Chris Marriner
New Zealand 
bio: Chris is currently studying English at  Auckland University, and has completed a course in writing poetry with the distinguished and highly respected, Albert Wendt. 
Chris was recently published in Trout 9. 
(click on image to review). 

       Tomorrow I split into a hundred pieces.
       Five senses,
       five fingers,
       a hand that holds today above myriad forms of myself.
       That scratches the spots of dirt where soil or concrete was a pillow 
or shoulder,
       to try and find that speck,
       blessed by our eyes,
       that multiplies into a hundred dirty fingernails.
       Picking up noise,
       and throwing it into the quiet streets of next week
       to blur the words I will never say.
       Heart and fingers clean I reach to touch another day.


Angels came to cross,
kicking off sandals and stretching their whitecap wings,
they came to cross.
A delicate tarpaulin,
faded lazuli festival decoration,
stretched over a heater to dry,
the sky.
They came to cross,
but took one look with black eyes
and thought...why?
The question disappeared as they dived beneath the waves.
Women on the beach,
walking with babes,
were amazed.
"Where is the divine blaze?"
Pathways...bubbles popping to the end of days.
The destination is confusion and contained in a phrase,
they came to cross.

From The Ridge

It was one of those days,
where the tips of Rangitoto fade.
Green and dreams and seas -they grey,
Wailing rises from where kisses played.

The lips under dense sea fog crack,
for just a second,
to shine stories of the plain out of the gloom.
Down in the valley I have crushed petals and dirty shells to offer as 
sacrifice to the shifting mud.

To cross to where blood pumps black is a magnificent stretch,
limbs soft grip hard wood below the fire in strength contest.
On the ridge I drank the air stored inside your chest
and retired (back to sunset) composing songs of rest.

Then the nights on cold wood floors where gifts given dissolve
into a mist carried by frightened eyes,
which flicker with every passing friend.
Trapped between the lines unseen on maps.

Time wil topple topographs.
And all is flat.
Ink spreads quick out of the black.

advice from a discarded poem.

Eventually I took to the idea of incinerating the whole damn book,
so I could watch up close
as she curled into skinthin scraps and floated away on my bitter breath.
I wanted to push her ash over the paddocks,
over the electric fences,
speeding through a maze of pines,
then flicking desperately over the dunes
to be crushed in the first cool wave she met.

But she danced, smiling, her tail still alight,
with barely a sound landing deftly on bundled love notes,
growing and swallowing until I could only laugh,
barefoot in the backyard,
as all the fuel I had stacked for winter erupted in a fireball,
hardly noticed on a clear fine day.


What are these difficulties? These struggles with words? Why try and turn 
what happens across the water into something concrete on this side? Why 
bridge dreams with concrete? My footsteps through are light and considered, 
my footsteps over are obvious and pointless, the means to a bullshit end. I 
want to walk along the beach and pick at food and food-scraps. Pick at 
people and angel-scraps, the silver wingdust that lands all over whoever 
finds my eye when I'm out west. That much closer to the sunset, that much 
closer to my salty last breath. Maybe it is an amphetamind left over, but 
heartbeats no longer match wingbeats, and I am an observer, walking along 
black lines and barely making out my family as punctuation marks and 
saviours, finishing all my sentences miles above me with wisdom, patience 
and love


Crackup. Even insomniacs saw the funny side when, under the dark
blue, she rolled out of the spilling yellow linen of dawn and
stepped across the harbour. Each footstep was a ripple, a breaking
crest in a quiet bay. To the west, a different calm, the echo of
snapping twigs in the ranges. There is sleep and death, a different
peace, one can get lost and cold and disorientated. But one wrong
step this morning and she would just slip under.