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Jacket 15 — December 2001   |   # 15  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

Cassie Lewis

Steinbeck Country

Now the ghosts start coming. They skulk in poor suburbs, making claims on fountains, things. Gusts of America’s past hit me, like smog that blows out to sea, so that I pity those who cannot shake the stares of the dispossessed. Every time I see a bulky figure in the street, I’m sure John Forbes has arrived in town, to help me shed an illusion. Once a bus driver looked so like him – Scots features, stern gaze, curiosity – I had no concept of ‘destination’ anymore... Is there a word for ‘shape of a loss’? Here, old wildfire in the shape of a cross. In the aisle at the supermarket, American children play at shoot-outs. Cowboys and Indians. They know which they’d rather be, but I’m not sure, are the haunted luckier than those haunting? So it goes around. Australia’s ghosts left instructions. Graffiti: a name loves another name. And a poem, not a life itself.

First published in Overland magazine

Jacket 15 — December 2001  Contents page
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