nostalgia felt at observing
cumulus cloud building up behind a civic tower
or suburban steeple, in an otherwise partial
sky, neither Flemish nor impressionistic, speaks
volumes for childhood¹s softened narrative.
Can an irony
exist before future events
decide those ironies? Such weights and measures
belong to prophecy. So tell them I have
lived a fitful life, the rehearsed, and final speech:
what aftertaste for the future, tin or hemlock?
In that long-room
at the back of every
skull, Socrates and Jesus face off forever over
drinking vessels, each agreeably cognizant
of the toast, though each in his heart wishing the
contents of his cup belonged to the other.
In the beginning
was the rock and upon
this rock no church, nor gun-mount, ever got built.
Rock of Ages, primal rock, Seat of Kings,
locus for tablet, fortress, the sacrificial offering;
also recorded as the suicide¹s preferred leap.
sun fixed to the wall map:
few blimps moving east of Suez, the telegraph
ticks away in Whitehall, the half-pay colonel
slaps a writing pad [not house-boy] with his palm,
Clive and the boys, faces struck hard as coin.
Oliver b. 1950. Grew in Brooklyn-west, Wellington, New Zealand.
Author of twelve titles of poetry, including Night of Warehouses:
Poems 1978-2000, HeadworX Publishers, 2001. One year Magazine
Journalism course, Wellington Polytechnic. Radio NZ Broadcasting
School. Casual Radio Actor. Lived in Paris, Vienna, London,
San Francisco, Greece and Israel. Signed on with the radio
ship, The Voice of Peace broadcasting in the Mediterranean
out of Jaffa. Freelanced as production voice, newsreader,
announcer, voice actor, journalist, copy and features writer.
Poems widely represented in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland,
USA, UK, South Africa, Canada, etc. New work taken for 3AM
Magazine, Aught, Alba, Big Bridge, Blackmail Press, Catalyser
Journal, Comet, DIAGRAM, Identity Theory, Sidereality,Snow
Monkey, Failbetter, Fire Magazine, San Francisco Salvo, Kitchen
Sink, Pemmican, Get Underground, Comrades, Can
We Have Our Ball Back? Illuminations, PoetryNZ/26, featured
Poet, Mad Blood, Millennium Papers, Milk
Magazine, Omega, Orbis, The Paumanok Review, Peshekee
River Poetry, Prague TV, storySouth, Stride, Tiger Magazine,
Thylazine, Word For/Word, etc. Recently published, DEADLY
POLLEN, a poetry chapbook, Word Riot Press, (USA), 2003,
and, BALLADS, SATIRE & SALT - A Book of Diversions
[with illustrations by Matt Ottley] Greywacke Press, 2003.
Recently completed, a recording of poems titled: KING HIT
- Selected Readings written and read by Stephen Oliver
to original music composed by Matt Ottley, intended for international
release. Stephen is a transtasman poet and writer who lives
in Sydney. http://people.smartchat.net.au/~sao/
See also: Stephen Oliver
interview with Will Roby / Word Riot http://www.wordriot.org