In Western Sydney the girls are pretty
and the boys are prettier still
working past dark in Hurlstone Park
“Gotta pay those fucking bills.”
Hit the frog and toad with long-neck to go
all slings and round-a-bouts
sun’s out guns out for the ‘roid rage knaves
“I reckon it’s about your shout”
Blacktown, Shalvey, Bankstown and Canterbury
tribal divides run deep
lock your windows or they’ll steal your dreams
and pull burnouts on heat-sink streets.
Others long gone like a forgotten song
snake skeletons beside a creek
now the low overhead wires crackle with ire
and all bastards become police.
Mcmansions rise over the old sand mines
tasteless solid investments
while red brick boxes built on buried toxins
pull curtains on congealing terrors.
Newtown’s terraces with the screaming jets
sipping on neck-beard tea
a backyard fracas breaks an afternoon balm
“Just pay your fucking tick!”
In the Picton tunnels the underground runners
tag walls with obscure glyphs
when the last train has gone have one more bong
“You smoke green or do you spin?”
Palms and cactus sprouting phallic masses
wine box dining or uber eats
the kebab shop’s hot with a variety box
no greens but plenty of meat.
Dulwich Hill how I remember you still
packed with hungry artists
but do me a favour and what’s your flavour
why water a concrete garden?
The Silk Road flows through Marrickville’s rows
scene kids never beheld the sea
strung out and strung up but heaven will come
with adrenaline and methylated spirits.
I climbed Mount Druitt! (someone’s gotta do it)
I swam in Liverpool’s depths
I digested myself and I divested myself
my steps bounced like bad cheques.
My lads and lasses in those discrete madrasahs
from Burwood to the Iron Cove Bridge
I’ll pretend that I know all your hidden codes
your mangled secretive language.
Tin shed alleys behind crumbling garrets
music thumping all night
but for the Wicked Witch of the Inner West
the mosquitoes refuse to bite.
I know it’s a shit-hole but save your vitriol
for cleaning the mouldy tiles
just forget your castle and white picket fence
and embrace our bogan vibe.
Author’s note – I know this one won’t make a lot of sense to some of my international friends, so if you want translations or explanations of any of the Aussie bullshit let me know in the comments.