Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Poem: The Goodbyes

The Goodbyes

Now the questions have begun
you know that the goodbyes

are going to be difficult.
What do you tell the kids

about where you will be going
when where you‘ll be going

isn't a place at all but is simply
out of their lives, out of the picture?

There's no question of reunion
and they wouldn't believe any bullshit

about coming back as a dog or
cruising azure highways together.

So you drive to the coast
ask them to close their eyes and listen

to the late summer waves on the wet sand
the calls of children across the water.

You tell them not to worry
the incoming tide will have the last word

the incoming tide always does.

Harvey Molloy

First published in Blackmail Press 23

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Poem: 'Closer' by Harvey Molloy

(for I. Curtis 1956-1980)

We walked the same hills, Ian.
We passed the closed doors of familiar villages and towns
Oldham, Saddleworth, Maccelsfield.

The North eats her young, Ian,
she gives you a voice and makes a fool of you

with a voice like that how could you be serious?
Talking like that how could you ever be for real?

You would always be laying it on a bit thick
you would always be hearing yourself speak
as if you were the grandfather who never read
as if you were two women fighting in the street

good for sarky, good for mithering
good for kicking the shit out of all that sounds grand
filled with shards of broken past like York midden.

But the voice is also a small dark stream
running past Roman dry stone walls, Ian,

on the outskirts of slate grey mill town.
The water’s clear enough by day

but dusk congeals the slow waters past the bridge
thickens the moon and street lamps
into grotesque caricatures

fall into those waters, Ian,
and you’ll be taken out on the ride of your life

with all the other Lancastrian male hysterics
dressed in Crombie overcoats dreaming
their half-arsed Ambrosial dreams
before they scream blue murder in desperate lines

that’s when you start seeing Witch Trials, Crow,
The Passover, The Eternal and whatnot, Ian,

and after you’ve shot your mouth off
about out what you’ve seen and where you’ve been
you’ll be sure she’s pulled you out
with a toddy and a granny shawl

you’ll be frightened, a bit pissed
alone and shaking and still you’ll hear
a wheezy voice, as thick as ginger parkin
like a pensioner whose been at The Embassy cigarettes

“Come on, our Ian, it’s time for your turn.
Stand a little closer where I can see yer.
Go on love, get on with it!
Just step up on this small stool here.”

I was not that face in the water
Nor Jenny Greenteeth pulling you under
Nor shade under oak which made you shiver
I was only the tain of the mirror.

Harvey Molloy


The poem is addressed to Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division.
Sarky= Sarcastic. Mithering=
To fuss, pester or annoy someone.
Crow: see Ted Hughes.
Witch Trials: Manchester trails in 1612. Also sung about by The Fall.
The Passover, The Eternal: Joy Division songs.
Tain of the mirror: this is taken from the title of
Rodolphe Gasché's book Derrida and the philosophy of reflection.
The poem was first published in BMP 25.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tuesday poem: The rival by Harvey Molloy

The rival

The rival has copied these words
into his 1B5 notebook:

lexie, spicule, sybarites, cloisonné

The rival now knows these words.
He takes copious notes.


His Facebook photo
thirteen years from now:
an aluminium framed circular
shaving mirror; a bone handled
barber’s razor on a porcelain sink:

a designer’s conceit.


Wind the beat back. Not
at his desk now. Notebook
open; alt.books.p-k-dick
window tucked in the taskbar.
An ordered pile to the right
of the screen: de facto inbox.
Site architectures, contact
reports, design rationales,
usability test results. Timesheets
doctored in the client’s favour.


To the left one Caffé L’affare cup
chocolate flotsam from the receding
cappuccino tide above a mud pool bottom.
Around the monitor a blue-tacked
flotilla of Babylon 5 ships
(Starfury fighter, Mimbari cruiser)
orbit within the screen’s Geekosphere.
Outside a slate grey Wellington sky.


A mobile burr
a single low treble
phone note, say
the digit one depressed
for a second. This number
means business


Not his mobile. ‘He
was never one to carry
a mobile’ which colleague
after he left said that?


A week’s completed timesheets,
each day portioned into fifteen
minute blocks, each day’s billable
hours totalled. All looks good
but how does it match the budget?


The rival is the one
who chose this present
who chose this game
who managed accounts
who didn’t notice
how each contact report
each billable hour
will need to be snuffed out;
who didn’t notice
how the art of snuffing out will in time
need to be snuffed out, how
from a future world the rival’s
game will need to be dealt to
in order for the flows to escape.


Switch off the stereo,
leave the open plan
office (studio?) workstation
to the elevator escape pod.
Welcome concrete sky.


yes. Walk a path through
a tiled park. Council
sign: slippery when wet.
Each building has a physical
address. The Southerly slaps
the face of the rival.

First published in The Lumière Reader.
More poems over at Tuesday Poem.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Takahe 72

My poems 'Five Years' and 'After New Year' were published in Takahe 72 this week along with poetry by, amongst others, Tusiata Avia, Marisa Cappetta, Chris Parsons, David Hill, Mark Pirie, Ruth Arnison, Helen Yong, Robert McLean, Aleksandra Lane, Angela King, Keith Nunes, Marion Jones and short fiction by, amongst others, Latika Vasil. I love being in the same issue as Latika. I'm not sure about all these author statements and photos. I don't want to everything to look like Facebook.

And I chose Richard von Sturmer's
The Book of Equanimity Verses as this week's Tuesday Poem.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Tuesday Poem: coming soon

Well, it's been a bit of a grim week. Mum was in hospital and now she's out of hospital. We were burgled. Not too much was taken but it's hard to feel safe when some creep has entered your house. I'm guest editor for The Tuesday Poem this week and I've got the poem and my comments ready. Now all I've got to do is finish writing all those school reports.

Fiction Romance. The Buzzcocks.
Genius lyrics here.