short history of spag bol

28 February 2013

I learnt ragu alla Bologna
from a gay guy called Che
round the back of St Mark’s Church, Fitzroy

sharing a house
his real name was Paul Jackson, from Bentleigh
lived there with his aunty, sometimes wore a beret

he was into short haircuts
hot sea baths
and Fairfield Park

I believed in rooting girls
so I barely noticed
except for how well-showered he was

in winter, we read cook books
and wore thick socks
if he was nervy, so was I

working at the Eye and Ear Hospital in theatre
his job was to tip out ampoules left over
brought them home instead

methamphetamine sat on our mantelpiece for a year
playing racing patience one night on the red carpet
we looked up

twelve hours later, snap, snap, snap
we never played that song again
gay guys just walk away when it gets boring

we took the truth drug, sodium amytal
drove up empty Smith St, looking for hot chocolate
nearly ran into a cop car, no sir, we’re not drunk

with mandies we lay on the carpet
like warm wet monkeys, listening to Iggy Pop
velvet undergrounded

we’d go to Le Monde, top of Collins St
to eat Rum Babas, with a heap of cream
one was good, two could make you sick

there was that competition thing to eat three
walking back through Treasury Gardens
talking shit to possums

he played records on Triple R
and worked at Central Station
at the time I was making chicken liver pate

for another guy who was only half gay
once he slapped my face
but I had a habit to maintain

200 dollars a night kept flesh on my bones
to this day I can’t stand the sound of ventilator fans
lots of jobs are stoves and ovens

the house had a glass wall kitchen at the back
Che fried celery, carrots and onion in a cast iron pot
cooked the meat in wine then in milk

to subtle out the sharpness
recipes have secret ingredients like nutmeg and cloves
you look at a person’s face, but what do you know?

my ragu alla Bologna is now like his
been trying for years, don’t know where he is
probably fat, another queen walking down Oxford St

we all go home in the end
I’d like to cook a last meal and touch the feet
of people that I met, under the table

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