BRISBANE, 2016

_brisbane_night

Brisbane, 2016

*

Unreal  City..

At first you are merely

a dirty brown smudge on the horizon.

Then, like a Mirage, towers appear,

wavering in the heat-haze and humidity,

the hum and roar around you rises,

Helicopters, and the wailing of Sirens

as you open like a concrete flower.

*

Monstrous City,

devouring yourself as always.

Like a gigantic snake,

fat coils of Expressway

looped on pylons

girdle the City’s heart,

burrow deep

into its strangulated guts.

brisbane xpresswat

Forgetful City,

Complacent and Complicit,

keeping your dirty secrets all in the Family.

Keen as ever to bury the shady Past

beneath a slab of concrete.

*

Failing that,

a layer of leaves at least is left

to cover up the Evidence,

(the feral pigs don’t leave much

anyway, and besides)

Bodies, bones, clothe and wood

all decompose quickly in this climate.

Every sub-tropical Paradise is built

on a rich mulch of rot,

this one is no exception.

*

Even Captain Logan‘s leg-irons

have turned to rust long ago,

the Dreaming swallowed him whole,

left only the feet

still protruding from the ground.

Now his name is used as a sigil to denote

a place of Suffering and Shame.

First of the new natives’ Ancestors

to go into the Landscape

and become a Name.

Brisbane expresway and tunnel

***

Patrick_Logan

Captain Patrick Logan

Historical footnote for my National and International followers; Brisbane started as a brutal British penal colony around 1827. It was created to be a place of Fear, to intimidate convicts back in Sydney with the threat of; “You don’t want to be sent to Brisbane do you?”

Captain Logan was the first Commandant and is generally recorded as being a sadistic, blood-thirsty tyrant, keen to build Brisbane’s reputation as the ultimate gulag. Amongst other atrocities he is remembered for hanging 4 Aborigines from the local windmill. (note; They never got the windmill working properly but it did make an excellent place to hang people from) and for having one of the natives stuffed and used as a scarecrow in a cornfield. How the convicts were treated I’ll leave to your imagination.

Unsurprisingly Captain Logan came to a gruesome end and was found buried head down with, as the poem says, only his feet protruding from the ground.

As to who dunnit, Brisbane’s first ballad, the beautifully melancholic “Moreton Bay“, supposedly written by an unnamed convict, suggests,

“Like the Egyptians, and the ancient Hebrews,

we were oppressed under Logan’s yoke,

Till a brother black lying there in ambush,

did deal our tyrant his mortal stroke”.

Other sources suggest a guard fearful of punishment did the deed, or convicts, who buried him head down so he could go straight to Hell. Myself I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved a conspiracy of all three parties; the convicts set him up, the guards looked the other way, and the blacks did the job itself.

Be that as it may, Captain Logan entered Brisbane’s Collective Consciousness and today Logan is a notorious low-income/low employment/high crime rate appendage to Brisbane’s southern flank, like a sucker-fish on a shark’s belly..

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/opinion/robyn-wuth-shame-of-our-crime-capital/story-fnj94itc-1226944288286

And while no-one who lives here today may know who “Brisbane” might have been, everyone knows who Captain Logan was.

Also, a sigil is a is a magical sign or symbol often used to invoke demons.

EXpressway octopus

****

no laughing matter

***

reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is..(complete

in fifty words or less)

***

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~ by reverendhellfire on March 13, 2016.

4 Responses to “BRISBANE, 2016”

  1. You have got it in for Logan again. I have to defend it . As a crime rate goes in QLD , Logan suburb Woodridge only made 4th place and Kinston 11th. I have been caring for Logan and Beenleigh community for close to 40 years. And yes , I have my share of crims, drug addicts and bludgers, but they are a miniscule minority. We are a low income area but not low in achievement and drive. Most problems arise from people arriving from ethnically different background, not adjusting to our values and life styles. As in middle east gangstyle ethics not considering the benefits of our laws. ( Not that I consider them to be the pinnacle, but that’s what we have.) Population here is struggling, but that makes us stronger. My job is taking care and in Logan I do make a difference . Fair go for Logan !

    • Bravo to you Sue for your passionate defence of Logan and it’s inhabitants. But you mistake my target. My target is not the inhabitants (hey I’ve known plenty of unemployed, drug addicted people who are really decent, sweet human beings.)
      My anger is directed at the powers-that-be who have dumped disparate low income groups out there and left them to survive, and the dreadful irony of naming such a poverty catchment-area after the monster Logan. My views do not coincide with the red-neck columnist whose article I link to. I merely put the link there to give outsiders an idea of how Logan is often viewed. Perhaps a mistake putting it there. (Actually the other day I complimented a young chap on his “Out of Logan and Proud of it” T-shirt.)
      So you see, Sue, I love Logan really.
      Just don’t get me started on Coomera though and the little shits who stole my car!
      Anyway, I was Brisbane-Bashing not Logan-Bashing.

  2. Magnificent piece Reverend ! Thanks for the tragic and ironic facts of Logan’s imperialist past.
    Brisbane does have a kaleidoscope of insights.Though hanging out in Brisbane recently inspired me to write a song called “Badge of Honour” check it out at http://youtu.be/jPTtNqWtPv0

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