Poetry: Selections from Gregory Dally


If angels are gender-neutral, and I'm yours
(or so you say), do you want me
to identify as (fe)male?
In an androgene's stream
of mind braided,
might you construe me
as being composed of varied seasonings–
an homogeneous home delivery,
even a staple?
Laughter? Is that your response?
You know the song.
You wrote it, Janus.
If you laugh at me, then you mock yourself.
Your pain is your killer, not anything else.
Random psychedelics come dappled
in slivers of thinking you like
to call ‘phantasmagoria.’
Aesthetes have let out screams
of delight, sketching you
in their edgy hues, mixed-up shades.
Huddled together, interlaced,
‘cross-binary’ seems apt
as our description.
Rocking left to right, you're my salve,
très gentle. Yet somehow an expiration date
seems close, instead of you.

Altered Consciousness

His critiques read like the mind of an ex-priest
coming down off a heroin trip.
   The goodhearted stink of winsomeness,
   yet pretenders “gleam like amethyst.”
In the fourth season of one life's sitcom,
he's still billed as an occasional walk-on.
   Once he's quit barracking for the Phoenix,
   Sunday nights beg a disease-of-the-week flick.
Awash in photons, former soap stars
sponge him down in baths of emoting. Of course,
   he's often wet. Six feet distant,
   one refraction of awareness straddles glass.
The enigma flaunts a repertoire
of last words and hissy fits: “You promised me
   you'd never...” Projections of a human
   stride the retinas. The viewer flips
the light soporific. Liege of the remote, he surfs,
curls, tubes, wipes out and stares.
   The Edsel in his social set,
   he idles while a falafel slicks
among an oil of verbs from his mouth's sump.
A burble runs off on its corduroy seam
   down to Nike's catchment. He chokes;
   a spume of gas clogs up the causeway
in his neck. Apricot and soda fumes
rattle out with shudders fit to quicken
   his ken of the hereafter. His character thins
   in rerun. The heart creams scant residuals
off a mind that's in perpetual syndication.
His spiel? It's the rant from a preacher;
   one who sighs in ancient tongues.
   He murmurs a delusion, blobs like Tut,
then hopes it rates. Syllables unscramble
through the filter called a burger:
   lyrics he composed, now
   prayers in search of music.


Scoffing chips on a rickety jetty–such leisure.    
You'd think a dissolute mystic had made this fare.    
The glen you love so much, in its abandon,    
colludes with the sun to offer art to your soul.    
This is a retreat for humans conjoined and ready    
to dream. It enhances smiles to the level of craft.    
Once you've sighed, your granny glasses    
take a moment to clear. Now, there she is.    
In earshot to stragglers left over, a tune escapes    
through your murmurs; the requiem
for a leader, his soul in one cadence.
The clock in the nearby sunroom chimes. You're next.    
Just for devilment, you trip. There's laughter in  
the ripples from a special mind, your friend's.
Her thoughts are grafted, lesions and all, over yours.
It's a k or two from the shingle rill and its meter

through to the demimonde that harbors fallout strays.
This late, you'd disregard light's vestige at your risk.  
As you inhale the dust together    
and exhale splutters, cackling,    
you each imagine you might divine    
a life source from Oreti River.

Gregory Dally has had poetry, fiction and other material published in various journals, including Amsterdam QuarterlyMeanjinQueen Mob's Tea House and Scrittura.


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