with pancreatic cancer
for miracle cures-
live cell tumor profiling
a strict vegan diet
& later hypnotherapy.
During her first Skype session
at $100 per hour
she crashed deeply
within 10 minutes
five hours later-
her bill metastasizing.
A Chinese Restaurant Fetish
Outside a Chinese Restaurant
two German tourists swap
places to take photos
of each other smiling
& flashing the peace sign.
Curious, I ask the duo.
"You dudes into Chinese tucker?"
"No," one bloke says, but we love the irony
of all the kitsch! You know, the dragon iconography,
the plastic shop front meals in rice bowls,
the logograms, the noxious smell of MSG.
Do you have a favourite, go-to meal?
"Stuff that, we would never ever eat the shit
they dish up in regional Oz.
Joseph Conrad & the State of the Novel in Mid-Twentieth
I purchase two bargain books
in a Salvation Army store
on the main esplanade
for only twenty cents each:
Joseph Conrads novel Victory (1914)
& The Novel in France by Martin Turnell
The bookstore attendant is thick-glassed
& presumptuously says to me:
A nice selection, Sir, but I can confidently tell you
that most people who live around here have no
About what? I ask.
The good life, you know, the life of the
All I know, I tell the bloke,
is that Im going to make good use of these beauties.
Old crumbling paperbacks make terrific
Whats your Conception of Reality?
Being a soft-fisted student
I sat posturing in uni bars
up to my neck in bullshit
& for a few semesters
when in or on the way to class
or guzzling it down or spruiking it
I had gone weak in the head from reading
too much Dostoyevsky & Camus
& in meeting others for the first time
Id go all intense & high-browed
& ask them matter-of-factly by way
of an introductory pretentious quip,
Whats your conception of reality?
Some would run the other way,
others would mutter heavy shit
& order me a beer, others would quote at length
Spinoza or Hegel or Marx or Kierkegaard
& usually after several rounds of beer
everything would be disputed, absolved
& quickly forgotten.
One time during this period I put the question
to my best friend Pud who left high school at 16
to work in the railways as a pipe-fitter. He lands
a shuddering, purposeful blow to my right shoulder
& tersely smiles, Thats my conception of
& callously called his latest cat
a derogatory name
but the pet
quickly merited it-
having thought it sensible
to cross the six-lane highway
on the prowl
late into the night.