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Sport 30: Peter Black-Real Fiction

David Eggleton — Clicker

page 32

David Eggleton


Lines on Peter Black's ‘Moving Pictures’ of 1986 and 1987

Skimming the highway tarseal frontier blur,
travelling in the direction of time's arrow
into yesterday's immediate hinterland
—reflex action photographer's quick eyes
darting towards hints of the enshadowed
cultural debris of the past's residual creep—
the photos fizz with electricity of the moment:
each date-stamped pulse-rush-vibration stopped,
like a frozen cascade of flung fountain drops.

Their thousandth-of-a-second, look-see starkness
celebrates not just the lucky-shot cult of the car,
but the disembodied energy, the mad gallop itself:
the memory-sensation of a decade when the pace
began to pick up and isolation was overcome
by speed, the arrival of the satellite dish
heralding a global soul connectiveness,
as did corporate tokens of multinat franchises
and self-conscious broadcloth of business-suits.

Black and white photograph.

Ruatoria, 1987, from ‘Moving Pictures’

page 33

We are borne by a pilgrim swarm of incidentals
into memorial New Zealandness (not cute, ugly rather),
where flags hang limp on their standards,
zeal catches the nap and weave of small towns,
fluffy clumps of sheep tackle bungalow lawn,
and a cow's head extrudes through slack fencing.
Slipping the black blotch of the rear-view mirror,
the leaden glare, the vaporous murk, the cryptic joke,
roadside attractions disappear off the windscreen.

Buildings’ flaky prefabricated newness already history;
real gone the punk displacement of a nation in transit,
which moves as if zombified by voodoo economics:
the kids who squat like possums on fenceposts;
the soldier with mismatched footwear; stalked skinhead;
men and women with bags and suitcases walking;
mental furniture removalists; garage sale determinists;
and the dog raising its quizzical muzzle, its wet nose,
its eager light-filled eye meeting that of the camera.

Black and white photograph.

Umutaoroa, 1987, from ‘Moving Pictures’