The Northern Suburbs

By | 15 May 2023


North of Warwick Road, The Underworld. We arDe caught in the flux: an Elysium dream. Our torment, Asphodel. The bitumen stretch of a buck, how pay-checks glimmer. MyGov is a dark god, a robo of debt. Inanna catches the 443, peels off her flesh, hangs her ego on a hook. She alights into golden hour: new names blossom across muscle and vein. A pair of Great Crested Grebes elaborate courtship, a ritual of shaking heads, ducking necks, turning left, right, algae in beak a bouquet gift. Another makes this place less other.


Glysophate bleeds the kerb, luminescent sprawl. The weeds curl back. Over at Duncraig High, kids play hacky-sack with the head of Orpheus. Blood-stained ankles, red sheened knees. They sing as they kick, exalt a poem to face down the impending tick tock tick. Anubis is the dog down the street who heralds them home, hounding joy. There is loyalty in knowing this will end. Meanwhile, on Lake Joondalup, an Australasian Darter rides low, submerges to spear fish: see death move down an elegant throat.


A tradie plasters as if pushing a boulder up a hill. Each night, crimson beaked, he reclines and gives his liver to the sprits. But his apprentice does not sleep, inhales permafrost with callused hands, an atrophy of dreams. In dust filled rentals, scales tip with feathered flesh. Walls crack, let out ghosts. In a shroud of chemicals, shadows talk if you stare at them for too long. In Yellagonga Regional Park, a Tawny Frogmouth swallows the sun with their flat lipped grin.


Our drones add more scars to the night. Eurydice walks home alone. Her knuckles glisten with keys as she threads a prayer into streetlight: dear man walking ahead of me, do not look back, do not look back. Elsewhere, teens stalk the suburbs, their faces illuminated by hand-held lanterns. They seek the soft spots of this world, places where reverie can yield thanks to a holy communion with goon. At dawn, on the Iluka Foreshore, a father fairy-wren sings to their eggs: this, a song we pass on.

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