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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 32, No. 18. July 30, 1969

Drawing Michael Willoughby / Centre Design: Stephanie Du Fresne / Poems: Peter Olds

page 8

Drawing Michael Willoughby / Centre Design: Stephanie Du Fresne / Poems: Peter Olds

Inside Core

'. . . are birds free from the chains of the skyway . . .'


Lie in bed all day old object
and wait till the sunrays melt the blinds
scratch now and again to turn on time;
and wait till the sunrays melt the blinds—
sheets hair and corks at the muddy feet
show that age is a sagging cot
and the wine has long since departed
like empty pockets full of dead matches—
laughter across the street one catches in snatches

The wind freezes the tar-puddles
in 3 a.m. night;
object on ten feet skates a hundred miles
holding at breast a stone-bald head;
decapitated by black dog hallucination, while heart
went into madness—

(water turned to red)
hairy black eyes meet seaweed eyes, both glued
to the flour, paranoid in the light exposing them—
object moves, clutching his weight: a boil
in the belly acting as a compass directing the head
to naked shed; weeping and praying are covered in bed
and the dream is said to be only the beginning—
but the thought is—who's winning?

Looking out of the window at the hazy flame
racing across skies of bewilderment;
paper room behind full of beads and zen bones—
bones of study and contemplation ....
whether or not to climb far off mountain
and plant crepe-wire flowers in the moon boiling snow
or cap acute condition?
but in silence wait till trail shell caves in;
hands locked round pen
with sweating words demanding thunder-bolt to yield
before the riding fire sky splits
and all that remains is an open serpent pit—
the outside street-lamps being lit
turn moon mountain into spit—
in high-brow houses death is singing.

The prison contains a chained reaction
bread for the prey of the eagle keys
moving rattling thru swollen bricks
haunting weakness, dealing out sadistic tricks
... not a sound as food is tin dished—
out of cocoa comes the dreaded drip of numbers
crossed one by one;
noted by pin-point sun beaming dustily thru slumbers—
sleep. or contemplation being the only resolution
for momentary living inside core—
hard covers only bring the spy-hole closer
photographing human private sensual seclusion—
sentence forgotten, boots rotten, leaving confusion

Drag queens built for rockets' ear-splitting speed
prang head-on with first-war-reject drunks
picking up butts to offer friends a taste on the side,
while the queens strip the shops, deny the right to
heaven and bribe the knowing cops—
Purple Onion club, bends the breasted penis
everyone trying so hard to become a disciple of Venus—
the drunk sick of crying ice
moves off with his mouth full of rice

Water babes honk and slither from their slinking
bellies-nest—disappear into grass flapping foam;
object sits capturing in charcoal, scratchings
of rock and raindrops smouldering on the paper
he holds down to stop the wind from blowing away—
winged beasts threaten his motivation
brambles and sand force him sliding back
water babes reappear—he stumbles and crushes eggs
everything screams at him—get out!
lover untangles salt-wet sheets, the neck is
bare, and she is hungry, takes nothing, never says no
to a month's watching under the bed; cares not
to discover whether love and hate are exact opposites
or not—
rustic guttering rumbles with the night storm water
—is eden really like this?

Sleep well old muted subject—
couples next door know not of your strife
nor the corks and mud that destitute your life
—the falling hair, the dead mare
you once rode in your prime—dead in terrible agony
loneliness, like empty in sides full of grease
and war songs: passing the buck for the right to belong
the bullet melting, the memories slowly gone—
only words left to turn on time.
nobody left to buy the wine

And the people gather to their bloody hymn singing.
and death be the preacher's prayer!

Are men able to walk inside core unshackled?


Coffee and John Mayall
Coffee and carpet silling
Coffee to make the sun wet
in the hole
in the jeans—
slow time
from place to house
pop faces
dirt on bulk-head
light stripped
and coffee dripped
slow time
remembering dead cream sugar nights

Outside I believe the dawn has broken
into the beds of those
craving for a drop—
why make it all a terrible alarm clock?
Coffee to slow the sock
of the day
for the dead who die waiting—
slowly, for bus halfhour
is nothing but executed piano
finger tips dawning on those
who refuse
to remove the blinds
and let terrible in—
a suck of ups and ends of drugs.

page 9

Schizophrenic Highway

I waited for you to bring the rose
but you didn't come—
      they tell me your wings
      had trouble with airpockets
made you drop the rose in mid-ocean;
your pink eyes dropping after it, diving
in gut-strings separate the red from the purple—
      white head water your reality, and ours.

Master comes down from the hills;
      his lover lives up there
      naked from the neck down
      he has not seen her face, but it's there—
just like the skin and the milky darkness
just like high pines
just like their voices and vine arms;
mother waits, she does not grumble
      serves oatmeal without a grumble
      serves fingers without a mumble;
Father asleep inside his evening Time.

I waited for you to bring the house
and you leave the drapes behind;
we are disappointed
      the day has not turned out the way
      it was written—
nor have the angels made an appearance;
      the rose was eaten by sharks I'm told.
      too lazy to grow their own
and now the house is useless without them
and now the sun is like a bed of nails
popping the skin to leak a readiness to move
      or sink below the white head water.

I chase the cook around his kitchen;
steam pots boiling heads we jump over to catch
      or join the fight at Mary's gate;
someone screams—it's all too late—
      grab a leg grab a mate
      the beds are getting empty
and those nurses want them filled by sunday.

Blues for a boy who lost his toy
and lives in a helpless dream;
      blues for a queen whose insides
      are never seen—someone's been before you.

Passed was the day last, now a cloud
passed was us before December
      when grass was taller than I remember
passed before you knew when or what had happened
      as the wheat is ground to flour—
      so too, the windows burst—cutting
      erection, creating shame;
bang go doors in blackmail's faces
bang went sores in child's balloon
      making all that dream go places—
and all that sail before the moon, heathens

And such is the kingdom of the warlords' rocket!

Child wakes in the middle of the night
      not knowing whether to cry or fight;
grandfather clock chimes the hour
      no time to rim or pray for power—
and prayer means nothing unless it's said
      that everybody here is maimed or dead;
close finish for the dancing couple
touching then not touching, very subtle—
away with you, mind come pain
can't you see there is no sane

I waited for education, teachers' wisdom
got in the way of nature's vision—
      is there time left to cut-out?
make he grade, take the spade, dig dig dig—
rolling dollar used for ill-deeds (give us a cig),

Away the flagpoles
away the seagulls
      away the trains
      away the planes;
      away with Freud and the naked ape!
stamp on watches
burn the books—
wrench off the bars, set free the holy crooks;
spitting urine, oil, at the walls,
      feeling God's elastic love
      make strong to smash clay dove;
their days spent quiet on schizophrenic highway.

I waited for you to bring the pot
paranoid in my silent unforgiveable spider bed—
      but you didn't turn on—
      shame you are gone.

I'm really an outer beast, not like you at all—
I'm really horrible to look at;
      something you think not and wish
      not to be there—
but here I am
look like you
touch dew
allow myself to become swayed by the unseen call;
allow the bush to be cut for concrete
allow a young man to stand up in public
      reciting his doom poems
      drunk as he is,
the don't cure faces of the lookers screwed in horror
discovering that it is true—I am the beast;
try to make understanding love, misunderstood—
      (picture torn to pieces)
voilence in place of sperm hits your face
and spend all yesterday mirror staring at it
      glueing the ripped letter together—
Venapusia is my real home
do you understand that?
did you find it in the letter?

He hits you—you turn the other cheek—
you wants his poems then?
when all the time he labels you cheap
and dominates your den.

Deaf ears on schizophrenic highway,
      young man steps down, eats his words.

We try to understand that nothing is wrong
      bury objects in wood;
stare thru crowded glistening hallways
suicide the rising fear—
and no one wants to hear the prophets' call:
      'the timbers fall
      and you are all disconnected islands
      facing a thunderstorm.

I waited for you to bring the wings
but the feathers dropped out—
      they tell me your rose
      had trouble flying
made you drop in mid-depression sands;
your blue belly dropping after it, skydiving
on separate avant-garde leaflets—
      yellow head sand your reality, now nirvana.