Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts was born and raised in Auckland. He has a BA from the University of Auckland, which sparked his passion for poetry. Over the course of his career, Jeremy has worked as a neon light-maker, a teacher, a visual artist & an MC at Auckland’s Poetry Live. He has also travelled extensively, collaborating with a number of musicians. Jeremy currently lives in Jakarta with his wife, where he teaches at an English language school and works with local musicians.





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is a staircase more
useful than a ladder?

is turquoise prettier
than blue?

is a knife more decisive
than an axe?

a cloudy sky has
a different meaning
from a clear one.

such as? You might ask.
well, it’s your life –
& you must decide.


in the moment!

one more evacuee
from a hundred million moments

zigzagging in rain – among strange rubbish, dirt,
busted concrete, & revving monster motorcycle-mash of

I was seeking a pathway home, in a smoky blue dusk
& failing as only a foreigner can – absolutely!
to hail a taxi…

yet, there was laughter inside my aching heels;
sanctuary inside the eyes of the riders,

as I started to unfold that old Siddhartha Gautama stuff
about our thoughts making the world –

& curiosity felt good
walking further up the number line than I had for quite a

easy words, familiar ghosts
left behind

replaced by

new doorways
tickets to shadow plays
calls to prayer.


the temporary tree outside my window is bending –
furiously, in the wind; anchored.

it’s a class act.
wind is a free-ranging show pony – lacking finesse at

unable, say – to slip exclusively thru portals,
tending to fly straight into anything it approaches

but forever regulating power, changing direction.
I’m envious –

floating in the pool, watching lightning overhead –
stuck on how much we gaze.

an intense outflow of electricity in the air – occurring within
clouds, among clouds, or between a cloud & the surface of the

relentless precision, interaction –
an exploding nest of verbs!

my behaviour?
not so tree-like.

freeze-frames of choosing & tasting –
the details of which are ultimately lost in summation:

an existence –
somewhere between waiting in line

& riding the tick-tock click track up to the final
roaring descent.


what did you think your life was going to be like
on these old roads –

with second-hand information,
limited skills & only so many miracles
to go around?

& time –
thundering like an angry, virus-spitting bull –
running hard at you, in your own doorway?

& what of Cezanne’s thing?
everything in nature reduced to a cylinder, sphere
or cone?

you’ve done pretty well relating to those shapes,
squinting thru the alphanumeric confusion

& dealing with all the famous metaphors…
including the ultimate “thousand-yard stare”.

how are you supposed to react to such mystery?

mistakes probably won’t matter

when the world becomes colourless, the wind visible
& the light – solid in your hands,

as you pull yourself away
from the world.


at the Taco Express down on Lamar
Che Guevara stares from a wall –

watching a couple struggle
with a crossword puzzle.

the woman – I’ve seen an hour before,
browsing in a sex shop.
the man she’s with is focused on something
not in the room.

above the bar is a yellow plastic sun with a clock face,
hands stopped – probably for years

& we’re fine with that, because in the beer-sign light
you can read the paper & drink a $3.50 Margarita
on a Monday morning –

tapping out a little dance with your fingers on the table top,
quietly pondering normal stuff:

how damn near the same all our lives are;

the hairy notion of bonding with something in the ether;

whether it’s time for a personal revolution –
if you could actually pull it off.

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