GERALDINE McKENZIE'S first book, Duty, will be published by Paperbark Press/Craftsman House. Her poems have appeared in Meanjin, Island and Jacket, among other journals. She lives in Australia.

(snare the heart-footed man)

snare the heart-footed man

where he limps

by roses

impeaching scorn

fasten your darkness your

deepness into jet

the game's alive

raced gold and trail

the harvest home
bells sequence over

I wish the
would just
refrain from


stumpjackt blaggardly so'n so
retch and bawdy could you in
the quick of it fuel eyes and torch
the slash and burn dumb
beasts returning to the shambles
where they'd stand as men with a mind to
you will not see me fail
though fall full fool
agendas vary it's a deep
seem and rives a rosy past
repast and rapid demolition
of the meets pouched and
eager for the splurge
token of the real and havoc
psyched up tricked out and rampant
all cards concealed laughter off what passes
as a joke exiting to the usual slash
in the toilets and hardly the thing hardly
what you'd want to here
and now without blinking or blinking
perhaps but dryeyed and grimmer with it
my blood's a celt and musters to the dark
with dark return the savage comeback or
sizzle on the grid clamour over
trifles newly sick for sweets and
rolling from the table flunked
animal passed on magnificence lost
the plot the poetry of it buckling under
a great part or cleft more like
though liking moved and swiftly down
winded puffed out bright bubble this
vacancy unpeopled and the cut
as fresh as ever throttle clutch and
brake for no one as progress
its maw and might have been
silky persuasion in the manifest
and wished down river withered
in a word it was just love
unravelled retrospective rape

(into the throttled wood)

into the throttled wood. sweating meekness like a glove. her
thought will be branches. disinterring the muttered bread-note.
money for bird-built palanquins. headless in the market place.
occlusions trundling appetite. its many colours purloined from the
crate. we have come with our voracious hands to feed the
openings, like openings. she starts up again. if you could just
                here, just
in this place, set down. precis of sky mute between advertisement.
                fished out
fleshed out, a sort of poetry crudding a blunt nose to the warp.
                can you
imagine it - words like thumbtacks. bullets, no, not bullets. I wish
                that I
had died he wrote than lived to see. this blueglazed chip
                a palace,
pocketed. tears like tears. blood like blood. I have found my
                life in
such rubble. and a sound like metal hungering. who's this angry
struggling with the language? mired in mud
palms incisors poised. up close rats. meticulating nails the
                wooden floor.
as you'd long suspected. Rosa Luxembourg in prison was
                extraordinarily happy.
                lived to a deep river.
into the sandbox. sometimes feet, hands for caves.