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This poem is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

Poems Michael Alexander

EXCEPT AFTER C

ACCURATE SIGNS-RECIEVING AND DISPATCH
Says the sign in the street in the suburb of Sydney where I stay.
Orion on his side in the balmy air
Sprawls like a two-metre bloke on the Gold Coast of Queensland,
Not like an archer but relaxed and brilliant.
Salt, gold skin, figs, wine which is cheaper
And far better than our gaudy beer at home.
A dog barks at Sirius.

The locals are friendly, large,
Innocent yet cautious, and not without reason:
Standards are slipping,
Heterosexuality not what it was.
In this it is not unlike England, if you except history.
The outback and the number of Catholics.

There is the same empty feeling on the streets
...


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