Not disappearing in a hurry

(for Mark and Linda, P76 ‘missing issue’ launch)


The artists used to live there

in the mansion were the fun had disappeared

like mangroves.

Though last I checked small shoots

had sprouted in the mud.

Lantana never seems to die.

Robert, his teeth went first

but his poems were superb.

Then he did too, go, though Hillsong

got him combing his hair

for the escalator going up.

Ken went west to Adelaide

Anna went to Queen Street and there was Greece.

There was her whose name I can’t remember

whose lover died in Chile, or Peru.

Her grief had cut her off

to solitude in a walk-up

above a sushi bar that still enjoys

a loyal clientele.

There were docks and containers.

There was club-foot Johnnie nursing a middie

at the Ancient Briton.

There was a one legged drunk

no-one one liked

who’d rest his stump on the bus-stop bench.

There was a pub the writers loved,

there were writers no-one knew.

I remember X, that odd last time

when he was almost beautiful.

There was a hoarded P76 in someone’s garage.

There were the trots and subsidised prawns

and a club for signing into.

A dark arena ringed in bluish neon

young folk reading magazines.

There were kids on anti-histamines and speed

turning a small noisy machine

with a funny German name.


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