Billboard Girl

A made-up girl.
I think she wasn’t born.
I think she was made up

from a media blueprint.
I think she’s just a TV ad
that came off the screen and onto the street.

A fashion plate.
I’m sure she’s synthetic.
I’m sure they fabricated her

to show the latest look.
I’m sure they glued the newest clothes
to the current make-up and hair, and there she was.

A perfect ‘10’.
I know she can’t be real.
I know she’s only transient

with nothing on the inside.
I know that in six months
she’ll be gone. Replaced by the new model.

(First published in Demented Bliss, Central Coast Poetry Society, Queensland 1990)

Dark City

I sit unlit in a corridor crammed with dark directions,
in a building’s belly, in the womb of the night.
I sit down on the floor, round a corner,
out of the way,
and let the quiet air wrap me,
diffuse into my pores, hiding me:

I am hid from the day’s dull demigods
The tax man and the facts man
and the soft focus ad woman.
I am hid. They are in their places
and they don’t know the light within the dark.
They are blind. At last I am lost.

untitled (‘I’m the daughter, so I’ll get the mortgage’)

I’m the daughter, so I’ll get the mortgage,
native shrubs, leather-look lounge.

You’re the mother, so for you it’s a villa,
rose garden,
thorns and blooms.

Double bed,
Car CD,
European holiday slides,

Twin beds.
White bowls dress, white
Hat on white hair.

Baby talk,
Money talk,
Pep talk.

Old friends,
Faithful cats.
Photographs, angina pills,

I’ll be surrounded.
Inundated. Busy.
Grand Central Station.
Husband, babies, friends, committees
And a clan of demanding in-laws.

You —
Guest bedroom dusted weekly. Matching lamps.
Grandchildren distant,
Children absent.
Even old friends and faithful cats will leave you
In the end.

(First published in aversion)