Faker Than Empathy

these are the things that don’t come true:



new years resolutions

and love stories

only the prophets

of a near disaster

get their pessimistic wish

to be famous

and say the most important words in human language

I told you so


A Moment of Pride I Want You To Share In

Today I am proud to say I am the feature artist on one of my favourite blogs Horror, Sleaze, Trash. HST is an Australian literary and arts juggernaut that promotes underground writers from across the world. They publish a highly-regarded quarterly journal and are a vital force for lesser-known writers and artists. Today Arthur has published three previously unseen poems of mine. These are poems straight from my id, vile statements of who I am under all the socialisation and unspoken insults. Facets in my personality diamond I’d be too afraid to reveal right there, in the flesh, in the full light of day, to even the most well-meaning mother. Instead I’d rather rip my trench coat open and expose my animal side to the whole world. Transgressions in digital.

So please, go ahead and check out my faecal soul, judge it as you would a deflated soufflé, a gnarled and malformed bonsai. Go on, you’ve had a long day, it’s only right you feel a little better about yourself. http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/uncategorized/sook-samsara/


Bespectacled Wisdom (just repeat: “we are in control and know what’s best” until your lips bleed)

Here is a vitriolic poem that wasn’t accepted for publication. Me at my most angry and impotent. Here’s to an oil-black future and a barren tomorrow. Cheers.

A big fist shadowed the sea,

Reached over the shores it dwarfed and plucked through the tree’s leaves,

Took a eucalyptus to chew, as it ruminates, between its teeth

And finally sunk its fingers fatally down into the Great Barrier Reef

It stirred up muck and silt and interstellar debris

—the ocean is like space in its limitlessness and zen secrecy

It had calloused fingers and dirty nails—coal eclipses

And its money line was long and strong with endless fallow ridges,

—a polluted river carved into the palm that glowed black and viscous

And on the wrist was

The time, on a Patek that drummed down the minutes to midnight so listlessly

Reflecting the sun of wealth in technicolour ads so bright it dazzled our vision’s ability,

So when we shook hands over ground or ocean it was a forgone decision to break bread

With multinational companies— corporate citizens who want their shares

Brokered by white men in blue suits with Cheshire Cat smiles and every politician’s high fore-headed white hair

Who won’t live until the destruction he’s ensured arrives on a Gulfstream and is right here and everywhere,

And smokes off on the horizon where it can’t be redeemed by tireless effort or appeals to faulty rhetoric

And kids will grow up knowing only levelled horizons and fallacies and personal attacks and straw man arguments

They’ve learned from watching politicians bicker about tax breaks for corporations we’ll pay for without asking us

When we can’t even get a ‘here here’ and shaken fist to fund crisis housing or renewables or public welfare

Kids knowing only of acid rain on black sands topping up a bubbling tar pit of mesothelioma and well wishes gone decrepit

And flowers on the sandstone graves where coral once freely grew in splendid colour

Until notions of Progress become our father and we look around seeing we’ve progressed ourselves to endless squalor

Praying everyday an Our Father to scientific materialism and for political elites to take us farther

Past our pastures, people and pets chopped up for lazy appetites and stored until out of date in our larders

Looking at those big clouds of pollution riding cattle class to well-researched disaster

At the top of the triangle is money then the people who lend it then private property then you and me

And I hate to sound like a commie

But we need a change from money=power=worth which defines what life you can lead

And who you are with a cursory look between rushed meetings at your CV

How do we develop infinitely in a world being treated like a consumer good at worst and replaceable at best?

Human arrogance, we developed medicine and munitions and that gave us some power, now we think that we can out-design death

That we can tread heavier on the Earth because we know what’s best and that there’s, well, definitely some resources left

And then when they’re gone repent, point fingers at each other’s desperate faces as the night lengthens

We’ll teach the next generation (if it comes) that our calculations were right and the world did us wrong

Pulled the calfskin rug out from under our dress-shoe’d feet’s strutting song

When our greed has led us into the ocean’s deep and there’s no one left we can dispossess or take from

Because we’re all in the same oil rig with our lying pants on fire and no saviour from the situation

Until the petrochemicals disappear back into their belched curse

One of the wonders of the natural world

The coal mine everybody came from overseas to observe

The national mascot we need for jobs and growth, and the unhealthy fate we probably deserve

The last viable tourist spot on Terra Australis’ once blessed earth

And now we keep the lights on selling tickets to see it in its titan slumber

Presiding over a dead sea where fossils are the only remaining worthwhile things you can come to visit

We’ll catch passing clouds and bring them down to drill into to produce our power plant’s vital numbers

Until the sky is blue and empty like the bodies the Aussie flag covers

And it’s numbed and we’ve hopefully stolen new tech someone else had discovered

The earth melts and we subsidise jobs and industries long-supplanted and compost-condemned

And argue with one another if the facts actually establish global warming’s real or just a trend

Here’s a new fossil fuel: grab a drum and fill it with cash to burn for warmth for you and all your friends

Because soon money won’t matter, there’ll be no one left to think it’s real

And the brute fact of a destroyed world will glow in the depths of space as a cautionary tale of hubris and human greed

When we still can’t fucking realise we’re living in the middle of a miracle that the universe has maybe never before seen

And enslaving all this possibility to little bits of paper-waste that don’t produce oxygen despite being green

We grew like a mould on this rolling stone, gathering moss but wanting more to eat not caring if we’re eating up our home

And in our DNA is death, and now instead of killing each other, we’re killing each other and ourselves and yes

It’s evolution just occurring, we’re moving over for whatever, whoever, will come next


After all you can’t stop progress


Image courtesy of business insider

All (the pain) In A Day’s Work

Completed suicide

Unfinished poems

Degrees and degrees

Until I freeze destitute and confused with my HDs


Xeroxed from the calendar and replayed

Again and again and again and again and again

Until all the complaints are memorised and annotated in biro styles

The sun doesn’t even show up today, no medical certificate, reliably disappointing

I’ve been called the retiring type and all I want is to retire early and sleep though the morning

Endlessly moving the finish line away

We are no better than dogs running a yard

And imaging we’ll escape

Our yard is just bigger, in fact it never ends, never stops confining

And we’re not at play but labouring and gradually dying

Too stupid to be offended

Too stupid to band together

Too young to die on the chain with our mouth’s ringed in spit as God intended

Leaving home everyday just to have one

Working so hard when all we want is to relax, maybe have fun

Just completed another lap but could’t catch my breath before the starter’s gun

Went powpow again and blew the back off someone else’s skull

The day is a chandelier we had plans for that combusted on the linoleum

The day is too long for me to crawl across it’s broken glass hallways on my knees

Daydreaming out the closed window of open fields from this institutional setting in some back street whose address I still can’t understand

Do Trees get tired dancing in the wind all day? …That’s how tired I am.

Everything You Thought You Wanted



When you sit down with your little self

Your big ego

And submit

That everything will be alright

If you just try harder

And compromise and be grateful—

If you redraw schematics for a radically new existence

On pages well-wrapped with chaotic strands like a chrysalis

And decide that nothing previously thought was necessary

And bare existence will do you so long as it will let your hands unclench

And give your callouses a rest from holding on,

Out of the void comes the ancient toneless voice

So familiar to you you don’t notice its accent

Screaming ‘No’ with animal anger,

Aflame with disbelief and refusal

A voice so percussive it can huff and puff and blow your drawn-up happiness

To a far away land of bed-bound imaginations and drunken dreams

Then what?

Then what is the power of resolution, of trying, of well-bound self-help books

And pop psychology and well-meaning social support?

What do the pretty clothes of a novel will matter when they’re still hung off the same old broken coat stand?

When even your compromise is too expensive and drains your wallet of blood, your face of blood,

And the blood clots in your palace of blood.

All that works is fleeing from the self, denying the I inherently dying inside,

Leaving your little resolutions laying weakly in the parlour,

Dissolving into the body’s chemical mixture and adding new drugs to

Defang the innermost predator of the soul

The huntsman in your bed, tucked in and fast asleep (or just momentarily still, reflecting your gaze?)

The huntsman you can’t dare kill because you’d have to take your eyes off it first and retrieve your shoe

And what if when you look back it has moved?

I sit with myself as in an interrogation room and we both come out bloody, bruised, no wiser for information shared,

Mutual blank faces staring rudely at each other, no evidence admissible that wasn’t was netted with violence

I am the blinding light of hurt in my own eyes against a night sky dethroned of electricity

I am the heel hovering just above the head always ready, waiting on its own time to consider homicide agreeable and necessary

And the head too, the ugly thorax, unaware death is about to blanket the land from above

I am the resolution-maker, subject to the demands of my resolve and considering how to balance the fires that nibble at my being’s distant parts

I am the flood and drowning in it too

So what do I do when I sit down with my little self and say “let yourself be happy” and the voice denies me from the abyss?



Original photo by Nicole Garmston, Herald Sun 18/01.


While the Australian Open played out just 2 blocks away, the Melbourne Council and the Herald Sun focused common attention on the ‘scourge’ and ‘blight’ of homelessness ‘festering’ outside Flinders St Station. They called it a ‘crisis’, they adduced some anonymous all-powerful tourist disdain that said ‘it’s not a good look for our city’, and they offered binary polls to their bigoted readers to create a fake consensus. Be careful to notice how they whisper thesis insidious narratives in your ear. The Melbourne govt claimed they have no resources to help these people and impugned their collective status, labelling huge swathes of subaltern people ‘not really homeless’ drug addicts. They suggested giving police more powers to move them (out of sight out of mind) increasing poorness from a social canker to de facto crime. The media filmed them like they lived in a zoo, exploiting them for clicks and views. The police deprecated them with customary inhuman disrespect; reducing them to jobs to be done and processes and stats. The everyman in his ivory mortmain called it a disgusting sight as if he had to look at Robert Doyle’s neck or housing affordability statistics every day on the way to work and not just people exactly like him but without the momentum to stabilise their lives. And the whole time this sordid drama played out with everyone lingering at the pulpit saying a whole lot of grandiloquent nothing and no one offering sympathy or common sense or doing anything, while those without homes remained constantly on view like they always are,  the Australian Open finished. No money to give someone a life but a total of a 50 million dollar purse being sponsored by the ANZ, and Kia and Rolex and over a quarter of a million dollars revenue entering the city of Melbourne in just over a fortnight (well over 10 million dollars of which is pure profit). And while the duality off having one of the worlds most expensive sporting events– where a bath towel from the gift shop costs up to $100 and a hotdog runs nine bucks– only 90 seconds walk from people are sleeping on hard concrete, four deep, covered in newspapers with trauma pets and balled-up clothes and days of stubble and dirt painting their face, may not affect you, as it doesn’t the media or authorities or cherished profit margins or the cosmopolitan status of the city, it does affect them. Every ‘move along’ issued to a homeless person creating embarrassment and uncertainty, every time you look away from them and refocus on the dim hallucination of your future they’re still there, struggling, human, exactly the same as you if you just knew it.