My White Trash Heaven
Not for me the comfort of
some superannuated scheme,
a Yuppy’s mortgaged youth to pay the price
for a privileged place in a Retirement Village
with a residential theme.
my Dream is to become a Beach Bum,
and let the layers of Ambition peel off me
like old paint in the Sun.
I’ll watch my Work-Ethic corroded by the Sea Air
as I rusticate in a lean-to shack
made of salt and driftwood.
All the windows will be made
out of gin bottles,
and I’ll have an old AM radio
and a Black & White TV
jammed on Channel 2
for company. I’ll let Goannas browse
in my midden heap and a big carpet snake
will take to drowsing in the rafters
whenever he’s digesting rats.
And I’ll only go into town on Cheque Days
while I leave a couple of mongrel dogs
who don’t like strangers sleeping
in the dust out the front,
in the shade of a big Mango tree.
Periodically, of course, someone will complain
about me and my White Trash Heaven
(it’s the Way of the World)
and Council Officials and Social-Work
Professionals pretending to care
will parachute in like stormtroopers,
keen to rebuke or remonstrate or reason with me.
I’ll just smile slow and stupid and nod vaguely
like maybe I understand or
maybe I just have brain damage.
(I’ll be like that Landlord I had,
who lost his ability to speak the English language
whenever Fire Dept. officials came around
to try to get him to install smoke detectors*)
In the end I’ll probably smile
and pretend to agree,
but really I’ll just be stalling
till they go and I can get back to my Life,
content in the knowledge I’ll have the Last Laugh,
because, by the time they can get
all my fine legal sand-grit out of their gears
and get the Bureaucratic Wheels a’grinding,
I’ll be long dead.
Fooled them one last time.
* Yes, I learnt a lot about dealing with petty officialdom
from watching my Landlord, old Ricardo, at work.
Of course, he never did fix that big hole in my ceiling but on the plus side he never complained about the constant clouds of cannabis
billowing from every flat in the building either.
The Late Reverend Hellfire
is chronically, chronologically challenged
and surely a Man out of his Time
if not his Depth.