Four Morbid Songs - an extract

Four Morbid Songs

I learnt to love a body once,
dead a year, in pickling spirit.
It was my nearest friend.
Every other day I lifted back
the linen lid and unpacked
fitted things. The weird contents
had been worked inside
a ribbed and leathery case
as if by ancient Oriental
luggage arranging arts,
less anatomy than origami,
with economy. No compartment
went unused, or bit or piece
of space. It was an installation.
Or else the winner of an organ-cram,
a record squeeze inside a Mini
or a Beetle exoskeleton.
The only rule: the parts
must pack in two by two,
paired, like matching lugguage,
with a spare of everything,
except a heart.


from New Selected Poems (Duffy & Snellgrove, Australia, 2001) and This Goes With That (Leviathan, UK, 2002 - further information from m.w.hulse@warwick.ac.uk), © Peter Goldsworthy 2001 and 2002, used by permission of the author and the publishers.

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1A Statistician to His Love

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2Razor

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3The Operation

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4Chemistry

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5Eye of the Needle

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6The Dark Side of the Head

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7Evil Eye

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8Four Morbid Songs

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9Music

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10After the Ball

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18Cimetière Père Lachaise

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19Piano

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20Mass for the Middle-aged

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21Hip Hopera

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22Song of Solomon

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23Room

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24Ode to the Potato

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25A Small Bestiary

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26Nocturne

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27Sunset

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28This Goes With That

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29Winter Piece

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30The Nice

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31Roy G. Biv

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32A Brief Introduction to Philosophy

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33Selected Numbers

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34Six Songs from the opera, Batavia

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35My Last Rabbit

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Books by Peter Goldsworthy