luminous mind


o. o. mehallerbmu is the pseudonym of Lewis Umbrellahem, a hospital volunteer who, despite his aversion to attracting attention to himself, writes poems, screenplays, short stories, and theatre pieces which he resigns himself to understanding may get read by people he has yet to meet.

o. o. believes that mindfulness is a quality of being that must be practiced to better understand the reality of our lives, and that one must look long and deeply at whatever and whomever comes within one’s sights in order to avoid clichés and genre distinctions.

o. o. is reported to have said, “It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, just sit down and write a fuckin’ poem once in a while and shake off some of that ego dust.”

The Dust Collectors, the new narrative poem by Umbrellahem & Taylor is now available for sale in the Co-op Booking at the University of Western Australia. It is published by Strangehouse Press, Perth.


by o.o. mehallerbmu

every night we enter an unknown world
inclined towers along country lanes
hilltops where crows fly into a leaden sun
a brokenhearted fugitive who cries
the boy whose hurt sails a silent ship

your mysterious first step rarely allows language
photographs taken of each experience
illuminate the limitations of the physical world
the first shivers of dawn possess illusion
and you come back to life on the contrary

there is you in the light from the street
real as opposed to unreal
a palpable bloom between the cracks
softly watching the day’s rehearsal
while out in the sky no one sleeps

opportunists have eyes and ears for everything
calculating value as if anticipating light
a toothless piano disappears from concord
daring rational minds to make meaning
and consciousness to withdraw from the senses

but who in the darkroom of your sleep
are at the depths of open eyes I do not know
skies that take refuge only from the flesh
watch through a landscape of gray sponges
where the bear’s teeth spill out from your tongue



A light goes on in one’s mind the instant one reads a poem. It doesn’t matter what the poem is about, who has written it, or what form the poem takes. It doesn’t matter whether the reader actually even gets the poem. What matters is that the mystery of a succession of words artfully strung along a blank page by the poet seeps into the consciousness of the reader and that reader’s outlook on life or even that moment she exists in has been altered and even, perhaps, transformed. A light is that instant which scatters the darkness to the furthest corners of reality. A poem is that light.