Warehouse City Blues – Peter Roads

Big dogs and black cats
straw men and shag sacks
big beards and slick backed hair
over there the checked shirt militia
share moustache wax together
these insignia’s mismatched
as armaments of class
tend to be seen in warehouse cities
It’s a pity one cannot be admitted
without knowledge of coffee bean authenticity
cocktails bars and designer cakes,
of frozen yoghurt and yurts
built by locals seen first on adventure holidays
to Cambodia, Venezuela, wherever
Tick the life experience check box
bucket list stashed in designer chest pockets,
authentically sweat shopped
apolitically reflexive and ironically bought
from a thrift store, to be lookbooked
with 100 likes in the first five minutes
of a new celebrity life online
Yes this is hypocrisy
come in the water is warm
even if you don’t swim
AND YES
come the revolution
poets will be first against the wall
ideologues in vogue
nattering matters through wide open pores
skills tending towards
the erudition of cognition
and intellectual obfuscation
not the fixing of engines
or the flexing of muscles
required to drop zombies
at least the walking dead prefer
a flesh more literal
than the corpse of intellect
leaning in the college hallway
Eating bean bun confectionary
Guarded by a pre-Raphaelite constabulary
So what do you want from me?
I only came to watch people bleed
It’s cheaper than TV
And I might see something original
Here in coffee-bean-free-warehouse city
Where boho is a nogo
But the light show
Cost more than the ride home
Where people opted out of capitalism
Yet still come together for Eurovision
Where life isn’t zoned
we can barter for our freedom
safe from the big dogs and black cats
straw men and shag sacks.

Author’s note: There are many warehouses in Marrickville, Enmore and surrounding suburbs. These are, at times, home to a thriving artistic underground of unusual opt-outers and alternative lifestyles, but as art always attracts coffee addicts and coffee houses attract gentrifiers these warehouses are slowly being forced above ground. As many of the warehouses still running are searched and scoured by local authorities in the drive to commercialise everything a specific address is not given, though those who know know where they are. This poem laments these changes to the warehouses so many artists grew into their art, now lost to the encroaching gentrification and gleeful gentrifiers