what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice
RSL Luc Bat
The RSL has not
in past years changed a lot, for all
its expansion of walls
to house the rapt enthralled, keeping
eyes glued to screens, reaping
the wages that are leached away.
“Feelin’ lucky today?
It’s this machine, OK, that will –
guaranteed – pay me bills!”
It’s three acres of trilling light,
gaudy jingles are trite
and it dawns my night is wasted
in this hall of basted
folk who have tasted the lure
of pokies that assure
some young entrepreneur, alone,
collects the dollars blown.
This evening has shown just why
it’s been nine years since I’ve
seen this saccharin dive, at least
from the inside. The fleeced,
like pokies, have increased and persist –
I believe there’s a tryst,
some sort of coexistence seen
to lie tight-knit between
gambler and machine that cashes
up now and then, flashes
up siren calls, splashes of gold.
And while their souls are sold,
someone new just bowled the jackpot!
A Vietnamese form. To explain how a luc bat works as a form, I’ll leave that up to the old sage here to do that.
For anyone outside of Australia wondering what a RSL club is, it stands for Returned and Services League. The local one used to be OK – cheap and cheerful meals, cheap entertainment, cheap drinks, etc, and Tombola – whatever that is. In the last 10 years the club has begun to chime like a mini casino, loaded with rows of glitzy pokie machines (known elsewhere as slot or fruit machines) and manned by folk feeding their pension into it.
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