Poems

(i)          Lower than the Angels

'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'

 

(i) Woolloongabba, Brisbane 1998 AD

The first thing Helen says is,
'If any of you touch me,
it's assault' .
Their first session
in Job Search Training
with Work Corrections Australia.
The Maori man beside Baldwin
has difficulty filling in
his career skills survey.

How can you describe a life
in twenty-five words or less?

 

(ii) Misbah

Misbah does not call
the Job Network member (JNM)
to let them know that
he's not coming in.

He figures, in one hundred
years we'll all be jobless
(& with God) anyhow.

He'll enjoy this day
like it's his last.

A lick of breeze lifts.

 

(iii) The Ascent

'Every animal leaves traces of what it was; man alone leaves traces of what he created' - J. Bronowski

The Taung baby;
the first pre-millennial
Hollywood child star
raises her head & time stops.
The Rift Valley hums like
an apartment block on M LOW defrost.
Unemployed for two million years
her child labour resumes in 1924.
Australopithecus -'Southern Ape',
the first astronaut on that -
'awful planet of the apes'.
no maternity leave in the ascent of man.

 

(iv) Now, the other dole bludgers in the queue:

  1. fossil lemur (50 million BC.)
  2. Aegyptopithecus (30 million BC.)
  3. Dryopithecus (20 million BC.)
  4. Ramapithecus (14 million BC.)
  5. Australopithecus (4-5 million BC.)
  6. Homo Erectus (1 million BC.)  
  7. Homo Sapiens (500,000 BC.)

NB. Neanderthal Man tried to jump the queue 100,000 years ago & was breached out of existence.

NB. Fire making; the first work for the dole project.

Good morning
Work Corrections Australia
This is the Taung child
How can I help you?

(xi)          Knowledge or Certainty

'Sometimes our preconceived notions or the ideas we have learned or the ideals we hold stop us from developing our potential. Here is an example of ideas that might have been established in our minds - but does it necessarily make them right?' - Helen, Work Corrections Australia

 

(i) Knowledge

'All information is imperfect.' - J, Bronowski

  1. I'm no good at remembering peoples names
  2. My handwriting is dreadful
  3. The reason I'm unemployed is because there are no jobs
  4. The reason I'm unemployed is because of the lousy economy
  5. I'm too old to look for a job
  6. I'm too young to have any experience
  7. Job interviews are always stressful
  8. I really don't like using the telephone
  9. Employers never get back to you
  10. I've never been an early riser
  11. I'm no good at maths
  12. I just can't spell - everyone is always telling me
  13. Job placement agencies are being paid to find me a job so why should I bother
  14. There aren't enough jobs in the paper to go around
  15. I don't have the confidence to say the right things at a job interview
  16. The government should look after people who are on the dole
  17. My family are always telling me that I'm useless
  18. My clothes aren't good enough for an interview
  19. All the good jobs are always gone when you ring up
  20. I always get lost - I'm not good at getting around

 

(ii) Certainty
Unemployment:
the new physics,
the great collective work of art
of the twenty-first century.
Outside Göttingen
there is no life(?) .

(iii) Principle of Uncertainty

Werner Heisenberg had a job.
So too did Mendeleev, Thomson,
Planck & Boltzmann.
In the nuclear family
that is three weeks
compulsory Job Search training,
Baldwin & Mark do not.

 

(iv) Principle of Tolerance

In London, Leo Szilard waits
for the little red man to turn
green(again), racks up billiard
ball neutrons & smashes them.
The Fatherland with his money
on the table sharpens a cue.

 

(v) Principle of Certainty

'We have to close the distance between the push-button
order and the human act. We have to touch people.'
- J. Bronowski.

8:15 AM, Hiroshima,
6 August 1945:
the first act of Anime ;
80,000 ghosts in the shell
& the B-29 named after
his beloved mother(?).
Memorandums to the President,
unread as absolute knowledge.

 

(vi) Principle of Absolute Knowledge

Misbah & Arun
are fined $1,200 each
& lose their Newstart
Allowance for twelve weeks.
They add a new element
to their sub-atomic CV's:
Refugee.
Terrorist.
Dole Bludger.
Welfare Cheat.

poet's biography ->