Sunday, 3 June 2012

Kings Cross

Back in the 70s I lived near Kings Cross in Sydney (the red light district for those who may not know). I spent a lot of time wandering around there, fascinated by the people, life, glitz, pain and passion.

I wrote three poems back then that reflect some of that. Not the happiest of observations, but very real at the time.

Bohemian

Bohemians night wave
   Ever bright, never right
Moving through neons
   Whores boredom's delight
      A farce, tight through the night
Boots glitter with steel
Raking laughter through gutters to sheol
Hot malt sweet air slices the chill
Inciting tempers, baiting the kill
Mechanical hearts!

Porch Light

The ringing of silence
Invades his ears
He listens to the voices and steps
   of distant revellers
Wending home to a morning after

The porch lights silhouette silk hair
And his eyes glitter in street fluorescents

A love song from a wailing tom
   hopeful excuses, avoided
   perhaps a tear
   or a smile and a sigh
A look and he's seen and understood
So the door closes and the light dies
And he turns to count weary steps home

Mutton

She sat, pensive and transfixed
   at her own mirror image
Brush poised to stoke away vain fears
   her hand then flowed
And bristles pulled at memories
   of the future
Each decisive stroke jerked and slowed
   trailing off at static split ends

Mutton dressed as lamb, some would say
A glance would confirm
   Lipstick a shade too bright
   Rouge a shade too red
   Lashes a thickness too black
And eyes that glared
   conceit and pride
   softness and tears, welling up and over the brink of self pity

A lifetime taken its toll
The world beaten out a mould for her
   and those who would pass and see
   would pour a little more of her into it
She had a place, amongst the shabby people
The dead artists and those who would not die
Fluttering through past flames of glory, or illusion
She would be there
   stoking the blaze
Alive with the fear of an empty room

Delicately she would skim the top
   off her bowl of life
seeing each time how little was left
   slowly congealing
   like the blood in her veins
   and the bitterness in her soul