And, after all this time my heart still f l u t t e r s
when a queer person walks through those automatic doors.
As if femmes don’t need fuel
or diesel dykes don’t chain smoke twin packs of B&H
or the gender-bent darling from Railway Street could head
to The Gateway without a canister of gum.
A couple of hairy bears sashay their way through salty snacks
before heading to the BJs fridge for fulfilment.
The top locks arms with his better half, scanning the room.
He clocks me, smiles and reverts his attention back to the cabinet of curiosities.
Foreplay? With a spectator?
One of my regulars has just pulled up on her beat-up, blue BMX.
Sent her girlfriend Kellie up to Kempsey.
You know for prosperity?
Some shifts, I wonder how long she’ll be in rehab for
whether Kay will keep her Hamo South-door wide open for when she gets out.
Variant people doing a variety of things
unmasked in public
& others not.
High as fucking kites buying cherry pie
stuffing sugar sachets down their pants when they think my back’s turned.
I’m here watching them
go about their
The voyeur in me is aroused and yet the conversations
I’m involved in surely aren’t mine to have.
In comes Jimmy.
Gets a kick when I call him ‘Keef’
locked hair adorned with coins and twine.
He shows me his latest creation, a necklace featuring
“a blackfella on a crucifix”.
Jimmy has always called me brotherboy
catching himself on occasions when he slips up and spits, ‘sis.’
One of those fellas who knows your story before you unhinge your trap.
He tells me of his dreaming:
of his mob back out Mooree way
of his tumultuous love affair with the pipe
of how he wishes he had his culture to help cut the noose.
His stories draw me in
tied to the prison inkings on his forearm.
His personal style is unearthly.
Some nights I swear, if he wasn’t koori
he would be on the cover of Vogue,
distressed denim and leather.
If he had a phone, Jimmy would have a couple of thousand likes on his OTDs.
Instead, he is here entertaining me,
scratching up cigarette change.
Whenever he is short I cover.
The outline of two figures appear on the security screen
distorted by the damaged wing of a lost bogong .
I watch the women dart across the car park from the hotel next door
clad in robes,
concealing their bodies like weapons.
Lowering my eyes
I exchange goods
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLECOMING SOON with E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones