The Tyranny of Quirks
In the lost masterwork of Melbourne fumblecore
set in the summer when the shuffle met the bounce,
there are hesitations so patiently rehearsed
you’d swear the actors were winging it or blanking.
The whole stunt / accident distinction collapses
in an unspectacular way on the dancefloor,
any surface, that is, with the requisite slip.
Microphones got buried in leisurewear, so when
from the depths of hood and couch our lost heroine
sums up the lesson of the seminar, it sounds
like stuttering: 'Posers of posers are posers.'
One review was titled, ‘The Tyranny of Quirks.’
The one. I'm not saying it was hard to be snide
about those nicely put-together young people
savouring the privilege of disillusion
in a world where most don’t even get what it was
they thought they wanted. But I have not forgotten
a scene singled out for its sheer self-indulgence:
Who is this not even secondary character
puttering wearily amid party jetsam,
purging ash and dregs, momentarily tempted
by thimblefuls of distillate but saved by yawns,
while a far magpie descants, and the light balance
tips imperceptibly from lamp to paling sky?
And another scene, dismissed as ‘decoration’:
a man comes up the street in a wheelchair shouting:
‘I want to walk again. I want to fucking walk!’
and some nimble hand-held camera operating
shows how two tenants of the standard miracle
are broken in their strides and don’t know where to look.