is an Australian writer resident in Scotland. He completed his Ph.D. in 2001, investigating the concept of the vortex in the poetry of Ezra Pound.
Among his publication credits are Void, Dogmatika, Softblow, Flutter, and La Fenetre.
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow Puppet
A shadow puppet with neither background
nor sun, no space on which to shed my shade,
no way to shuck my shell,
split my skin and get a wriggle on.
Unaware of my limitations,
assembled from carefully cut
paper shapes, carefully wrought
iron rivets, carefully counted
Elbows advancing before me,
cardboard hinges curtail my movements,
prescribed arc swings fetter my angle of approach.
My joints hiss against my jittering carapace,
crabbed exoskeleton, physical expression
of the muffled desire thudding against my chest,
dull with benign intent.
My segments slide together,
rasping like the belly of a snake
whose tail is pinned to the donkey of my ambition.
Tied, strung aloft and strangled,
a tired dictator displayed by the ankles,
belly bloated with piñata promises.
I hand you the stick, command you
to puncture my ego, force me to shower
strangers with signatures of my submission,
individually wrapped like sweets
(not for separate sale).
You refuse to respond
to my cultural appropriation,
reverting to home-grown stereotypes.
“No show without Punch,” you tell me,
and with an almighty thwack
I am immunised against further metaphors.
A Larger Footprint
This cartoon-watching boy will cease,
follow his parents’ mandate, society’s decree.
Change channels, give in, grow up,
gain an interest in the news.
Coco Pops replaced by muesli,
chocolate milk gives way
to scratchy toast and terracotta tea.
A metamorphosis so gently, so soddenly
bequeathed, an increasing water volume
displaced in the bath, a bigger square
of towel, two large and weary footprints
on the bathmat.