i. Come On Die Young
the diary is a newstart fraud de art
a fortnight spaced with love minestrone neruda
7-11 EFTPOS seals our entente
mallboy with a rose and a resume company suitor
caffeine cigarettes bandana and an ipod body rock
dusk don't care if you're a mover or shaker
if you don't have the ingredients, don't try to cook
greasy libraries pull over for accidents
inventory your stuff see what you can hock
the nokia generation reject their romances
in a dark wood the peace corp succumb to diphtheria
are you the sum of your selection criteria
waifs all over triple j singing london
you're still in london
the bars are full of london
everybody is coming and going london
and i think i understand the saints
stranded so far from home.
iii. Geezers Need Excitement
His shirt says This is the Modern Age.
Piffing bottles outside the Worker's Club,
rucking with wannabe rockstars
takes up Friday night
like the footy would
if it was
July and we were Bombers fans.
AC Neilsen decree we play on Saturday.
Hit the trendiest digs
trying lines before you go
on the run from the morning after
when it's too early to know
what you've gotten into.
(Horse tranquilizers are strictly
for the racing fraternity.)
Hang out with bouncers
until they ask: is this it?
Walking down Boundary St.
Golden Casket's neon rainbow fades fast.
Sam hasn't even emptied his bags
and he's ready to jump Brisneyland's bail.
There's too much Peter Parker in me.
Someday the clouds will lift
and you'll catch me tipping my sombrero to a seniorita
giving the day as a gift
shuffling like a reptile at the fade of a dusty siesta.
iv. La Bamba
for Frank O'Hara
fairytale dawn: our estimations
of ourselves relax their
grip on temporality
the killer gets off on a technicality
the big easy at the not quite there
swelters with afternoon's enthusiasm
punchpacked with clouds
a storm that never breaks
to the bequeathed: shoeboxed ‘78s
a mildewed dive slate a cassette
hot nights translating prime time's bottom line
your model for the world
is a house where you've lived in
you carry the memories around like prized mumbles
vi. The Secret Life of Them
life in the fast lane catches up with you
do tony montana's march towards destiny
morally ambiguous as a tense day five test match finish
the logistics of summer mean you drive over creeks
underneath airplanes beside
containers ceremonial grounds
the italian mausoleums
fence the bottom l of the cemetery
the seminary guilts down from its hill
you take out life insurance
but can't find a beneficiary
methamphetamine labs hide in our sheds
cut down the banana plantations
put up condos instead
it's an all night burn up at the fossil fuel doof
last man standing turn off the lights
but the lights go out on us,
as lazily as a midwicket poke in the annual boxing day game
michael slater has never known such a tragedy
rather than celebrities the glossies give us notorieties
the gossip in the weatherboard suburbs
is as periodical as a cold sore
the pleasant machines
in the bourgeois estates get whacked on irony and debt
play prime time remote control keno
if it comes up rove everybody wins
who says the naughties cant be fun
just get the rules down:
it's mob life
once your in the pocket
i float off
into the universe
a sceptical astronaut
who was only ever in it for the uniform.
31.0: EPICPoetry Editor Ali Alizadeh
Released 1 December 2009
Index of Poems
Cover image: Eddy Burger
Our thirty-first issue was suitably gigantic, with poetry editor Ali Alizadeh selecting a wide range of epic works. Read his editorial, then check out the craziness of the sequel, POST-EPIC.