for Paul Muldoon
The SS Commodore with tinted windows
will make the run to Perth in a few hours,
the stereo flat-tack and the driver pumped up,
hanging out but intoxicated by the prospect
of picking up, the hollowness filled with bravado:
the deal better not fuck up or heads will roll.
A week’s wages and a bunch of mates
who’ve put cash up front — the whole town
speeding off its face and strung out,
they’ll be counting the hours
and tempers will flare, blokes
knocking girlfriends about,
bongs strained and beer on beer drained
to help them get through. The town is growing —
spreading out — out there ploughing,
listening to the call of the tawny frogmouth,
and then a run through the fast-food outlet.
Later, it’s a mate’s place for speed and videos.
Not yet big enough to hide ripe-offs
those with contacts are jacking up the profits —
the chemists, forcing frowns back
as they sell fit-packs and dieting tablets,
are asked to fill city prescriptions.
The older blokes are mumbling
at The Club — “one of them young blokes
shore two hundred the other day
and the next day couldn’t finish a run…”
The cops are getting rough — stripping cars
and raiding farm houses. They
have their chosen ones — the boys
in the footy team, the girls who do favours.
The world grows small fast — the town
moves out to the farms. The drive-ins
have shut down and fast music
comes into the Country Hour
like Armageddon. On a back verandah
a farmhand says to his girlfriend:
“I love you… the sunset is magic”.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones