The cobalt blues | Jake Goetz

              in the early morning 
 a siren is prolonged by quiet   wakes me
                           into a breeze that cuts
                  west to Mount Coot-tha 
        catching the sun in a golden-green   
                                  its transmission towers 
               muffling the city to 
                           the honey-bee Dreaming 
                    and myself here   an unlocating
                               waiting for a bus
         by the Vietnamese bakery 
                      watching a school girl scroll
      through the cry of a crow
                  in the way an epiphany 
             is so easily silenced by a voice   a movement
                            that turned to blankets
                                  intertwines each passing car  
             the if only streets were paved 
                          with the collective time it takes 
                                       for the world's population 
                   to work a week 
                               perhaps then we'd realise 
                         that these conditions are nothing more
                                      than Clive Palmer 
                  on a bill board   or the cross-
                         hatching steel of the Story Bridge
glimpsed through a light fog 
                     recalling the Golden Gate
        between a break in trees 
                           in the San Joaquin Forest
             amidst dry-earth infused with pine  
                    watching children pass 
singing buenos dias madre tierra 
                         twirling their hands and kicking up dust
      columns of light between redwoods  
buenos dias madre tierra they sung
                               water trickling beside me 
             to the whistling of a blue jay   
       the booming of a plane    between 
                                  the hydraulics of this bus    of iPhones 
            that reward workers like cigarettes 
                                      on their break   as children work 
                        12 hour days in Congolese mines
               to provide the cobalt 
                            for phone batteries   
   for people like data 
                         yet tangible as plastic
         to be blown through Brisbane’s CBD 
                                    past that man sleeping 
                outside the 7/11 on Adelaide Street
                             while in Canberra
         the economy is dressed in human skin
                                   given eyes ears and lips   a reputation
                     in the literal interpretation
                                                of a dream
                                 as if one could fail to understand
               that unemployment is a fact
                     unless you believe in
         socialism   or know that it’s not ideas
 that terrify us   but us who terrify ideas 
                                 take that woman   who dressed 
             in white   stood in the spring sun
                                     of San Francisco’s Chinatown
                  a sign hanging from her neck
The Chinese Communist Party is Satan    
                                                                     and at the corner of Warner and Ann  
                                  in the early morning 
                                           on the way to work       
                   faint taste of petrol in the air







Jake Goetz's writing has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Overland, Rabbit, Sickleave, Mascara and Plumwood Mountain. His first book, meditations with passing water, a long-poem written alongside the Maiwar (Brisbane River), was recently shortlisted for the QLD Premier's Award for a work of State Significance. He is the editor of the sporadically-published magazine, Marrickville Pause.



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