The Wrong Address index

Respectability
Tyrell Street, Newcastle 1984 

 

 

Signed in peeling paint

The Resident's Committee forbids

Children to play in this courtyard

For the hopelessly hopefully upwardly mobile.

 

Through the brick backsides of respectable apartments

Burghers burble and fart discretely

While cockroaches make off

With vestiges from better days;

Seventy-five a week said the lease,

Balcony, w dash w carpets, parking underneath.

 

Extra. A kind of toy(-)room,

Always handy sir,

Frosted window to the courtyard without games

Looked my only source of handy cash.

Strapped for respectability

I cunningly inserted a three-foot bed

And slipped an ad' in the local rag.

 

The prospectives came, sniffed my ambience

Sipped coffee with furtive tongues, fled

Refusing to be miniaturized,

Until a bargain basement lady

Acquiver with chiffon and anxious chins,

Expired with the certainty of ownership

Into a charity shop's chair-bargain-of-the-week,

And cut a deal for twenty-five.

 

From the beach-head of toyland the lady laid seige;

Two pairs of panties, pale green and generous pink, flew

In daily rotation from the shower rose.

I put a telescope to the blind eye of intuition

And settled for a strategic retreat

Behind the literal bones of our contract.

 

Fair's fair in black and white

But every lady has a heart for someone

Out there in the blue, with a shoeshine and a smile.

She ran an ad' (Monday bargain rates)

Ring Patty, friend wanted for good times -

And the Johnnies came rollin' in.

Tough choices for a quiet life;

Electric pulses of heavy breathing, the sudden click,

My male voice zapping their erotic dreams.

 

So at last, catching capacious Patty

Between playland and the kitchen,

I tried to cut second deal :

We march to different drums dear lady,

Find another house, flat, street corner,

Railway waiting room,

And I'll deliver you free of charge -

Bags, shoes, body and pink panties all complete.

Done, she said, for two day's refund on the rent.

 

These days I'm respectable, and short of cash.

There is a room to let;

The ad' runs every week, like an echo

From hopelessly hopefully better days to come :

Quiet guy for flat; stylish, carpets,

Parking underneath.

 


THE WRONG ADDRESS 
Fragments from an Australasian Life
Thorold MAY
copyright Thorold May 1995 All Rights Reserved 
published by The Plain & Fancy Language Company ACN 1116240S Sydney, Australia
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