Between Contracts

The weeks constrict, pythons around my ribs, under which the turbid valves of the heart pump on with blind certainty. Dreams of flapping wings outside windows. A nest of telephone calls, letters, deposits, routines in which I can submerge peacefully and integrate with process, a limbed machine conferring golden fries, cigarettes, tins of ointment. Money […]


There was a commotion outside the window. A million people arrived overnight and moved swiftly to assemble petrol stations, delicatessens and strip joints. Signs point everywhere you cannot go. I think of the past to hold myself down. There are more products than you can imagine. Throttled streets lined with plates of black ice. I […]


  She was shifting form, encircling and seamless, swirling from moment to moment without apparent sense, with sudden violence and traitorous appetites, with knowing persistence, with perpetual conviction. He was locked within a severe carapace, contained by ancient heat, never acknowledging her lightness, nor her storms that could last for nights and nights, an urgent […]

48° 14.5’ S, 168° 18.76’ E

(Person Overboard, 70 kilometres South of Stewart Island, New Zealand, 24 January 2004) It’s not a sea. It’s ocean. Brood black skies and so cold it burns. Vo Minh Que, 22 months of ship time, no kid, picked up by the whipping line and tossed like a doll into four metre swells from a floating […]


“Her great orbit is full, and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men.” (‘To Selene’, The Homeric Hymns) On the silken mud of the estuary floor the sea is drawn from the channel’s branching veins, creeping semidiurnal under her spell. In this […]

Port Chalmers

Port, Dogtown, Koputai, names good and ill, you look outward to oceans, waiting for the world. Cruise liners and log boats snuggle your wharves. A thousand trunks of Pinus Radiata are matchsticks piled before your crow’s nest lookout, the channel a blue stripe down ruffled green fur. Ships glide through the throat of the harbour, […]