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Stephen Oliver

Grew up in Brooklyn-west, Wellington, New Zealand. Author of six major collections 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. Free lanced as production voice, newsreader, announcer, voice actor, journalist, radio producer, copy and features writer. Poems widely represented in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, USA, UK, South Africa, Canada, etc. Recently published, Deadly Pollen, a poetry chapbook, Word Riot Press, 2003, and, Ballads, Satire & Salt ­ A Book of Diversions, Greywacke Press, Sydney, 2003. Forthcoming: A poetry chapbook, titled: The Throat's Arroyo, Impressed Publishing, Brisbane, Australia, 2004. He has recently completed: a CD of poems titled: KING HIT Selected Readings ­ written and read by Stephen Oliver to original music composed by Matt Ottley designed for international release. Stephen is a transtasman poet and writer who lives in Sydney. NB: Deadly Pollen is now available as a free e-book through Project Gutenberg


Madam I'm Adam

And he who lived singly in a palindrome on bio-time
(taken from any elevated perspective, most things in Gods
perfect world were) felt wholly self-referential, geometric,
circular, within the minds eye, and in the beholders.
The world shone, answered as mirror, provoked in him the
exclamation: "I am that I am that I am" that smelt sweet
as any rose given every breath lasted long as a millennium.
Even as the autochthon became upright, self-reflexive
(cloud-tablets scripted by lightning, throat-clearing thunder-
bolts, etc) the telling prompted another story, most likely
the greatest one ever foretold; that history as the great
tautology is condemned to endless repeats in the cul-de sac
of times particle accelerator (a mirror image) wherein the
the Garden of Eden echoes the Exodus, echoes Noahs ark
echoes the deluge, echoes Golgotha echoes Auschwitz -
alpha and omega judged by the shifting lights of self-reprisal
and self-appraisal; no swords were turned into ploughshares,
no lion lay down with the ass - the lying down was done
out of sheer, bloody-minded conspiracy. So it is this chorus
adds up to a curious, utterly dark nostalgia, a yearning toward
the open maw of the grave become, in fact; an unsatisfied
and unsatisfiable hunger that precipitates, not the loving of ones
neighbour, but a whole-hearted dedication to the gnawing on
his bones and the sucking out of his marrow. Yea, the
mind is a rank garden whose exits switch back on themselves
that lead inward to the fabled, fiery rose placed slap bang
dead-centre, the eternal rose is a rose is a rose by all counts,
hotly sought though rarely if ever sighted though mimicked
more than glimpsed through ritual and paradox while current
aggressions favour the desert - a domicile for the madman
who would raise his arms up as conductor rods to unyielding air
and, anguished, cry: "gnosis grows spirally, earths occupied
by difference".
Ah, but the best we come up with is toxic
waste dumps and a terminal outcome for the Roman de le Rose.



O Say Can You Hear?

The dripping Gorgons head
over the sands of Iraq, spittle of snakes flame out

from a thousand gun barrels -

at last! the two worlds unite in the death struggle,
the two as one to make a third:
     fantasy is reality is fantasy.

America has become its own horror cartoon,
each thought locked within its renegade cell,

Bugs Bunny holds forth in the senate on
the bankrupt dream-stocks buried at Fort Knox.

Donald Duck meantime jerks off in disgust
over the American flag - quacks
     the countrys been bushwacked,

aint worth a hill of beans

in archaic colloquialisms of a nation near claim
jumping the Middle East.

The last capitalist gasp v the last medieval groan;
eventually, to make way for the eco-terrorists whose

motto: destroy what you cannot save: will sound
the retreat to a history vaporised - a memory erased.

So we come to inherit Our Common Loss.

The Space Shuttle Columbia makes
its long wave good-bye

bright finger nails tearing at the sky (like)

morning Lucifer, that star that beckons all
mankind to daily rounds

scratching down Gods blackboard
as seven souls fly away
     toward the Pleiades.

So we make our omens to live and die by.

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