closing down sale


Once on a quiet night, I joined a busload
of marsupials and monotremes on tour,
even an emu or two, and we
traveled through the window down
an invisible road to Isvénia.

Where rivers of sand once ran beneath the sea,
I saw an endless room, domesticated white goods,
infinity cubed in rows and shelves and aisles.

And in the concrete fields outside,
Audis stacked eight stories high,
driving gloves in leatherette that clawed
out of the ground,
keen to leave the parking down below.

Further south, citrine orchards, ghosts with mechanical claws
that drained the nectar from the fruit,
and I could read by citronella candlelight
beneath a branch, Isaac Newton with lemons,
irreversible thermodynamics for beginners—
the absolute truth at absolute zero
without illusion, dreams or metaphors.

Later on Inconstant Street,
the front door turns a key,
an indivisible woman comes in.

How’s your day been, darling?
Have you been chewing the corners of your
iPad again?

How does she know? I wonder,
but I ask about the espresso machine.

Oh that, I gave it a soul,
simulated of course,
I thought it might make sweeter mocha.

The coffee maker comments ex machina:

On a distant ridge of air and stone,
the monotremes are watching, waiting

and a cloud of steam puffs out.

What I’d say Australia’s like if anyone ever inquired. They haven’t, which is probably a good thing.

I asked my espresso machine what the latest future might be, but it ignored me, so wait and see. At least I’ll have coffee while I’m waiting.

Michael Dransfield’s The City Theory in Collected Poems, University of Queensland Press, 1987. His poetry is online here but The City Theory is not included and Collected Poems is out of print. For me, his work has geological depth, and I’m not just saying that to satisfy fair use for this short extract:

next door, they make your coffee for you,
know its ingredients, the cup you like, and
what to say to you, they know your symbols; to learn this
shatters you.

The documentary Manufactured Landscapes, photographer Edward Burtynsky, director Jennifer Baichwal, 2006.

aparência—still life, still death, vanitas with geometry and fruit

13 thoughts on “closing down sale

  1. Wonderfully, darkly, laugh out loud funny. I even see First Dog marsupials, but they’re hidden in the lovely shiny image

    • I know what you mean, these domestic appliances go on with a lot of nonsense. My waffle maker did predict the outcome of the US presidential election though. Wrongly, as it turned out :).

  2. I really love the thought you put into your work. Makes me wish I were smarter. Love your humour too, but you knew that.
    Would so love to see all of this in a gorgeous hardcover book…ah books…

    • Thanks, yes but I’m not even sure it’s thinking. I have to say I’ve seen people at their most stupid being smart, my role models, people I’ve looked up to, and at other times real wisdom in unexpected places. So I say be careful what you wish for, especially when no-one knows what it really is 🙂 .

      You’re the second person to mention publishing, so I’m thinking about it. Have to admit I prefer real paper (hard or soft cover okay), it even smells good.

    • Well I should clarify, the thought you put in to accomplish your purpose, because I, and all these others obviously really enjoy your unique story telling. It’s thought provoking, funny and entertaining. And I really like your art too.
      And yes, there’s nothing like real paper, and to have your art displayed like that would be lovely!

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