Les Wicks

LES WICKS has toured widely and seen publication across 16 countries in 9 languages. His 10th book of poetry is Barking Wings (PressPress, 2012).

Emails from my friends:
the streets are greased with blood, one
poet arrested. 5 demonstrators dead. It’s on.

I was there once, funky nightclubs,
themes & memes clutter a university town
3 in the morning
promises of friendship
in stickled English. Alexis pissed against
a 16th Century church. All this would last forever this
was torn down by rulers’ thieves
just doing their job. Failure.

Yanukovych thought it was some guitar solo
until his ears are cut. The wolves of want are restless.
Gaols fill with crows.
There is snow & now & a petty sowing of futures.
Be quiet as you roar; that duality of a movement chasing
jobs, liberty, the relaxed elegance of a page.

A kind of tough copulation
as mufti & uniformed rivers meet on the streets of Kyiv.
This was rehearsed & rewritten. The protestors are just like me.
The police are just like me. I met a sailor
on the plane – they’d taken his language (Russian), his
children were strangers.

This stockade, a picket of pens. Social networking
as WMD. Elena has put on atypically sensible shoes, stepped out
into the weather democracy demands.
Natalia had come back from the US in 1993, her
6 jobs, her love of country, her
stupidity says a suit.

Has change changed nothing? In the western Oblasts
hands are still out for their cut.
So many thrive the crooked state,
feed in the decay.
Russia has needs. Everyone is a terrorist now, all nations
are imperial, that
sounds right to me.
The airport is being strafed.

When a people moves against its people
the blood clusters, a babbling contusion
that refuses to dissipate or congeal.
Nataliya applies for a job in Poland
Vasily says he will not fight.
This country doesn’t make sense, perhaps
no country does. I write another letter.

Les Wicks

It was supposed to be just us.

The related cadaver wanted a soundtrack

was only a chat

what cheek

though no cheek remained, he

was after all in shorts

mint condition

mint green. Why wear a hat mate,

the damage has been done.


We are obstruct clarity

as spinal photographers clatter

the goth marriage at Meat Beach –

a hole-grain facility appropriately doomed,

location soon to disappear. Graders applause

the schmaltz of a cannibal waltz

sand no hands clapped out




This is that last pneumonic gasp a

community art

tarmac graffiti. The shipping containers

use a huge black pen to get into character,

right on queue. Their inelegant steel bulges

with the immigrant dead. Sydney needs

much more

so a beach goes… funerary crust.


Sunbake on ashes.

Dear compadre – you were ahead of your time

terminal trendsetter, dead fashionable

nail clippings of the rich & famous, ham all

flam as plague ships flap their flimsy food,

flare towards our lungs. Flu flies first class.


I am the afterthought of birds.

Me & Felix

toss his thigh bone. Fetch.

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