Name: Alison Eastley
country : Australia
bio:I live in Tasmania, Australia. My work has been published in many small presses and anthologies in Australia, New Zealand, USA and England. On-line, my work can be found in 42 Opus, Snow Monkey, The Adirondack Review, ibodi and many other fine publications.

Jo !
The Practice of Dumping Toxic Waste

The worst part about risking everything is you fall
and keep falling until you've forgotten to breathe
through the mess of a messy divorce. Honestly, I'd happily
murder my ex. The only thing that stops me is
there isn't any passion.

Perhaps that's why I left in the first place
and in the second place I'm trying to describe gothic
skin. It would have to be pale or paler
than pale so it's both pale and delicate and pale or translucent

milky white as fragile as a flower pressed
when men were men and women dazzled by angel
dust covering any given room so there were shadows
instead of truth making it impossible

to show how it feels when he smirks
as she steps in the hail-storm of halitosis that would stink
if it wasn't for the phone preventing physical contact
with his mouth dumping more and more toxic waste.

Vincent's Trees

The fragile fragments falling for nature left him feeling
'there is sometimes a soft melancholy in the falling leaves
in the tempered light; in the elegance of the slender stems'
broken as desire dampens the morning chill of winter.
Rain isn't depressing as tears shed after arguing two days
after the last one reddens my eyes. Sleep was slit-vein
blue mixed with the whiteness of snow that left Vincent's
trees 'moss-covered and scaly, somewhat like the skin
of a serpent', but more like looking nakedly at you.

Quote taken from Vincent van Gogh's Letters

The Practice of Conspiring With Crows

A new bride dresses in hibiscus red with sixteen silver celestial love
charms while she concentrates on sixty-four ways to stare at simple things
for so long, she forgets what it is she's looking at so she parts her hair

with the parting smeared with red powder to indicate marriage is society's
bliss. Kohl widens her eyes and fragrant betel nuts stain lips redder
than explicit sex. If only love was more than ancient sacrifice where clotting

blood and fertility rites stop her from wishing a crow with a red thread
means the house will burn to the ground. At least the flames
would be hotter that the cold hard heat of loneliness rattling

like the anklet with every step she takes. Frightened of false desire,
she waits for a single crow to tell her murder is more precious
than the redder than red spreading stains on the satin honeymoon sheets.

Auspicious Monday

'When the planet Venus shines in the morning sky, bathing
outdoors is believed to cleanse not only the body, but to purify
the mind-stream of accumulated karma', and maybe some days
are like the day it rains the sound memories make when they slip
from our lips. We admit it's never enough to draw two wavy lines
resembling water because the interpretation would be incomplete.
No matter how we divine planetary configurations or combine
seventy-eight acupunture points with potent relevations, it feels as if
our dreams run naked when we trace this wish to get right in.
I could say it's much the same as my fingernails scratching your back
redder than earth. It's never enough to kiss without thinking
what might happen if we suck each other's blood or cause the crush
of bone, how impossible it is, we're watching each other moan
how mad we become the more we mention love.

Quote taken from 'The Tibetan Art of Healing' by Ian A Baker


We talk about territorial flight,
whether black wings symbolise afterlife;
the release from flesh and time.

Perhaps it's a trick that disappears,
the reappears while we do the cha cha cha
on the table.

Foresight is predictably sublime.
The cry of the crow is a racous 'tomorrow tomorrow',
an omen I wish would be quiet.

My hair should be scenting your skin.
There are different ways to unwrap our limbs.
Let's begin with the 'O' of my mouth.

My tongue is the 'V'
of the crow's beak when we lie side by side.
You'll face north; I'll face south.

Can you feel the tickle,
those delicious sucking sounds as gentle
as feather down?


'...and I saw myself falling slowly toward my own face which was warm
and perfect and unscarred..' - Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

The contrast darkens meditation or the excuse I use
when I examine my hand and wonder if there are better
ways to discover nothingness in the middle of the week
watching the acne scarred man wearing the Hawaiian shirt
sing 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. It could have been worse.
I could have stayed home instead of drinking at the pub,
the one facing the beach where winter white sand exists
only for jellyfish. And when they sting, is it an accident
or an act of fate? Does it resemble the man staring as if
he could read all the intricate lines of my hand as simply
as he reads what I want, what I really have in mind?

The Nightingale

'Wasn't the nightingale enough for you as it prayed
among the aphrodisiac branches of the trees?' - Nikos Karouzous

Saturated by the scent of blue-hazed lavender
can be nauseating
in that dizzy display where summer sprinkles salt
and sweat
runs down the back of my legs.

It's not the same as your fingers finding the swell
of silence, the pulse of intent. How deeply
we respect the moon's
spotlight on our gaze of approval

and it's at this moment
when the planets are conjunct in monogamous signs
I smile
at the crazy woman who wanted to know
if I'd consider having sex in her bed.

Perhaps she thought she was a bird
singing like an insomniac when the night is as dry as a seed
although it seems to me the nightingale
is more likely to please.

Number 12

'I wanted to express what a simple thing death and burial is...
just a bit of earth dug up, a wooden cross.' Letter #411 Vincent Van Gogh

The death rune is symbolised by the yew tree
which is the best wood for carving runes made sacred
if the myth about Odin found hanging from the tree
is the same as card number 12 where sacrifice must be
made to gain recognition of repetitive patterns that bind
which is not to say this sense of being numb has anything
to do with inability to express pure gut-wrench, apprehension
and sweat when I feel your back, warm against mine,
how it contrasts with the stark stench that swallows my breath
because isn't time just watching the sky. I thought it was there
but it disappears when you try to commit suicide.

Shoulder Blade

'Sartre called it the God-shaped hole (...)
where the divine has always been but had disappeared,

leaving an emptiness behind' and I think about my son's
shoulder blade, how stark it is under his skin,

how decisive the curve hides and seeks the night
breaking whatever it is we call time, how peregrine

planets run away with the horoscope. What bothers
me the most is no mystical state prevents fingers

tracing the relics of some saint. And I can drink
till I fantasize while I light another cigarette at three

in the morning just for the sake of remembering where
our bed used to be before dislocation distorted

distance. Some say sacrifice is whiter than glamour,
the chilly glow we came to know when we'd fight,

then try to embrace unbroken words, the ones
we hadn't heard. If I could only pray instead of wishing

my son didn't have to choose if its the Mother
or the Father he loves the most.

  Quote taken from 'The Battle For God' by Karen Armstrong

The Hermaphrodite's Heart Beat

Who knows if a placebo or panacea
has anything to do with ecstasy we describe as desire

somehow ceasing, when the moment thrusts
us into eternity? We feel it but cannot express it

except to say something about contentment
while our minds try to get inside everything that is true.

This depth spells death the way we pray our pulses
will stay elastic while we lay in each other's arms

listening to the hermophrodite's heart
beat that we have just become.

The Practice of Propagating Light

'And beware lest you lift you eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon
and the stars, all the host of heaven, you will be drawn away...' - Deuteronomy 4.19

In sacrifices, everything is a sign: whether the animal goes willingly
to the altar and bleeds to death quickly, whether or not the fire flares
swiftly, how the tail curls and the bladder bursts a dream, a stumble,
a chance encounter, even an unexpected drop of rain and this day
feels like the sound of your name caught in passing. There is nothing
I can do and it doesn't matter that I've seen the oil from our love
making slick on your skin, the way your face shone as if yesterday
was a vision and you hadn't forgotten the depth of death's ambition,
the smell of fear displaced in every step that breaks the seal of night
so I wake with grief written with unbearable grace, almost as if
I believe in fate or that love has many different names,
perhaps as many as angels which only reminds me of light. Yes,
I was dazzled and yes, I shouted your name. I saw the sun and
worshipped the moon, I howled like crazy at every falling star and
never thought of anything wise let alone how to say goodbye

The Influence of Seers

Spread eagled, narcotized and pale,
crossroads divide sleeping tablets
cut in half. How many ways are there
to hypnotize the night? There's no dust,
no marrow soaked in blood, no substance
untouched by amnesiac tongues
let loose in crowded mouths. It stitches
lips smooth like sheets slipping
from a bed when she can't remember
he listened to her repeat his name
the way a soothsayer counts vertebra
from the broken spine of a fish.

The House of Lethe

There are no birds screaming,
no strife when I lick your adbominal scar,

kiss temporary skin when you are beautiful
Apollo, exposed in the underworld

dreaming I will be your earthly wife
bearing down as if in birth

before I turn into Persephone, caught
without the flutter of a suicide note.

I'd like to think I could have found you
alive, that I could have been Aphrodite

in the bathroom, rinsing off
the shaving foam, so utterly naked,

irresistible in this house of Lethe
if it wasn't for the blood.