The Seven Deadly Sins
Admit you’re done for , saint.
There’s no dark and diligent way out of this one.
Your social modesty is an inverted skyscraper,
your strength sucked from the weak you help.
Green worms, they say. I say yellow birds
perched on a pulpit, eyeing the altar, warbling
for release, wordy for rescue, lost
in a hell of loss.
that plant must be plucked, stored, classified,
displayed, accumulated, each flow of sense cut,
labelled, tidily expressed in words tha grow
into no private bank of meaning uncoined
of any sovereign power
It spreads from down there and fills each eyeball
with zip and hook. In the waxing current
almost anything can float it: breasts or bream,
bums or bedposts. It tightens all textiles
into imagined roundings that curve into memory
of exploding liquid bliss. It sucks.
Now fat men rule the streets that once warmed
thrones and bankers’ chairs. Just another mouthful,
just in case my frame dissolves into some meaning.
The world is burning to feed me. (Our guns
and GATTs see to that).
This sun’s warmth holds me here like a vice.
Deep down under me even the worms are sleeping.
My mind is so fast I can’t move. To move a muscle
would shatter another restless universe into being.
is red, is black. It bursts forth when things
are slipping down the slopes of grief.
This tyrant can topple tyrants, but
it can’t dance.
[‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ won second prize in the 2008 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize]