Published 30 June 20234 July 2023 · Poetry / Friday Poetry Poetry | GENTRIFYING PARRA Jason Gray Factories sulk with sweat and grit Cafes and hairdressers wild with renewed hustle Slick-back and jet-black and conk shaved of sick disarray, and one dark fringe longer and falling without the need to flick it back. Down around the natural bend, roundabout roundabout, Church Street bros of beachy olive skin and Bollywood glam. Evergreen office workers playing Oztag in the park, and lingering into company time, a white barista with sleeve tattoos sneaking a smoko with the work hubby from the kebab shop next door. Matcha and chai is slung for cheap, but not as cheap as raisin toast deals, giving a second home to those in the head crunch. Vice vice vice, dosh dosh dosh. Easy to hide though nobody cares unless it’s particularly pronounced or weird. Save it, we’re cheering ya. Go suck bevvies at one of the Whiter establishments, if you must. Wash clean regal spunk, self-conscious dribble forcefield, swivel back to pave-scrape, pave-scrape. Dot-point clarity tickled by breeze. Get it off my Simba chest. Parra is new age multicultural women – power suit and pomegranate juice, hair-dry blown and hot-fruit aroma, salon on the daily, and dyed mussy haired post-student holds a mainstream newspaper I don’t read, a distraction I can no longer. And heartbeat men I might be, if Voodoo gave me one forced chance, a last falling kiss. Bombastic Southern European bloke in Ray-Bans, earphone monologue to his bestie at lunch. Calm South Asian papa doling out advice in the laundromat, like a good uncle. Parra these days has a dignified reluctance, barbecued by peril and the new Powerhouse Museum site is flooded by torrential rain. A Mauritian suburbanite, absorbing petty, bitter laughs from the church crew he feeds. The Aboriginal fella who works in media by day and writes and volunteers at the food bank in his spare time. The sky is always cobalt blue, even when overcast and grey like my angst, deep blue cavorting night. I still get lost and w(h)ined up, under gallery fluorescence like I used to under ambient strobe at the Roxy. As powerline galahs dawdle in the dawn, swoop to squash petals of jacaranda in Granville, the landscape here cheers on the sun. Jason Gray Jason Gray is the author of prize-winning book, HAUNT (THE KOOLIE), published by Subbed In, 2019, the winner (2012) and judge (2018–2019) of Zine West Word. Published widely, including Liminal anthology Collisions (2020) and Griffith Review (2017). T: @jasongray. I: @connectionrevolution. More by Jason Gray › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Games Heather Taylor-Johnson Days pinch and lately I’ve noticed every time I look in the mirror I’m squinting—maybe it’s a grimace. Without trying I’ve mastered the façade of a Besser block threatened by a mallet, by which I mean maybe the world won’t kill me but it’ll definitely hurt and I’ve got to be ready. First published in Overland Issue 228 31 August 20236 September 2023 · Poetry Verbing the apocalypse: Alison Croggon’s Rilke Josie/Jocelyn Suzanne ‘This again?’ and ‘why now? Why not years ago?’ are the two questions raised in each new translation of a non-English piece of Western Canon. There’s an understanding—of course a poetic cycle like the Duino Elegies is incomplete in English, there are endless new readings—and a simultaneous sense of wounded pride/suspicion: what was missing the last time around? What were you concealing from me? What are you concealing now?