Monday, May 30, 2011

Gay -30/05/2011



kids, please

can we stop saying things are gay
as a negative thing
so often?

stop saying things are gay
unless they are gay

if you tell me a movie is gay
how am I to know if we’re talking about
Brokeback Mountain
Transformers 2

Brokeback was definitely gay
and it was great
while Transformers 2
...well I didn’t know what the hell it was
but it probably wasn’t gay

and definately wasn't great


look, all I’m saying is
you’re messing with my language

don’t mess with me

or my language

I’m old and confused
and need my language to have its exactitude...
know what I mean?

my language is like an instrument,
can’t have gay-ness undefined hanging around my language,
or my instruments...
instruments maybe kinda, like tools...

and tools can be...

kind of...



what do you mean
everything is gay all of a sudden
your day at work was gay,
that film was gay (not that again!),
that dude was so gay
(okay well maybe he was, shit I dunno)

but I do know that not everything is gay
in fact
I’ve narrowed down the definition
to two things:

one- homosexual people,

and two-to be extremely happy

and think about it,
this may not be casual coincidence~

because men
who do not have to put up with women
and women
who do not have to put up with men

are much more likely

to be extremely happy.


(sorry Smarty)



Monday, May 23, 2011

Three Bad Boys and a Microphone #2 -this Thursday 26/05/2011


Thursday... comes before Friday. As does the show "Three Bad Boys and a Microphone #2" ~ insecure masculinity at it's loudest and most puerile.

...or will it be?

... and is that a rhetorical question? or not? or is this one? ...and why am I asking you, either way?

I mean you'd think I'd really ought to know by now if I was one of the three features. And I am. Puerile. And loud. And insecure. But only masculine in relief with the weedy poets nancy-boys (and hey, get this, we're going to be at 'Bar Nancy'), that I usually hang out with, like say Steve Smart and Leigh Robertson, my co-features.

Uh, but they're good too, 'spose.

Maybe you're getting the impression I'm trying to offend you... (are getting the vibe of this gig yet? ~you idiot)

Anyway... I'll certainly see you there. Yeah?

Bar Nancy
61 High Street
$7 door

(you idiot)

-Randall $tephens
"a rock star poet with daddy issues"




Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Five Extraordinary Minutes with Randall $tephens" -a film by Bill Juers


A short film that my friend Bill Juers made leading up to the Under The Covers show we did last year. This was a lot of fun to make, Bill did a great job selecting and editing in the clips, and I'm delighted we can finally show people his hard work.

(if you can't see a picture window beneath this, click here to watch the video)

"An in-depth and revealing interview about the harsh realities of life as a performance poet, living in downtown Melbourne. Film-maker Bill Juers was privileged enough to be given nearly 5 minutes of Randall $tephens' time, shortly before one of his poetry performances in August 2010. Seen here for the first time speaking about his art, Mr $tephens holds nothing back in this almost uncomfortably honest expose. The struggles, the heartache, the burdens of vision and genius, the towering intellect, the spell checking, the humanity, oh, the humanity."


This was a lot of fun to make, infact the whole "Under The Covers" experience was fantastic, we'll definitely be doing another one in the future, maybe sometime in 2012.

Meanwhile I'd really like to get all of the poems from the night edited into their own full YouTube clips and up here for folks to see, there are 22 in all, but that may have to wait until later in the year when I'm back from touring.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Warmer (redux)-17/05/2011



it's time to ease yourself
out of that painted corner

without showing off
teeth marks
you made in the air
the wrench
found in your food bowl
or the many carpet stains
in your need to blame

don't look back
for anymore victims
to turn up amongst your cynicisms
quit putting forgiveness
on trial
as a hostile witness
take the gristle out those words
give up
on back pocket tears
hip pocket democracy
genitally exercised rights
promises tucked in your wallet
give it up drop it

come out
from hiding behind your time
you’re not the only one
with low notes held aggregate in dial tone
not the only one
whose ego has been rubbed raw
with rough chunks ripped off your privacy
we all have those same sweat-stains and scrub marks
badly hidden
and it’s okay, here

so here
let me help untangle that clutch of your claws,
from the bottle,
and the inkblot

please stop.

it's time
to ease yourself out of that painted corner
with ease
the paintbrush noose
let it go
give it up
put it down
slowly move
close closer
warm warmer
no sizing up for safety
arms out
palms up

have your hands out
where they can be held...

no matter how dirty you think they are

keep your eyes where I can see ‘em
look up
no sudden movements
each and every breath
like unstopped helium balloon ascent through
your floating diaphragm chest
a guilt free gas cloud
clear now

give up that frown
come on,
and the other one
...the glare too


time for you
to hang up the hang ups
'cause there’s a lot of healing
trying to get into your personal space
more than the medicine spent

to cover tread marks on your tired forehead

there's a healing here
to wipe away their footprints from your mouth

more than just another slump back slide
mumbled up from under couch cushions
there’s a real smile here
waiting to be seen dug out from your dust
up somewhere
past pen lids
un stuck from crumbs and small change


look and see.

any corner you paint yourself into
you can draw yourself out
and canvas
even with sketchy details
broad strokes

...and a few blank spots

slower than the patience of sloths
if you have to
but you do have to,
walk out of there

no looking back
and please
don’t worry about the mess

this time




Sunday, May 15, 2011

Through -(redux) 16/05/2011


Lying here

hoping the next man who holds you
has sandpaper hands
eyes as dull as his words are dull
as his mind is dull
like a scuffed floor
sharp as a bowling ball
his tongue a toilet brush
waving windshield wiper wild
in a cactus kiss
with fingertips that prick
like his dick
gentle as a bullbar embrace

lying here

bleeding edges over your last letter
loose-leaf crumpled-zone sheet linen
ghosts of the tenderness I showed
will haunt you unheld
through a hugged pile of pillows
your skin will remember its tingles still
and crawl lunatic
through desperately unsleepable
hours palpable alive
hearing whispered reminders that that whole
'touched like you have never been touched before'
-thing will now
touch you again
cold in your comfort zone
forsaken warmth substituting safety
for my body

lying here
in the space

...the space

you said
you wanted
from me
I'm now lying here
inside of it
and at last
sharing nothing
with you
and lost now
trying to feel my way out
after searching around for something
from being inside you
to hold on to
something I could, from you, get
to get
a grip
on my own insides

lying here

trying to get through
this arched back
in my learning curve
as it graphed itself out
on this mattress
my back bent spiralling fetal
curling through an embryonic crescent
so I could be as infantile
as you say I am

am not
am not
am not
I am
lying here

paper-weight on that letter
to hold down whole
everything you tried to take back
before you took off
with your lint brush pluck
at every point of light
found while eyeing
our shared-nights sky
I tried
straightening out
each of our turns
to the letter
every last phrase
I once floated you on
each word magic spelling out
I now sink into these curses
wanting you
to miss me
as much as

I hate




how much
I miss



the best parts of me
to be
not good enough
or much too much
the more
the tighter
I tried to hold you
the less you had
to give me
parts of my past off
held each up to light
before throwing them away
to show
you were safe
with me
to give you
more reasons to stay

yet another
in tears tearing at myself
I got so small
trying to fit in the hole
you made inside


Me, I've been lying here

lying here
right where you left

lying, to myself
the whole time
piling up all of this scorn
to level out a wall
against having to feel remorse
for each time you tried to warn

you did try to warn me
and I wish
godless in regret
I had not gotten
so angry
when you said

I have a problem

with my anger


This 167 line monster is intended as a middle poem in a trilogy between 'Hold, Still' and the finale 'Holes'.


The gestation period for this was as long and the structuring as difficult as anything I have ever worked on, to date nothing else I've written has endured so much editing. Hopefully that record will stand for a while.

I value any critical feedback you can provide. Cheers