The Champions Bar
By Adam Gibson
The Champions Bar is still
It hasn't succumbed to marble walls
And varnished floors,
There's still Maoris
and brawls among the pool balls,
chalkboard initials and
beer pulled from clean pipes
into unchilled glasses.
A hard Bondi of
weeds growing in footpath cracks,
of thongs and sinewed sunburnt backs.
A hard Bondi
of heroin and deals and
pregnant girlfriends and
groundfloor flats with
out the front.
Men who've been away,
men who've never been anywhere,
tattooed blokes with teeth missing,
rakish girls in
black Southern Comfort t-shirts.
bourbon and Cokes,
shaved heads/long hair,
no two-shot rule,
no fouls on the black:
the challenger pays for the game
and flicks for the break.
Intimidation is just as important as skill
- and this mob are good at both,
their tattoos are on their necks and are for life
Meanwhile the suburban hustlers who
play Tom Cruise and bring their own cues
stick quietly to the other bars out front.