Collecting Beads

Collecting Beads

for M. Nin



Love is Endless Oil

Love is Endless Oil

after John Tranter


Pulled taut, released, eternally splitting amoeba

under the microscope we are watchmakers

ticking away time like stars, gluttons for red enlightenment

blu blasphemy – I’d love them all, forever falling

into the arms of new men, new stories, a sundial splitting

my shadow. Your smiles leave breadcrumbs

hypnotic urgent monsters stir the pot – I’ll fake it

being without body most nights turning and vanishing

like a comet, philosophic and industrious we

put out the siren call for sailors – John Tranter said

love is endless oil and being water there is no hope for us

it’s our nature to want absolutes

to want the purest forms of experience, pushing existence

that patient god, to the brink of sanity. We don’t skydive

or hang ourselves by hooks for the crowds but after so many

stories we’re bent like a sculpture of paralysing and total fatalism.




(It started like this, from a previous post:



Wollongong Weed

Wollongong Weed


Weeds hissing out of the paver spaces

Medusa snakes of dandelion – the yellow

stones me, I lie

with wrists up

brave lilies

somewhere a church crows three times

its stained glass windows have bars

it’s fast

becoming a city like that

blunt knife streets spill ice heads

picking taut fights

bugs from under their skin


shady hotel lights – I’ve found

every kind of joy or

loneliness but the now now now

of passing white eyes

that Commodore you poured me into

brings me back to feeling

from that part of myself

that lies

on Kembla St asphalt

wondering why the pills don’t work

a road kill carcass

causing passing motorists to temporarily face mortality

on their Macca’s run.

John Tranter

I’ve been reading a lot of John Tranter lately as part of a series I’m working on. It involves taking a line from a poem that speaks to you and responding to it. I’m currently working on a response to the line “love is endless oil” from the poem Benzedrine by John Tranter from his book Urban Myths. Here’s a draft of the first stanza.


The Potter

The Potter
Fingers numb
warmth gone
like love receding
she stands outside the apartment block
drags a bright eye
into her cigarette
her dress
moth wings flirting
about her legs
betraying her figure
with glimmers of silver
he is late again

Parked up the road
he reclines the driver’s seat
two chopstick fingers
flick ash onto the bitumen
and when he drags
he holds it in
a few seconds
before releasing
smoke into the night
watching glints of silver
with a sigh
he forms the words
practises the rhythm
softening the edges
a potter spinning clay.