Sense of a Century 1915

[This three sonnet poem I wrote last year has just been published in the Australian Poetry Journal 5.1 . Saves you buying it, although you should anyway: Support Your Local Poet! The painting is Malevich’ Black Square from 1915, the painting to end all paintings. But of course people continued painting. Got paints, brushes, gotta do something…]

Sense of a Century


Your father four, Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams
analysed into English, a suffragette beams
at a camera from a broken window in Holloway
after her sisters have tried to blow it up, US

Customs asks if you’re an anarchist, polygamist,
idiot, the Paris audience riots on the opening
night of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Berlin crowds
clap on three monarch cousins of England, Prussia

Russia, whose beards wag a third of the world, the
bordellos’ tight tango pulses through Buenos Aires
in sync with the sly sterling of London Banks while
Villa & Zapata ride peasant rage into Mexico City

& The Economist opines the spread of capital &
beneficent boots of empire make war impossible.


Fourteen & neither here nor there.
Books begin to open an escape hatch.
Just down the hill from high school
Parramatta Road’s telos is fulfilled

& LA enters as a drive-in milk bar
while Ramsey Road gets a supermarket
where you can buy without talking.
You prefer I Want to Hold Your Hand

to She Loves You. Neither is true.
No girls at school, or anywhere else.
Dominus vocat, servus advenit, non
je n’ai pas la plume de ma tante.

No TV, you don’t see dogs & fire-hoses
in Alabama, nor King having a dream.


Carbon passes 400, mother dies & reality
TV plans to send two keen people to Mars
in five years, forever. Early adopters go gaga
over Google Glass, eyes leaving their eyes

& planet for an algorithm. As Typhoon Haiyan
smacks the Filipino poor, the first lab-grown
meat is eaten on YouTube. The first child is born
from an IVF batch whose genomes his so-called

parents screened for what they consider ab-
normalities, mice are shown to be connate
with a smell encountered by their grandparents
& Snowden leaks our total Stasi State. Mother

dies, we get a map of first mama universe’s
relic light & new data confirm God is a particle.

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on August 25, 2015.

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