© Phillip C Gordon 

Brains St John

Brian two tones
Many side effects
Side roads
Intelligible clothes
Side leaning
Head preening
Smile gleaming 
Brian St John
Never lame 
A man without disdain
Punk Rock to exquisite frock
A woman’s purse
An intelligent curse
Without a bitter tongue
A generosity unwavering
Tenacity unscathing
Cut your hair
Paint your chair
To sing your praise
There is too much to raise
Side effects
Side winding
If you have a moment
He has one too
Fell down and rearranged
Not deranged
Fell down toward the inside
Yet never to hide
Never to run
Cept for fun
To steal peal and poke
At all the false hope
Present a giddy life
Brian St John
Now you gone
Brain St John
Gardens, kitchens
Parks and benches
You never left the trenches
Of under world senses
There you are still
Forever some kind of thrill
Not sanitised
Became quietly wise
Old man too young
Incorrigible fun
Cheeky bastard
Brian St John

I know you are there

I know you are there

Sometimes when it down pours
I smell you amongst the drops
At night when only the wind
Scratches at my window
I hear your voice between taps
When days hit their stride
And sharp sun plays with shapes
I swear you are walking toward me

I know you are there

My body shakes to be held
Tears of the strangest kind fall
Silence is filled with laughter

I know you are there

What veil must I lift that
I may know you whole
What song to sing that will
Carry you on my breath
What shape must I form
That you will dare to rest inside

I know you are there


Soul, that part of you that demands attention, hungers for expression, screams out in the dark, whispers throughout the day.   Soul takes you to the centre of the universe and leaves you there.   Makes you drink red wine with Pavlova when you reason that you should be sipping water and nibbling green beans.  It has you making outrageous statements to strangers, asserting lists of non sequiturs to friends, and the very next day swapping it all around again. It makes you follow your heart even when you know it will hurt.   Soul is that part of you that would have you believe you can fly.  It’s the part of you that is able to laugh when you observe a child plummeting to the ground as they attempt to walk for the first time.   Soul is that burnt orange sky. It is the bush fire roaring like a song that has us scared and drawn in at the once.   It is that part of you that lives for the experience of being alive, despite all the words that are writ that are keeping you scared, cautious, profoundly righteous and deeply asleep.  It has you angry one moment and in fits of laughter the next.  It is your greatest achievements and your grandest mistakes.  It is the very intelligence of you.  It is your humanness.  It is you.

Lonely Street

On lonely street
Its fish head soup
Wining dogs
Without a tooth
On lonely street
Time is a clamp
Devouring flesh
Under a lamp
On lonely street
The good go sour
Spectres dance
The final hour
On lonely street
The free are lost
Blackened tongues
Naming the cost

Reserve Conviction

discover the art of confusion
reaching for points none
consider all illusion
allow each accent
its rightful presence
observe with keenness
neither excited nor forlorn
find the circumference
matter and the eye
caress the thing itself
that you may sink and fly

Formerly Now

contour reflecting
equations summing
swerves in a line
collection of substances
indivisible truth

Sweet tempest

let the howling of wolves
and the swooping of air
screech baby like you do
let the world stand upside down
and the deep silence make loud noises
let all the stars burn dry
and fresh shapes configure
let the ground open up
and bring the wild to storm


Mystery train

The soul will lack and the train will ride
And the great white duke will take to the sky
Birds will falter and fall to the ground
You missed the gate and the chance to be found
It’s in your hands the very thing
You keep rejecting for a higher sting
Your flesh and blood contains it all
In your shoes the place to be tall

Can get your kicks from a higher plain
Can find your reason in a worldly pain
Can make a life of magical gain
But that ain’t riding the mystic train
You still ain’t on the eternal train
You got to be here for that mystic train
You got right here for a mystic reign

A sailing ship's got sails and keel
But that’s not it that makes it real
Even your heart needs a place to exist
Its where you stand is the cosmic twist
The vistas grand that sits before us all
You got to be in it or you’re not at all
How many times you gonna rebuild your wall
Desperately trying to avoid the fall

Can make a prayer to avoid your fog
Can compare your life to a mangy dog
Can stand above like an imagined god
But that ain’t riding the mystic train
You still ain’t on the eternal train
You got to be here for that mystic train
You got right here for a mystic reign

You still ain’t on the eternal train
You got to be here, right here
You got to be right here
For the mystic train



I do not seek through
Closed eyes that taint
Nor engage the words that
So poorly invoke beauty

I do not wish for your reason
Your brazen notion of love
Of threat and evil 
Nor suffer your tolls
Of bells trumpeting
Planes of disaster

No for I awake to another day
This morning is not of you

For this is mine
The feet that walk
Have already danced
Another dream



Phone ringing
Answer machine
Same message
Phone ringing
Human voice
Same message
Phone ringing
Phone ringing

Fish Head Soup

At night you could smell the pot of fish heads brewing on the stove.  It was the singular thing that his neighbours new about him.  And the strange clashing noises that found a different silence in the ears of those straining minds.  Evenings pacing the floor in the company of words spoken to imaginary visitors would keep the clock ticking.  The stench of cigarettes on the wings of smoke drained out of the always open windows to signal the man was home.  Corner of Wellington and Cambridge, a large Queenslander converted into nine separate flats.  In winter it would drop of a sudden and chase the days warmth into the distant memories of barefoot walking, and replace it with a well worn roll neck jumper that carried the stain and history of a life caught in a constant shuffle from house to house, city to city.  Making up a living from strewn bits of thanks that washed up on his steps in passing moments of glory.  If he could he would have a pistol in his chest of drawers.  Not to use, but to hold on those occasions when it all meant nothing, when the last breath seemed so eminent, a pistol to remind him how easy it would be to take it all and throw it away.  How easy it is to trivialise the little things that give meat to the narrow bones that hold his fragile world together.   Those days when he stands over the toilet bowel holding his cock in his hand and shaking the last drops of piss off and still not being able to leave, frozen with his cock in hand, waiting, waiting for something to happen.  Anything.  Just something happening.  A pistol a cock, how fucking predictable.  Folding it away like a blunt snake charmer.  Fish head soup.  The optimal way to make a fish head soup is to let it sit for a day on a real low heat as it drains itself of its own oil.  It sits there simmering the sounds of eternity.  When it rains the stench of the city creeps up the valley to tussle with the green leaves of all those stolen plants stuffed into pots.  It is the new world war, concrete and slush in combat with aching roots of life.  When there is a fish soup brewing neither can compete.  Pacing while the soup makes itself.  How many circles can he compose on the wooden floor before he becomes bored with his own sound?  The hollow tread of boot on wood beating time at its own game.  Somewhere in a corner sits the black dog howling. A shadow within a shadow, a single companion to witness a stolen life collapsing.  Feet bruising, black dog baying and fish soup toiling, an ménage à trios of self incest.  This moment may never end; eternity could be just this, nothing more, a collision of smells, sounds and apparition.  Of course he was as attentive as a mother, he had never once in all his years allowed the soup to betray him.  When someone knocks on his door it is for the simple reason that they want something.  No other person comes calling, the collectors of sorrows lining up day after day with hopeful well intended smiles affixed to wayward notions of salvation.  Strangers all in a stranded well strung up street.  Did he stop his feet pacing before the knock or did it come to stop him. The kind of knock that comes from a familiar face, a certain tone definite of occasion, a celebration, a reason to laugh and drink heavily.  Standing in the dark of his room with the dog’s head tilting to the side, motionless and quiet.  Waiting for the voice of reason to say something, to break through and create action.  His dark caramel eyes shifting to the set of pink draws.  Wondering if there is a pistol wrapped in moth eaten underwear.  The next coercion was more timid, apologetic, concerned with decorum.  Now the wheel had turned and he was the master once again.  Knock knock knock.  Tap tap tap.  A hole in space from the pistol hammer of will.  Fish head soup.  Slow melting of oils tending to itself with heat alone.  Across the melody of time, floating like a drunk in outer space.  To the door. To the only door. A glass door.  A well draped door to conceal even a thought.  The squealing hinges wining open.  The woman was a mistake.  Her smile banished itself in the tight hands of embarrassment as she witnessed the brooding features emerge, wafting amongst the pungent scent of fish.  I’m sorry, I was after someone.  I’m someone.  No, I was after another someone, someone younger than you.  Her laughter fanned out across the porch, tuned to the sound of church bells.  It’s curious to note what makes any of us smile, what causes brevity in the instance of a long exchange.  Seconds both extend and compact as a piece of stretched out liquorice.  He can only stand and watch.  Black eyed dog at his heals lapping up the exchange.  Fish head soup setting a tone.  What are you cooking?  Soup.  It stinks.  Watching again with black dog eyes.  Did you know that it is not the note you play, rather the pressure you apply that makes the impact?  I’m sorry to have disturbed you.  You didn’t, I was already disturbed.  Her head tilts back and peels again drawing the sun to shine a finger just there upon her face, orbs emerald raining down a song of daemonic force.  That’s funny, you’re a funny man.  Thank you.  At dusk there is a moment when life stands still, when the day hangs steady and the night refuses to come.  This particular light transforms even the dullest of facades into a palace.  It is a play of light that opens a door of opportunity that will have you choose a direction, a new experience, or the old worn and torn.  It is a trick of nature to remind us of the possibilities beyond what we can normally see.

Phillip C Gordon

 © Phillip C Gordon

My Love

My heart sings songs too loud and too soft
I seek that place where echo finds a passage
I know that you hear me for your secrets speak through my garden
I feel your scent in the  purple flowers and your voice in the iron fence

When the sun is high I lay down on the hardened earth
In the burning I feel your heart beating
At night I am still there, you capture my soul in the moisture

It is the evening breeze that lifts me in the dark and I am yours


$9.95, $9.95, a red sale ticket
$9.95 a price for his wares
$9.95 not for the faint of heart
Your generosity carried no such tag.

Mouth open beaming of a smile
Diving high, lets tap head bounce jazz
Through a push and stir of unveiling

$9.95 like apple pie or pears or plates

Your Yiddisher Mamma cried for you,
And you sat like this.
For nights, nought, naught, nothing.
Until eyes gleaming and glistening
Raised you up again

Grubby glass counter
With a stuck down penny
Totem, tempter, tease.
A burning van bon fire
On the front lawn

Wine to sing, brandy to fight
A London Gin for stories
Somber Raven like, knocking.
Tapping at your door

That one secret you kept
From him, from her,
From us, from you.

Hiding one part, the other
Full strewn blazon, madly wild
Amongst angels flight
And human flesh

$9.95, $9.95
Like a Jesus feeding
Friday night drunk Paddy
Fish n chips friendship

Boy to father staring mouth open
At a mystery, a mighty mouth
Of dreams and themes
Layer upon layer of place
And race passing through
Your door

A them park of heart
A river of sturdy mercury
Crazy dreamer slush fund
One off, far off
Made like this no more.

Mood of contradiction

I am a mood of contradictions
Sweetly plied piled with sweets
Fellow of harsh metal
Nomad seeking pastures of measure
Firmly placed in home

I am a mood of contradictions
Faulty mechanics alive in fault
Schism of time bound
Lost in the pleasures of flesh
Free in a realm of soul

I am a mood of contradictions
Purchased with love in loves purchase
Found when most lost
Quick to act, slow to respond
Tempered in wasteland

I am a mood of contradictions
Tithed wanderer in contrary deeds
Detractor in subversion
Screaming quietly in awakening dreams
Silent in my pounding

I am a mood of contradictions
Fractured in purpose of fractures whole
Compassion in nothing
Peace found in thunderous torrent
Flesh and bone deliverance


taste of ones own
incline toward refuge
once done it cannot return
lost is time as the hand falls
dark night filled with trucks
distant whir of machinery

I did not know
how to ask you
to stay


The dark long night of contemplation
In music we rest, notes in composition.
Exquisite song, through walls of time we bloom.
Delight and pleasure urge to drunkenness.
Forgetting, we clamber towards death;
Alone and fixed dig our grave. Inside,
Comes a tapping, first timid, then bold.
Feet weak walk.

Sitting beside the road
We meet ourselves,
Speaking unfamiliar tongue,
Dancing foreign steps.
At the crest of a hill,
Below, bloody war rages.
Cautiously, then with vigour,
We enter the tempest,
Eyes beaming outward,
Calamitous blows move through us.
We stoop to feed dying;
Tending wounds becomes our task.
Exhausted we gaze up,
Dawn catches our heart.
Lifting our weary tread,
Stepping, stumbling, striding,
A path emerges.
Together opposing armies break bread.

The valley opens, full sun.
A spring glistens. Drinking,
The water tastes of you.
A golden fish sacrifices that you might eat.
Now nourished, your travel eases
The earth as you step lifts to meet.
A town appears; familiar, it beckons.
Through gates a tavern.

In the evening you begin to sing.
People gather, on and on you go,
Voice like flute quickens hearts.
Laughter from glowing faces,
Out stretched welcome.
The hearth recognises your notes.
You your chair.


This Love

In reality I can promise you nothing
No money or job.
No standing, nor position,
I am clumsy, inconsistent in the ways of the world
I do not offer security, as the wind is my ground
No future for today, is the place I inhabit
Even my heart that I offer
Will eventually fade to dust.

What is it you bring I hear you ask
What I bring is not mine to give
I bring a summers day, when
Languishing slumbers our cause.
A crackling fire on a cold winter night
The seat of our lovemaking
And the glow of release

I bring soft rain that will silence our voice
A pounding tempest that will mirror your soul
Drunken nights when wine is
The blood of chaos
I bring you longing and confusion
A shattering of what’s certain

I bring you silence, I bring you waiting
I bring you knowing in your flesh
The smile of the sun as it strokes your face
The heady scent of flowers giddying
Perfume to arrest your fear
What do I bring? I bring you that which is yours
And a love, which is all of that.


in winter I huddle to myself
thinking I will not survive
you laugh, already you
have plans for spring


"The Make Believe Man"

The last page of my one man show

What a waste, a complete fucking waste.  Get out of my head stay away from my bed!  When you smile mean it.  If you don’t I’ll stich it on your face.  I’ll carve a million smiles across your body.  You think I won’t, try me.  If you cry for me make sure it’s not for you.  If it is I’ll make sure you choke on your own snot.  If you do cry I’ll hold you in the depths of my compassion, I’ll stroke your hair and sit with you.  But if you think your tears are mine I’ll make a potion from them so bitter you’ll wish you were dead.  If I offer you love and you think it’s for me, beware, my wrath is a thousand thunderstorms.  Love is fierce, it burns, love does not wear hair gel and satin pyjamas; love does not smile sweetly.  It is the marrow in your bones; it is the cliff you refuse to jump off.  Don’t offer me your love with sugar, don’t hide behind your losses; sugar rots my teeth and losses are the stuff of revelation.   Don’t refuse my love blindly. I will carve open your eyes.  I don’t object to you telling me what you think of me.  But don’t assume I will worship you.  If you insult my soul I will spit in your face.  Don’t think because I’m gullible I cannot see.  It is a greater fool who hides behind his strength.  I will drag you in to the raging furnace of life kicking and screaming.  I will listen to you; I need to hear you.  I will sing with you.  I will laugh and swap stories.  I will dance across the stars and wrestle the mighty oceans.  But don’t think because I’m born to adventure your petty intrigues interest me.   If you want to sell me a morality tale take care that you don’t wear false teeth because before it touches my skin you will be swallowing it.  If you have a philosophy to share you’d better be living it.  For I take my own apart everyday.  If you seek to reveal your deepest fears and suffering, if you wish to wash in the waters of your own sorrow I will sit in awe, silenced by your utter beauty.   But if you want soap go to a chemist or priest, to a healer or game show host.  I want to smell your fear, to taste your love, dive in to your heart and emerge drenched in your history.  I want to hear you say I don’t know, and laugh at that.  I want to watch you fall like a child and weep out of confusion, clamber back up and laugh with delight.  Don’t offer me your world unless you are ready for mine. I dine on life.  I love life.  I love sex.  I love food.  I love music and dance.  I’m lost; I’m on fire, alone, fearful, I’m determined, stupid, clumsy and rash, I’m honest and loyal, I’m filled to the brim with love, and completely and utterly mad.  But I’m here and I will stand in front of you until your eyes sting with my presence, your soul cries out for its own voice, your heart bursts in to flames as you dare to dream, and you gaze at me in absolute inspiring awe for what you see in me is you.  


We don’t have to talk, you don’t have to say anything; we can just sit here looking out the window sipping tea.


And then, and then we could take a trip to Mars.