Les Wicks' books are The Vanguard Sleeps In (Glandular, 1981),
Cannibals (Rochford St, 1985), Tickle (Island, 1993), Nitty Gritty
(Five Islands, 1997), The Ways of Waves (Sidewalk, 2000), Appetites
of Light
(Presspress, 2002) and Stories of the Feet (Five Islands,
2004). He has performed at festivals, schools, prison etc. He runs
workshops across Australia and he is editor of Meuse Press that
focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses and
poetry published on the surface of a river.

5 Minutes At Euabalong West

The red soil is an adamant wet,
inexplicable melons tumble across packed-earth road.
A few houses stood back
from this embarrassed railway platform.
The whole train has emptied for a break, cigarettes
& digital cameras.

We're touching something but like always
trapped in timetables of our minds/hearts
we leave before this little place
sinks in enough to stain.


Don't ask for truth.

Integrity is a special event,
should have four masts & gulp at the wind
as it races past the ebb tide of our little lives.
People will queue, will pay to queue for the prime vantages -
ice cream beneath clouds.
We have no daily space for anything so dignified in contended time.

With no rules, trees are unruly
cryptographic fig
psychopathic bougainvillea.
Colour is a threat.

Focus is the outlaw
in a mosquito dusk.
Our mad old eyes
are battened down in prayer.
Honesty is a weeping lilly pilly
clotted with roosting bats... a swarm
of unsettled sun-dreams at the collapse of day.

Love should not be trimmed. It is a radicle
& each crumbling rock is solace.
Our essence
can never be marble. Metal rusts.

We plant our corpses in the vat
& watch the oranges grow fat.
The ride may be worth it
but don't stay on too long.


Red convertible
beachside real estate
ashamed rain.

This is my
naked girl on a motorcycle
god & crime chucked together
then surprising each other.

I'm another pigeon on a windowsill
huddled beside wet feathers
except I'm at 'Bra Beach Cafe
& some birds don't have latte.

Across the road
coastwalking pensioners discuss politics
beneath a heritage tram shelter.
Every outstretched hand is a menorah.

The pines are all young,
free of scars.

Our only point is in the breathing,
a mix
the beats of rain & mind.
I have nothing less than that to say
to steamed up windows & a convoluted paperback
to a generous salt shaker
& tired old arms.

Westfield Bondi Junction

Because we were hungry.

Our stinking cars were like sheep in slaughterhouse queues.
We parked & nothing rested.
The experience we were waiting for was as thin
as the sliced faces of marble.
Worse... beneath veneer is more veneer.

The light is studiously garish
but would still fail to nourish the toughest plant.

This is the endpoint of money
with not even a whisper's worth of joy.
You leave the centre poorer
despite not having spent a dollar.

Our very presence there is a kind of being lost -
amongst the starving souls
in fat gold & casual silk.

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