Poem Hunter
Les Murray, Removalist
(1969 - / Queensland / Australia)

Les Murray, Removalist

The freckled back of poetry
flexes prismatically through
the front door's stained glass
kookaburra. Warped cells bunch
with rhythm; a paper crease vein
pulses in Antigone Kefala's tongue
& groove neck. Melanomas gather;
thick flies on the crust of art.
On the enclosed verandah, spiders
cocoon time's black idiom in bone.
In the small bedroom, she moves
a wardrobe language by rocking its
silky oak feet from side to side.
Hires a 'big dinger' for the real
heavy lifting – weighed down with
things she just can't throw out.
Les Murray, removalist, drops
boxes of books, bends the covers
of new Icelandic translations,
dog-ears modern Australian poetry.
His workman's crack, book-ended
between slabs of Boetian flesh,
entrances like a CWA cake stall.
Antigone tut tuts from the hallway
literature's going to the gym now
(another new year's resolution).
A tai-bo of new terminology;
the good fat stripped from obliques
of 20th century vernacular, portly
lyrical abdominals & quads of metaphor
lean as the Thorpedo (our greatest
cultural lungfish aside from Tangles
& Tugga & that Warwick Todd guy) -
all chucked on plastic.
Les hitches his stubbies up, dumps
Kefala's boxes in the new library,
thumbs through a copy of Johnston's
The Sea Cucumber he found hidden
under the kitchen sink cupboard.
Digs out strands of Greek rhetoric
from the plughole, a parting domestic
gesture. Fingers the congealed
plasticity of our final words
on the subject. Charges $25.00
per hour for elite removal.

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