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CATEGORY 1: Brunswick Living

William Povey
"The Young and the Restless"
Theme: Brunswick Living

Honourable Mention

The guy that I see most of works just up the street
When he serves the falafel, there’s a look reserved for me
If pressed, I guess I’d guess he’s Californian
But these days, such distinctions are considered needlessly reductive

~ and speaking of California ~

Sophia, well, she lived there once (before she headed East)
Her dad worked in 3D-Printing, once tried to hire me
But I told both “oh, no: I have to leave!”
Because as you know, it’s important to stay on-brand

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And perhaps a 3D bullet shot in WWIII
Will tear vest and chest and all the rest — tear life right out from me
One might say “I guess we’ll see”
Or, more smugly, looking down at my form
"oh, you’ve elected Not to Be”

Or perhaps not; I’ll age and rot, be aching, full of ‘why?’
With all dead-ends and flaccid friends, still starting sentences with ‘I’
Like sand through the hourglass so are the days of our lives
But spare a thought for the Young and the Restless

~ You know … ~

Once a time, a friend of mine summons me to tea
Says her stout and skittish boyfriend just can’t live not knowing me
And naturally I’m paraphrasing
But I’m not saying no to a free meal

So we suck down some veggie dahl, they’re both we in the eyes
Though hers are for the cheap cab-sav and his are for the lights
And I see the following in my minds eye:

It’s all coke and daisies for a while, ‘til his cons outweigh that smile
Then one day she stops dancing
But, naturally, I keep my head down and my mouth shut

~ And … ~

I told her once she couldn’t live with music always on,
I said “you can’t dull the silence with constant fucking song”
And though I sounded sure, I knew I might be wrong
I can’t remember if the radio was on …

I was driving us to breakfast
We'd the wagon ‘til that night
She said “you don’t like anyone”
And though close she wasn’t right
Like sand through the hourglass so are the days of our lives
Although on good ones I feel like the spit in your eye

I lost my temper at the drive-in once while out on a date
She kept calling me a Small Town Boy in a sluggish, artless way
And I’d say the romance died
Somewhere through my explanation of diminishing returns

And I see my hermit father once every six months
A boozy chess-filled afternoon, before: a boozy lunch
And I once had the gumption to ask “why her?”
And in keeping with a family handicap he answered honestly:

He said he’d lived the ups and downs, gone deep and soared above
Now want for mutual care / a different kind of love
And though I had the toolbox to do so, I didn’t understand

James Rumbold
"In Brunswick"
Theme: Brunswick Living

Ah Brunswick,
As a kid growing up in country victoria
passing through sydney road was a foreign experience
The trams, the ethnic feel, strange writing on the shopfronts I couldn't read, women in burkkas pushing their shopping around, bustling traffic, I didn't understand this place, and it scared me.
In my mid twenties I moved to melbourne, I sniffed out brunswick and loved everything about it. Cool bars and cafes everywhere, musicians trying to make it, alternative types, markets, always something new to discover. I made it my mission to live here.
So I lived in Ivanhoe, I lived in Reservoir, then Essendon, Pascoe Vale South and the Dandenongs.
Brunny never eventuated
In Brunswick gonna find me a girl, Yeah In Brunswick Gonna start a band, In Brunswick we're gonna see a show. On Sydney Road gonna get a kebab.

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What else? I have fragments of memories of the place. I used to catch the 510 bus from Ivanhoe to Brunswick. Drum sticks in my hand and a book for the journey. Sunday Sunshine keeping me company as I wait. I get there, the studios just off sydney road, I meet my band mates, let me tell youmet you some mediocre rock n roll was played, with flashes of brilliance, smiles going around the room as we realised what we'd done. We consumed beers in the break and just as the golden ale left the bottle, so did so did the bands potential go down the drain, breaking up before we began... we were never that organised.
In Brunswick gonna chase me dreams. In Brunswick they broke at the seams. In Brunswick I'm feeling lost. In Brunswick all hope ain't gone.
cos Maybe I'll ride my skateboard, maybe I'll go for a climb, all I'm doing is walking the streets looking for a good time
on Sydney road.....

Jonathan O’Hara
"Brunswick Break Up"
Theme: Brunswick Living

Lease expired
Home required
Rental property
Housing lottery

Brunswick. Adore it
Brunswick. Can’t afford it
Brunswick. I love you
Brunswick. We’re through

Apartments forever
Denser than ever
Paper thin walls
Neighbourless halls

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Brunswick. Adore it
Brunswick. Can’t afford it
Brunswick. I love you
Brunswick. We’re through

Housemate search
Pitch rehearsed
I’m clean, calm, open, interesting
I’m filthy, moody, bad rental history

House knocked down
Kicked outta town
Want to stay
Moving away

Brunswick. Adore it
Brunswick. Can’t afford it
Brunswick. I love you
Brunswick. We’re through

Brunswick. Adore it
Brunswick. Can’t afford it
Brunswick. I love you
Brunswick. We’re through

Harley Hefford
"Home Makers"
Theme: Brunswick Living

This is a suburb that tells you it’s stories
through spray paint scrawls and stickers.
Lygon St tells me ‘Bitch’ ‘Reow’ ‘Chalk’
and ‘Man is almost extinct.’

Wrapped up in our grafitti cloaks
We cycle through days like bicycle spokes
Tonight I’ll sort through all my odds & ends,

Staying home warm like a tea cosy,
til my housemates became homies.
Now home’s quaint like homemade stuff,
have we become homemakers?

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I’ve felt lost & I’ve felt hopeless, now
hearts spades clubs is where my home is.
This home’s homely in the winter.
We sit naked round the heater.

Our neighbour planted parsley on our street,
she said: 'Help yourself, fellas.' 
Sydney Rd tells me 'The bird is free,' come
fly with my red umbrella.

Art projects underneath our shoes
At la Manna all manner of fresh fruits
Tonight I’ll chill & talk amongst my friends,

Give me Merri creek when the week
gets too intense, again.
The flowers in our rooms are in bloom
over Zoom my friends, again.

Carl Pannuzzo
"Auto the Brunswick Runaway"
Theme: Brunswick Living

Category 1 Winner

I bought a dog from a garage sale, he was the last of 5
I thought I’d try be merciful, lest he not survive
At first i just tried to distract myself with the box of auto parts
But he whimpered and that was a heart-string tug,
and that’s where my story starts

It was a blustery day in Brunswick, it was the last thing on my mind
I was just out for a latté, you don’t expect what you might find
Well he squirmed and just fell over his feet, in love? yes sir you were
I thought look at me I’ve become a bonafide animal rescuer
It seemed like a perfectly benevolent Brunswick kind of a thing to do
That and a jigsaw with 3 pieces missing, you can’t unsee it, i just had to!

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So i took him home wrapped in my shirt, in the front seat of my jalopy
He drooled all the way and by the time we got there, the shirt was pretty sloppy
But to think i almost left that sale with some old rusty cog
I thought maybe it was a sign, i’ll call him Auto,
that’s a good name for a dog!

Well no sooner than he’d learned walk, he had started with a run
It was like some darn tornado timeless race had just begun
It started as amusing like Aunt Jemima’s southern fried chicken and such
But this shrimp chicken’s kickin’ started getting heavy hittin’ and pretty soon got too much
I was gettin’ overwhelmed with this cyclone at the helm i thought what have i bought oh!
I figured out the hard way the only way to dodge him was to dance, i said “Heel Auto”!

I thought maybe he’s just restless, in a little distress,
maybe he should go outside
Have a little run around the backyard, so that’s exactly what i tried
Well you ain’t never seen a whipper snipper like this little nipper,
the grass was almost gone in a flash
He buzzed around a tree and i thought golly gee as he dove into the
fish pond -splash!
He dug up my potatoes and he very nearly ate a sack of fertiliser potting mix
I thought i wonder if it’s too late to possibly sedate him with a traditional ball or sticks

Perhaps he might prefer the company of other furry little creatures he could possibly meet
Maybe have a sniff and play, the traditional way, there was a dog park
down the street
I tried to decide where he could run, i could hide, Gilpin Park or
Wylie Reserve
I tossed a silver coin, it just hit me in the groin and everybody on the footpath had to swerve
I couldn’t believe i actually got him on the lead, he pulled me faster than the speed of sound
I was flying down Hope street, hoping that my feet might once again touch the ground
But my heart filled with dread as it came to my head we were heading straight for Sydney road
The signal at the train crossing started to descend but he just shot through, i yelled “Heel Auto!”

Brunswick Runaway…

My life started flashing before my eyes, hash and felafels from
the Australian and Lebanese
I wished it was as simple as the smile and the dimple that was enough in the late 80s (remember the lovely little round woman who worked there?)
But far from a leisurely Sunday walk this was a rush hour unprecedented
A little more than a hassle, past the Edinburgh Castle, round the corner what i couldn’t have prevented
He sped around the block into the carpark of the Royal Nut Company
And flying on all fours, smacked open the doors and started pulling down the shelves on aisle 3
There were chilli lime cashews and chocolate bullets splashing through the air like a giant piñata
Hemp seeds and dates in a far flung fate i couldn’t try to pull him back any harder!

Finally diverted that disaster we continued flying faster than any breeze had been down Breese st before
Back down Hope and into Percy, then Victoria and mercy into Leslie and the Jazzlab’s door
Smacked me round a couple corners, I was hotter than a sauna, he was happier than jumpin’ round to Skazz
Across the bar and man o man even up onto the piano and you know it really sounded like jazz!

Flash and back out to Victoria but that ain’t half the story up toward a set of red traffic lights
Lucky me he swung a left but heaving heftily he defly bounced into a bridal boutique and he bites (slow mo)
Into a wedding dress and in a trice the joint’s a mess, meanwhile i’m blinded by a billowed bridal gown
Another mere disaster, finally out but only after he’s mauled and mowed every manikin down
Thank god i couldn’t see for the train all over me when he fleed across the road, but not so kosher
Into Tiba’s he tore, enormous tables shrieked and swore and i wished i was far away in Novascotia
Kibbeh and tabouleh flying everywhere, unruly was this runt who ran a record? really not so
Not until my lifted veil, back out the door i had to wail as he headed straight toward the Franco Cozzo

And like an epileptic shark, the Continental Supermarket was demolished and destroyed along the way
And then finally to the corner, i wasn’t quick enough to warn the store attendants there was nothing i could say
That the beds would all be wrecked, the dining tables all but decked but then as though a time warp opened as he leapt
One leap slow motion in the air, he landed in a lounge suite chair and time froze suddenly as he stopped still - and slept!

I wondered then what i should do, he hadn’t even had a poo
Should i pick him up and try to take him home?
Well the poor thing must be tired after being so high-wired but would he stay as still as Ted my garden gnome?
What if he should wake, well that would really take the cake, he might freak out, not recognise where he was
I could plead with Mr Cozzo after knowing that it got so reckless heck he’s just a little ball of fuzz
Then i had a great idea, i’ll get a cage and keep it near, so when he stirs i can just quickly put him in
I could read some Deepak Chopra, just then Frank starts singing opera and it shocks the puppy clean out of his skin

He gole-darn hit a chandelier he jumped so mighty high in fear and when he came down he was nothing but a blur
Back out the door and down the street he shot as fast as his li’l feet could go and only just keep on his fur
Into the Brunswick Mess Hall and did he make a mess well yes yawl, he even crossed the street into the adult shop
A confetti of prophylactics, this was certainly climactic, I couldn’t catch him i wondered if he’d ever stop
You couldn’t believe your Betty Davis, he detoured right into Savers
but too late i even thought i might forego
The slimmest chance in hell, but i gave it my biggest yell and pass the scalpel i did tell it “Heel Auto!”

Brunswick Runaway…

But all the dancing in the street don’t stop the fastest living feet that any other living creature’s ever seen
Through freshly concreted paths, made whirlpools in the Brunswick Baths and extra frothed the Guinness at the Brunswick Green

So he came streaking out in only the finest in pre-loved clothing, past the Spotted Mallard, Aldi and Retreat
Past the Mechanics Institute, someone even thought he was cute, but he was already shooting cross the street
He barked up the kebab van and even sideways like a crab ran to the Brunswick Hotel faster than the car that hit it
I was completely out of breath and if i’m honest fearing death, and damned to think that it was a dog that did it
The World Health Organisation couldn’t help and litigation was what i feared at the Chemist Warehouse there
And Holy God and if it fits you this psychotic little Shih Tzu skidded sideways into Schnitz at Barkly Square

It was at Wide Open Road, where a semi lost it’s load and just like that,
Auto stopped - in his track…
…Had he been crushed like a toffee by 10 falling bags of coffee.. or had he simply had a heart attack?
I finally got there to the scene to see that broken down machine and wished he was still alive but i had to let that thought go
I classically cried, swore helpless sorrow to the sky and as he died, simply sighed “Heel Auto”…

But no more dancing to be done, this doggy did it’s final run he could have won on the Brunswick velodrome racing track
But with my sorry heart impaled, I went back to that garage sale
and I told them.. and asked for my money back.

Brunswick Runaway….

Kira Janowsky
"Bohemian Brunswick"
Theme: Brunswick Living

Six clicks north of Melbourne
Is a suburb called Brunswick
Rich in culture and diversity
It’s also a moveable feast

It’s where everybody wants to be
Hipsters, musicians and wannabe’s
It’s where you get the best lattes
And the all natural, chai teas

It’s full of bars and restaurants
Breweries and cafes
There’s loads of public transport
Air bnb’s, homestays

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There’s second hand clothes and bric a brac
And shops of every kind
From retro vintage to upper end
You’ll find it all on Sydney Road

I love living here in Brunswick
The neighbours are so cool
Climate change warriors
An artist who paints nudes
There’s an urban ecologist
A navy seal diver
A thoracic nursing sister
And an uber driver

Come hang out in Brunswick
It’s the performers paradise
Open mics and music halls
And the Brunswick festival
It’s a hub for the creative
For the inner musician in you
Get on 3rrr
It’s in Brunswick too

I love living here in Brunswick
The street art is the best
You have to try the French pastries at la Choukette
What about the Turkish cafes?
The best hummous in town
Then there are the hairdressers
Get the funkiest cut around


Visit us in Brunswick, look around
Coz you’ll get all this 6 clicks north of town

Reuben McMahon
"The Little Black cat of Brunswick"
Theme: Brunswick Living

It's a Monday night and it's about to rain
You can feel it in the air in the midst of May
There's a little black cat up on the Hope St rise
You can see the headlights shining in his eyes
His name was coco
His name was coco

It's a Tuesday night and little Linda Rita
Is late home from school after detention with her teacher
That little black cat made a smile from her frown
She tucked him under her arm and took him into the lounge
His name was coco
His name was coco

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It's a Wednesday night and officer Rubio Del Rey
Is working late to keep the sergeant's worries at bay
On the CCTV crept a CAT
And now he's riding shotgun in an SUV
It was coco
It was coco

It's a Thursday night and Jordie McToad
Has been playing gigs all day up and down Sydney Road
Now the unplanned intruder from the Brunswick Green
Is curled up in his bed between his jocks and his jeans
It was coco
It was coco

Councillor Ratnam is walking on hot coals
It's the night before election and she's behind in the polls
And now the local paper have got her back to the wall
Asking her things like "how far will you fall?"
And then little coco starts nuzzling at her shoes
Now coco and the councillor are all over the news
The chanting Coco

It's a Saturday night and Ratnam won
It was a hell of a fight but what's done is done
Now all across Brunswick they're saying "what a heart of gold!"
To think that anybody ever thought that she was cold
When there was coco
In the photo

On a Sunday night a suburb holds its breath
They're talking about Moreland falling deeper into debt
There's a faction on the right set to tear the place apart
And Ratnam's standing tall preaching funding for the arts
Now four years later on every placard
Is a photo of Coco in every Brunswick front yard! His name was coco

His name was coco
His name was coco