1. LIFE

We, the few who are left;
vomited, excreted and puked to all corners of the globe
to live with the spectres of those who never made it;
now dwelling in dank pits under epitaphs for strangers
where god’s simpering servants recited fictional accounts
of lives never lived,
who died wearing shirts proclaiming violently loudly
GOD IS DEAD
now dressed by Sportsgirl or Hugo Boss
hair conventional colours or shaved; denying
mohawks and dreadlocks and all in between,
who would weep at the lie of their life announced in death,
while we barred from the cemetery with
tears carving furrows down our cheeks
said goodbye with razor blades slashed across our chests;
every strike a memory of times had.
We, who answered phones, gave out homes,
wrote scandalous magazines
endorsing killing police, forging tram tickets, using false names
dreaming of Anarchy as the antidote to all the social ills and
planned small revolutions with Afghani black and JB then
set up homes in abandoned orphanages,
decaying mansions and crumbling inner city terraces
emerging in the cool pre-dawn to spray paint
on busy street corners
and slap angry manifesto’s on tram stops, bus shelters and railway stations
proclaiming

We, who starred on the cathode ray of lies,
took refugees from somnolent suburbia
where mohaws, coloured hair, piercings, ragged clothes,
veganism, anarchism, gender confusion and
a healthy dose of nihilism
were grounds for committal to
Mont Park, Larundal, Royal Park and other gulags
where E.C.T, largactyl and endless cigarettes
in the TV room were cures for disobeying the corporate dream;
until we found ourselves in each other
so denounced our parents in unison
forging a family free of pain, rejection and daily doses of subliminal pressure;
learnt to love and live in the bitter winds of changing times
that never really changed at all.

 

We, who survived the bilious streets
naked raw screaming hatred of
neighbourhood watch committee’s
tabloid tantrums and spittle of passers by
by fucking strangers; like that thief Genet,
so stood long lonely nights on Shakespeare Gve
where death drove a Monaro and wore football boots
or trawled Grey St in mini-skirts and bikini tops;
shivering in 4 a.m. wind that stunk of seaweed
and whispered the names of raped, brutalised, murdered
sex workers who only we remembered so wrote epithets
on bluestone walls and telephone poles; Lest We Forget.
Scamming, begging or sucking hot cocks and bathing our faces
in dribbling cum from withered old dicks
for the pleasure of opening our veins to
Morpheus’ steel prick.

 

We, woken in dawn’s ambiguous veil
by blue clad militia, dogs and torches,
insulted, threatened, strip searched, anally
raped by latex clad hands,
our few possessions ground under jackbooted heels;
to be cast out into the drizzling dawn to
watch family men in grey flannel suits
flush concrete down toilets and
hack, hack, hack up floorboards
lest anyone live in a M.O.H[1] house again
while workers on trams smiled to see
their taxes hard at work:
Days like battle zones blurred into months
the only respite Morpheus and her cohorts;
Jeff kissed Artane[2], turned into a barking dog
at the POW[3] till he was carted away baying in a divvy van,
Sarah became a Hairy Krishna dishing out food to the starving hoards;
the wounded go insane or
seek solace in the certainty of mortgages and slow soul death.

 

We, who in some sliver of Christian compassion
in the year of the homeless were granted
a crumbling orphanage; a gothic dream,
dark corridors, 200 little sinks where lost
children washed away lonely tears of the night
100 years ago and now WE, orphans of the world shunned and
spurned at every turn, spat on and abused
took refuge behind fortress walls;
painting murals and prophesies from rock gods
on courtyard walls and showered with fire-hoses naked together
under the searing sun, made gardens, played music,
wrote odes to each other with blood on ancient walls;
learnt to live and love again; spent sultry nights
on the roof naked in water tanks
while choppers whirred and the neon jigsaw
of the night shimmied with desire;
shared our money, our food, our drugs, syringes;
blood brothers and sisters of the orphanage lineage.

 

We, raided by T.R.G.[4] for training purposes,
battered, beaten, hunted and hated,
pets killed, cars smashed, girls assaulted,
arrested; shoved in lockers thrown down stairs,
pens stabbed into hands, eye gouged,
court case outrage; elongated creamy tit of love for
hungry baby, judge wavering into apoplexy
while we, in ill-fitting suits of indifference
refused god’s sacred oath, luddites to the oiled
Auschwitz of the legal system demanding payment
for our transgressive expression of rejection
of the fetid fiscal loving system;
the snarling dogs-the final line of protection
snapped at our scurrying heels every hunted day
and haunted night and all the beauty we created
withered and died in the bitter winds of hate and
one by one we began to seek eternity in Morpheus’
bitter sweet embrace, pale young bodies piled up,
waterfalls sprang from our eyes then dried up
till only shells were left and still death;
we survivors never said goodbye,
the cemetery gates were barred
bitter parents screamed and blamed our love
for the death of their stranger child.

 

2. EXODUS

We few who survived the Gallipoli of our youth
fought on the savage Melbourne streets
where more died than survived
rode our thumbs up the arterial black ribbon
babbling crazy tales to strangers
through sleepless days and nights of
delirious baking tarmac,
swiping coloured sugar fixes
from sleezy servo’s,
arrested again in a lonely empty hall sheltering
from truckers refusing to be beaten by sleep,
finally collapsing in a screaming heap
on the cactus dotted landscape of confest[5];
hippies in sarongs or naked
trying to massage with semen splattered hands
mohawked girls they’d passed but never seen expiring
on the highway’s frying tarmac,
singing songs of hope on New Years Eve,
we, who’d fled the war abandoning dreams saw
death straddling the full moon ,
the future annihilated by the 60’s myth of revolution achieved,
OH to burn it all down those mythical artefacts of peace,
to grind Lennon’s face into the bloodied streets and
beat Richard Neville around the head till he bled
but amongst the bile of our despair,
a bus abandoned, so reciting Proudhon we drove
into Sydney to help put paid to another lie for it was 88,
commemoration and mourning for genocide.

 

We, human moths communing with the moon
sleeping and fucking and hiding from the day
in national parks and highway stops
to be sucked into the night’s anonymity,
picking up heads still moist to dry as we slept;
Mandy sweet roller of cigarettes and
crazy funny conversations, the drivers’ angel of wakefulness
on those long dark nights of snaking lights,
who returned alone to the battlefield,
found dead in Flinders St station toilets,
Morpheus’ steel prick still imbedded in her arm;
finally we reached the Promised Land,
sacred site Aquarius Festival[6] a snap frozen town
of style and politics where patriarchy wears tie die shirts and
the revolution created a brave new world, a potty fiefdom,
No Punk’s Allowed unless in mini-skirt and brassiere;
in a hamlet in the town of infamous madness
we found a home, a place to rest and smoke in the rainforest
and dream of more than survival,
on dole days we’d eat tofu chips drink passion pop
collapse in wasted pleasure at Palm Park
to make plans of bands and magazines;
we’d get fucked up on any drug we could and crazy
tales were told of Bronny’s rotting buttocks,
three days in a coma on rainforest compost
or how Johnny Windscreen found his name
but still the headlines screamed, ‘Rat People’,
litanies of lies recited amongst tabloid hysteria,
doors closed, De ja vu, our dreams began to crumble
‘once more into the breach dear friends’.

 

3. DEATH

Cicada’s screaming, still heat, running as if in a dream,
guided by an unseen hand, (I can’t believe exists)
through purple blossomed viny lantana
up rickety gallow stairs;
Sid almost kneeling but hanging, Dead.
I breathed into him, Dead.
Brendan with Sid’s child, running, running
dusty road for help, a car, a phone,
I breathed into him, Dead.
Car screaming, beeping blind corners,
thin roads, small bridges, clear creeks,
forest then paddocks a blur,
cradling blonde head,
weeping don’t die,
I breathed into him, Dead.
Hospital goodbye on steel bed
white sheets all around.
How do you tell a mother the father of her child is dead?
Not while she plays in the forest on mushrooms,
I did, then ran back to the city a shell; the living dead.

 

4. ILLUSIONARY ESCAPE

I slept with Morpheus ten long years,
Travis Bickled,[7] picking up human debris in the drunken puddle of dawn,
clicking meter chewing time spitting out life;
customers wept tales of regret, or people they’d met;
faces and tales blurred into the endless neon night
stopping for tree branches waving arms in dawns half light.
I held a man dying of AIDS as he wept and we kissed,
bashed by a Rugby player for not knowing his name,
smoked pot with cops on a long journey from out West,
insulted M.P.’s till they fled and played obscene tapes to Christians.
Saw dawn every day and kissed the moon,
slept so deeply dreams never visited
but the voices of the dead kept issuing decrees,
‘come and join me’.
The spectre of disease reared its toxic head from those blood sharing days,
the few survivors now sick, amazing it’s not always AIDS;
the legacy of a life lived is disease.

 

Time dissolved like granules on a spoon,
houses squatted, forced to move,
angry protests, cops on horses bought down,
mini-riots; insurrections for the soul,
a battle fought is never lost
resistance a sweet breathe for the oppressed;
truncheons, fists and boots, bloodied bruised troops
of those who dare to dream,
immeasurable time lost bored in cells,
cold toast, tepid tea, greasy old flake and glaring lights,
names invented and discarded
for the crime of disproving democracy.
In need of respite from the endless fight of life
North Coast forests calling,
waterholes, cooling forest winds
but the memory of Sid never let me in
so I’d quickly flee to fight another round.

 

Day and night memories of the dead invaded me,
of bodies found and the flickering light of time shared
in the dark days of life, every street, in every house
a memory of the dead could be found.
In sleeps landscape they’d be with me
creating new times and memories to share,
when I awoke I was more alone.
The dead were my closest friends.

 

5. THE RETURN

Dear Willee,
soul mate of years of drawn face and crazy tales,
vitriolic sneer and hard living years,
punk angel of redemption
took me back to where I feared;
time spent with children and their simple pleasures
showed me I could be healed;

We, who broadcast inflammatory radio shows,
edited papers screaming satirical anger
then spent nights in quasi drag
dodging screams and bottles from boys in cars
to dance in androgynine clubs
stumbling home in lame’ vests
to argue politics in the sweet smelling haze
and drink coffee with the threads of dawn;
careering madly through rainforest clad dirt roads
to sink naked in cool deep waterholes,
eating humus and tropical fruit platters
under the screeching green canopy
of the rainforest’s discordant orchestra
to finally close our eyes in baby sleep.

 

6. EPILOGUE

Still ghostly memories dwell,
punctuated pauses in life’s opus,
we, the few survivors have no R.S.L.
only memories and disease,
reminders of those who
are but bones and a faded epitaph
on those walled cemeteries.

 

Notes
1. Ministry Of Housing
2. An hallucinogen given to schizophrenics; it is a derivative of the Datura plant.
3. Prince Of Wales Hotel-St-Kilda
4. Tactical Response Group-Para-military police unit
5. Confest-a yearly alternative gathering/festival
6. The Aquarius Festival was Australia’s answer to Woodstock-held in 1973 at Tuntable Falls, just outside Nimbin.
7. Robert De-Niro’s character in Taxi Driver