Poems A Lá Kilbey

This page contains prose poems written by admirers of Steve Kilbey's style. The authors and I hope you enjoy them.

9th February 1998
Paul Stockman

This is a poem that I'd like to submit in respose to the Remindlessness canticle:


I see all moments
Through a veil of time
a cloud called memory...
I loose all the edges;
I carry this longing--
...I plant another seed in the soil of today
For tomorrows future memory...
Sharp shards of moments deep down
Slowly dulling with the passage inside
Until at the last blooming
They are nothing but dust...
Mists and vapours
On a wisp of wind and smoke.

23rd July 1997
This piece is from Rhys Morrisson


he lived in the tropics, though he couldn't abide the heat
and fantasised the places he'd heard of in childhood
where seasons changed
where snowflakes drifted gently to the ground
and when he dreamt them, they were always winter dreams
and when he grew up, he failed to remember that even there
seasons change
a fatal flaw, or simply a misunderstanding?
it's difficult to say
and of course, i never asked

he took his dreams and fashioned a tower of ivory from them
these towers are always made of ivory
i'm not sure why
is it the poverty of metaphor?
or simply that the touch is so cool, the surface so flawless?
the image of storybooks
is where so much of life is patterned

it comforted him to live there
it suited, he felt
he wasn't a myth, you see, for
he still lived in that hot, messy, tropical world
which remained obstinately disordered every day
his tower was a refuge from it
dare i even say, with some caution
that it was the home he thought he always wanted?

finally, the chance to travel came
to those lands he'd dreamt in faraway childhood
he chose to go in winter, of course
do you blame him for that?
it would be too harsh a judgement, i think
for we all want to find that place
of manifest dreams
so no, that wasn't his mistake
but still, he forgot that even there seasons change
and that was

his homecoming was awful, a numb chaos
tropics, you see, remain tropical
try and protest, you'll only be thought a fool
so he shut up
and concentrated on improving his tower instead

he laid the floors with marble
putting in a bit of black ivory to
provide contrast with the white
and mirrors, mirrors were installed everywhere
so that whenever he looked
he saw perfection, and the reflection of perfection
all around him

don't ask what he did to his heart

and when he felt it truly was as perfect as he could make it
he brought women there
in such surroundings they immediately turned to crystal
what else could they do?
no mortal beauty could compare with his artifice
he liked it this way, or at least he seemed to
and when he fucked them, they bled rubies
which confused him at first, perhaps it does still
but those crystalline beauties
and the exquisite jewels they produce
hold a seduction of their own
i can't tell you what happened to the women they used to be
but he he loves the way that red heat
was turned so cold, so beautiful, so flawless

don't ask what he did to his mind

he is still mortal
and somewhere hidden in that tower
in a closet perhaps, or possibly
in that secret room always found in the turret of the
ivory towers of fairy stories
is the woman who didn't turn to crystal
who sheds blood constantly
an unquiet memory

he is still mortal


Dr Paul Hullah has kindly sent in this poem which will be included in an upcoming book called And Here's What You Could Have Won, to be published in the UK by Dionysia press. He references a Church song (Under The Milky Way), to which he couldn't work out the chords - don't worry Paul, Am7sus4 isn't an obvious chord to anyone but Steve Kilbey ;-)


Some scars are trophies. Others lack the same improper pull.
There is a pulling power in memories that drags us like a current.
Soap operas have nothing on our story. Our glee evaporated faster
Than the condensation will as I undress again before this mirror.

And as I step under the water with my dinosaur ideas
The shower is a rhythm; it becomes that magic
Church tune, the saddest one with chords I couldn't find
On a cracked guitar in Scotland one afternoon when you came home

With evidence you'd heard in bars and feelings you called scars
And tears like runny diamonds in your angry slate-grey eyes.

The Young Dancer Is Dead

Just thought I would post something for those of you who enjoy reading Steve Kilbey's prose. I wrote this a while ago, but just realized that a song that he worked on had quite an appropriate title. Guess the muse was beating me over the head with a bottle telling me to offer it up. - April 2nd 1997
Down and out in fairyland, a young elf wishes to view the human world, not knowing of all the bad things above her. She knows she is willingly exiling herself because once you go Aboveground, you cannot return.

She kisses Queen Mab goodbye, and her brothers and sisters; there are a few tears, but she is more excited and curious and a bit anxious to see what is going on in that unusual world around her.

So she steps outside the mushroom circle with her dancing shoes in her hand. The man who last saw her dancing in the moonlight was waiting to whisk her off to Broadway, (or was it Hollywood) waiting in a green stretch limo to make her and himself famous.

Shows are booked, and the profits ring in non-stop. Five nights a week, then six, then seven. Pleas for a break were ignored. Everything in front of him looked like dollar signs, and he could almost count the money made by the people who walked in front of the playhouse, marvelling at the unearthly beauty whose face was plastered all over the facade.

Tonight only, another sold out performance.

She is so very tired, and her dainty feet are bruised and swollen. Her shoulders droop as she tries to tell him that she cannot possibly dance tonignt. His eyes take on a beady glint as he orders her "as her lord and master" to dance and deliver--she chose to do this, and there was no turning back.

He gave her some Absence and said it would life her up. She finished getting ready and hobbled onstage, safely hidden behind the curtain, at least for now.

She peeked out and was astonished at all the people there. As the delirium of the drug began to set in, she saw them frowning disapprovingly.

Under the strange lights which pervaded the entire ceiling, she thought she saw several corpses in the audience as well.

The backing music begins as she takes her place, sweat already pouring from her furrowed brow. In her fever and in her fervor she begins the ancient dance. It quickly progresses into a mad frenzy and in her frantic just to make it all go away she did not feel her body as it began to go numb.

The number was drawing to a close, but not quite done when she mercifully collapsed.

The audience, for the most part, applauded enthusiastically at the somewhat eccentric performance. Her manager had mysteriously disappeared. The house was empty and silent. No one noticed the car as it slid through the crowded streets without a sound.

Somewhere in the West, beyond Hollywood, a man approaches a talented young singer and asks the infamous question "You wanna be famous, babe? I'll take real good care of you."

It's funny how to this day, nobody can remember the name of the ethereal face on that poster that is faded on the street near the deserted playhouse. All they know is that she vanished after a drop-dead performance.

ta da...
Antoinette Marie


I guess I found religion on a day when the sun even cowered at it's own rage. I had just stepped out of the local parlor where my hair had been left for the cold linoleum to soak what life it could get out of it. You see, the cold swept tile, which lay there for many years could only weep out of jealousy for the abhorrent blindness people felt for their locks. "They held so much life in just one strand. If only I could grasp their essence", the floor would say.

The coolness of a still wet head felt sharpening to a day better spent under the grace of oaks. But who was I to kid. I had more worldly matters at hand. The investment business was turning greater profits for this young broker.

The calculated rhythm of my new shoes practically sang their own songs of "success", While, tipping my hat patiently to a Mrs. Gilbert as I stroll down this bustling avenue of commerce. Doesn't every small town have a Mrs. Gilbert or Madame or Senora or...

"Was that a perfectly rendered measure of Master loongard's stravincia I just heard playing in the wind." My mind raced. There I was playing in the orchard, all my friends writhing with laughter. A cool wind blew from unknown directions forcing my head upward.

"Hello my friend."

A slow moving, unending coil of serpentine flesh curled down the tree within a Lemuel's lick of my jugular. "You must taste this fruit. It's heavenly!" the coiled tracker snarled. I took the fruit.

"He must have been stricken by the heat", spoke a man with no features. There I lay along this busy avenue knocked down by a vision of the past. A past blocked out for whatever reason. One minute, my priorities set in stone, the next, my mind falling to pieces. That music, where did it come from?

I swept the dirt from my trousers with some help from the man without a face. I thanked him for his empathy and I was on my way. To where? I couldn't go back to work. Not after what I had experienced. At the corner of Denton and Water st., I passed a closed down store that once offered items that were judged on it's ethereal value, rather, it's monetary. There, a statue stood in the broken down doorway. I did what came as instinct. I grabbed this form of an angel and ran. Ran like the devil !! Here I was, a fine dressed businessman running to my auto like the apocalypse was at hand.


Now, here I lay in this garden of overgrown neglect. My only concern right now is to listen to her song. I must be going now.

By Brian Ison

Return to Steve's Poems
Return to Main Page