Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bringing Up The Rear -29/09/2010


As the light went green
I'd just then managed
to worm my way past
that tightly packed gaggle
of plastic clicking sounds
and expensive looking gear

Then someone's yelling
in my right ear

you look like your place in this world
is at the back of the pack,
so why don't you do everyone else a favour
and stay behind us at red lights"

No witty replies
somewhat lost for words
and breath
all I could do,
as he went racing by
while eyeballing me,
was sneer back
and wave at him
to keep his eyes
-on the road-

Not me,
riding my heavy
not bought this year,
non carbon fibre frame
not bought boutique
for four thousand
from some
Brunswick Street Cycles


Not me,
wearing a thick,
not especially form hugging,
not lycra
not gortex
or brightly coloured
or visibly brand-named
heavy black

in the high gears
at the same
lumbering speed
that I had used
cruising through
all those other red lights

this winter.

I watched
those powerful quads
and calves
churning through
and ahead
past the next cyclist
he had failed
to overtake himself
when the light
went green.

His formfitting
lycra spandex pants
had a logo for
printed on the back.

As hurtled down
St Kilda road
I had to concede that.
he had a point.

As he put it,
My place in the world
was not to ride around
with a big
sports drink logo

stamped across my arse.

And that's the bottom line.




Writing Exercise -28/09/2010

This morning
due to a new cough,
and far too phlegmatic,

for me
to ignore,

I will miss
my morning push ups
that they will, however,

miss me
even more.


With my songwriting attempts lately I've been trampling around different arrangements of beats and syllables, trying to get my head around the differences in matching these up to make things sound right.

The release of this blog into the wild is not a signal of my success, as much as it an admission of complete failure, coupled with an anxious need to stop staring at the same small collection of lines over and over and...

Ironically, this little poem has been sitting in my drafts for three months, and the bit that was stopping my finishing it was the inclusion of a line about it being three months since I last missed the exercise.



Saturday, September 25, 2010

>:-D -25/09/2010


Everything new
gets blamed for our same
old problems.


You'd think this was all post-the death of conversation
stated clap-tongue and facebook-flagged for notification
seen unaided conversation kills after too many close calls
now they pretend they'd be non-stop socialites
if only the Internet didn't exist at all.


Too much of anything
is not enough of something else


and spending all your time at home
is bad for your health


we don't communicate anymore

this place has lost it's soul

these are times of such intolerance

and it was so much better back then

or some shit.
< :-/

'cause as soon as I say it you all nodded along to it

you all liked it shared it commented on it

felt it simpatico
< 3

while we're needing to believe in something better though

we all feel better that we all made it the same

everyone from my old high school turned out fat and boring and stayed right where

(they are)

and they found me and didn't want to talk to me too long after they found out

(I didn't)


...and everytime I look at mirrors for too long
I walk away with pinches all over my face

from trying to kill all the pimples
that no one else could have seen at close range.

Every generation
finds the world on the edge of destruction

and the brink of madness

Every generation
sees art and culture die a thousand deaths

amid endless pain, suffering and sadness

And amidst all this devastation
every generation
sees weeds keep growing
and out of the cracks of our relationship status
to the rest of the planet
turning as it will keep burning,
right down to embers
try and remember
that this generation

(we didn't invent alienation)

anymore than the next will end it
and I don't think we're done in yet.

But if it turns out we are

(don't worry)


Your friends will tell you just as quickly as they can.




Monday, September 20, 2010

New Wordplay Podcasts! -21/09/2010



Nothing from me today, because it's been a while since I spruked Wordplay, so a little refresher maybe:

Although Wordplay closed it's doors as a monthly Melbourne thing late last year, during his overseas travels, Wordplay's creator Geoff Lemon has quietly continued to manage the Wordplay website, and we've s-l-o-w-l-y been getting through the wealth of material that was recorded for Melbourne's most lively, most successful and most entertaining poetry gig ever. Well, you can debate that title if you like, what you can't debate though, is that: the next batch of podcasts is now ready for you to download and enjoy.


This month's offering takes us back to the February 2009 gig, where TZU front man Joelistics light up the stage. A crowd favourite over the various gigs he did at Wordplay, Joelistics was one of the very best at handling the transition from rapping to rhyming acapella.

This February '09 performance also has a hilarious auto-deconstructionist freestyle at the end, where he breaks down and explains what he’s doing in the middle of actually doing it.

Check it out here at: February 2009.

By now there's a huge backlog of free-to-download material in the podcasts section. There you'll also find performances from Briohny Doyle, Ben Pobjie, Meg Dunn, Sean M Whelan, Anthony O'Sullivan and Emily Zoe Baker, just to name a few.

The recordings of each artist's set have been divided into individual poems for easy download and playback, and painstakingly edited to bring out the best possible sound quality, while preserving the spontaneity and ambiance of the original live performance.


Next time: Kevin Brophy


I miss Wordplay, we all do.

Even people who never went to it or knew about it before, that's how good it was. Even you reading this who probably never heard of it, miss Wordplay too, whether or not you'll admit it -deep down you know it's true.

Plus there's a shit tonne of work that goes into making these recordings audible.

Imagine the sound of the Hypno-toad from Futurama. That's what Geoff Lemon gives me to work with. Then I take it and clean it up and work so hard on it that by the time he gets it back it's sounding like a Michael Bay film. Then he calls me an idiot and tells me to take all the car noises, explosions and gunfire sounds out. Then I argue my case for a while, then I go back and do it again, and then it sounds... pretty okay. Then he pays me lots and lots of money and I go and smoke cigars lit with $50 notes and...

ah look, are you still here? Would you just go listen to the damn stuff will ya? Jeez.


P.S. -and I miss the Hypno-toad too!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big Splash -7/10/2010


I'm not afraid of you anymore.

I may look silly
in wearing this hat
but you will look sillier
in accusing me of that.

I'm made of out accusations
one hundred percent
entirely composed
of failed sticks and stones
and heaped lies in piles
of vitriolic sneers
hurled threats and jeers.

I stink
and I sweat
and I think
you ain't seen nothing yet
I'm like a big shit snowball
whose going to go rolling,
right over you all.

Tell you what...
well I could tell you
what I believe
what I think
and how it mixes with
what I feel.

But I don't believe
you're a good listener
which I think,
in turn makes you
lousy to listen to
and I feel like
you should have by now
figured out
that connection.

All on your own.

are what I'm up against
where I've put myself
in the firing line with you
and I'll keep firing lines
against you.

An unmoving target
having nothing to prove
proves nothing
so I'm out to prove
that everything here
needs to be improved
and I need proof
before I can hope
that you can
anything of that at all.

You've talked your circles
straight through decades
and now I'll be there
to strip them back bare
you've covered distance
in a wasteland for spare moments
while you counted them down
now I'm counting you out.
While I'm ca$hing on in.

You kept looking
for the least amount
you can afford to give

You played the cards
close to your chest
closer than I'd guess
but now it's coming out
and you're such a fucking mess.
I'm planning to clean up your act
while making a big splash
a tidy sum
a neat idea
and a nice try.

You think you've seen it all before
and want to leave me there, at that
you think you saw me coming
but couldn't have,
when you're just as blind as a bat.

I'll say it one more time
so you can be sure
I tell you the past has passed,

and I
am not afraid
of you





Saturday, September 18, 2010

For Your Eyes, Only -19/09/2010


She only just noticed
that I have green eyes.

She was so surprised
I was more surprised
that she hadn't
before this.

Because honestly
it really is
about the best
of my features.

disallowing that,
I don't know
much any other reason
so far for her
to have chosen
to be here,
to be interested
in me.

I didn't say that,
of course.

Dying to ask.

But didn't.

Simply smiled.

Beamed out a look
of stroked ego.

Leaving the question
in hiding,
waiting for a better time.

like my actual eye colour,
I know
an honest answer

can only be caught in the right light.




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MELBOURNE POETRY MAP: What Are You Looking At? -(May 2010)


This is a poem written specifically for the Melbourne Poetry Map: Audio Graffiti project, created by Eleanor Jackson. The idea was for poets to create work specific to sites/places around the Melbourne city centre, which can then be downloaded, along with a map, from the website, to allow to take a poetry tour of Melbourne.

There's some great names on the list, (as well as mine), we're talking Ezra Bix, Maxine Clark, Steve Smart, Emily Zoe Baker and many more.

Check it:


My poem relates to the footbridge linking Flinders Street Station with the Southbank complex (pictured below)


What are you lookin’ at?

You are looking at...

a set of stairs

leading down to an island

on a bridge

you should be on that bridge

you should go down those stairs

you should be here

In the year two-thousand-and-ten.

Over here mate!

What are you lookin’ at?

You should be looking at South bank

the predominant colour is gray

stencils along the banks say commercial boats only

or alternatively,

you should be

looking at Flinders street station

you should be

able to hear train timetable announcements


What are you lookin’ at?

You should not be looking at

a pack of teenage boys

who hung out there

they should not be there

standing out on a balcony

that in nineteen ninety six seemed to have been put there

for no other reason


at the time

than for you to poise there and yell drunken abuse at passers by.

You should not be now in two-thousand-ten

making eye contact

with them.

What are you lookin’ at?



what are you lookin’ at?

You should be looking at

this river city view

too good to let go un-commercialised

in this new millennium

so you should not be looking at

a cup of coffee

…maybe cake

at the south island café

you should be looking for a comfortable chair

you should be enjoying, all this stuff


knowing none of it was


in nineteen ninety six.

My friend uh, exactly what are you lookin’ at, here?


who didn’t think they were kids in 1996

they live

in a city where not every span of concrete

more than one metre long

had metal ridges on it

to stop skateboarders


You should be looking at


here getting drunk at night

picking fights with the ferryman.

You should be there

in two-thousand-ten

old enough to appreciate


on the river

all that colour

by night.


I said what are you lookin’ at?

You should not be looking back

you should not be sitting on the round benches at the rear

hanging out here

trying to talk young girls into doing things that neither of you had ever done


You should be

a decade

another century

and a new millennium removed

from such disturbances of the peace


should be denying


Nanana swear to god that wasn’t me that was my friend I mean well they’re not really my friends I mean I never really met them before tonight I don’t know who they are or where they are from… officer.

You should not be able to see

a row of dozens of VB stubbies collected along the beam under the bridge

added to each weekend by your friends

before someone else

smashed this all to bits.

You should not be

making eye contact with that kid

he should not now be taunting you either.

You should be looking at

more than a place

that has changed

so… what are you looking at?

What am I looking at?

But no

what are you,

over there



You (reading this blog)

…what are you looking at, now?


To hear an audio version of the poem: http://www.melbournepoetrymap.com/walks/what-are-you/

Now, THE LAUNCH: this Thursday a bunch of us are reading our poems, live, on stage, in living colour and as many dimensions as I can muster (3 at a pinch in my case)

Thursday 16th, at Loop Bar, 23 Meyers Place -in the CBD

Hope to see you there!



Friday, September 10, 2010

Bris-Vegas -10/09/2010


In Brisbane...

I'm reading Tropic of Capricorn but won't be getting close enough to it, while I'm here.

I eat sunshine. Gluttonous and ravenous and lustful and in every possible way obscene.

I got a big black box with all of the Sopranos on DVD in it, in a shop, in Brisbane. And you didn't.

I like having old friends. I also like having new friends. I also like old stories with new friends and new stories with old friends. I like making friends who I'll still have when I get old. I like having friends of any sort who don't make me feel old.

I talked with her for a long time and realised I had made no mention of having a girlfriend, either way... now that you mention it. Hey you brought it up.

I swear you did.

I notice the wild life up here. I try not to get noticed by it. We're in confined spaces. Together.

I believe if you say something plainly enough people will read into it. You'll be clever in the attempt. So will they. Everybody wins. Everybody.

I always know I'll end up feeling melancholy and intensely lonely when, and after, visiting art galleries. But intensity of feeling is good.

I took a friend to see the two new Evangelion films. If Star Wars was there in the moral vacuum of 70s cinema, helping kids learn right from wrong then Evangelion was there to prepare me for becoming an adult. That right there is probably the first time I've been able to properly articulate just how important it was to me. So there's no point in saying I prefer the original version, is there?

I don't think it's the big spiders fault that it's a big spider, it doesn't have any choice in the matter except to be... a really big spider. It's not on purpose.

I'm pretty sure it was eating that cockroach on purpose though. I don't know that it was the cockroach's fault it was getting eaten... I suspect it also had very little choice in the matter. No one gets eaten on purpose, unless you start mixing metaphors.

(I am not mixing metaphors).

I missed my tour buddy.

I sent him a text message about the strangely empty seat on the plane next to me. He thought I was trying to write his eulogy, prematurely. He may have had a point because it wasn't the first time.

I made witty statements like "she wouldn't have noticed if the audience wasn't there" I avoid what I would call mechanical details about how I come about these astute observations, and pretend to have thought that up, just then.

I fool... myself.

I know why they call it Bris-vegas.

I am watching 'The Mysterious Cities of Gold" while stating at my friends house. I have the biggest crush on Mendoza. This is not the first time I've had sexual feelings for a cartoon character.

I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable (actually, I'm lying).

I rather like making you uncomfortable.

I make pessimistic self-fulfilling prophecies. I find their inevitable eventuality... fulfilling.

I arrived with with a thirst for conversation, and a lack of self esteem so dense you'd lose a shoe in it.

I clung to them with a pathetically twenty-first century desperation as obvious as a television accent, as wide as the Asian continent, as long as a year in the same pack-straps, and as thick as the Lonely Planet guides for India, Australia and Turkey and Spain, all rolled into one. The kind of desperation you can smell in overly rehearsed casual anecdotal stories about what I've doing in Brisbane. No one wants polish, they want person.

I have nothing in stock to give them. They flee from me like cockroaches from under a suddenly up-ended bin.

I was with cockroaches earlier in the day, for real. We were close, it was quiet, dark and peaceful, my left elbow was aching into numbness, I was wet and dirty, and light by a borrowed torch.

It was beautiful.

I'm not nearly good enough to articulate it. So...

I took photographs instead.

I was in Brisbane, the whole time.


Well, back in town for the launch of Eleanor Jackson's Melbourne Map, an awesome new poetry project, on Thursday 16th, at Loop Bar. (23 Meyers Place -in the CBD)

check it out:


should be good. Hope to see you there. (Yes you)