famous writers … and what they wore

By | 1 May 2018

sometimes i think of people as looking
like pam brown
sometimes i’m actually thinking of
helen garner
sometimes maggie beer
who i try keep out of mind
as best i can but she
often sneaks in any way

i see a person in the park
they look like my grade prep teacher
she passed away recently and her
stuff – bookshelves, dining chairs –
were put on the nature strip
dad saw them when he was
doing his route
and asked me if i wanted any of it

i see someone playing giant jenga
and he looks like atticus finch
he’s kiwi and has tattoos and he
gives me a cider
because i can open his bottle

i go to sydney and i see
pam brown wearing an army camouflage jacket

luke saw helen garner at la trobe
she was feeling a little faint
i thought i saw helen garner at the zoo once
in the butterfly room
but i looked over to my niece to make sure she was ok
and the vision was all of a sudden gone

i see jacky from high school on the train
she smiles at me
she’s wearing a black dress
thinking about abstract expressionism

sometimes i see industrial zoning
and i think of javant biarujia
i think of peter bakowski’s famous
on the highest shelf at
hill of content bookshop, shimmering
then i feel that if people, generally, looked more
like ania walwicz
our cities would be more beautiful
in an interesting way

i’m going to the movies
and i see some guy who looks like
georg grosz
and i get to worrying
he looks like a beware of the dog sign

on the bike path i think i see warren whitney
miss that guy, what a good face
remember him wearing a free palestine
t shirt and shorts
bashing the white board with some new idea

sometimes i think of marty hiatt as
looking like a seal
other times as looking like a
disney cartoon prince

i like to think of pam brown
working as a postie in some golden year
wearing hi vis
picture this in melbourne because
i’m a narcissist

i think of pam brown going to school in america
and meeting eileen myles
they probably wore
normal things
t shirts, trousers

i think of writers not as working class
but as middle class
without the steady money
at least i think i see things this way
my ideal job is working at a personal computer
in a giant, bustling room of people
and instead of doing my work
i’m writing poems

i imagine the working class not
as you say
in offices, but in factories
pate factories to be precise
i imagine shakespeare
wearing something irrelevant
to match his plays
as he does the visiting rounds like a storm

he’s no longer even into those ancient stories
even in a form that is possible to understand
by normal people
and we don’t care who’s putting it on!

if you give shakespeare to a pate factory
say, in narre warren
they will probably churn it into the mix
along with the chicken livers and the peppercorns
i think of pate as kind of like d h lawrence

sometimes i think of people
as looking like d h lawrence
when i’m walking up a hill on some
generic holiday
and they do not wave or flag me down
and i run on

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