Something happened to Clive Palmer between the hours of 4pm and 8pm tonight. A cataclysm, perhaps, a trauma or joy, so great as to cause the man’s psychic balance to snap cleanly like a glass rod, its contents dripping onto his Twitter timeline in the form of tweets so peculiar, even for Our Clive, that they might be approaching true viral status. What was that feed-altering event? And more importantly: is it art?
Palmer’s Twitter timeline usually reads like something from the void, if the void were a slightly disconcerting shade of beige rather than a soul-consumingly terrifying darkness. It’s the realm of unactionable one-liners that read like an eight-year-old playing a city mayor in a play written by other eight-year-olds under the guidance of a private school drama teacher who truly believes that any creativity is good creativity – things like:
And:
Of course, there have always been darker moments – unsettling glimpses of a strange man with a passable baritone and a total ignorance re: the friction between himself and reality, possible signals of a simmering, uncontrolled genius beneath the surface of an otherwise quotidian, if eccentric and coal-obsessed, Queensland politician. 
But this! The tweets that occurred between the hours of 4pm and 8pm tonight! Here is a real glimmer of Palmer the voice. First, this almost-haiku (5 / 6 / 5) verse, Ezra Pound-ish in its brevity, generous and earthy in its subject matter, playfully disinterested in grammatical rigidity:  

And then, a mere three hours later, the pendulum swings back. As though Palmer is trying to wield Twitter like a mirror of truth, demonstrating to the fullest extent the true duality of man, he delivers this recourse:

There’s a lot going on here. The full-stops, for example, add a note of finality not always present in Palmer’s verse – here, they fall like the pounding of a gavel. And the pairing of an imperative and a persuasive line, as sinister and discomforting as a man with a knife telling you to sit down immediately; the chair is so comfortable, and you’re tired anyway. 
Whatever happened to Clive Palmer between the hours of 4pm and 8pm tonight – a burst of creative force, a moment of fast food-related clarity, a mini-stroke – we may never know. The man is not in the habit of responding to his many concerned Twitter followers, and in any case, the Palmer timeline has swiftly returned to business as usual. For now, this glimpse of fragile poetry remains just that: a glimpse.
Source: @ClivePalmer / Twitter.
Image: News.com.au