The Conscience of Brunswick Street

Our conscience is flailing, caught up in the breeze,
it  blows in the wind of the world’s tragedies,
whose agony deepens the depth of our ease.

Preening in empathy, our fountainhead,
but this sorrowful play will not feed the unfed,
though the pain of the underworld butters our bread.

We’re the high-minded froth on society’s beer,
distillations of rough life got free, then sold dear,
with guilty white holes underneath this veneer.

Are we merely the old regime letting off steam,
as we pour condemnation on scum and on cream
whose surplus assures us the safety to dream?

We’re projecting our recoil on those we don’t know,
throwing out bluster and sorrowful show,
publication today, no nightmare tomorrow.

It’s just as sincere as “anything goes,”
and the most brazen hypocrite calls it a pose
as we sigh over cocktails, in elegant retro clothes.

Melbourne 2006

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