Friday, February 04, 2005


Richard Lopez at Really Bad Movies, I think it was, a little while ago suggested that being a taxi driver was an ideal job for a poet. I noticed the comment because I've driven taxis before and am about to again. Previously when I drove I was a poet (self description) but no longer; not that it makes much difference except perhaps that next time, this time, I won't suffer from the defensive arrogance that so afflicted my previous two terms of duty: 1981; 1988. The process of getting a license has become much more complex than it was in the eighties, but there's no esssential difference: an Iraqi (or a New Zealander) could still be driving within two weeks of arriving in Sydney as was possible two and a half decades ago. May happen too. I hope so. The egalitarianism of this place is still its strongest recommendation. I used to think of Oz as some kind of Noah's Ark of humanity, with examples of all our kind aboard. The repel boarders approach of the last ten years (yes, so long) hasn't altered the essential character of here: I mean the drama of self and other keeps on playing in our souls and our streets. Winged heels and the requirement to take travellers where they are going, as if any one of us might be messengers of the gods: I will try to imagine myself bearing a caduceus as I put my foot down in what I hope is a Falcon.