Generation Upon Generation

By | 23 August 2004

'Taxpayers think that looking for work is just as serious a job as actually working. Looking for work on 'the dole' is not an optional activity but an absolute requirement. After all, if you don't turn up to work you're not breached, you're fired.' – Senator Amanda Vanstone, 11 March 2002.

'Life is not a rehearsal. Make every day count.'

(i) The Working Wall Hall of Fame

Ben – telesales
Priscilla – full time study
Annie – wait staff in a five star hotel
Redhoune – taxi driver
Anthony – factory worker
David – singing telegrams
Victor – building fences
Misbah – fruit picker
Barbara – call centre consultant
Arun – fruit picker
Baldwin – Public service exam
Mark – security guard (lapsed)
Scott – process worker


(ii) Generation Next

Mendel, the world's
first geneticist monk
(so pre-Dolly)
breached by his Archbishop,
his sexual revolution of peas
forgotten, his bees
too ferocious
& his papers fired.

(iii) Grand Old Dukes of York

'When it comes to atoms, language can be used
only as in poetry.'
– Niels Bohr

The genes are strung out.

The New Holland poets,
the long extended chain
of metaphor, identity, rhythm

split into two camps soon
after colonisation – landscape,
the unconscious, the symbolic.
The two-helix camp & the three-
helix camp respectively
(so Seussian butter side up
versus butter side down!)
Strands of words twisted around
each structural may-pole.
Neo-Boetian cultural objects
always come in pairs; thongs,
meat pies & tomato sauce,
even poetry wars. A spiral
staircase of ascending/descending
obligatory forms.

'When they were up they were up
When they were down they were down
& when they were only halfway up
they were neither up or down.'

An oracular cell division
of Murray/Tranter proportions.
New Holland poetry caught
in an Anglo-American stoush.
Mincing words with the best(?).
That magic dichotomous number again,
those poets with PhD's/MA's/MFA's
& those plain old worker bees
shut off from hive diversity.

All poetry is genetic fancy.

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