Three Adaptations

By | 1 July 2006

Some Other Beneficiaries
(After Les Murray's “The Beneficiaries”)

Hogamism higamism
The Liberal Party
does not praise Racism.
Most ungenerous. Most odd,
when they know it's what finally
won them their thirteen-year war
against Paul, against Bob.

Portrait of Doomed Youths
(After Wilfred Owen's “Anthem for Doomed Youth”)

What happiness for these who live as chattels?
Only her monstrous personalised ringtone,
Only his triumph in playstation battles
can make them feel they are not owned, but own.
No poetry for them; words disempower.
No New Idea, save the magazine
a shrill, demented magnate in a tower
excretes to supplement the TV screen.

What mourning for them, if and when we mourn?
Not by the poets, but by prose-police
shall their history be assembled piece by piece.
The golden arches under which they're born
shall provide the childhood friend that each child finds;
and every day this dumbing down of minds.

Anachronistic Torso of Amanda
(After Rilke's “Archaic Torso of Apollo”)

Children hear the legend of the missing head
and fear hemorrhages in their eyes. For this torso
is ablaze with fluorescent lights inside
like a nightmare; and suddenly they know

why they will be locked in here. Otherwise
each granite breast could not chill them so, nor could
a rictus run through adamantine hips and thighs
to a procreative centre merely carved.

Otherwise by now this stone would be defaced
by democratic seagulls and graffiti,
and so would not destroy a child's last hope:

Would not from all the borders of the country
announce who we are: that this is not a place
where they are wanted. You must change your vote.

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