked horizon
this street never sleeps but turn left and find
the rabbit hole to fall down


roses bloomed from graveyard lips
fireworks in the midday brilliance
back cold against the headstones
grass and mud between toes
ring the bell, we’re coming back


we’ll climb out of the ground and
quiver in the sunlight
old movie glamour in a dust storm
new age order in a blizzard
come out of your tomb, this is ageless




bruised cathedral cloud above pearlescent canals
speared by brilliant light and embers
snake into the murky depths
weighed down under the conscience
of river stones in coat pockets


a silent fall into a cacophony
hot coin pounded on the anvil
sparks against the spilt ink
fever chill light show outside lichen glass
wedding confetti snowflakes


every corner looks the same, lantern burned out
the crone beckons with backwards fingers
brickwork and unpolished gleam
red light like blood on black leatherwe cannot sleep here, it isn’t safe


Las Vegas


whip wind, orange and peach sand
through discarded lives and cardboard
thick sheets of plastic
running across the playground sky streaked in heavy oils
that soak our numb fingers and quivering lips


shaking rattling drawers of knucklebones
that dance through teenage years like veils
ripped and tattered in the kaleidoscope midnight
where under the grave of the american dream
they dig dig dig with their shovel tongues


don’t knock on the glass but —
daddy isn’t home. daddy isn’t home and the
kids are free to play in this snowglobe hell
the only thing that fucks them up anymore
isn’t coming round tonight


apocalypse song

wind snatched arms wrapped around his body — a carved out inflatable bed filled by an airy sorrow


the alcohol goes straight through him — drops on the dirt. into the pool.


imagine: desert, rolled out like a pancake, stretching on for miles — all shimmer and brassy shine of the dirt and nothing else.


it’s a good place to hide a body — a better place to hide regrets.


crystalline light echoes out from this point in time,
lungs expanding in slow breaths,
spine to ribs


in this moment here:


he’s high. that’s not unusual. there’s not much to do where the world ends — you’ll end up digging your own grave if you’re not careful.


stop — stop trying to fucking eat everything in the house?

no, stop — seriously!


what is food for if not to go in my — hey!


i’ll shove it up your ass. that’s for my dad


a father that is as much a mirage as the oasis — only visible from the top of the fence, only possible when you’re not stoned or rolling or inebriated — which is 90% of his waking days.


a true treasure.


anyway — here. this moment. pool water in his hair. cheeks ballooning with bread.


stop fucking — laughing!


they’re both laughing.


the desert is empty — orange, sunset blades, broken open like a giant’s fist: end of the fucking world.


half the alcohol goes on the floor. the other half, across his face. he forgets about it — won’t remember until he


god, you smell like lighter fluid


fuck you!


a knee in the back.


get out of here if you hate it


smothered under his hands, fingers in his mouth, too drunk to focus, too —


the world is falling apart.


in years, he’ll know that — wish he had been more urgent. the desert is a good place to hide things. you just have to remember where you buried them.


he doesn’t remember, but it doesn’t matter — he’d unearth the whole country if he had to


why are you still awake?


why are you asleep?


knee in the back. alcohol on the floor. empty pool. daddy isn’t home. no-one’s home. he’s not home — vacant lot, vacant eyes.


well —


it’s just a goodbye



magpie boy

nothing is ever just out here

grip bruised around your heart.

he was going and you were not

and it was fucking unfair and it hurt so much it felt like someone had driven a knife between your ribs and vivisected you, laid you bare and held you up to tell the entire world that:


look at this blood,

look at this viscera,

look at this boy with

an empty ribcage

that isn’t empty at all

look at the walls of his

chest graffitied with a

name, look at these

fingerprints, this

criminal who has

touched every inch

of you, and in the

light it’s ugly and bare

and you swear               it was nothing, you


fucking swear.


you stole so much from him: but you never stop to think about what he stole from you: it’s zero sum: you wish:
money, food, alcohol clutched between bloodied fingers compared to the heist he pulled on you and wish
hours and hours of days, sand slipping down windpanes like a tipped hourglass smuggled: sticky lips and wish
two years of his life wet taste of alcohol and wish
his pills and chlorine daydreams that it would come back to you but —
his clothes (stuffed into your bag) in the pool at midnight criminals deserve no sympathy
moments and photos and kisses and firsts and lasts and — there’s a mound of sand inside your chest
with kleptomaniac hands enough pieces to tape together a photograph you’re not a fucking genie
Blaine Kelly

Blaine was born in London but grew up in West Auckland. They recently finished their BA in English and Gender Studies at the University of Auckland, and are currently South Korea bound, where they hope they will finally get over writing about Seoul.