Machines, as an object of consumption: ‘‘Give me a lever large enough — / a cosmic fork or skewer — and I would move it / to a table: its sherbert fizz of surf, / the creamy ice-cones of its toothy alps, / the spice of islands dotted here and there / like cloves jammed in an onion.’’
This reads like a playfully written Arcimboldo portrait of our biosphere, but it is also a forked metaphor, given our obsession with foodie TV and the unnerving extremes of weather we are experiencing as a result of our modes of consumption. So, a white middle-class male records his pleasure in ogling, then de- vouring, the earth. Mmm, that’s kind of grotesque, right? Or, at the very least, thought provoking. It is often the case with Goldsworthy that we receive a mental picture crafted with sensory exactness while simultaneously wondering whether we like what we see.
This first poem is perhaps worth continuing with as a way of discussing such tensions within the book. It goes on: ‘‘Turning / this common dish as slowly as a day, / I’d sample the sweetand-sour river deltas, / the swamps about its world wide waist, / all of which smell fishy. As do many maps / of Tasmania, most of them in