Journals (poetry)

Question that cannot be answered   Wet Ink, Issue 3, 2006
I saw a man falling
Dawn breaks   Thirst, Vol 1. Issue 1, 2006
Strip Zen
Oratorio in red   Staples, Edition 8, 2007
Cups   Thirst, Vol 2. Issue 1, 2007
Storm Birth   Page Seventeen, Issue 5, 2007
Koan   Word is Out, Issue 3, 2007
Trakl   Indigo Vol. 4 2009;
Song of the Wire   Green Fuse Anthology (Piccaro Press)
Spirit Conclave   Prospect, Vol 1 , 2010
Letters   Westerly 56:1, 2011
Cold Play II   Page Seventeen, Issue10, 2012
The window onto the Bay   Westerly, 57:2, 2012;   Best Australian Poems, 2013
Apology of a Lyricist   Regime, Vol 1, 2012
Zoya   Regime Vol.3, 2013
In the times of Arthur Conan Doyle   Recoil 4, 2013
In Prague: the carpenter and the hairdresser
Far and so far: Fernando and Ophelia
Masque   Poetry d’Amour, 2014
Seidel doesn’t care (ad honorem) Regime, Vol. 4, 2014

Published online (poetry)

Night Wanderers   Perigee, Number 12, 2006
Glazier Bay
She laid herself down   Pixel Papers 37, 2006
The Beginning
Strength   Creatrix Issue 3 2008
Verge   Creatrix Issue 5 2009
Verge   Swamp (Uni of Newcastle), Issue 4, 2009
Hard Moon   Swamp (Uni of Newcastle), Issue 5, 2009
Chidlow   Swamp (Uni of Newcastle), Issue 7, 2009
Meditation on Terra Nullius   Creatrix Issue 8 2010
Inverted Cities
Endless   Creatrix issue 10 2010
Death in Tiananmen Square
Upon Peasant Poets   Creatrix issue 11 2010
Island Conclave   Ilset, Autumn 2011
Anne McCue   Swamp (Uni of Newcastle), Issue 8, 2011
Beehive at Alfama   Creatrix issue 14 2011
Crow   Island Issue 126, 2011
Keep the Candle Burning   Peter Cowan Writer’s Center, e-mag 7, 2012
Cynics in Modern Times   Swamp (Uni of Newcastle) Issue 10, 2012
another d.a.levy poem   Creatrix issue 17 2012
Language of the Mouth   Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language: Vol. 5: Iss. 2, 2012
A Robert Creeley moment
Birds have no knowledge (after Dransfield)   Creatrix issue 21, 2013
Being Human   Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 3, No2 2013
Port Talbot Peter Cowan Writer’s Center, e-mag 13, 2014

Short stories

The voyeur   Regime (2) 2013
The Soldier’s wife   Westerly 58, (1) 2013
Bus stop   Jukebox, 2013
ORSOVI   Jukebox, 2013
Rene T and dog investigations Regime (4) 2014

Parched Desert Train (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 1651 – 1695)


There, between the roofline and caught up in her substantial and significant mind – the dusk of the irrevocable and he wants it so and she cannot stomach one more stone in her gall which they retrieved with a suction device and started on her other gynaecology. She forgave him and retraced her genealogy; somewhere, there in the realms of forgiveness imperfectly glimpsed. Or, she could have been discovered by Marqués de Mancara and brought to the Court in Mexico City, a prodigy, there to write Neptuno Alegorico. The clouds were bricks that day and the ground a wonderland of perfect pitch, the dust, a kind of Chevrolet Blue. Her libraries, treatises and poetic tracts given over to sandstorms that left her a parched desert train never resting – wild, unknown, destructive and spreading like a wasteland. Why did they not let her settle, why did they rip her gall out, her spleen? Why did she have to get to a nunnery, the San José Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, just to strut her stuff?

‘Reflections on sin, suffering, hope and the true way’     (Kafka)

He speaks of a rope not hung high in the air but slung low to

to the ground, upon which one records not the sure step

but only the stumble, the falter… I had left a fracture in her permanence

in her otherwise perfect stride … her perfume, a rupture in her digression

He said truth was a guillotine; sure and razor sharp, the final arbiter

and that sin falls from a tree … it passes salt and pepper… it’s

a ghost in my rear view mirror … it’s a boat buffeted in Matilda Bay

My faith in her was not corrupted because hope … I know now

resided in buttered bread and the soup we ate in Portabello Cafe

and that suffering is a strand in the rope of truth … the Way teaches me

a cyclone bellowing into Derby … it is the weather of the room in my chest

the sea of my feet and you residing there … on that tight rope just above

the ground when we fell through arteries and a mile of blood

where my sin is a memory plague of winter days

in that room in my chest

Language of the Mouth (and its many forms) after de Barros and Celan


To create a new word of the mouth not for its tongue or its

ululations but to be that gneiss or halo light landscape

Celan, along the Seine that inters him: lips as stone, moss, snow, Psalms

de Barros, foraging his Pantanal marsh that becomes him

and I, along this scarp, my mouth sour as its acid soil

Out of such reeds, roses, slugs, Hebrew bone

they created new beings and I, one of them

no longer seeing bark striated, course and fibred as my organs grow

dry twigs, flat leafed mull-mulla, gravel as my eyes become

spiky shrubbed, wooden seeded, lizards and the like renewing

unknown umbrous earth: in the sap of Red Gum no

longer writing poems but being them

Keep the Candle Burning

The airplane’s flight monitor says it’s minus fifty one outside

We’re travelling five hundred and seventy three miles an hour

In Silifke below they are drinking raki in a teahouse

Tarsus just up along the coast and Paul tumbles off his horse. Paul

did not know about the Prophet         Peace Be Upon Him

who would arrive much later       he could not dream of this Sultanate

airline that carries me over his conversion

New directions for his religion            strange, shiny angels in his Heaven

and, lately, strange brothers to his Christ whom he loved

I’m wrapped in this cocoon protected like the ugly caterpillar

I’m on my way to Dubai

new goddess for my changeover flight

there’s a butterfly waiting to happen

There’s a Christ to come, so they say, so don’t go worshipping

other gods on this watch                     keep the candle burning

so you can be counted amongst the few

But the prayers have been said over this flight

the food is halal and the stewardesses look pretty

in their westernised veils         I think I’ll ask one of them

to marry me but I don’t fancy my chances

the prayers will keep her safe and I expect to be home soon

where my own prayers of thanks will be offered

my children will have dinner with me

and they too will have to sort out their own skies

seek out their own sages, gods and holy men

I pray for their safekeeping

I’ll sing a song to celebrate their conversion   or I’ll cry

I wish them well on their journey

But most of all I dream     as Paul could not

of he and the Prophet catching up in Silifke at the Prosperity Teahouse

pausing their own personal journey taking      time out

then going along their different ways

explaining, cajoling and selling their wares

Which one made the strongest argument for my soul?

Whose dart struck thunderous home to open this chrysalis

to release the butterfly fledgling into the raucous world

Keep the candle burning

Il n’ya pas de quoi … (that’s OK)

Day           it glides         guides

assaults       insults     grinds   :     ground

that I walk upon         it resolves great riddles

harbours pestilence in secret alleys

under shade of tree or in morning bed       sleeps solid as a fortress

or rumbles loose like roadside pebbles

peerless as a cure for restlessness

or perpetrator like torture

eats itself at midafternoon       an aperitif for shy girls and boys

forgets       reminds       executes like blood

day kisses me on the cheek goodbye   on the lips

set to leave forever like a ship sailed for a distant land

it teaches         tortures me or torments like trust         broken

it offers a hiding place in your home when the smell of evil

overpowers the streets

but most of allit caresses        cleanses my wounds

it heals my blindness like a miracle                 casts its embroidered skies

apricot             peach        lazuli          pillow-white clouds

and sets like a soothing sun

a perfect balm over the sear of my flightless self

Dreams of Detectives lost, lonely and frozen (after Bolaño)

He dreamt of his detectives lost, lonely and frozen

detectives careful not to leave a trace

hungry detectives, underpaid, over confident (those now dead

or lost amongst the bones of the undeclared or uncollected corpses)

He dreamt of solving great cases

perhaps the greatest case of them all – six women missing for twenty years

he goes back again       again    again to closed files

half complete fingerprints, tattered phone numbers

He thought about waking up in an elevator one day, a normal guy

a careful guy                he struggled to sit at table, breakfast, kids

the whole murdered thing, but always, perhaps from some dark side-street

dirt-dusty, trash canned, a curtain of numbness strained over him

clues slipped past him, like skinny shadows

or the smoke of a fired gun, always curled in thin air

leading him deeper into notebooks of more unsolved riddles, dead ends

like the case of the woman and the man who lived a long and hopeful life together

it was this final case, a final chapter that eluded him

there, somewhere amongst the bricks and asphalt of tardy houses

or shiny trikes and kids skidding across wet lawns

His final clue came suddenly, on the rickety back of a long hidden

but recently rediscovered phone number

he rang it

he answered it

and no one was home

the place had been abandoned long ago

He dreamt, it seemed, a dream alone

Philomena lives in Montreal with her son

They live         dotted through the many cityscapes

landscapes                   realms of the aorta and pulmonary

there in remembrance pledged like anchorite punctuation in the world

ifthey were poets their bio would read

Philomena lives in Montreal with her son       as if there is no room

or desire for another: perhaps it has nothing to do with desire or wishes

perhaps this is the way of things

there like a Canon in D           a fistful of coins in a rain of debt

perhaps like a Sisyphus only where the stone is a gift

manna from a heaven left over after upheaved earth

or a path carved through an Antarctica

I’m like an easterly wind in this dark night of the scarp

My feign is to imagine anchorites and to live in the countryside

to listen to poetry and to conjure a time resided with my own mother

like the fifth symphony or moon landing

or the dipped finger in cake mix and rap over the knuckles

like a jest in a long drawn out corner of the world

no barbarian could ever threaten

because she would never let them take me

like an ocean she would surround me and we would probably sink

together this anchorite and I      its not like she had intended it this way

just the way it is          perhaps the way of things

perhaps a fleeting flight of thought in Montreal on a Canon D day


It is towards the word-world I turn

gaze secreted yet outside myself

drifts across a vista drawn wholly from within

Undines never seen and yet named

half expectation, half hope

a dreamscape drapes the place between the image and I

beautikon: a munificent contagion the eye can never contain

intrepid explorers these neologisms and it is these

that must break fresh ground

for those too comfortable with the familiar

or            afraid to step into the unknown

beautikon: its counterpart – uglikon

not quite off    the tongue or rested with undisguised ease

perhaps noxion, for all that is toxic in the world or

perilous potion of poison

bereft of all art, dexterity and unpalatable

like the quark of Joyce the physicists loved and

there’s the truth and ruption of it all

new words pour forth in the language vacuum we

are entered into becoming speechless in non-verbal times

swallowed as we are

in the sea of numero-cyber diction salads

New words out of dictionaries yet to be written

beautikon the eye can never behold

noxion the hand can never touch

more than a neologism oasis                this love of words

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. No parts of this website or its contents may be copied or quoted without the express written permission of Christopher Konrad.

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