Dr. Irvine

I had a job in a Sydney shoe shop

with Irvine Welsh in 95

he was a small 23yo Scottish woman

I was a noodle goth, 18

Trainspotting had just come out at the cinema

my friends did heroin

got arrested stealing mobile phones from cars

while I

did time in the storeroom

avoiding customers

Irvine and I took bellydancing lessons

drank Irn Bru in a Glebe café and

dossed in Bondi Junction

with the latest blue-bottled wine

it was before Facebook so

he will never find me now


Photo: John Broks on Unsplash


This photo was only taken ~20 years later. So beware kids – this recipe can have long-lasting effects.


Recipe for a goth teenager c. 1994


Hair dye

Booze – beer or cask wine

Long black skirt – essential if female, optional if male


Ribbons – purple, royal blue, crimson, green or silver


Nitrous Oxide



Band T-shirts

Studded wrist bands, belts and collars

Industrial music: see Wax Trax! Records

Fairy wings


Black eyeliner: pencil and liquid. Lots



Directions hair colour

Silver jewellery

Ability to travel to/from Newtown and/or Glebe Market

Cigarettes: standard, menthol or clove






Canvas shoulder bag with band names

Doc boots

Stripy socks

Underwear as outerwear

Safety pins

A corset or something resembling a corset


Hair spray

Leather jacket: essential if male, optional if female

Mild-severe melancholy/ teen angst

The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxie, Nick Cave, etc.

The Crow: movie, soundtrack, poster

Night clubs

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Deep insecurity coupled with awareness of own superiority

Interest in vampires / the occult

Optional extras: pet rat, dreadlocks, boy/girlfriend who wears black, playing in a band, friends who are also goths, interest in the fetish scene, an attitude

We had a lot of fun, really.


Today’s NaPoWriMo post was to write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe. Mum & Dad – please don’t read this one.


Wynyard Station Entrance. Photo: J Bar

Wynyard, Wynyard

your windy yard

the vent we sat at

after dark

what a lark

all dressed in black

our faces painted

our hair teased up


Wynyard, Wynyard

your 70s brownness

serried escalators arc

unconsciously modernist

a real-life Jeffrey Smart

Wynyard, Wynyard

Sanctuary in your depths

the handicapped toilet

full of thick brown tiles

count them and you might

have the number of miles

we danced

or pranced

with trails of gossamer and tulle

following us through

your pitched inclines

our tresses

our rounded arms

brushing carelessly past

your unspecial address

with Town Hall before

and Circular Quay after

(the queen of the harbour

with her Cahill crown)


Wynyard, Wynyard

our gateway to town

the Hunter Connect

(always made me think

of that Computer Cat pet)

we kids

let loose

and yet

in your wide brown history


another set

of passers by

as your steep shoulders shrug

and shudder with the trains below

an ancient spot

dressed up, ignored

tired of our bored



Wynyard, Wynyard


it seems odd

to cherish a dusty park

a station! a bus stop!

just off the bridge

Wynyard Wynyard

I hope you know

I think of you

(it surprised me too)

if not as the place

where dreams come true

at least a spot

where dreams embark

even scruffy ones

after dark

or: gave up, headed home


for a taxi to the North Shore

it’s changover time again…

enough – I’ll say no more


Wynyard, Wynyard



I don’t know why I suddenly had a nostalgic pang for this central-Sydney station but there you go. I did spend a lot of time there I guess. One for the old Sydney goths out there – particularly the North Shore ones (a select group to be sure!) And, obviously, I had to record it because anyone unfamiliar with Sydney will not know how to pronounce “Wynyard”.   PS: Does Sydney do ‘Poems on the Underground’? 🙂