Monday, February 22, 2010

Grave Yard Shift -23/02/2010


With a quiet smile
the moment came
cutting out the last
of my CD covers
with a craft knife
with foggy eyes
in half light
lines permanent
left carved
into this desk's
dead of night.

type moment
feel the focus-pull
when life looks
your shot
picture yourself
to where you want to be.

While a world
carries on wailing
right outside the window

I know
that as long as
I have art to make
It's a given,

My chance
like having nine lives
at once
all of them,

Worth living.


Off to Adelaide again later this afternoon. I'm well overdue for a little road.

And I gotta score to settle with that town....



Hold That Thought -25/02/2010


Wanted it all to be


in the way we held hands.

I wanted you to hold my hand

like cars are held at stop signs

so they don't cause accidents,

like genies held down in bottles

so they don't cause trouble,

the same way mistrust

holds our throats

in place

right where they are

without a problem.

I wanted to hold your hand

like a face holds a smile,

like a cup can hold

whatever you need it to,

like the first bits of unfinished thoughts

can hold on

waiting for their other halves



and confidently.

Felt that contact

wanting to grab on

to something real

something helpful,

something outside

my own finger-skin.

But retaliation

reached for me

in ways that


never did.

I wanted us to hold hands


hold them away

ways-away from sarcasm

or movie lines

or poetic phrasing

or clever.

Anything clever

anything that required thinking.

Because whatever fingertips

can help you to figure out,

there’s no clever way

to hold someone else' hand


at least,

I don't think there is.




Thursday, February 18, 2010

Intelligent Design -19/02/2010


All my Gods are guilty
corrupted absolutely
a bunch of fuck ups
constantly trying
to blame the weather
or bad translations.

My Gods
just do this as their day job
trying to make ends meet
working with loopholes
in our free-will,
while waiting for next weekend.

My Gods
have gotten real quiet
their numbers disconnected
locks have been changed
leaving me holding the bag
full of rusty old keys.

My Gods
are apologetic
but only
in that type of reflexive sorry
you mouth when
accidentally bumping into someone
they bump into you
you say sorry
just to cover yourself.

are my Gods,

Ones that I believe in.




Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nuetronium Alchemy -16/02/2010


I keep looking,

For the camera,
that can be dropped
without breaking
the drinking bout,
without the hangover
the lay,
that comes without the wet patch
the workout,
that will-just-will itself out of me
like a twenty,
that never leaves my wallet,

No matter how I waste it.

I keep looking
For the listener
who doesn’t need me
to listen back
the accusation
I can hurl down a one way street
the type of lies
lies I can hide behind me
that stay being believed
without any more interference.

But all I found
is pets that need feeding
overdue fines
empty fridges
expired excuses

staring back
as one of those cameras,

I keep dropping.


I really, really wanted to call this "Alchemist" but I didn't want any reference or association to that pseudo self-help novel under that same title. And as it is, shout out to Peter F Hamilton and his amazing novel trilogy, though having nothing at all to do with this piece or where it came from.

As for that content... it's all yours to rummage through.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

This One Time -13/02/2010


Just me and the Giant.

With a late summer night's breeze
and headphones
with God Moving Over the Face of the Waters
and the ocean
with a Mercury draught longneck gone-warm
and hours to kill
with the time now almost thirty years old


I was to say
something crazy like,
this is the first time in my entire life
I’ve ever been drinking alone...


There’s no one around to dispute that claim anyway.


I hate it when people start name-dropping in poems (especially when I don't get it) almost as much as I love over-explaining things, so here's what I was on about:



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordplay Podcasts: Emilie Zoe Baker, 360, Nick Powell

Ah ha!

-so just when you thought I'd forgotten that you'd forgotten to remember to remind me to tell you not to forget the unforgettable Wordplay performances are now being podcasts... uh... I forgot what I was going to say. Oh yeah! Now I remember!

Get your bad self over to:

...and check out the July 2009 show. Geoff and I have been adding a new performer's set to the list since January, and will continue to do so EACH WEEK forever... or until we finish the job later this year.

So to recap -last fortnight we've added 3 pieces each from the amazing Emilie Zoe Baker and aussie rapper 360 (note: there was more they did on the night but we lost the recording due to some id'yiut pulling the cables)

This week sees Melbourne poet Nick Powell's set finally make it to your ears, with 11 poems at your disposal. Yep, that's right e-l-e-v-e-n, none of this 10 poems or 12 poems nonsense people so often try to scam you with~ 11 poems. Check it.

Next week we'll have Joelistics from TZU last ever performance (to date -he's not dead or anything ~relax) before he left for Mongolia, and boy, did he go out with a bang, I'm telling you, he did. That wasn't actually a question you know.

And If that wasn't enough (and I figured that wasn't enough) we also have Geoff Lemon's antics on the mike with Endless Questors and The Popular Culture cup.

My friends, the fact that we are giving this away free to you is just insane, but not as insane as missing out on it would be, if y'all don't click on the link above. So do that, and tell your friends you did that!

We'll check in with you again soon with more updates.

your mate,

-Randall $tephens


Monday, February 8, 2010

What Rain? (Plan be piece #1)

(draft for performance 04.02.2010)

Didn’t mean for it to happen,
so it sounded as uncertain as the weather looked
it just came out
I said,
I love you

... I think

Clouds were already moving in,
I wasn’t sure if the word Love was what this is
we were standing on the sunset,
a rooftop of an abandoned building
surrounded by space and sky above the city high rise
I think…
why did I say I think,
I love you
think it was because
my only romance to this day’s been living a losing battle
I’ve heard that phrase I love you
said countless times on television before
but this is real
and nothing in my back catalogue matches
our new emotional vocabulary.

Feels like the furniture in my head has been rearranged.

Now it feels like my war-against-the-world has waned
with the warmth of the womb
feels like this atheist finally found something worth worshiping
when I look into your eyes
feels like I want to make myself better
for you
feels like someone I care about besides myself
and I’m beside myself, when I wake up next to you
and when waking up with you,
it feels like I’m still dreaming
this feels like we are on the roof thirty-two stories up and feeling
so much higher
and I am falling falling have fallen for you
this feels never let me go
this feels like I can’t remember life was like without you
feels like I couldn’t face myself again without you
feels like you have the keys to my engine
that you have got my machinery all
...turned on
feel likes I finally understand what my hands are for
fingertips my mouth
my hips (hhmmm) humming
my lips singing for you

“Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plumb,
You came along and everything started to hum,
Still it’s a real good bet the best is yet to come
The best is yet to come and baby won't that be fine
” *

Feels like, Frank’s song's my song, your song, our song
singing heartbeats in our hands holding a new me together my shaking scared tears swelling up in the time of my life
in a coming rainstorm I feel my wet heart,
felt air pressure there from the inside condense into clouds
dark grey doubts, want to reign,
that fell heavy into that phrase
I love you” with “...I think

But I am not thinking anymore!
I’m standing here on my very being
I’m not asking, talking, looking or seeing
just waiting for you to reply in kind,
as kind to me as the world could ever be.


I’m hoping, maybe, at least
I’ll know peace
now that I have said my piece.

Then I finally notice.
outside this embrace
that he sun has disappeared behind clouds that are growing darker and darker,
and I’m thinking it’s going to rain

I don’t think
I know!

I know that this is love and I know that I love you.

We’re standing now together so close
I can’t see your face
I know I’ve seen love in your eyes too.

But you are so quiet now
so I blurt out~
it’s going to rain… I think
kicking words back into the hole
left from your lack of reply.

The rainfall feeling heavier each moment
you looked up at the sky
Yeah, me too” came your reply.

Braking the embrace
I said something about getting back under cover
tugged at your hand
but you held to that spot without budging

No,” you said
I meant ‘me too’
... about the first thing you said

As the rain came
we stayed
out in the open
in that spot

for a long time.


I'm going to blog a few of the pieces that I used at the most recent feature, which was used as a trial run for (the first part of) a full blown narrative performance called Plan be. I did the first 7 poems and I think it went pretty well, but some parts definitely needed work. The above I'm basically happy with (though as always your comments are welcome and encouraged), and also happened to be the first part of the first sequence. Enjoy.

Needless to say I'll keep you posted when and where the Plan comes to fruition.



Monday, February 1, 2010

The Inexcusable -02/02/2010


It is a long time
between stops.

Because neither of us
could be

like others
who wait and waste
loudly excusing themselves.

My volume

is not a problem

she possesses who she is

can see the same in me
and owns it

We rise to meet it
we travel because of it
we have suffered for it
and sacrificed
a lot
to get it.

Creatures like us
keep one another warm
living deliberately
dreaming awake

laying together.