Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Cafés“.

JVG was in excellent form this week, he always comes back from a week off firing on all cylinders.

Ed was chatty ( driving JVG crazy)

Anyway the piece this week is a real-life observation from a few months back rather than a poem.

Ed Bates provided the guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


Sunday morning, Fitzroy.
A small café, one among many.

A woman walks in and takes a seat at the only vacant table in the small courtyard: confident, direct and more than content with her own company.

A detonation of undulant strawberry, grey ringlets tumble across her shoulders, down her back, disappearing into the folds of a crimson, velvet cape, her face spared the torrent by a black, crocheted hair net.
Beads, bangles and boho.

A loose fitting, ankle length, layered patchwork dress sports more colour than a dozen rainbows.
A kaleidoscope in a sea of mission brown – Old meets the new.

A rare surviving remnant of the society lured to Fitzroy six decades ago by the cheap rent and literally and figuratively mushrooming counter culture.

Struggling artists, actors and writers subsisting on white rice and red politics, minds full and bellies empty.
Cheap wine and hash cakes fuelling poets to weave abstract, meandering verse with Delphic philosophies.

Whatever happened to the revolution?

A small dog the shape of a barrel shelters under the table, head resting on its mistress’s foot, looking more wombat than canine.

The waiter points to a menu printed on a Hymn Board, salvaged from some old church where economic realities and spiritual apathy have traded Amazing Grace for Pork Katsu sliders with Burmese buffalo sauce and Coconut bacon wrapped peanut butter donuts.

The woman briefly glances at the board through sunglasses reminiscent of a Franco Cozzo bedroom suite and rasps “Black coffee and raison toast.’
“I’m afraid we don’t have raisin toast but we can offer a Cranberry, Fig and Roast Walnut Oat Bread or Gluten Free Lychee infused Banana, Brocolli and Carrot Brioche.”

“Surprise me” she rasps dryly.

“And your coffee, espresso, double espresso, ristretto or long black?”

“A mug” she snarls, pondering how a coffee and two slices of bread can cost more than the rent she used to pay for a share house in the guts of Fitzroy Street.

Breakfast over, she produces a pouch of tobacco from one of the folds of her dress, rolls, licks and lights up.

“Sorry, no smoking” snaps the waiter earnestly.

Glaring defiantly, she takes a long, slow and immensely enjoyable drag on her cigarette.

“If you persist I’ll be forced to call the police”

“Let’s see” she muses “home invasion, terrorist attack or smoking in a courtyard? I doubt the Critical Incident Response Unit will be running red lights to get here.”

Provocatively, she rises, takes another long pull, then expires her cigarette in the sediment at the bottom of her coffee cup, leaving a pile of loose change in the saucer.

Her arse is barely out of the seat before two young women have claimed the table.
The Queen is dead, long live the Queen

Passing the counter she turns and utters the most slanderous insult you can direct at a barista “You’re coffee is shit – worse than instant”

Forget the police, call a lawyer.

Trailing closely behind, the mutt with no neck pauses briefly to cock its leg on the door jamb, shadowing its mistress as she hobbles up the street and disappears into history, joining the Italian tailors, boot makers, sly grog shops, gambling dens and even Che Geuvara.

Whatever happened to the revolution?
Nothing really.
Incumbent or usurper, the revolution never ends.

© Copyright 2018 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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