Stories from Mark Young

The bats in blackness

I like to find
what’s not found
at once, but lies

within something of another nature,
in repose, distinct.

I have always liked those lines from Denise Levertov’s "Pleasures." Have used them before as an epigraph, to an essay written around an exhibition of works by the great New Zealand painter Ralph Hotere, an exhibition that I remember as consisting of a number of black paintings, but within the black were shades, & shapes.

Am reminded of the lines tonight. & the context in which I used them. There is a rugby game being played on the park below the house. The floodlights are on, but because they’re angled downwards, onto the field, the light is focused inwards, not outwardly diffused. Six banks of lights, one at each corner & at the mid-point of the two longer sides. There is a blanket of light beneath the top of the stanchions, but above them, on this moonless night, the black rests. Stars can be seen.

The lights attract moths. They show like sparks, but moving towards the source, a movie of a fire run backwards, the broken vase made whole again. Large moths, have to be to be seen at this distance. In the line of the lights they are all you can see.

But, step aside a bit, hold up your hand or use a branch to conceal that concentrated bright-light patch. Let your eyes adjust. & at the edges of the seepage you see the bats, shapes within the blackness, come to feast on the moths, to pick them off as their arc goes beyond the lights’ arc. An overlap, a Venn diagram, a feeding zone.

of my Anglophile education in New Zealand, there are vast chunks of U.S. writing that I have never explored. Unlike Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones, I don't think I have read any of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books; Faulkner I cannot read — which aligns him with Australia's Patrick White & Greece's Nikos Kazantzakis; Thomas Wolfe I tried after reading Kerouac's The Town & The City but couldn't get (in to) him. I have never read — which might make me unique on the planet — To Kill a Mockingbird.

Perhaps it has to do with the absence of prescribed cultural antecedents (though much of it has been shown to me as Hollywood movie) & so I have no reference points. There are exceptions, most of them self-subscribed. Moby Dick led me to Melville. Poe & Hawthorne I came to through a liking for fantasy. I've read all the great U.S. crime writers & still love the genre. Whitman's two great poems to Lincoln opened up the marvellous Leaves of Grass. The New American Poetry led me backwards to Williams & Rexroth as well as forwards.

So, confessional time. In my seventh decade I am reading Thoreau for the first time, Cape Cod, picked up — along with a number of other books — at the recent second-hand proceeds-to-charity Bookfest.

& I'm liking it.

Poetry from Mark Young

Mons Saturnius

The counter-revolutionaries march
counter clockwise for several hours
around the Basilica di Massenzio 

buoyed by the belief that once
they've seen off Giorgio de Chirico &
his mystic mannequins they might all
be able to go home & get some sleep.


Accelerated by all the 
recent hype, some residents 
now believe that the 
next solar eclipse will give
them more control than 
ever over how they can
download free or royalty-
free photos & images.


In this age of
upwelling urban-
ization, many
concrete structures
that might other-
wise feel threatened
have resorted to the
use of high-impact
herbs to assist in
the maintenance
of their self-control.

Wall Street
Temporary stenting 
 for the global market
 is complex & time 
 consuming.  Tends 
to produce false 
positives. Is expensive.
But a fabulous way 
to align the pixels of
handmade children.  


Aqui un video con la
fauna del Jurassic
Park. The recipe
was submitted by a
reader & has not been
tested in our kitchen.


The monastries agglomerate. Air-
bnbs gather beneath a bodhi tree.

Wonderful & rare animals share
pasta with nautical sheep; & all 

the while, meerkats take beauty 
tutorials from the dogs of Semolina.

Poetry from Mark Young

Click Here For Attachments

Wombat security has come into

being because the Northern hairy-

nosed wombat has developed 

the bad habit of turning into

barrow-wights during their bur-

row nights & setting up spam

factories where they target a

subset of their species — the

nosey hairy ones — who can’t

resist acting on any included 

“Click Here for Attachments” mess-

age because anything is better

than being kept in the dark 

& driven wombatshit crazy.

Similarity Stops Here

What follows has nothing

in common with what went

before, even though the trees

& lawns seem to be the same. 


Tupperware may be 

going out of business 

tomorrow, but will 

there be any differ-

ence between tomor-

row’s Tupperware item 

& one from yesterday?


Track your way down a 

dichotomous tree; &, at 

each division, it can be

safely said that when the 

similarities stop, you’ve

identified another species.


If you drive your car over

a cliff, then at that moment

when the plane shifts from

the horizontal to the vertical 

you would think that you

could safely say the similar-

ities stop then. Except, you’re

still in the car, & Schrödinger’s 

cat is on the seat beside you.

Exorcizing the endocrine glands

Halfway through the 

night, with the moon 

halfway through its 

phases, I rise to take 

in the night air, leaving 

behind a poem that is

halfway to nowhere.

A line from Colonel Sanders

Criminal courts exist. Their proto-

cols are approved. For these 

future challenges, many gulfs

can be bridged by an esterified 

canola oil based product with a

non-ionic surfactant added. But

everyone reacts differently to grief;

so, if you’re wired for anxiety, then

an efficacious & speedy way to

overcome the loss of something is

to design a nuclear submarine using

only objects found in the kitchen.

Poetry from Mark Young

oxygen deprived

Polka dots & mung beans, &
millions of dead fish floating
& coating kilometers of river.
Essentially they're all ingre-
dients, the type of thing you
keep in your kitchen cupboards

along with other ingredients.
Ready to be thrown into a
mixing bowl & turned quickly
into a topical &/or nostalgic
treat should your relatives
unexpectedly come around.

Gourmand eyes

Wearing a

the kami-
kaze poet 
prepares to 
eat himself
to death.

He fails. &
the wind
is not

He spent the morning 

deciding what color Model T to ask for. Assembly lines were de facto machines of war—the Arsenal of Venice, Springfield Rifle. He wanted to disrupt the process.

The $1 million white picket fence

Subtlety or stupidity? I'm never
sure which when it comes to the
Defense Force. So I debate myself 

about what the Army's up to in
raising a gigantic sign which reads:


Le Civilisateur
(after the paintings by Magritte)

Three paintings of a dog, all
different dogs but the same
one painted. All different names
but painted under the same
name. Somewhere I read that 

this Loulou was black, but painted 
white for the occasion. Narrow 
nostrils, but supposedly had a 
big heart. So loved by its child-
less owners that it traveled with

them everywhere, even to the 
States, its right of passage paid
for by a promise to allow the fuse-
lage of one of the airline’s planes
to later carry a Magritte motif.

All things pass, including the in-
fluence of a civilizer. The livery 
of the plane redone to reflect new 
alliances. & of the other themed air-
craft, Tintin will be the next to go.