Anthropocene and Asylum: Six Sonnets for James Robinson


Panel Beater

A high-maintenance, G20 Sky Father.
A desalinised, compostable, home-birther.
A granular plastic skin with vents and grafts.
A bug-eyed and hernia-sprung wobble-board.
A gall wasp, sawfly, slug and aphid display shield.
An age-hardened, unleavened, half-eaten, spiced bun.
An earworm filthy as Lord Melbourne’s waistcoat.
A great wombat the colour of tainted coffee-whitener.
A large bowel collider facing early-onset nothingness.
A heavy metal bombardment of daylight bulbs.
A Day of Penitence, factory-farmed, tooter the sweeter.
A camouflaged, eye-patched god-shaped hole.
A whack-a-mole clay and burnt alabaster jackpot.
A sluggish, backwards-compatible, zodiac wheel.


In Crematoria

My cyclone unearths a sacred larrikin.
My boom water stagnates in beer can ziggurats.
My book of scribbly gum opens on firebombs.
My mill of ants seethes like a frenzied caliphate.
My cracked glass smokes out a season of arsonists>
My Yellow Monday crackles with payback’s clamour.
My blank TV screen, black as celebrity shades,
concentrates gleams and waits for recognition:
a spontaneous ignition of daytime soaps.
My true horizon dances on blow-torched grasses.
My dry storm bursts out of the slammer,
to swing down like jailbait from a lightning tree.
My scrub explodes on high beams of heat,
white as; other colours burn to electricity.


This Gubberment, Bro, This Gubberment

They clown-troupe in for core meltdown goals,
solar flare on tandoori oven’s fiery coals,
untouchable dragon-mouth’s pizza topping,
burnt ends stitched back up with string.
Choose marinaded redneck flambé dressed with lard,
pig-ear sambo with Rwandan Dukunde Kawa brew,
or the paint, paper, hair, fingernails, cockroach feast.
The second swig of Tanqueray with Angosturas,
beslobbered and besmeared on ice-cold rocks;
electric maraschino cherries and shit-eating grin.
Blood runs down the fishy scaling knife,
red as the bled heart of the blessèd saviour
in a flyblown frame made of sticking plasters.
The lunatics have taken over the asylum-seekers.


Penny Serenade

Penny Serenade’s jammed in her busted jukebox,
with top drawer knives, forks, cracked dinner plates;
and here come the exoplanets, the orbiting rocks.
Twelve steps below Paradise, they open the floodgates
to enmesh all in chook-wire and holy ectoplasm.
Mother Earth Normal’s now Mother Earth Abnormal,
and software precogs exploit everywhen’s shrapnel.
Helicopter parents have the price of a buddha stick;
their vinyl fetish costumes shine like an oil slick.
Doofus leads the slo-mo exit from Olympus.
I’ll asphyxiate you, croon the car fumes,
giving rivers of metal the anthropocene blues.
You’re beautiful in marble, beautiful in mud,
but you’re choking, Mother Earth, in fossil fuel crud.


Planet Blast

No poppies blow, they faded long ago,
in potter’s field with paupers, job-seekers,
kicked to the curb by bigcorp motorcades.
Brands grow strands of web that loop the planet.
Tiny spider-peeps make raids with tiny lasers:
crap terraforming, global bad positioning.
They uplift the love of wintermute and feed it
to a novabomb that irradiates  the quantum:
our big dumb object beamed from outer space,
each sarcophagus built by a civilisation gone.
So we cling to a death-star collapsium,
our heartbeats those of bug-eyed monsters.
An earthling’s cooee echoes under ruptured crust.
We live for earth’s breath, like the wind, the dust.


Land Smasher

Gotta have magnets for cleaning out cows.
Cows can swallow bits of wire, and they can kill,
because they drill, they drill into the heart.
Gotta have a rusted, busted, done and dusted
Holden Kingswood, so you can rock up, low
to the ground, dry spinifex stuffed in your tyres.
Gotta have roo mince to feed the dogs.
Gotta have diggers to get the ore from mines.
Gotta dump the dispossessed outside casinos:
those bushland nomads, they don’t know they’re born.
And keep them boat people on the never-never.
You think I’m pathetic, non-empathetic?
I swerve for possums, so get out of the car,
or fair serve — I swings the iron bar.