TEXT poetry


Anthony Lawrence




Pall-bearing new formalism
out of a high country parish
where belief is a flawed narrative
blank & denominational
& point of view doesn’t give
a grounded fox out here
its every voice for itself
disassociation’s in style
there’s no funeral car no
tracking device for what
could be seen as emotional
to love a dying thing is to
honour the do not revive
tattoo on its arse and so
the body of work hardens
into what’s fashionable
a compelling reek of closure
an audible fear of the con-
fessional or spontaneous
applause for knowing over
feeling when it comes down
to a wake for the cerebral
in the flash exterior of our
need to exhume and under-
score the musculature
of what’s gone before
and what’s sure to return
let’s say sleight of tongue
spells flourish and goes
viral hypertensive perhaps
even elliptical there’s no
backstory we have no need
for time when imagination
has been tapped and drained
of sequential urgency
even a language funeral
drags on into another cull-
de-sac off Highway Trivial
when the long breath breaks
the scene is existential
unreliable as reportage
from behind the scenes
at a country burial




Anthony Lawrence’s most recent book of poems, The Welfare of My Enemy (Puncher & Wattmann 2011) was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards and the Age Book of the Year Awards. A new collection, The Unfairground, is forthcoming from Puncher & Wattmann in 2013. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing and Writing Poetry at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.


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Vol 16 No 2 October 2012
Editors: Nigel Krauth, Kevin Brophy & Enza Gandolfo