Side A: New South Wales
New South Wales Splendid the glorious technicolor gales
that break the unbreakable spirit in New South Wales.
All tends towards dawn, but night is strange and long,
plays out a drama where there’s something wrong
that’s never said. The green balustrades
are freely entered by too well trusted maids.
The carelessly worn inscription at the approach
to the manor is a mildly forbidding reproach.
The table’s set for six deceptive men
who drink together and remember when
they all were younger, fates were sealed in anger.
The shabby port which doubles as a border
tries to preserve some semblance of royal order.
The governor bathes, is briefed on each new stranger
holding some parcel of land with his fierce will.
True friendship survives the time it learned to kill.
The sobbing of the old life’s worn bud quails.
A chrysalis is born in New South Wales.
Side B: Clock
The hero moves like clockwork in two parts
that fade and then reverse in shocking light
before passing into stunned eternity—
how could he be so cool playing two parts
a subject of two kinds of analysis
saying goodbye but leaving only once
objectifying the world’s phallacies
exposing the roots of his paralysis
as bright or even brighter than his guide?
She is the one who has no need to hide
her faith in him—the border of a wraith
whose is the order of undoing death.
Two parts converge in passing through the stations,
the porter weds their panic with their patience
like a clock’s face, the stillness in the motions
of the clock’s hands—the running of the sands
observes the hour figure of the glass
each of the two times the coupled heroes pass.
Ben Mazer’s most recent collections are Poems (The Pen & Anvil Press, 2010) and January 2008 (Dark Sky Books, 2010). His brand new release is Tales of the Buckman Tavern (Mumbai: Poetrywala, 2012).