Carlisle Street – Michael Selman

Glassy eyed benchwarmers
sit in front of the Commonwealth.
Conversation fixed on their common wealth.
The lady on the bridge feels
late-arvo sun on her shoulders,
I think of her as trams and trains overlap.
She must be hard pressed for a moments rest.

The frozen yoghurt birdcage
may drown the echoes of
the pin ball machines,
but heads and hearts still
recall my street.
Tired feet
heavy bodies
ciggy butts scanned for
reincarnation,
ghosts of Tony and Nella spit curses
for all their wools worth.

Twisted weatherboards mount render
and pre-fab steel
like cattle in the slaughterhouse queue,
old and new
white and blue.
Blanket man in the arcade asking the same questions.

Your shiny aspirations are blocking the view
and my horizon is morphing
month in and month out.
Bridge over stormwater,
drainside living at beachfront prices.

Visions of VHS and fines unpaid
Urban bushmen still un-bathed,
Arrive at St Kilda road,
Unscathed.
Smells of the fish shop linger eternal.