Melbourne is taking her time with me-
Exposing herself according to my level of discovery,
My level of daily energy.
She drinks me up at night and sleeps me ‘round.
Has me feed her and spend money on her.
Approve of her style,
And the way she wears her hair,
In coif dreadlock, half-shaved bun, business curls.
How she walks, sits and reclines
In concrete, steel and sandstone underwear.
She sketches me as I lie naked in hang over,
And feeds me coffee from her breasts,
And wine from her mouth.
She has me write her poetry
And wear scarves for her,
And vests and braces, and hats,
And all the old fashioned adornment of a gentleman-
For I am her accessory and must not look shabby
nor contrite in her company.
She has me run for her trams to swim with the sharks.
She has me baby-sit her childish weather,
And wring my hands under her smoky, perfume skies,
With a red sun and red moon fire in her eyes.
She has me fetch her buskers and local celebrity.
She has me out every night to expose herself to me.
She has me lost on alleyways and side streets,
In bookshops and warehouses.
She has me deciphering her graffiti makeup
So I can sing her free verse free.
She has me meet her people,
Her one planet mob from suburbs like
Poland and Greece, Italy and Iran,
India, Celt and Mozambique-
Too many suburbs to mention,
Too many tongues to teach.
She dreams for me corroboree by the Yarra mob community,
And she wakes me up with sirens to question my identity.
She smashes plates,
And sings the harp…
She exposes herself to me night after night,
Day after day,
She takes her time with me,
And she creeps into me at dusk-
To play me gypsy serenade,
And dance naked on the promenade
Under a fountain of falling leaves
And summer tears that dried before the grass could drink.
Melbourne is seducing me with my own desire,
And her vintage brand of flattery.
Melbourne is every which way I turn to see,
And she is all these sights and sounds and smells and skin-
Exposing herself to me.
Now she has me dodging the fast food cups
Thrown from the passing cars of slick urban rednecks
In Prada and Gucci and Italian leather.
She has me tolerating drunken men
That smell of football fever and Friday office gym sweat.
She has me laughing at the Victorian storm troopers
Whose life is crime and jobs are criminal.
She has me smiling at her beautiful children,
As their parents move them away from me.
She has me meditating on the terracotta and antennae,
The dead grass and concrete lawns.
She has me dreaming of the world outside her,
The far and wide horizons of my wandering
Beyond the gilded cage and it’s jilted ways.
She has me tired and sober, and lost each day
Like all those faces in the city –
That work to afford a dream they cannot buy
Or dare to mention, anymore than they dare to dream.
She has me losing weight in weeks and pages.
She has me scrutinising old men
Hunched over their red wine and mussel orgies.
She has me broken by concrete fatigue
And the wilderness bends.
She has me dancing to a city’s reflection
On the ripples and currents of a river of people,
And banks of traffic, and old growth buildings,
And the beat of a cultural agenda,
That wails like a chainsaw underwater
In a barbershop on Flinders Street at 3:45 am
On a Tuesday,
As telegraph poles sweat posters of ego-hype
And neo-natal jazz beat hip hop funk punk rock DJ bop nostalgia;
That has me screaming mad!
Howling deaf-mute inside my agony
For all that is my apathy
In a world gone to it’s cultural crazes
And takeaway fixes,
And her histrionic posing,
And her vanity
In spite of all that is her beauty…
She has me thinking twice,
But knowing once-
That this is not enough to grant me peace;
This is just another cup of man,
That nothing can ever fill.
She nearly seduced me,
She nearly convinced me,
But like every other city I see naked;
She only exposed me to me.
Benjamin W Wild © 2011