Preface / towards a larger description of Carlton

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all night long
clubs where the men sat & drank coffee
smoked
played cards
played the machines
& plugged the jukebox
Dean Martin following
bazookie
only men to listen
fiercely arguing men
sometimes carrying the quarrel
across the road
once in pouring rain
yelling their guts out
marching over
to confront each other
on the pavement
long cars tail-lights flashing
voices top pitch
more of the people in the cafe
coming out to watch …
a scene with only two women
girl serving coffee
girl watching the men
sitting between two other men
leg over leg
side to the window
passing men looking in
men looking out
sitting on the tables & window ledge
smoking
playing snooker
eyes everywhere
waiting
all night clubs
& dates to keep
the local mafiosa moving in

a car
braked smoothly
rocked
doors opened front & back
& four men
identical suits & white shirts
black bow ties
& little hats
all jumped out
slammed their doors
sprinted over the road
& entered not the Italian cafe ‘ALWAYS
OPEN’ but
a darkened shop next door
ran up stairs
maybe then thru coloured slats …

along the darkness
following the soft pavement
smells of rich cooking
in summer air
from Ken/s place say
claret with crushed plums
slightly chilled (he said) gives
an added flavour
now
creepers trailing walls
1 a.m. dull light
in the halfcurtained windows
now & then
conversation
jazz on stereophonic
radiogrammes
from Ken/s place to
Marrianne/s
the rooms occupied by the guests
(breath of the caller
eases over beers)
the university lecturers
tutors
students
families of
& friends
Parkville to Carlton …

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