BACAROLE: AUCKLAND, SUMMER



Auckland sprawls on her hills and bays,
smug as Venice in her prime,
in a green-silver-strumpet’s scarlet
flourish of Pōhutukawa, like
Titian’s Ariosto in his blue muttonchop sleeve
leaning on the sill of the harbour, watching
the yachts casually unzip
the silky dress of the Viaduct
clinging in this unbearable humidity.

In the frozen aurorae of the opaque towers
there are people on the top floor who can
only name Rangitoto of all the cones
on the horizon of their universe.

In the scattered parks can still just be heard
the vanishing trills and slides of isolated tui,
and always in view from every outdoor interior
is the admonishing syringe of the Sky Tower,
phallic middle finger
an asherah of an absconded god.

Schadenfreude has no envy in it
making it the perfect motto for Jafapolis
blithely turning its back on the other
south of the Bombays,
trusting it will take care of itself.
The lending velociraptors are immaculate
in bespoke suits; are bored and witty.

South of the iron rainbow and the quarter
of antic melancholic villas, the atolls of Polynesia
are reborn in grand style.
The gestalt, supremely smug, continues to tuck into
the lotos fruit, floating on a subterranean sea
of Illyrian wine.

Not love, but something like it, sings its Circe song,
the bright lights night-after-night beckon and lure
the orphans, third sons and farm brats of the south.
In the harbour the big boats
Ophelia drift on-and-on
always reminding us that the Queen City

is a whore in the bedroom.

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