Flow My Tears the CS-X Said
Our car has been autumised.
The late twentieth century shitbox
adjusts to the earth’s quick gear change,
filters reason’s dead flakes between
its meniscus of windscreen & bonnet;
parasites wind-farm through tin gill slits.
Oak leaves finger it. Alien scales shaved
on pre-winters’ kitchen bench. Materials:
organic matter on white metal background.
Our car has the mechanical equivalent
of bowel cancer. Rust cells eat into its arse end.
Salt, the micro-recycler, iron’s crystalline enemy
gives rise to robotic Alzheimer’s - production line
memories. The first time summer turned over.
Lords of the Flies
This year was all memorial.
Wreaths belted every newscast
& PM’s wrote to hoi polloi
c/- the dead letter office.
Dogma, the killing jar
of young culturalists bathed
prime time in cotton wool;
political spirit evaporated
in Kashmir, Chechnya, Bali.
Reason’s abdomen skewered
by a box cutter. Remote trigger
thought. Nerves ran out of text
message. In theatres real drama
played for the first time in years
& states worshipped pig’s heads.
Lords of the Flies who thought
they drove history forward, only
ripped the back of its shirt.
The cheap fabric made locally
(from imports!); hemp outcasts
wishing world events had taken
a different turn. Vanquished fads
eager for a new season’s catalogue.
The hydrogen car garaged at Bethany.
Tesla grounded by the mainstream press.
The jet engine thankful for its chance.
The A-bomb still mystified
by its simple duet.
& this is how it ends?
Some grimy memorial near stop 14,
duct-taped elegies from school friends
plastic gerberas & bad poems wrapped
around traffic lights, bridge struts, power
poles - stagnant flower vase water trapped
under the false, industrial epidermis;
microbes benefit from mourning too.
A city of strangers eyeball the photocopied
formal picture, the original tucked away
inside some cheap branded furniture.
Ikea’s similarity to coffin material goes
unnoticed until this last improbable act.
A second’s miscalculation, Senna’s
God miscued too & like Henry he wore
a broken lance through the helmet visor.
Didn’t make it to the Eighth dimension
like Buckaroo Banzai, but then again
who does these days, dimensions being
so commercialised & did you notice
they’ve even removed the winner’s
floral garland from the Gran Prix circuit,
the leaves – an impediment to corporate
recognition. & can we take anything away
from Alisha’s & Aryton’s end - were they
sped on well to whatever they imagined
came after? They live now only in our cultural
memory, this road warrior & prom queen
undone by mechanical theories
& the media(n)s polished slick.
The ocean is the oldest cliché.
When we came home there was
a dead bee on the windowsill –
its body a perfect death’s head
question mark, its elements, sodium
calcium & potassium curled
halfway to the sea.
This afternoon was as hot as Greece.
We missed the bee’s last do-se-do -
distant arthropodic cousin in shell-shock
miniature. Dead from time’s comical
Acme weight. Imprinted on our layers
of human memory & recorded thus.
Filed: insect sedimentary.
A new home was sluiced on land.
Through the meniscus of coast, pods stuck.
The amphibians, neither here nor there
kept genetic ‘get out of jail free’ cards.
Some larger, more aggressive marine exiles
(pre-Cuban) returned to the aquatic fray.
Made use of their bulk, heavyweights
who outclassed all comers.
This primeval Bay of Pigs,
& pre-Darwinian back flip.
It is the deep sea where everything stops.
Philosophy & sex coexist; a dark thesis writ.
Light mostly extinguished, but for some
slight phosphorescence, evades touch,
as sight demystified, reveals nothing.
In the ether of unlight, feeling is everything.
First racial memories – trilobites’ dodgem car
head-on into an armoured scorpions grin.
Cambrian sideshow alley adrenaline.
But we regress.
Our new home is closer to that first ocean.
Pre-salt, pre-water, more tanning salon
than 2 brd flat. The ants & their
artery/vein routine we notice, shift
their long march, include the kitchen sink.
The Silk Road to our bin is Semtex lined.
We’ve thrown in an oasis for fun.
Will they find the bee?
Our small deposit of platinum,
alloyed by the alchemical sun.
Do they remember a mother, these
full stops fossilised into the lining
of our Westinghouse’s air-tight door?
What good, hindsight?
After the Earth & Ocean
lodged their divorce papers
& freezing had begun.
On St Georges’ Rd
the stream of life
The Conference of the (underemployed) Birds
“It shows the top half of the workforce enjoying permanent, well-paid, full-time jobs,
while the bottom half can find only casual, poorly-paid, part-time work which, as Labour
market economist Professor Sue Richardson warned this week, was creating a class of
“excluded and dangerous” men with incomes to low to support a family.” - The Age, October 04, 2003.
“My discourse is sans words, sans tongue, sans sound: understand it then, sans mind, sans ear.”
- Farid Ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
A Willy-Wagtails’ call intercepts the morning. Birds were real once, like jobs.
The modem’s dial-up scream is cut short; why is our technology suffering so?
Fake, Australian accents in the call centre aviary: Calcutta nest robbers gloat.
A taxidermy of outsourced work: ditto, we’re all stuffed on the global floor.
Bottom of the bird market. This new flu’s crashed like tech stocks, Acme trap
For the Roadrunner managerial class, the coyote - disenfranchised American?
Magpies don’t attack in the open anymore, have you noticed: phenomena?
Phone tab’s the way forward. Keep an eye on your receiver, not the skies.
There are new powers afoot for dealing with these full employment refos,
Our government issues wide-brimmed hats with strings of corks attached.
The contemporary job market has a thin eggshell; depleted proteins crack.
An excluded & dangerous class birthed? They backed job terrorism not us.
I saw a hoopoe once. Was it Jaipur? Its crown of truth strutted on the lawn,
Painted a post-colonial green. What good is spiritual knowledge without law?
You will play an integral role in this dynamic environment by fudging your
Work history for sure. Service orientate your brain - lively, world class, lame.
Dangerous as ideas? There’s a metal storm inside your head. Try Sufism?
Was it John Lennon or Steve McQueen who went on about “ism ism ism?”
There are nightingales here reputedly. Wasn’t it someone from myth who
Couldn’t stand being unemployed anymore & turned themselves into one?
Hit an epic glass ceiling probably. Better to be amorous than under-employed?
There’s no new twist in the figures though. The virtual exclusion of women
From net growth in full-time job mythology is eons old. Sumerians started it.
Gilgamesh’s entrapment of Enkidu needed a woman’s art: ‘Wanted Harlot.’
Australia has plenty of parrots, but cockatiels inhabit our universal currency
Of shame. See them locked up in Athens, Rome, Madrid, Delhi & Bangkok.
Feathered service economies, budgerigars tell beak fortunes in Iranian streets.
Collars of gold chained to human profit. Flocks flee drought & agricultural rut.
We even killed off one sub-species called ‘Paradise’, cleared full-time underbrush.
& if they were flightless, then we paid out redundancies see: dodo, puffin & moa.
The Waste Stream
The collection & taking of pornographic material of any kind is strictly forbidden.
Magazines should immediately be placed in the paper chutes & all videos, toys, or instruments
of a pornographic nature are to be put into the waste stream. Failure to comply with these instructions
may lead to disciplinary action.
VISY Recycling Memorandum, 2003.
This unwanted cornucopia - nickel-plated pears, bananas, grapes, apples,
kitsch relic from some neo-classical age, saved from Terminator meltdown
its metallic semiotics stalled on the conveyor belts’ rubber-suited fascism.
Universal bowerbird plucked from sexual obscurity - what a piece of work!
All labour history is corrupt. Some American Vietnam War text claimed
that no foreign journalist recorded the fall of Saigon; ditto Neil Davis’
footage of the NVA’s T-72 smashing Palace gates was doco-illusionary.
Neil loved the East, Asian women & died in some shitty Thai coup.
Next was coughed up a crouching brass cat. Sexless? Time-neutered.
Sleek in its full metal jacket fur. Did someone switch over to dogs?
“Bob” (“Gollum”) a famous cricket cat, farm-surrendered, now lives
in the ginger generations doorstop mewling around my mother’s feet.
Why try to marry sex & Nazism? Partisans assassinated blond poster
crew-cut boy Heydrich (the original Tommy Finland?) almost botched
it, grenades destroyed his motorcades’ armoured genitals, Third Reich’s
proto-Eminem. How many times can you say ‘motherfucker’ textually?
The head of a Roman centurion rolled out next. Plaster, nose-smashed
by visygothic policies; modern archaeology’s Liverpool kiss. Transference
of sexual magnetism – Roman army defeats Macedonians at the “Dog’s
Heads”, Thessaly 197 B.C. & the rise of Russell Crowe’s rough trade.
Then a statue of Dionysus, one horn snapped off, poetry books under arm
mop head beard sadhu fixed to a hard face, sunburn plaster peeling white skin.
His own dishevelled Dionysian nature got him expelled from his gnomeland,
ostracized forever from some Heidelberg courtyard, the tyranny of fallen chic.
Murray quoted, “I came from a hard culture”, looking a bit like the jolly
Buddha sculpture that humped down the waste stream, Eastern & Western
burning want - striped woollen jumpers unpicking themselves: get knotted
his thin red line of religion spake: the closer you are to Caesar the greater the fear.
Tyring to explain my personal ontology, the great man tranced through me,
two brothers jumped ship South Brisbane wharves 1886, Baltic, Isle of Reugen.
Dinnies used to be our name but it changed six generations ago, no one knew
why but Fredy Murray had been there; more literary Proteus than genealogist.
The casualisation of Australia & 2.5 million workers suspicious rockabilly minds.
Strong magnetic fields pull artists into poverty, a labour hire shuffle & sucking
up to team leaders, Herr gruppenfuhrer gave needle-stuck Stacey her marching orders,
refused to climb down into a pit waist deep in glass; group signatures against porn.
On the phone the Manager said to her, “I can picture what you look like naked.”
This, after she’d signed his declaration; harassment is any unwelcome, uninvited behaviour,
whether verbal, written or physical, against another person. Harassment offends, humiliates or
intimidates your workmates & colleagues. All faces are the same man, one big self.
Then it was my turn down the pit & I knew why Stacey had rebuked her job
satisfaction – part tunnel rat, part miner we dug out wine bottle shrapnel from
sewerage water, Hien, Alfred, Hussan; Vietnamese, German, Turk & Australian
all in the same trench, huddling from wage concussion; post-war economic boom.
Makes one think of Fredy Murray’s artistic dilemma. How he only worked the land
in his head, his hands ploughing with a pen after he’d famously chucked in his public
service job with the revolutionary decree – I’m going home forever! Who could blame him?
Canberra in the 70’s - a political climate polluted by staffers dancing on bits of paper!
In 8 Mile, Eminem or ‘Rabbit’ as he’s monikered faces his own art versus employment
indecision. Garbled American obscenities mask his attempts to break dance on stubs
of bus tickets, slammin’ at the Shelter, the Nuremberg Rally in his mind enhanced by
the Detroit car plant’s ubermensch ethos; all rap lyrics are the same song, one big opera.
Notice to all staff. The Manager called everyone in for a rasp over the knuckles, man
of few words off the telephone pissed that someone had left a porno mag on top of a
needle bin, blocking access to the final come down of addiction; casuals poring over Jill
Kelly’s physical assets than VISY’s on paper profit; imagination lost in the waste stream.
That’s why I collected trophies; cornucopias, statues, sculptures, columns - my finger on
the end game of guilt, lust, greed, consumerism. Someone else’s abject reality bound for
China’s paper tigers, apathy’s landfill. Davis, Murray, Heydrich & Eminem so screwed up
by jobs & sex, history’s artery hardening; outside my factory gate work will set you free.