Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Washing My Mouth Out (1 of 2) The Plexiglas Lexicon -14/08/2011


"Well maybe you can keep me
from ever being happy
but you're not gonna stop me
from having fun"

-Ani DiFranco,'Gravel'


my right to swear publicly
died of suffocation
inside a Plexiglas lexicon
scarred from billboard de-face-ment
caught in trafficking accidents
with motorised billboards
on underpasses
beneath gambling establishments

didn't watch
which way it was walking
looking out for clocks
a window
or a way out

my right to swear died quietly
behind the walls
they don't even bother
to white wash anymore
just slapping dark-gray paint over
offering you
plainly painted concrete
instead of hedges of living canvas
for the inner city kids
trying to add a little colour
to our lives
along these suburban-trained-lines

my rights were lost to a policy
of privatisation
on late-cancelled-running trains
roamed by goons
picking on the foreign
the disabled the poor
then apologising
for any inconvenience caused

my right to swear died
with a shrug off
of an apathetic electorate
interested more by rates
than human rights

it died starving
trying to win back
community approbation
while all of the rest of you
just looked at me funny
for singing in public, too

not that this
has stopped me
from ever singing in public
either way

so my right to swear in public
may well have died
not least for reasons stated above
my will
to keep doing so

is still very much alive.


"Washing My Mouth Out" was conceived as a response to a challenge from my Father~ write a poem about swearing without swearing. It then became a horribly self-righteous diatribe of a thing, yet another monster from the drafts-folder that gestated way too long, before becoming timely again in the midst of Victoria's ridiculous new anti-swearing legislation, (though I well and truly missed the punch there too, with this already months in effect at the time of this blogging).

It was then dragged up from the dearth once more for an event I featured at in Kuala Lumpur (which I stole the poem title from, in the end), though ultimately I didn't end up using it on the night then either. Regular readers may also detect that I've poached certain parts of this poem for the recent 'Carrying a Tune' poem as well... ah what a fucken mess.

So... gosh, bother and darn it, here it is, blogged finally. I've split it in two to make it more palatable/readable, due to a distinct gear-change that happens half way through. Stay tuned for part two soon.



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