Three aspects of Australian racism

1 Comment

 

Selected poems

 

Release the dogs of scorn!

Slip those interesting leads through the diamante collars,
all bevelled and sharp and snarly and ironically pastel.
The dogs don't run, but saunter to the nearest stools.
They order short blacks, or just possibly, flat whites.
Once one ordered a cappuccino,
and they tore him with sarcasm.
The dogs of scorn don't like much,
and certainly nothing political.
The dogs of scorn hate puns like cats,
unless the pun be one of their own,
as it is then a case of inarguable wit.

Here comes another dog of scorn!
The earlier arrivals slither down, and slowly,
delicately, walk around him on the tips of their paws.
They kiss the air to each side of his anus.

The dogs of scorn smell like indie perfume by an Icelandic designer.
The dogs of scorn make Johnny Depp's dogs seem unkempt.
The dogs of scorn favour bone mots, despite their hatred of puns.
They bury them, and dig them up, and nibble them, in a blasé way.
Their favourite poet is Dorothy Barker, though the Algonquin favours cats.

But suddenly, the dogs of scorn become too fat for their skinny collars and coats!
Some dogs of scorn still flaunt beards! Some still use Facebook!
Ah, outmoded dogs of scorn, I spray scorn upon you like a Parisian skunk.
You ride fresh ideas like kelpies on sheep, and would push them down, into felt!
Felt like that rather attractive coat on that rather large dog of scorn.
I unbutton the coat and steal it. The dog stands naked as Truth,
and fashionable fleas are jumping from his now outré skin.

Now the poet wears a fearsome, motley coat.
Release the poet of scorn!



Doing a Bradbury

Australia's been doing a Bradbury such a long time
Lucky us, on the edge of Empire, lucky plucky us
And the Americans such good friends — eagleitarian
The iron, the coal has seen us bloom into money
We fell into wealth like cats into wells but purring all the way
Still some would write that old history of warmth
They won't note what lumps we jumped, unseen
But the ice is melting, and even our keen skates refuse
We are sinking into our luck like yesterday's pavlova
Our cold white is turning to slush, our revels now are ending
God but we were just slick enough God but God but God



Three aspects of Australian racism

1. It involves hoods,
but less KKK than DDD —
Don Dale Detention
where the kids
wear the hoods
in a stunning display
of regressive taxation.

2. Outsourcing pain
to poorer places
which we pay
to exercise contempt
on our behalf —
washing red hands
in the convenient sea.
Who needs a wall?

3. Protecting Islamic women
by shouting at them
on streets for wearing
religious freedom.
They wouldn't know equality
if it was unloaded at them
like a brick from a ute.
Take off that headdress.
(This is a hood.)

 


P. S. Cottier headshotP. S. Cottier blogs at pscottier.com, lives in Canberra, and hopes to be reincarnated as Lord Byron.

Topic tags: P. S. Cottier, poetry


 

submit a comment

Existing comments

I reckon Byron will remain buried for a long time yet!
john frawley | 12 June 2017


Similar Articles

Raising feminist men in 1970s America

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 07 June 2017

Abbie introduces Jamie to the paired liberating movements of punk rock and second-wave feminism. Both lead to illuminating experiences, from his first rock concert, use of alcohol, and kiss, to being beaten for casting aspersions on a peer's grasp of female sexual anatomy. His relationship with Julie on the other hand provides a difficult counterpoint. His peevish concern over her promiscuity is largely possessive; his theoretical understanding of women's agency falling down in the face of adolescent hormones.

READ MORE

Our addiction to connection is centuries old

  • Sarah Klenbort
  • 15 June 2017

On a recent tour of Vaucluse House in Sydney's east, I couldn't help but notice, in every bedroom, a writing desk. I imagined Sarah Wentworth scribbling away with inkpot and pen 180 years ago. I wonder if the Wentworths went straight to their writing desks first thing in the morning, the way some people check their phones? The desire to receive news from someone somewhere else is century's old. In 1850 Tasmania had 11 newspapers, for a population of 70,000.

READ MORE