The Frequency of God

At a trash ‘n’ treasure market,

in an average town,

an old radio

encased in bakelite.

 

Plugged in &

waiting for the valves to warm

I took to the dial with a frothing sense of urgency,

twisting past horse races & rock & roll,

past right wing commentary,

           searching for the frequency of God,

long lost in digital audio,

           sure to be found

in the silver soldered

magic of a romanticised time.

 

           & there

at the end

of the amplitude modulated band,

.                        megahertz away from any generic noise,

.            a perfect silence.

 


Published in Windmills, Fifth Edition, November 2010

Published in Best Australian Poems 2011

Published in Notes for Translators 2012, December 2012

Published on robbiecoburn.com

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017

Re:moving

I’m shifting the furniture of my mind,

breaking the bed that offers no respite,

getting rid of the mouldy couch the god sleeps on,

I’m throwing the tellie that’s stuck on reruns.

 

&  tonight, when the neighbours are within themselves,

I’ll set fire to all the dusty bookshelves.

 

Soon I’ll be left with just

white walls & bleached tiles.

            Like a vacant womb, a tabula rasa.

 


First published as Removal in Windmills, Issue 8, November 2011

fast food

the migraine visions

ludovican imagery

rapid fire persuasion

commercials selling a

united state

the great amerigan dream

fast food

the right to bear

arms with hollywood tattoos

sponsored by life in a can

be all that you can

rape land without reservation

only history changes

oh say can you see

by the dawn’s neon light

one small step for man

one big mac for mankind

 


First published in Velour, October 2011

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017

 

Image Source: https://www.wallpapersafari.com/w/fKgG3m

Candles

The first candle she lit was for Grandad. She doesn’t remember much about the old man. She remembers his baritone hum and the smell of tobacco. And she remembers being carelessly happy.

The next candle was for Daddy, or more specifically for the kiss he gave her when he said goodbye. She sat by the window for days waiting for him to come home. When she realised he wasn’t coming back she lay on her bed holding the cheek where he’d kissed her.

There was a candle for the boyfriend. The boyfriend she’d loved, not the same boyfriend who’d drunk too much that night, threw her down, and took what can only be given.

A candle for Mum, she’d found her on the couch, the television blaring with some midday pop psychology talk show. She looked peacefully asleep. The empty sheets of zolpidem lay carefully placed on the coffee table, a glass of water lay spilled on the floor.

The last candle she lit was for herself. Or rather for who she’d been.

She stared at the candles, watched the flames flicker, watched the wax liquify and drip.

She closed her eyes as the tears came and sang in a whisper to herself; ‘happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.’

With all of her remaining strength she took in a deep breath and blew the candles out.

 


Published on Verity La., 7 September, 2011

 

Lady Sings the Blues

At the jukebox

it’s always the same song,

one for the lonely.

 

The cold change

forced into the slot

to pull the record from

its sleep.

 

The needle jabs at the delicate vinyl

trying to find a vein,

the signal howls pain through crackling speakers.

 

The lady stands back and

lets the jukebox soothe,

and in the empty bar

the lady sings the blues.

 


A version of this poem first published in Vox Poetica, Contributor Series 9, June 2011