Before Sydney had a Hard Rock Cafe – Mercedes Webb-Pullman

This poem contains language and references regarded as ‘Mature Content’. Reader discretion recommended.

Patches’ DJ pumped disco frenzy;
speakers, mirror balls, flashing
lights floor, all strobing to music
so loud you couldn’t hear it, from
controls in the front half of a Cadillac
punching through the wall, above
the packed dance floor where amyl
nitrate poppers kept everything frantic.
Glitterati minders folded their arms
in the background, ready to mind
while dykes attacked transvestites
in the playroom, in fights about
whose turn it was at the mirror.
Sunday night – Talent Quest
Drag Extravaganza; Carlotta
came to check out the talent.
I missed it when the DJ fell
from driver’s seat to dance floor
but I saw him sprawled there
syringe still stuck in his arm
unconscious, when I turned.
I’d been laughing at an orange Kombi
parked below in Oxford Street
bouncing in time to the music;
funny for a while. Then two men
climbed out, surreptitiously
smoothing hair and adjusting clothes;
my husband and his new friend Joe.