Amoral accountant

Buenos Aires

On a path concrete as the shopfronts and sun,
a flame-haired woman has her neck licked
by a young man arch as Dracula.


The mothers smoking at cafes, collagen-lipped
and gravel-voiced, are fathers too for the men
with their ankle pants, snakeskin shoes and gum.


The gallery, white as Scandinavia,
casts its shadowless back on the relentless
railway tracks and chicken-wire slums.


Cats laze in the shade of an earth-quaked tomb,
stacked with coffins spilling skulls and bones,
generations of uncollected rubbish.

Financial advice

At the end of the day, talk of morality
is bad for rationality, the latter being
my MO. I've got an MBA and client
access to a corporate box at the MCG,
as you know. As for morality, it's
a derailment-factor, a self-sabotager,
a barbecue-stopper, plain un-Australian.
I mean, think of your kids. To all intents
and purposes, I can help you leverage
your life-goals, so that you can experience
real change with improved results.
To be frank, never lend your ear to a
shiny-suited accountant. Hi-ho silver,
they have such small mounts. And why
ride bareback when you can feed that
horse flesh to the family dog? Think
scotch colleges, yellow cakes, blue teeth,
black berries. Never look a gift in the gab.
I often say to my wife, you can learn a lot
from the beautiful ladies at Fingers in Pies.
The golden rule is never get emotional.

War correspondent

You are here, as in dreams, because you have to be.
Among the luxuriant photosynthesising:
_____a bald stack of bodies,
_____skin and moisture turning things green.
You cover your mouth so your gut will not escape,
and hear a stranger vomit.
_____There is a chemical and primitive thrill,
_____a crown of thorns, flash-out.
A helicopter hails on the lush trees,
clearing a landing in the calamitous sky
_____for the wonders of modernity,
_____camouflaged in khaki.

The mirror

By day, it waits behind the bedroom door,
The house as open to the world as a child.

Now and then, in quiet times,
We open the door and check on it; on ourselves.

There are small changes we can
Never quite catch or talk about.

By night, when we close the door,
It seals us in, cavernous as our dreams. 

Maria TakolanderMaria Takolander's first book of poems, Ghostly Subjects, was shortlisted for a Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Her poems have been widely published and anthologised. She is also an award-winning short-story writer. She is a senior lecturer in literary studies and creative writing at Deakin University in Geelong. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, Maria Takolander



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