The 2035 New Zealand Poet Laureate writes on the occasion of the election of the Tenth Term of the National Government

Let’s make sure this remains a morbid fantasy not a fact. Vote on 23 September. – VB

Fellow citizens,
we celebrate today The Surplus.
From all levels of the Survival Dome,
we gather in solemn appreciation
in a National Minibreak of Gratitude.
Could all digital devices
and personal teleportation equipment
be turned to apocalypse mode.
Decision making has been handed over
to an AI called Craigsy
who freelances as a virtual panelist
on a gladiatorial sports chat show.
Today his message to the nation
will be delivered by a cloned avatar
of Paula Bennett via hologram
from the inspiring venue
of the Sky City casino, rising above
Wellesley Lagoon as a symbol
of our freedom of choice.
Maintenance staff imported
on casual short term contracts
from the refugee fleets of the Pacific
are on standby in case of extreme weather.
A special shoutout to our peeps in the
Autonomous Economic Zone of Lactopia
(formerly known as the South Island,
and now under the joint administration
of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army
and Paypal.)
We celebrate how the perfection
of reverse ageing therapy
means the eternal rule of baby boomers
who have reclaimed their golden youth
in the legendary fountain of capital gains.
We celebrate the wonders
of fiscal stability and incremental progress,
of genetically enhanced cows expressing
coconut milk for the export market,
of beggars on Queen Street
collecting likes on social media,
of a twelve lane gigahighway
terminating on the cliffs 
of Cape Reinga.
The last Kiwi floats sedated
in a see through vat of nutrient soup
in the foyer of Te Papa,
the tourist dollar has become
the Revelations renminbi
and style conscious survivalists
tote Prada bags through the
priority billionaire queue at
Tauranga International Hoverport.
We take comfort that if our last stand
here on Planet Earth is in vain,
the future of humanity is secured
above us in the orbiting space cruiser Sir Max Key
with its precious cargo of retired Cabinet Ministers.

Outside, in the dead lands,
those who have made poor choices
reflect on their lack of aspiration
and shelter from the scorching sand storms
of our final years.

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Eastern Line to Manukau

Thanks to Jade at Books on the Bus NZ. Great idea for #NZpoetryday

Between Contracts

The weeks constrict, pythons around my ribs,

under which the turbid valves of the heart

pump on with blind certainty.

Dreams of flapping wings outside windows.

A nest of telephone calls, letters, deposits,

routines in which I can submerge peacefully

and integrate with process, a limbed machine

conferring golden fries, cigarettes, tins of ointment.

Money is running out. No more dappled coffees, queuing with confident secretaries,

agency workers, neutered parakeets blinking in light.

In the engine room, plans are hammered,

pounded, blunted under blind iron

by agents with invisible hands, by necessity.

I do not want to know of life denied,

love cankered, ratty days, autumn grit on tired streets, sparrows tumbling in the cold wind.

Collecting myself with effort,

I use dead time to scan the creamy newspaper.

Everywhere is the code of violence.

Clotted blood. Broken bottles. A leaf storm of receipts

before the money machines of K Road.

Shouting and percussive, a Saturday night street is a cyclonic eye of thrusting fists

and fish eyed munters on the piss, deadly serious.

We avoid it. We avoid the blank gaze of dawdling homeboys.

We avoid long haired men with ruined faces and grubby suits.

We avoid smiling evangelists and devotees of Lord Krishna.

We avoid them all, and concentrate on our table, our jars of beer.