Tony Beyer

State funding

uniforms & insignia

physical prowess

male preference for male

often-photographed groups
& individuals

drinking rituals & songs
surreptitious drugs

parades & awards

all characteristics of
both sport & fascism
if the two are not the same


after a stuff-up
in the phone booking
I travelled as Mr Beaver
trying to conceal my
front teeth
through the usual stops
& the break for a pie
at The Big Apple
my country
turned into a road
in front of me
fences fences fences
inarticulate bundles
of winter feed
one line of trees
keeping pace
with the bus window
seemingly endless
& that’s stretching it
Intercity Mon Amour
another rummage through
the book-bag
Ashbery’s curiously flat
literal Rimbaud
absent the poetry
Hardy’s little fancied
Two on a Tower
which we preferred
to some of his bigger hits
through Mokau
baches & whitebait
then out the bight
the mountain’s cold pimple
in the distance
soft blue air verging mauve
particular to the region
grandchildren who used
to be around my knees
around my waist & chest
at the retro bus centre
always the sun glare
on the street
the hard edged shadows
too many things left
unchanged in my mind
have changed
or I have changed my
mind about them
a sign of desperation
to request quick
takes on the town
from recent arrivals
if asked
I vote getting
rid of Harry & his
tired-warhorse council
let the Crave Club
& Hearts in Armour
take over the district
re-name it Nude Plymouth
(this is Mr Beaver speaking)
& watch the tourists roll in

Recent work by Tony Beyer has appeared in Landfall, Poetry NZ and Best New Zealand Poems 2012.
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