There is an exhibition about Monsters of the Permian:
they roamed the planet before the dinosaurs.
They look the same to me, with big gnashers and claws.
I need cash. Don’t we all? Lunchtime comes.
I walk with a heavy bag to the second hand bookshop
which buys and sells. I sell only. My library is thinning.
The Permian, all 46.7 million years of it, was jammed
between the Carboniferous and Triassic Periods,
and featured the supercontinent Pangaea. True fact.
I make small talk with Richard behind the counter.
Walk away with my $30, feeling halfway between
20 and 70 million years old in the Mortgagearian Epoch.
As well as reptiles, there were Permian creatures
that were kind of proto-mammals:
hairy little fuckers with mean eyes.
I paid for my children to see that exhibition.
They read wall panels about the great dying.
The gigadeaths of the great and small.
That’s how the Permian concluded: the great dying.
That’s what they call it. Lava floods.
Methane clathrates. Aridity. Acidity. Anoxia.
I search for the two bills in my wallet: a twenty and ten.
Gone. Nothing there. I look again as if
they could magically reappear.
After the great dying, it took ten million years for life
to get back to something resembling normal.
(The hairy little fuckers hid under rocks.)
Now I’m standing in front of a sign
advertising the Permian Monsters,
as I rifle through my pockets, in rage, in anguish.
Then a bit later on it all got smashed again
by the killer asteroid 65 million years ago,
and the HLFs were the only game left in town.
I’m searching for my missing cash
as killer asteroids explode on my head
on this fucking planet, this planet of death.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with 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