Thursday 16 May 2024

Poetry Collaboration - Seven Poems by Jay Simpson & Randy Barnes


The American poet Randy Barnes traveled from Lacey, Washington USA to Perth Western Australia to collaborate with Australian poet Jay Simpson. Below are some of the poems that they wrote during that visit.

Closer than Longing

The days everything worked what’s been done
storytelling from afar bright lights jazz riffs

communication disconnect with sweat and wonder
lost in a line body meanderings scorching heat

the gist is beauty beholden a land within reach
vistas before you unclothed for your view

imagine what you will in instances internal and receptive
distant horizons desire’s fulfilment frangible moments

delivery relapse mapped with proposals and theorems
perfect settings struggles forgotten calming touch

unfounded loss in pursuit of pleasure
reassurance in moments closer than longing

a taste so sweet there’s no turning away
a tongue dipped in honey senses the calling

sealed with a touch a kiss a promise
a forever clinging curled and watching

a gift greater that any world known
a timeless fortune assured and concealed

forgive these stumbles the path’s uncertain the intent’s intact
a torch lit to show us the way

Cracks in the Crystal

Comes a time out of synch
timeless reveries swirl atmospheric dance

missed the bus the dark end of the street
caught in the breeze the garden’s assent

into the city clouds gather
rainbows hover the margins

surprise ambush caught unaware
friendly fire an unexpected drive by

false signs every turn a detour
the shock of the new frightens the wary

cracks in the crystal with demands of sacrifice
the diamond reflects uncovers the mystery

justify and rectify poison in the bottle
the wine mellows understandings veiled

blind and dirty an introspective glance
sweet and tasty the body renews

A Luster of Intent

We grow the depths the parallels are tricky
the comings and goings of intricate words

needs pile fills slots with grace notes
sensory overload travellers’ polyphony

blood pulse heft with pursed principles
high resonance dilemmas fractured

a tight fit the ride smooth for the hover
blurred focus drifting a gentle dance

starved duels with mounted repetitions
hungers fed with extravagant delicacies

willed for the let-up an elaborate entrance welcomed
sensual succumbings give into river flow

a restart minute by minute anxious with telling
explanations storytelling the precious moment

hook line and sinker abandoned in the roll
lost in dream swell swimming for life

sweet bait crazed and craved
whirlpools spin crash spill

a marriage of heat a luster of intent
struggles align in a cascade of sound

as if entrenched the cool aesthetic of conjoined worlds
a vision of beauty ecstatic resolve

Painters of Light

Pre-dawn clear dashed to the quick
sleep daze swirling in miasma

city of sirens and unsung warm-ups
sea songs calling constant dangers

drugged for the uptick these bottom-line dysfunctions
mud-like creatures clawing at grasses bathed with dew

straighten the curves with bent rules
sensual straining pulls at convention

look to easy sailing on the horizon
find the flaw and make it work

inked in reverse devoured in gloss
subtle intricacies build citadels

she found the word misread for the fit
struggle for purpose the sound the cool beat

voice dipped in voice to find voice
quiet listening understanding truth

processional leap-frog over and against
life’s relay summer’s common dance

sensory fore-play to bridge an unknown
misplaced direction’s elaborate retrievals

painters of light from a shadow of one
translucent experience the lover’s book

Swimming in the Swill

Suck it up and blow the lid
bring it down the blossom’s ripe

this takeover’s complete with dropped anchors
heart attacks and shipwrecks at water’s edge

rev that snore machine to tighten your nipples
put on the silencer pull back the sheets

it’s a conundrum of thigh cramps and heavy traffic
that pain in the ass travels round corners

the jig is complete so shave the cat and lighten the load
the waltz begins in slow time lay it down for the guzzle

this town gets bouncy in the swale
hold tight your corset’s crusty

as for pills we’ve got it covered
duck the bedroom cabinet is bursting

stiff as a board every call a wrong number
dial again the receiver has a fever

take it to the river before the plot melts
tales of romance with sultry undoings

we’ll shed these duds and piss at the moon
naked bodies in a disturbance of crowds

tinned dreams at the border you’ll never see in the news
horizontal diversions altering views

back on track it’s static transmissions and torn silk
weeks on the skid with chaos and charm

got lollies for the dollies with bake sale grins
chocolate gelato the café crawl a deadly sin

time for take-off this flat’s in ruins
clocks ain’t workin’ cops stole the locks

ruby lips and tucked tummies toes curled in the clutch
sideway glance an eyebrow raised hand on the pump

hard preferences with choices by the bushel
sleepy contortions matted hair wings and dings

culture shock a dilemma for novices
stand it straight the morning drools

a slow stride on the tiles this side of the line
a high heeled muse in feathers and fluff

hike your flesh the sweat is on
temperatures rising hot as a bomb

we’ll drink to the future and refuse to make sense
we’ll swim in the swill till our heads explode

Welcome to the Thunder

Welcome to the thunder the celebrant narcotic
small theatres packed houses entries to redemption

tripping on light a circus march with mindspin
sedatives’ overreach cooling for the downer

spread thigh obsession and specious harmonics
indelible prophecies pearls by the mouthful

news from the road with three chords and an orgasm
peddling sounds bodies cushioned gone days return

Sicilian boots in Texas mud a planet of swaybacks in reverse
Paris fashion haute cuisine dressing room delirium

with backspin and topspin cinch your belt for the laughing freak
money grab madness hyped sanity’s helplessness

limp as a magnet with blown poles harped till reed ripped
faulty connections hot tubes and snapped strings

talking snakes and lunatics flocks of frantic fanatics
energetic glissandos fiddler’s fantasies reverential balancing act

reparations for spike victims the clones of brutish links
forces of survival freedom fighter on standby

jail break politics a hard rain for the fallen
cornered innocents defamed and degraded

circumambulations in the good land of lost souls and tight skirts
global connections on the fly a travelling medicine show

rainbow flags over a Bridge of Sighs
cymbals and symbols bash the beat

hip-shake battle cries for peace in the Valley of Moans
the rules of hypocrisy the lies of destruction

bare asses and loose tits requiems of freedom in a split country
full frontal attack an army of fools exposing idiocy’s hard line

it’s chicken skin music for the uninitiated a ticket to the Gates of Hellish Wonder
standing by the stage door songs of dissonance parades power

repose in a moonglow sanctuary of affection and care
wake to a moment of beauty and comfort

wine-stained lips with kisses strumming the feet of a lover
the stereo spills its music to transcendent desire

Dreamland’s Prisoners

Unchartered territory jazz on the fly
Motian in motion blackbird goodbye

work chamber’s sonatas’ sleight of hand
afternoon preludes playing the band

skip the props the plots contort
stages set expositions distort

servitude to the not yet here being born
fertile instigations weather the storms

prodigal prayer portraits bruised and bittersweet
cinematic performances in alleys and streets

mutual soil tilled for the bloom and the bust
turgid undergrowth wetlands and lust

high time hesitancy crisis of illumination
clears the decks sets the sails for further consideration

ride between coasts experimental densities at angles
kicks and tricks for the tangles and strangles

shift of the hip spontaneous losses at loose ends
positional confessions souls being cleansed

dimensional leverage to douse the burning
coax the timid wild one with a promise of turning

full bore overdrive a plethora of clues
laidback lady sings her subliminal blues

tongues and tastes the speed of touch
explosions of color scented and lush

it’s open for business with meat on the bone
the play will resume at the coming of dawn

versified and purified in a sunnyland strut
walk the plank with a blush and a hush

those heels are a knockout I say it true
white hair black dress tells a secret or two

nothing but a veneer of towering moons and midnight whispers
sultry sleep light creep dreamland’s prisoners

a simple avenger of back roads and jumped ropes
partners in crimes’ unplayed games in shadows

low brow dealer of high treason and gutted assumptions
mistress of worlds with sheltered presumptions

raunch and roll tracer of breasts corked in the brain
sup on the sweet hearts lost in the game

Jay Simpson was born in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Perth Western Australia. She is recently published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Cajun Mutt Press and Alien Buddha Press. Jay is also the featured writer in a number of online magazines and journals as well as other notable publications, both nationally and internationally. She is currently working on her book to be published in 2024/2025. Jay loves poetry, art, music, satire and black comedy. She is the Creative Director and Author at her blog ‘Living Dangerously’. Poetry Jay Simpson

Randy Barnes was awarded a Lifetime Historian Beat Poet Laureate for Washington State in 2020 by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, East Hartford, CT. He has published in many journals, anthologies and lit mags over the years both nationally and internationally. He currently expects two books of his poetry to be published this year: Material Evidence: Dispatches 2020 – 2022, (Independent Literature, Italy, a bilingual edition), and Tactical Subterfuge: Dispatches 2023 (NewGen Publishing). He lives in Lacey, Washington in the foothills of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.

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