THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN DREAM, DELIVERED IN THE MANNER OF GATSBY
Always over one’s shoulder, you’ll find the trees
that forgot to breathe. Beyond that, pole stars
of the poets and a clothes line peg-legging
to an astral waltz. Between the part of the land
and the part of the fence that forms the word
shriven fantasies make real through twirling baton practice.
Slight politicians or the predator foxes that skulk across
the laneway. Neighbours that forgot to watch.
The glory of going from Plan A to Plan B recklessly
rides one to houndstooth, bitten not frayed
in the precluding capitalist night. Songs that promise refuge
against nations that do not. The buttons keep falling
off your burnished, son-of-a-gun reputation.
With all the frontier mentality of a screen door,
you tore the flyleaf from Hopalong Cassidy’s book.
I reneged on our pact not to care more than the other.
Came a Topper in a grand strategy endgame,
manoeuvred to horsemate. Sarsaparilla still
perfumes the range; gummed up excursus
rots alongside Western solitude. Didn’t Bataille say
we all had to enjoy this inner experience?
Affection never did find a home where it wanted to stay.
The ideal flares up as goosebumps
on the earth’s curved hide,
les poètes maudit
for your last party speech.