Notes after Fort Worth

1 June 2013

For NO’R

Freeze, salt, shiver then slap: it’s a lethal dose margarita
that shoots us back, without fair warning, to overheated
Southern Crossed boyhoods, continuous cricket, hot chips.

Footnoting Picnic at Hanging Rock, me humming
US Forces, we walk about the old stockyards, in Texas
but not here (you Ballarat, me Cronulla) before we list

at Remington’s The Luckless Hunter, recognize
that pale-faced Apache as yet another last aborigine,
one sentenced to brave it alone through ancestral lands,

every lone star a tombstone, every sound a lost noun,
every remorseful painting an additional subtraction.
This is for the tourists. This is not for the tourists at all.

We stall before a vainglorious statue of a cowboy
wrangling a writhing bull, man triumphs over bronze.
Then heel-and-toe it over western heroes, star-pressed

into the trail, set to favourably brand history, or its opposite
as a family films two dudes on horses, neon winks: Sirloin!
and Caravaggios fill museums, contrasting light and crude.

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