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Beatitudes for Aung San Suu Kyi


are everywhere    i'm tired of them    doing tests on
perfectly normal people    always coming in peace
but never staying that way    their constant
association with reptiles seems a tactic
and they give little thought to our rules
always making crop circles    keeping their distance
often not coming at all   and then coming   so many
large synthesisers   innocent phone calls
speaking English   poorly    they have no sense of time
or the importance of radio reception   look at that
saucer on the floor   if you can    put some milk on it
give your green-eyed cat a drink    that'll fix them


for Aung San Suu Kyi

Blessed are those who watched
with stormcloud eyes
the ground open to swallow them
while fork-tongue drivers
drove whipcrack highways
on luxury serpents. Blessed
are those run down & flattened
fang-holed & spat on
for good measure of the trade index.
Blessed, those daughters set on high wires
to balance dollar signs, while bored crowds
jeered for another fall in interest rates. Blessed
too those with empty chests, soles ripped
from their shoes, fed to dogs. But most blessed
are those who stole the hound scraps
nailed them to their feet
& kept on marching.


Give the poem room to speak

Please, sit down. Let's talk. I know
you might be put off by line breaks
and other conventions, but let's look
past these to see what really shines:

a car roof at midday, a streetlight
in afternoon fog. Now, that wasn't so hard.
We could also try what hurts. The hair tie

round your wrist the day he left,
the raindrops in your daughter's hair
on her first day at school. The moment
you first realised you are going to die.

That was more difficult.
But we'll get along fine.


What the Dickinson?

I heard a fly Buzz
and I was well and truly alive.
Things weren't going Brilliantly
they sometimes felt like Death, really.
But I was Alive — and that Fly
was buzzing hard against the glass.

He wouldn't stop for me, or anyone.
But that's Okay. Neither would I
stop trying to make my way
in the World, my limbs
scurrying from Place to Place.

And god? Well, yes, he was still
in his Heaven and, by all reports,
as busy as a Bee. The Fly left
the Room and I turned on
early Pink Floyd, See Emily Play.


New product range

This opportunity of a lifetime
has arrived again.

The latest thing
too late for me.

This new taste sensation
has an old smell about it.

I can't afford to go
so I'll never never know.
But I can wait, I can wait
until I drive it.

I don't believe this
is beyond anything
I've ever experienced
because I am worth
freedom from choice.

I want the most important
person in the world to be
someone else.

Paul Mitchell Paul Mitchell is a Melbourne writer of journalism, poetry and fiction.

Topic tags: Paul Mitchell, Aung San Suu Kyi, new Australian poems



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