Disrobing “The Suits”: Poems by Robert Maddox-Harle

Rob Harle

by Robert Maddox_Harle (aka Rob Harle)

City  5:00am

Eerily empty, the city at five am
a “still life” of despair,
the edge of a blue cold mirage
suspended, like purgatory
between false-dawn and dawn.
Greys change to black
then back to grey again,
pushed downwards by the damp draught,
drawn past drab facades
and steely mirror-black glass
reflecting itself reflecting itself,
in the sickly yellow lighting.

The scent of the underground
warm metallic, dusty
stale electric,
rises from the gutter grates
testing the memories of tramps,
those who rode the rail-road
in suits of silk
and careless confidence,
from warm home
to office obsession and back again,
and then - redundancy.

A faint  hum,  hum,  hum
permeates the sacred silence
mysterious and alien
not wholly human,
not merely machine,
the ghost of the city moans,
a disembodied chant
surrounds the monuments,
marvels of human madness.
Silent street sweepers,
caretakers of this shadow world
sweep slowly, the sins
from last night's sacrifice,
sacrifices to love
to lust and longing.

Even the hard-core whores
desperate for a last trick,
leave this monstrous mausoleum
when the last neon flickers.
A black stiletto heal, scarred
wrenched free in hustle
in bondage in a footpath crevice
remains as testimony.
A siren far across the city
slashing the silence,
in a second all is dead again.

Retail Therapy

the whoredom of retail therapy
becomes a two-edged credit card,
pin or sign
flash or swipe,
mycobacteria economic consumption has,
turned into emphysema.
the radical deconstruction of capitalism is nigh
but till then, shop on.
i desire,
I will dock into my
HD 150cm 1080p LCD TV with,
USB, PVR, PA, Wi-Fi and,
Hi-Fi 7.1 surround sound with,
80cm sub-woofer.
I will colour my world with,
Blu-rays, then,
my nextG Smartphone to my
GPS geo-locator so,
U can track me on,
Facebook with,
face recognition,
voice recognition,
designer-brand recognition.
i desire to be contactable,
i desire be reachable,
i desire to be exploited as a marketing pawn.
i have completed my dumbing-down debriefing
now my simultaneous use of opposable thumbs
has exceeded even that of my aping ancestors,
I am so happy.
my Android tablet purrs and,
is far more palatable than a Blackberry, so
I am happy,
both transfer every keystroke back to
my Big brother and my Big sister to
build a global data gold mine
I am so happy to be a marketing pawn,
even though the radical deconstruction of capitalism is nigh.


contemplate it!
the comprehensive catalogue
signifying anything opposed to reality
a glossy brochure really
speaking beyond the sharp image
voices in three colours,
the myths of  a young generation grow
syntactically sharp
only to be replaced in the next second
by more -- Buy More,
set in place powerfully,
by symbols of minds
corrupt, political, SuperGloss
flip it over
register image
flip it over
enterprise capitalism breeds
freelance hedonists,
creates individuals by design
renewed with each flip over.

SuperGloss heads are sharp
SuperGloss solipsism is sharp
Seigel and Shuster’s Superman was soft,
glossy SuperGloss hero
corporate logo <S> of imperialism
Nietzsche’s Übermensch
super sharp, super real Superman
an anti-democratic anarchist
an anti-Christ with attitude
far too sharp for Imperialism’s <S>
the middle classes’ <S> wimp
soft, seductive, sleazy
too scared to slash his shadow
too stupid to wear his underpants
under his slippery tights.

The Colour Of Greed

Paint the colour of greed,
a sickly phosphorescent yellow-green
rising from the foetid waters,
a burning acrid colour – deadly.
More gas wells are drilled,
more corruption fuels more corruption
anonymous investors burn with greed
a yellow-green poison mists over the land
a land in the tremors of dying,
the frogs and lizards long gone.
As a child I drank the water pure,
flowing through forests of energy
in streams through fields of swaying grass.
What do I tell the children?
How would Monet paint the colour of greed?
How do I explain democracy – a deception?
What is majority consensus – a bad joke?
How do I paint the politician's auras tinged with black,
glowing with sickly yellow-green?
Farmers and mothers and greenies – unite,
forging deep connections,
a solidarity for sustainability.
Yet still the yellow-green-black politicians lie
their deceptions the manifestation of cancerous evil,
Dear children - I am so sorry!

Sign of The Beast

The 21st century icon stood before me
glistening black and chrome
inviting, seductive, sensuous
DC ATM - all cards accepted
Fees Apply.
Security video 24-7 hovers above
guarding the cash-excreting mouth.
The DC ATM is silent,
strategically located
midway between Supermarket and Butcher.
Pet Mince 99¢ a kilo
Hearts – Brains - Kidneys on special
Today Only.

Then - THE SIGN - assaults my eye
clean, crisp and callous,
black letters on white-cold metal
fixed to a filthy drab-grey concrete wall
protecting the cash-excreting mouth.

             No Skateboarding
               No Bike Riding
            No Scooter Riding
                No Loitering
                No Begging
              Thank you – Centre Management
No Begging – No Begging!
for whom is this sign intended
the questions begs?
The white middle class consumers?
DC ATM cash grabbers?
Little kids on scooters,
their mums one step behind?
I think not!
Indigenous people come and go
quickly passing the slick black DC ATM,
not looking at the sign
or the filthy drab-grey wall.
A mindless act of cultural vandalism,
has stained the air,
flagrant social discrimination,
stings my saddened eyes.

The Centre Manager
obese and crass,
full of self-importance
in a cheap polyester suit
waddles past
secure in his position of power.
His complacency a deadly trap,
The Wheel is always turning!


Sliding through a rust-red mud
I edge forward cautiously,
old grass-trees protecting the sandstone hills,
sentinels of antiquity
watch silently as I approach Nimbin.

Too many years ago now,
too many Blue Moons
I fell into a psychotherapeutic destiny,
refugee from a city turned vulture
a cursed betrayal of an idyllic childhood!
But ... still the glorious harbour glistens,
Utzon’s Opera House watches silently
a magnificent sentinel of modernity.

Refugees are welcome in Nimbin!
Bell curves toll for the status quo
the status quo dissolves into ethereal magic
as perception of time ebbs and flows.
The tourists bus in,
wallowing whales belching diesel fumes
a black putrid pollution,
plying the route daily from The Bay to Nimbin.

“I’ve been to Bali”!
“I’ve been to Nimbin too”!
Oh really?
A few more out-of-focus snapshots
the “i” gadgets breed mediocrity
generating billions,
soothing the cocaine habits of the suits
the Wall Street-Silicon Valley opportunists,
sucking the dollars from the mindless masses
like evil-eyed-crows over a road-kill carcass.

Invent new gadgets of distraction
fresh opium for the masses,
be consumed by the consumables
and leave a stinking disfigured corpse
playing a distorted “i” tune.

Ledgers of Creation

Enter into this deep loathsome secret
your anachronistic education cannot save you,
my therapist collapsed into oblivion
as I recited the formula for her,
the equation for nano-genetic-conflation.

The seeds are all in Patent Process
animal DNA is following fast,
precise catalogues of life
Ledgers of Creation owned by the few.

Bank vaults bulge with vulgar obscenity
as plastic wads of worthless cash inflate,
traded on the Stock Exchanges of insanity
where piranhic feeding-frenzy riots daily,
the blood wrested from the Everyman
till only a dry and empty bag of skin remains.

Shylock reigns supreme in this deep secret
with raw blood slopping down his chin
as he devours his every “pound of flesh”.

Devil’s Pulpit

No deconstruction possible,
no access available
the suits have sabotaged the ledgers
with entries written in the blood of the poor.

The Sign of the Beast 666
reigns supreme!
insidious and unrelenting
suppressing the “everyman”
feeding the greed of cunning.

Gates are locked
communication is blocked,
from the pulpit
the carrot dangles always


remains always unreachable.

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