Monday, January 31, 2011

The Droids You're Looking For (aka Backpacker) -01/02/2011


You can get a lift there
but the ride back’s not too certain

you can sleep on it
but it’s not your couch

you can let yourself out
but it’s not your house to return to

you’re free all day
but on someone else’ schedule

minutes flat
make yourself not at home

get ready to go
find the next floor or corner
to fit yourself into

space you try not to waste
you’re contained for a day
maybe two

you’re as welcome as a short pause
a breather sighed in relief
without a spare key

forget your home
forget your hang ups
you get to hang out
and hang your hat

put your feet up
but tread light
footsteps soft
in explorer socks
as doors lock
behind you

scratch out a thank you note
like that’s all she wrote
wasting time
wondering where’s the best place to leave it

…before you leave this place

marching to the beat
of another drum
and a song you sing to yourself

you’re your own shade of grey
horse of different colour
green horning
blue balling
early morning
white lying your silvers linings

this is an ego trip
without destination

just a sense of direction
you're trying to get somewhere
trying to get at something

trying to hold up
the bargain on your end
and if your friends
have friends
you’ll have someone else
to talk to
who knows someone
who knows what you need
and you know
you’re one of them
the luckiest people

lucky enough
to know
you don't
take life for granted
here on this planet

your mind is week to week

these aren't the droids you're looking for

...but that's not the language they speak
and maybe no one will know
what you're talking about
but that’s not your place to say
just yours to stay, today

not your round
and that’s not your problem
not your wife to please
or kids to feed
or boss to appease
not your job to pressure
your only line to toe

is knowing when to go

this is your life in its entirety
just two bags
kept right under your eyes
not much

but you own it, entirely

and wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Well, given the journalistic nature of the blog while I'm travelling, I'm putting this up now in case the earlier poem sounded too whiny. Believe me when I say I am having an intensely enjoyable experience over here. But we'll get to talking 'bout that later...

Hey but while I'm at it, couple of things you (yes you) and I need to talk about:

~relax you're not in trouble.

Something you should know though. The amount of people checking this blog out has increased over the last couple of months, and I believe my writing is benefitting from this. I think when you know people are going to read your work, you naturally lift your game. I don't want to waste your time, I want to share what I have and give you something of myself thats both deeply personal yet accessible and entertaining. Anyone who says that art(-istic endeavours) can't be both can just go carry bags for me.

So I'm trying, and you're helping.

Despite the time and energy involved in keeping up this blog, I am committed to shun the publishing world and will always produce work that will be freely available over the net, never asking anything in return (not even comments or feedback, as maddening as it is not to get more of them!)... except one request for you.

Share this.

If you like what you read here, tell people about it, send one to a friend, read it someone, post it up somewhere, anything. Simply put, when it comes to producing this: the more interest I get in what I do, the more interested I get in doing it.

All pretense of modesty aside, there aren't many poets out there of my profile who match my output. When I could just as soon get some of this published, there are honestly times when blogging feels like a wasteful exercise, like I'm just chalking sidewalks in the dark, in a language nobody reads anymore.

The reason I do it is, here I know it's possible to get through to real people, not just academic snobs or other poets, that's the difference. All you need to get all my work is a URL. That's a wonderful thing. So please, whatever it is you get from this ~pass it on to someone else too.

Good things grow. People like us, we grow.



Taurangan Armpit -31/01/2011



late arrived
dingy as anything in Brooklyn
shot through with a Paris vacuousness
filled to its limited pretensions with Ibiza runoff
Russian sounds aggression loud
in competition with Argentinian in-crowds
closely-quartered like Hong Kong’s unfriendliness

you’ve been foreign there too
in lower case

when your mumbled name
came out sounding a little too much like
excuse me
or can I borrow this for a second
or is that seat taken

ah never mind

you found a corner
to conspicuously hide in
and strategically withdraw from

on the outside

where drunken locals unbottle the ugliness of a Newcastle skyline
and pour grey weather the envy of only London
over nightlife Canberra yawned at
and sightseeing opportunities the rival only of Adelaide.

on nights
when places just remind you of other places
memories head rubbing closer together
than how tightly together they pack in these beds
tune out
humming to your sheets cover songs
age showing in the amount of weight you carried in
the place
will sweat hotel California’s into your sleep
before it’s interrupted with Guns N Roses blaring
from the rooms you’ve already retreated from
soccer ball kicking
topless tan weak chin
caterpillar moustache
joint smelling bunk-shakes

It’s late
for it to be this early

unpacking heat
mattress stained with get me outta here
flecked with wrong turn
and bad day
and a patch of poor decision
you cover over with pack strips
and sulky stares
up at the ceiling

it doesn't blink
splitting the indifference
your eyelids aren't heavy
but your chest is

you found another country’s armpit

ain’t you just tickled by it




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Mount Maunganui Summer -27/01/2011


This beach is our living room

canvas for our passions
we paint the days
in water colour
and tanned ceramic
skin tones

we are summer
strumming away at guitars
names bench carved with pictures
in waves we attack
white horizon to catch
hold it
crash it

then get back on board
and paddle back for more.

we stride crests of constant collapse
liquid landscape skids
we worship the sun
the water
the air
the moonless nights
shooting stars
off roof racked van driveways
skateboarding down streets
mi-goreng meals
hat straw hair
odd jobless
firing water bomb slingshots
in a beach bum snapshot

we watch a building tide
from a nearby mountain top
see chevrons in the water
feel the current flow
through ocean
to island to coast
to wave to surf to sand
to board to feet
to the air we breathe

the heirs of endless energy
and when we leave this

will still be summer
not set with the sun
the short season itself
gone with us

and will remain with us




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Four Walls Away -23/01/2011


As I write this
a couple
just walls away

otherwise occupied

oh no
it’s not like they’re not being sneaky
but one can only be so sneaky
…yet alone two

the most sensitive part of a man’s body
while masturbating


now relax
rest assured
I am typing this with both hands

but poems like this
are why I won’t ever
get to do workshops with kids
I’m not knocking that
any more than I’m knocking what’s happening
in the other room
guess I’m just jealous

…of people doing workshops with kids

kids are great
don’tchya reckon?


who knows
I might even be leaping to false conclusions
you know
they could just be moving furniture around
back and forth
all around the room
trying to get it in just the right spot
again and again
and…you know,
she could just be groaning
‘cause she’s feeling sick
quite sick
in fact


and hey

as I’m sitting here
let’s not pretend I don’t enjoy writing
for you
my readers
you know I love you
I get a lot of satisfaction from writing, actually
heaps of satisfaction
heaps and heaps

I’m quite satisfied to be typing away
for your benefit
all my many readers
we all benefit
everyone here is benefitting
while I’m t-t
gggggggggggggGGGGGGGGG hjklqwertyuiopzxcvbnm,.

just satisfied with the sound
of my own fingers
clacking this keyboard
in this room
very satisfied


the thing to do
so that's why I'm doing it
right now
in this room
this room I’m in
by myself

doing it

right now

got four walls
this room does
yep, all four

no problems there

I mean you know...

not like some kind of stupid three-walls-room now
or something

is it?


has all the walls I need, this room does



How awesome is that!




Auckland -11/01/2011


you’re a hypodermic skyline
and diagonally hung streets signs

as I try square off with intersections

you are
this operations lynch pin
my raft down this river
flowing from a trip
to get my face on the flyer

a tree I have to keep shaking
til I catch a coconut
or a thump on the head

you're someone I haven’t been introduced to
you’re all dressed up and no place to go
you’re a cat with white fur
rubbing against my black clothes
you’re a conversation that starts easily enough
but takes more and more effort
to keep going

a weather man’s awkward pauses
in little patches of rain

you’re a masseuse
who’s cute and laughs
when I said
I’d write her a poem
in exchange for a massage
and I was serious, for the most part

you’re a few jokes about rape
that I didn’t make
in a car with a couple of cute girls
that were funny

if not taken out of context

and you are a contextual mess
New Zealand's biggest city
when size does matter
a gift for the boy who has everything
you’re in a guide book’s summations
saying in plea:

"don’t hate me,
because I’m beautiful"

I don’t hate you

~you’re not beautiful

you’re a place to stay
while the owners are away
you’re a change of plans
a late breaking update
you’re the good news

free wi fi
when the laptop stops working
an apple mac I can use
with the password I wasn’t given

you’re nothing much happening
on this end
you’re that pen
that I leant out
knowing full well I wouldn’t get it back

you’re a yes no maybe
loves me and loves me not
a pat on the back
after a punch in the face
a check in the mail
sent via doubled-up coastlines
who couldn’t decide on what side
the harbour should be
so you went and grabbed two of them

a hangover
from drinking Coronas
after a Saturday night
I didn’t want out
with a girl
sitting down in a nightclub
with music
too shitty to dance to

and you’re a bad dancer

when I turn around you’d left
Auckland went home with someone else
when I was staying with her

and had paid for the cab ride in

you’re one surly bus driver
and not enough coins
a purported volcano crater
that turns out to be a ditch
with some stupid stones in it
and lots of tourists around it

but Auckland
I'll admit
you were a great view while I was up there
and a few hours on my back
with my head in the clouds

you’re beaches
and eye candy
and picnics
on beaches
with eye candy

you’re a bus that runs til late
and never runs late
never more than a minute away

you’re six dollar fish n chips
in low income areas
that I really like

a yum cha
where the food is so agreeable
you nod along while eating it

good coffee under a friendly face
and enough time to enjoy it
a glass half full
cheap beer’s thirsty words

you’re one last gulp left
surprise out of a bottle
when I thought I’d finished

and was thirsty for more

you’re lets be friends
and I’m…Randy
as hell
but that’s nothing new
and neither are you

you’re all right
If I’m all right

like all my love hate relationships
that I love
you remind me
of what Sydney was like

before I liked Sydney.




Monday, January 17, 2011

Targeted abs -17/01/2011


hospital waiting room

can’t sit
can’t stand
sharp pains
in my chest
and at best
can breathe
clutching my side

stuck watching infomercials
for ab exercisers
to target
and tighten
and define
gut muscles

clutching my side
become conscious
during all this
that I do have

almost a full handful
down around there

stupid infomercials
stupid hospital waiting rooms

also hard to talk
what more can I say…

It’s a little hard to stomach

go ahead and groan at that
save me the effort today.


I hate infomercials.




After The Flood -18/01/2010


We have glued ourselves to news
living this out in a living room
that looks like any other
and many others
now somewhere under water
a Tasman Sea away from me.

The others struggle
to find something to say
to this room's token Australian.

We all walk on eggshells.

Recognise some placenames
but not their waterlines
worry about some friends
swear disbelief at this footage
scoff and laugh and fail to realise
I’ve bitten fingernails all the way back.

The changing information
the satellite photos
colour enhanced
the stories
of the survivors
the loss
the death toll
The media release.

The stupid helpless
screen vicarious guilt I get
can’t drain out these states
in the updates.

I watched the bushfires this way too.

All I can do
is think about
eggshells we walk on

For a few decades of life
we are not safe here
we live out lives on eggshell
thin cracked and shifting-pieces
cover a spinning ball of fire
six thousands degrees alive
twelve thousand kilometres wide
we reside inside an envelope of pressure
thin as brave face smile
sustained by a mixture of corrosive gases
and that,
in turn
the only thing protecting us
from the utterly freezing hard
empty cold dark
of the universe.

We are not safe here
walking on egg shell.

Watching the floods
all I can do
is think ~
we own nothing
not our borrowed bodies
used to sit watching this television
in this house on this land
that we own no true lease over
the planet really can
take it all back
at any time.

live here
love here
with me be here
because we are not safe here

When the floods
or the fires
the earthquakes
or the cancers
come for you~

You hold your loved ones tight
And hold your head up high
hold on to the idea
that you can hold on
that you held on
and held out.

You did your very best
Planet Earth did the rest
leaving us to clean up the mess
win some and lose some
and all that
in all that’s left

struggle to maintain balance
a challenge

While we walked on eggshells.




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Knowing Your Own Coda -17/01/2011


“Everybody’s got voices,

Some they can’t contain”

-Buddy Wakefield, A Stretch of Presence

You are living for the next time you get to open your mouth.

The off chance,
something you’ve said fifty times before
might next time
strike an open-door chord
it will mean everything to you
if it means anything
to anyone else.

You want other people to hear
your every breath a heartbreak
joie de vivre each heartbeat
share these sensations
hold their attention in tension
make them laugh
make them happy
make ‘em horny
make them angry
make them mournful
make the words make the sound
of whole
wrenched open

You want this badly
it happened to you before
some wordsmith
found words beyond words
set you on fire
chasing after that inflammable phrase
reaching for what you believe best
within yourself
a voice to speak out to the void.

You heard it
but never heard it enough
you take in so much
more than you’ll ever return
finding rooms filled with the socially exhumed
attuned to sounds of theirs, alone
you believe yourself far more intense
than these others
you can feel their fish bowl
scared you might grow their mould.

So you will breathe in roads
turn life into a long trip
eat up beliefs in the romanticism
they will suppose you to know
about whisky and women,
and shit
and you


actually don’t know very much.

Only a bit about loneliness
one so big it’s going to break you
and it did
has and still does
there will be sleepless nights on dusty floors
ceiling painted by your eyelids unfamiliar
that smell from others stale cigarette smoke
after-tasting bottles not-drunk you will pay for
mouthing your shout
screaming silent desperately oh so desperately stay quiet
down to the sound of your skin being scratched
daylight will break
wanting your own bed back.

Your bag will daily get heavier
a story smelling more stale each telling
you will retreat into silent dark space to masturbate
in desperately private moments carved out of


you can’t have.

You’ve wait for orgasm so hard it’ll shatter your metabolism
it has not came
you wanted crazy cathartic romantic revolution
it is not here
you wanted revelation-naked God calling your name beautifully profound
and you have never heard a thing.

You just want them to listen
fucking listen
want your turn
to take it further
you’re taking this all personally
so much inside you
though no way to prove it
to the rest of the room.

You will get tired and want to stop
bring it all to an end
want to taunt someone
to give you one reason
one fucking reason
not to just quit.

You will never find one beyond yourself.

So you’ll sit back down
get to work, again
wait for another day
to liquidate this silence.

And there a spark
there you find your fire
again inflammable
bear the burns to your bones

will never
even if you're reduced
to a smoulder.

Others older
will tell you
enjoy it now while you’re young
before life catches up
you will not reply to them
that friends younger already act much older
than you,

as the seasons
you will not be scared of getting old
you will be scared you won’t get old
when everyone else does
still living for the next time
you get to open your mouth.

Not scared that this will end
you’re scared you won’t know when





NZ Tour Dates -Jan and Feb 2011

Hey mum, look-it what I made!

Randall $tephens
in New Zealand -2011 tour

Wednesday January 19th -Opononi

(guest at reading)

Saturday January 22nd -Auckland
Auckland Poetry crawl (to be confirmed)

Thursday January 27th -Auckland
Mr $ solo @ Roasted Addiction

Saturday January 29th -Auckland
Out Loud @ Chocolate Theatre

Tuesday February 1st -Auckland
Poetry Live @ The Thirsty Dog

Wednesday February 2nd -Christchurch
Catalyst Poetry @ Al's Bar

Sunday February 6th -Westport
Mr $ solo (date/venue details to be confirmed)

Monday February 14th -Wanaka
Poetic Justice @ Kai Whaka Pai

Saturday February 19th -Wellington
Mr $ solo @ Pegasus Bookstore

Sunday February 20th -Wellington
Poetry @ Ballroom Cafe (guest/not main feature)

Monday February 21st -Wellington
NZ Poetry Society @ Thistle-Inn theatre

Thursday February 24th -Thames
Poets Circle @ The Nectar Lounge

Friday/Sunday Feb 25 & 27 -Auckland
"One Question: Why Don't We" (support act for a fringe show)


(then it's onto Sydney for Word in Hand Tuesday March 1st, Text Styles #6 later that week, and Wolongong for another Roasted Words gig)

Some events we're awaiting confirmation on, and there's some additional spots in planning (y'know: people getting stuck in the kitchen with me at parties, overhearing me muttering to myself in cafes and bus stops ~those all count as gigs).

Anyway, you best check with the man in the Safari Hat himself on 021 175 9882 closer to the date.

The 'Mr $ solo' ones are solo events, independant of other poets (much as loath... er, I mean love, them open mike sections).



Facebook Relationship Status -16/01/2011

(What's on your mind?)...

went and bought hikers today for going hiking and you didn't.


Unless there's something you're not telling me.


Hey so why haven't you updated me btw?

Ok, so did you get new hikers today?

And didn't tell me.

Is that what you're telling I mean not telling me?

Oh you're not telling me if you're not telling me?

Is that what you're telling me?


So what are you telling me?

And what are you not telling me?

Well why don't you say what you mean then.

Or am I just supposed to guess somehow magically?

Of course you should have told me.

that's what I'm telling you.

Did you think I wouldn't find out?

why do you keep trying to shut me out of your life.

Yes that is what I think you're doing.

No. I know you're not listening to me.

That's what that means.

Has our ability to communicate with one another gotten that bad or are you now keeping things like this from me?

Why are you keeping things from me?

Yes I define this as keeping things from me.

It might not seem important but we can't build this relationship togther if you're not willing to try to be open.

I'm being open about what I did, why aren't you being open?

It's important, it's important because you're keeping things from me.

no this isn't about the hikers being important.

that's not important.

It's important that you think it's important that things are important to me.

I feel like I'm carrying this entire relationship.

You mean you 'like' the status of this realtionship.

So now you won't even comment on this?

I can't do this anymore, putting myself through all this for you.

and never getting anything back.

I'd tell YOU if I just bought new hikers

...infact I just did!


I had to type l-o- (...yeah) in order to do this. I feel dirty.

lament out loud.

Wanted to call this "add comment" but bloody Emilie Zoe Baker beat me to it with a whole thing on that. Hate it when people retro-actively steal my ideas!



Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Melburnian -16/01/2011


on sunny holiday
cross legged
lone bench
by harbour

"Hot day ‘ey"
and a big smile
as a big fella
with an ice cream
my bench

re-evaluate suddenly
a misunderstood comment
on a rooftop
back in Nepal
things got awkward
wrong signals sent
in foreign country
cross legs a signal here?
park bench?
have I been signalling
-or signalling by not openly signalling-
don’t know
I need a signal
um… am not gay
but I don’t say

"ah yeah
stammers my voice back
he nods, still smiling
has all his teeth
think I’m grinning
not sure
don’t move

gets closer
his other hand
holds ice-cream wrapper
reaches up
puts it in bin
next to the bench

where’d that come from?

he nods
to me
walks off
from me
still smiling

to himself

and never mind
sky-written on my eyes
confusion clearing
as my comfort zone
expands back to all I survey
where unless
you’re a turn on
a cause for anger
might have directions
or you’re a guy with a lighter
I don’t have to
notice you
articulate enjoyment
or smile


can relax
feel at ease
at home
back in Melbourne.

though now
I want ice cream

what an arsehole
that guy was

you know,

for putting the idea in my head.


dedicated to all my (less than) fair weather, black trench coat pale skin milk crate-sittin'-on, late 'cause of the tram and then got rained on leftist latte sippin' metro art freak home-before-1am mates



Friday, January 14, 2011

The Angel's Queue -14/01/2011


she was way ahead of me
had some poems on the wall already
so… now it’s competitive poetry
and usually
that sorta artistry
can just go carry bags for me

but this ain’t about a score
of any sort
so I ought
just stick to facts
remembering that
there was a promised poem
in kind for the kind invitation into her home

so this is my fable
for the upturned face of the angel
that levelled out with legs of the devil
went all the way up
tried to make her stay up
late as I could
found conversations with her …good
about conservation in local neighboorhoods
her chosen profession
teaching kids environmental lessons

we talked about native plants
then about failed romance
we talked about the ex’
and we talked about the whys
things coulda ha-ha got awkward when I mentioned her eyes
switching then to simply just making fun of her music
bitching when still sitting for some hours perusing it

strained the relations
of an acquaintance
made in the age of facebook
where friends talk before they ever met
to become ones you’ll never forget
strangers the best friends you get
but the story might stranger yet

she does contemplate
meditative and complete
orderly silence
she thus can tolerate
my premeditated and conceited
auditory violence

we had a friend creative in common
at times a housemate of us both and often
found ourselves talking about him
that she should soon come visiting
she’s never been over to see my city
and I told her I think that’s such a…

she lightened the load of a heavy head
seen a lot of road, so now it could be said
people like her, are the reason I travel
deep talks getting tangled thoughts unravelled
so my new friend from the city of Auckland
hope to see again for the end
of this two month kiwi tour
want another chance to talk to ya

hope this poem slaps up yet another smile on your face
but seriously,

thanks for letting me crash out a while at your place.




Monday, January 10, 2011

Wellington 2011 -11/01/2011


not that big of a city
for near-four years
of absence
to have erased all our traces

memory lane walks
by that same bar
still there just up those stairs
we met back to the table
both carrying jugs
mixed up
‘cause jugs
are called pots or pots are called handles or handles are called
something else
couldn’t drink that much
between two of us
tables away we watched kids
working down those beer bongs
that are here called something else
never thought of inviting ourselves
to join them
share our too-much-beer

because they looked silly to us

up on those hills
are the city’s botanic gardens
the ones where I fell asleep in her lap
conked out after eating only junk food
for two days
because hell with it I’m on holidays
she had had the good sense
not to try and stop me
and didn’t mind
giving me the lap to lie in

off Cuba Street
there yeah that’s it the same bookstore
I bought PJ O Rourke’s
Republican Party Reptile
perfect find at the time
on the coach I read her passages from it
laughed like drains
annoyed the crap
out of other passengers
didn’t care

because they looked silly to us too

off Lambton Quay
that’s the shop where she got me this jumper
same one I’m wearing now
near the servo near that's near the museum with the sign
‘fancy a quickie?’
I took that photo that became that joke
when that question was asked
all occasions subsequent
I still have the photo, of course


that’s the bakery with the girl
she tried to sell us
sucks hot cross buns for sex dollars sexty
thought that chuck was making fun of me
and me strawl
but no that was the price
it was eyes watering not to laugh
but we didn’t

because we would have looked silly to her

but we didn’t
could not have had
such a saccharine sweet trip
but this is how this place remembers it

those petty nothing fights I know we had
silly enough to forget
have been

guess that’s a good thing

not that big of a city
isn’t big enough for the both of us
not by half
haven’t found any more
new old corners
that don't bear witness
to barely hidden history

our first city
on our first trip overseas
summer loving autumn
six years deep at the shallow end

and we were
so silly
when you look back at it now

back to my aunty’s house
the room I'm staying in
same one we were staying in
room she didn’t want to fool around in
because we were staying
in my aunty’s house
after all

got it
to just
carry on

and I am getting the fuck out of here.

one last look around

doesn’t like look I’ve forgotten anything




Sunday, January 9, 2011

Orange Juice and Coffee -08/01/2011


twelve hour bus trip

toilet at back locked
not working
driver grumbles
three hours til next stop

my window-facing mind

refuses to wander.




Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It is a tale told by… 6/01/2011


she was a stripper
and I was a poet
and she was a poet
I was an idiot

and that was the starting
for a great story
but she was a person
who’d heard it before
but I was a person
who loved those clichés
went border crossing
between the naïve
and the very jaded

and she was an expert
at pushing the buttons
of lonely men
and I was a…
I was an individual
who fit this description
and that was a warning
but I was an expert
at ignoring the obvious

and I was a romantic
hoping for happy accidents
went looking to find them
in all the wrong places

and I was a believer
in hard-luck redeemers
and in hookers with hearts of gold
and in cliches
being cliches
for a reason

I then went looking
for a reason
I was looking for a reason
any reason at all

and I was an idiot
and I know I said that before
but you might've missed it
just like I missed it
so I'll say it again

and I
who did not want
to see it coming

so I didn’t
and now
I ‘m still an idiot
sitting here

telling you his same old story




Sunday, January 2, 2011

Last Seen in Wellington -3/01/2011


Last Seen,

but not heard, as adults talk at a dinner table in Wellington

With Dad and relatives and feeling seven year old again.

Ironically I was never this quiet when I was seven.


I don't have an opinion on Red Wine or running marathons, don't have a bank Manager or mutual acquaintance with many of the place names mentioned that everyone else in the room does. So despite this public speaking vocation, and how well you might think it would arm me socially, I've found myself retreating into the keys of my new laptop far sooner than I thought on this trip.

But the night has improved. Speaking to my aunt and a friend of my Dad's I have more ammunition on him than I ever dreamed, so I'm cutting this short.

Anyway, in addition to landing, sleeping, unpacking, getting sun burnt on a patio and checking my emails, I've recently created a group on facebook for updates and what-not on this NZ Odyssey, if you'd like to check it out (because no, I'm not writing any long droll and tedious travel-blogs), then check it out, add yourself on.

Randall $tephens in New Zealand

Actually, this red wine is beginning to grow on me... is that like having an opinion?



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goes to Eleven -31/12/2010


New Years' is a strange time for us. A night bursting with hedonism eerily mixed with sombre reflection or appraisal of ourselves and the year that passed. We make these resolutions, pessimism and optimism collide badly like awkward dance partners. Something permeates the air, this year in particular a sense of overall dissatisfaction with 2010 twinged a lot of my friends stated optimism about next year.

I had trouble sharing in this feeling with people, not quite getting the angle, found myself biting my tongue even more than usual, because well, (and it's almost embarrassing to say this), I've had a really fantastic year. This year's been really good to me, and I feel grateful enough that I want to say, to the year two thousand and ten...

Thank you.

thank you for keeping me busy, and productive
always something to do
a deadline by to do it by
and a little less time than I need
~that's how I like it
(but don't tell anyone!)

Thank you 2010,
for being a year that gave
chances to collaborate
and made it so enjoyable
thanks for letting people find me
to write reviews and songs
play with musicians
work with great poets
who also happen to be good friends.

Thank you 2010
for all my friends
old and new
that they are still here
that they have been there
when I needed them.

In particular thank you
for bringing me closer to Steve Smart
whose as reliable as a train timetable
and spritely as a tree sloth
but I love him,
and was able to this year share
so many adventures of his
helped me discover a calling
find a purpose and place
in this world
and usually also a party to go to, too.

Thank you.

for every chance you gave me
especially all the ones I screwed up
(that was most of 'em)
then yelled at you for
then always got from you another one
and another one.

Thank you letting me see stuff like~
graffiti coming back after a grey wash
politicians cancel each other out
saw a Mc Donalds store shut down
a thunderstrike in a sunny sky
water reflecting off a roof
sunrays yawning into stone spaces
and the light
shining off that woman's hair
as she got off the tram

she will always
be moving through my mind
in slow motion.

Thank you,
you contained touches
another skin against mine
thank you for the times
where I woke up next to someone
and for letting these times end
without too much mess this time round.

For every good nights sleep you afforded me
and also for so many more sleepless
wired madman writing

For each sunrise you gave me
despite what I otherwise have stated
thanks for never allowing me to become jaded
even if they were always over nightclubs in St Kilda
and not from up over a beach
or snowy mountain
or umm... something.

Thank you 2010
For every glance at cleavage I got,
without being busted
(and there were lots of them too)
and yes, thank you being the year,
for one,
where no one found my porn
(that uh, that wasn't mine)
thanks for all those times
I was able to have self-affection
that ability to love myself
thank you for giving me the courage to affirm this
without embarrassment.

Thank you for my bike.

For my headphone singalong disaster areas
dodging pedestrians better than hitting pitch
(much better)
and thank you for letting the two of us
run so naked through the streets together
crying freedom and peace
and letting me just... show off.

Thank you also for your spring racing carnival
more than the last
yours' particularly seemed to affirm for me
what a gift two wheels are
not to be a drunken lout whose hangs out his car
his window,
to communicate
that he can't... sadly.

Thank you, for the gifts of self expression
abilities you've given me I still need to earn back
and I working on that
still haven't found phrases
to make poverty history
but I keep saying stuff
and thank you for letting me roll with that
giving me a full 365 days to work on it.

This year,
I never told you how much I like
each time I got to put bare feet on wet grass
those pimples that I pinched out just right
every second sock not lost in the wash
times the water pressure wasn't off
each coffee that the barrista
got just right
for those hash browns in Goolwa
that you just couldn't fuck with.

Thank you for Sage Francis
for bringing him out here
right where I could see him,
for my chance to meet him and trade a few emails
so I could tell him
what it's all meant to me that he came out here
"It's been a hell of a year".

Thank you for the times I had
with my cat Jonesy before her life came to an end
thank you for my mother
who was there to help me
though she herself lost both her parents this year
I still have her
and my father
and with my two sisters we are still
whole, and family.

Thank you for every single smile I got to smile
to someone that then came back
for the good handshakes
for conversations I had
with the few beautiful woman
that weren't boring
I needed those, I really did
to remind me what I'm really not missing
and also
what I'm missing out on
will need to work on
if love's ever going to find me

and this might seem incidental to you
but thank you being a year that ends
with the beginning of another,
for helping me understand a cycle
-inherent in the nature of all things.

where an end is another beginning
a crisis a gnosis
anger always later laugh at.

I've felt this year
from my guts to my nuts
to the lust and the loss
gone cold and left on hold
to the fire I caught
back burning to nought
through all of this
discovered purposes
at the end of this year

I know now, why I'm here.

So 2010
you listen to me,
never no-mind now
what them others fools have said...

Thank you for making this year, for me,
the best yet

Yet also,
giving me the determination
to make this next one,

better still.


Also, here's last year's NYE blog as a point of reference:


Happy new year! Make yours extraordinary
. Please?