Type
Poetry

Mayfield Blues

O man – that concrete powder twilight over Mayfield
falls softly down into the mind; we’re skylarking, you see,
on Vine Street, atop the hill, near The Gatsby House,
before it was fixed, when there was no balcony
and it was just a gut-eye of a building that you dreamed of,
us visioning out Blacked on three schooners, a deal
Gladwrapped in each of our pockets, the three stooges
ready for the sun-streaked BHP overspill of the eve
the traffic glinting and glowing, orange sparks, first-born halogen,
plasma buzz on the wind-wiped scene of our laughter

I wish we could see the Hunter River, its thudding treacle
to perfect our life, suck it in through our mouths like birds
delighting in the taste of a caught worm

Uni boys, house mates, chitter chattering on LIFE:

which means bush ballads and Public image Limited,
August Strindberg and Al Pacino, and those
sexy girls at the record store who have addicted me
to next week’s sound. Tim’s on Jack Kerouac,
Don can do the Hunchback of Notre Dame,
we’re supposed to be studying but we might learn
the Jew’s Harp this week, and go see The Birthday Party
at the RSL where punks slouch with oldies at the pokies

John Hughes has a poem as long as your arm to share
that dipped into Ancient Greece via amphetamine Newcastle East;
Swami Binton have their shirt backs out, and a pisshead singer
scowling into his harmonica like he’s ready for a fight - waaaaah –

if you wanna laugh Musical Flags are around
and Bull Street is always full of spinach pie and tally-hos
but we’re Mayfield boys, matchboxes blu-tacked to our walls
bongs behind our couches, rice-a-riso twice a week

yeah now the street curves down and straight
and we can see the highway cross, smell the dog shit
stars are out, crackling the sky, night looms like a frost
we’re gonna get fucked up and get crazy, play word games
try and convince Chris Kelly not to climb on the roof naked

it’s a House of Cards we live in, no keys left (our pockets had holes)
we enter through my bedroom window if no one is home
and the dogs lick our faces, desperate to remind us we’re their friends
Lennon and Watson. Famous. We live off legends.
Hallucinate, put music in our ears, play act,
make wild theatre. Wear masks for real. This street is ours,
this town is our race track, bets down, the southerly
delivering salt to our skin.

Out the back the Vietnam vet will sometimes say hello
with his crazy eyes and kind slouch, we’re terrified he knows
we’d love to screw his wife. Tim’s taken up painting,
Don’s hooked on commedia dell’arte, I got Tactics Buried Country
on the stereo. Soon we will be needles in a haystack, part of that sound,
free again, Friday night, Vine Streeting, out in the back yard
with our rooster and our dogs, our lounge chairs and our wine.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Mark Mordue is a writer, journalist and editor working internationally. He is a co-winner of the 2014 Peter Blazey Fellowship, which recognises an outstanding manuscript in the fields of biography, autobiography or life writing.

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