Les Wicks


Les Wicks has toured widely and seen publication in over 350 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 29 countries in 15 languages. His 14th book of poetry is Belief (Flying Islands, 2019).


This prophet is still waiting.


I have smitten the whores

& the beasts who frequent them.

Despite the neglect of my temples

still you feed me narcotics.

I am drowning in sugar.


You think you are alive.

I have torn your skulls.

Finding nothing

these chastened cups will be burnt

in fires tended by lazy acolytes.


I’m just not sure where they are anymore.


All the doors to my sanctum are locked.

Perhaps my followers crowd the forum

dressed in their soiled white.

I’m sure they still hunger

for the lotion of my notions.


Down by the dumpsters

a devil spoke my name he

had a court order.

Ears, ears & Glory

I flew towards the light

though all my guts were stolen

& the howls of golden ambulances

inscribed the night with my verses.


Having licked tears from every eye

upon my bed of trouble

I have become the Sea

though the salt cannot bother me.

Become seasoning my season

has crusted to reason.


The weight of these truths,

I cannot stand up.


You shall follow me again.




The Edge of Blue

I have heard the water’s everywhere, when

does it finish? Our arts peel, fade. Money’s disappearing

my knees are a wasteland

love is a perilous adventure &

of course we’re all dying.


Salt subsumes rivers, the aquifers are gasping

even as sea levels rise in the Pacific.

It appears our blue world is sopping.

Bodies are made of this

plus a bit of carbon.

Life is all about pumps, the bass line.


Summer wakes up, it is a poem written with sweat.

Dan was with us just last month, his raptor intellect

great futures while

bailing out his lungs.

We cried a little as the crematorium curtains closed.


Carlyn’s eyes rise to the sea eagle called Endurance with

the library of airmaps on its wings.

With a butcher’s inner peace

this prodigious raptor pauses, we are

natural & delicious. You could say this avian

is a good omen

if thought of no ending terrifies.


It too is a prisoner of a greater gyre

but the atmosphere forgives almost anything.

This feathered death has always been going places

far above the arguments of our water.





There was so much music about,

I couldn’t get your songs, my own

were a chaos. We carefully

didn’t throw in everything.

You were the first woman to live with me

(though it was initially in a tent).

We had no money & my health was a mess.

One day on acid three crows landed on my belly.


Did I know you? Who was I?

There was a hope that

hippie Marxists would never go out of fashion.

We had a selfish & passive pacifism, were just so

afraid there was a god

as we meditated in a bored fervour.

I think there were some solutions

but so many helpless questions.


In a cloud of art school

you cried occasionally.

The dole-roses fluttered towards our mattress

on the scrounged milk crates base.

We were the ideal couple of ideas

in a time when nothing made sense (1976).


The next year only got worse,

kept it so polite

as we splintered.



Bone Density

I am becoming bored

with my pedestrian psychiatric disorders.

They are intellectual bunions,

a mild arthritis of the mind

& common as life.


A dollar-store desperado

most of my circumstances

are comfortable & tedious,

approaching bleak borders of normality.


I will change nothing

though I dream of the greater madnesses…

the hollow bones of a bird,

to be aflight,

those fledged edges of it all

but at the doorways of a fall.


Love can do it to you

loneliness too. In that signature hat

it’s entropy that’s the deep enemy.


There’s stories that the greatest art

awaits us at the bottom.

Reports come in that extraordinary exists.

It’s coded in the prayers that

are burnt in the cowled days of winter.


My friend suggested that we are both

the future & promise of our species.

But she’s just nuts.


The catalogues of extremity:

like the wino outside the GPO every day at 9

screaming for his important correspondence.

There’s the killers

more often imagined than real, reading

“Art of the Flense” while children are wrapped.

Some whisk their ideas,

conspiracies are baking in the oven.

Others change identities like they’re wearing

a cloak of living lizards.


My evil twin is smirking in the corner.

Blah blah he’s heard it all before.