The ubiquity of every big city in Australia
obscures where you are sometimes –
there a gleaming suburb, viewed aerial as filigree,
here the touristic cataract of nature, underneath which curdles
implied hatred (muffled by affluence)
and reasonably good shopping to be had if that is of interest.
Say that again?
That tattoo artist said to me,
Brisbane’s a great place to get on with what you love
you won’t be distracted by all the good stuff.
The risk perhaps, instead, is that the whole thing is misdirection.
Everything artificial, surely not deliberate, but clear nonetheless –
bogus tan, a stiff painted-on smile, the niceness of banality,
fairy lights on anything, God forbid there be a fairy,
a kind of common sense racism, everyone an irrelevant casualty.
Ready volunteers for a new world city,
the old one having nothing to offer us any more, for there
we might remember what we looked like before the facelift.