Afternoon Clouds Sprinkles

Reading your electrical poems in a Northcote
bar in winter made me long for Sydney where
July was windy and wet but not cold. I sat in a
laudromat once, read Faulkner to stay warm –

& by September the frangipani was exploding
along the Chippendale lanes. A sock got cold.
I tramped through Central Station & hoped in
desperation that if I closed my eyes I might

pretend to be living somewhere else but as I
had never lived outside of New South Wales
all I could think of was Sydney in the 1920s,
the futurism of Bondi travel posters (and I’d

already been there, once. I wish I could turn
to poetry the dismal warehouse districts of
Fouveaux Street & surrounds, the whipped
palm trees, the blackboard menus inside the

Atlantic Cafe but I can’t – they removed the
soul of Strawberry Hills just to make houses
from its yellow clay years ago & the pub that
shares its name has now stopped playing jazz.

Oh yes, it blows just like the wind. The paper
today carried another article about Australian
poetry, written for everyone over sixty. I am
reminded of seasons, the way they insinuate

themselves inside culture & how we insulate
ourselves from change (unless the climate is
at stake, in which case Sydney blows its bum
notes all along ‘Broadway’. So I light another

Craven A, crack a silver bullet, chomp down
on those sausages Bert Newton ate in Fatty
Finn
, dreaming of the days when trams lit up
Sydney skies with meteor showers of sparks.

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