Poets of Australia
distances are real and we tire of the floor
shows bob hope never showed up and
you’d think it was too much to ask
for a little bit of tit and a laugh we buy
lottery tickets in our death and sometimes
the numbers come up and you collect
your prize in a pine box and somebody
in a clean uniform comes along later
to clean out your locker and that guy
you trained with but never really got to
know sends letters home to the girlfriend
he bragged about and the smacked out
NCO takes out a shotgun and everyone
gets blunted you wouldn’t believe it if
i told ya sis people getting killed out here
Ode to Place
The ridiculous perspective points,
a hypermelodrama wrapped up in a combination
of manufactured theatrics
and the exercise of contradiction:
an asthma puffer and a packet of smokes.
Turn up the afternoon like a volume knob
and sentiment is still something to get excited about
provided it doesn’t remind you of itself,
each life fresher than the next
the moments you turn over in your hands
like freshly cut jewels still giggling in imperfection.
The holy ghost in the red flicker of an altar side candle
works in concert with the electricity
still functioning when the grid goes down
and objectivity gives up the ghost.
There are places we go to on sacred sights
where the world seems more real than real.
outta style: the late model comedies jive
and it’s a limpid fandango on the patio marble
that makes you respect last centuries fiascos
as though they were the things we did then
and wisely, like clayton’s, would never do again.
imminent & terrifying, no less than paralysing.
even the ancients would be mute. but the river
rises like imminent foreclosure, the debt wont disappear
and instead you feel it come on like the flu
but quicker & burning in the cavity of your chest.
like pissing up a rope or watching crops die,
it feels inevitable and inexplicable at the same time.
Liam Ferney is an emerging Brisbane writer. His debut collection, Popular Mechanics, will be published by Interactive Press in 2004. His work can be seen in Meanjin, Southerly, papertiger: new world poetry, cordite, JAAM and Gumball Poetry. He works in media research but moonlights in PR and freelance journalism.
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