Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Loading Zone -01/02/2012


had to hold my tongue
like it was a mop and the laundry was flooding

keep tears out my eyes
like they were a promise not to break

and with airport luggage between us
I had to say goodbye to her
trying not to load those words
with more weight

than she could carry on.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

'STRYA - January 26th


Yes - I am going to think you're a moron if I see you wrapped in an Australian flag

no - that doesn't mean I hate this country
or anyone in it

anyone at all

yes - I think this is a wonderful country
to live in

and no
I don't think it's at all ironic
to use the very freedom given to you
in a free and democratic society
just to point out it's many shortcomings

I think
that is actually the point of having freedom

and you're missing it
when you clothe yourself in symbols

Freedom belongs in this country
but not to this country
it came here
like everything and everyone came here
it is struggling here

Freedom is still trying to assimilate here

you can invade a place
to turn back every other boat
but you cannot own a land
that washes you away at a whim

you can wrap a flag around your flab
carve five stars on your back
but you can't claim sovereignty
over a sky

and - yes
I will think you a moron, if you try


Happy invasion day. I wasn't born here, I don't feel guilty for living here... I'm just a little embarrassed by some of my co-inhabitants, is all.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

'A Bullet Between the Eyes of Every Panda That Won't Screw to Save its Species' -20/01/2012


chomp at the bit off sentence
swallowing down the urge
to tell you- go fuck yourself
that seems so imperative now
knowing it may not seem so important

know this from experience
inside out a simmering stomach
a flexing jaw
clenched face knuckle dance
on an every-ready keypad
breathing a fire
that might burn me
back draft

once I calm down

so I hold back
from punching you in the opinion
planting my flag in your eye socket
to send you home so sorry
you ever dared fuck with me
stop short
shit eating the grin
of a bigger man

I've one man paraded down
enough years of my own wreckage
to know I couldn't continue
down that path

and you can
call it wisdom
or cowardice
call it patience
maturity maybe
not to mouth off
give as good as I get
say something I regret

but right now
you deserve big face-fulls of me
I think
and kinda just wish we'd met

when I still lived my rough edges




Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Randall Reads Erotic for Little Raven Publishing -19/01/2012


Recently I've fallen in with a mob called Little Raven, a Melbourne-based publisher of erotic short stories, novels, poems audio books and comics, who have been doing some great spoken word/storytelling gigs around town.

This week I'm their featured artist, with an audio recording of Except for 'Architecture in Helsinki' (text below) To listen to the recording click here

And check out the rest of their website, including recordings by other great authors here


Except For "Architecture In Helsinki"

with your cats watching us

with your glasses on
with one of my boots still on
with your shoes staying on
with the doors
remaining unlocked

when the next-press of the snooze button
could not be more than mere seconds away
when you are trying, so hard, to continue talking
with your friend on the phone
when you're already half way out the car door
when I really do have so much work to get done tonight
when no other cars have pulled up next to us
at the lights
when we pass that big empty park
near my parents’ place

someone wondering where we got to
the belt buckle still getting in the way
my thumb sitting in your mouth
and some annoying indy music on
in the background
anything that is except
"Architecture in Helsinki"
'cause that could really kill
any adequate blood supply
where it may be needed

without any restraints on volume
without having ever made it past the lounge floor
without being sure
your friend in the next room over
is really asleep yet
without walls any more solid or substantial
than the thin excuses used
in getting us back here
far away from the many possibilities
for well-behaved cowardice
without me
failing to notice how suddenly you were looking
in another direction
when I was looking
in your direction
without you
getting away with that, one last time.

and with you now
busily making that obligatorily-offered cup of tea
or coffee
I was ostensibly invited in for
but that neither of us really

really wanted.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Messages -16/01/2012


the greatest thing we have achieved
in our mammalian two minutes to midnight
the very first
most diverse
yet highly refined technology
we possess
a medium to transform thought
into message

also stands us up knife-point
between hope and despair
showing us the best
and worst
of our species

though they speak different languages
when people want to understand
one another
they will, somehow

though also, somehow
should two people
not wish to listen to one another
even when sharing the same language
communication becomes impossible

we talk our ammunition out
at each other
accusations fire
from the barrel
of personal injustice
banners of our outrage
we speak our sides our teams
our rights to our things
talk the debts we are owed
and the damages done to us

I once broke another man's nose
with a balled up fist
but that bloody injury
is pale against the pain
knowing I've caused on others
with sounds out my mouth
for the troubles they took
in how they listened

we can make words hurt

and between us
we've talked barrels of ink
back and forth
said clouds against mountains
monologued on shared orgasm
accused our own deities
described minute to the infinite
we've spoken pointed fingers
into blunt instruments

I've seen the finger-jammed ears
of those mouthing questions
they'd rather not have answered back
and the fumbled friction
of two continents
trying to be an island

I have learned
how to make myself heard
and I have learned
how to say anything

occasionally though
when I can be quiet
I now hear the gaps
between us,

hear them just enough
to know that

I have not yet learned how to listen.


Need to say that the whole 'two languages/understood v not listening/understanding' concept from the third & fourth stanzas is a paraphrase of something James Cameron said on the Avatar blu-ray.

Though it probably beggars mentioning as 'borrowing' ideas is that man's specialty, so not going to lose sleep over that, and I've simply used it as a springboard to coalesce some stuff that's been rattling around my head these past few days, with enough originality to justify it.

Not to dis James Cameron either, huge fan.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sweetalkers January 2012, THIS SUNDAY!!!


We're kicking off 2012 with yet another all star cast of spoken word artists, to make you laugh, break your heart, and raise the bar on their craft. Check it out:


The Sydney poet who inspired our gig's very name, on her return to Melbourne we're pleased-as-punch to have Candy Royalle back at Sweetalkers to tell us how it is, and give us all the Royalle treatment. Check out her latest well produced video clip below:

Stories by Starlight

if you are not seeing a playable window above click here


Formerly known as Mel Hughes, Matthew is a veteran of poetry tours and workshops in the US, and Matt's style is steeped in the American slam tradition, whilst somehow transcending it's formula with a unique voice, character and beautiful words.

Matthew is not only a survivor of New York City, but more impressively, Adelaide too, and will very soon be launching a book at Collected works.


Another Adelaide survivor, Amy Bodossian fuses music, poetry, props and frizzy hair into... well, something that defies definition in any conventional sense of the word, or unconventional sense either.

I know that doesn't make sense. Amy wouldn't be so sure. The best way I can think to describe her is: someone whose been driven crazy by being the last sane person left on Earth, now trying to explain why back to us. It gets intense, sexy, poignant, and really funny.

She's been on spics and specs and won a tonne of awards and is proabaly going to mad at me for not using more info from the bio I demanded she send me. Meanwhile have a squiz at this clip from her 2011 show Plegm Fatale:

You're the One

if you are not seeing a playable window above click here


Ember Flame is a burlesque dancer and writer who fuses silky words and rhythms in her unique brand of poetry. Telling her tales through different characters, from a whistle-blowing fairytale princess to an office girl who finally gives in to her jungle rhythms, these modern ballads offer hope for transformation with lots of hot, heart-powered seduction. Part commentary, part confession, Ember strips to the soul, often revealing some of society's hidden parts along the way.

I saw her perform her first purely-spoken word set in Sydney on my last trip there and just melted. Like a candle. Seriously, I used to be taller before I met her. Sweetalkers is honoured, humbled and just simply -really fucking excited- to have Ember do the feature for us.

This is one gig you don't want to miss. Because I don't either I'll be on door, so as to just sit back and watch, so finally...

...working his way up through the cutthroat Sweetalkers ranks, starting humbly as feature to co-organiser to flyer-putter-up guy to door-bitch, now finally usurping me as MC for this month, will be poet laureate of planet Earth: STEVE SMART

Yep, January in Melbourne just got a lot hotter folks, we'll see you and you'll see us tomorrow at:

The Bendigo Hotel
125 Johnston Street

$10 entry, $5 burgers, $10 jugs (Collingwood Draught)




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Black Book -09/01/2012


Thumbs through his black book
for crumbs
though it's not actually black
nor a book
or a list
of options very likely

it's a few too few to name
on speaking terms with
a three ring circus of
badly juggled balls
old tricks unfunny
and antiquated cruelty
that he's already called on
too many times before

it's a shortlisted transcript
of misanthropic entropy
spiraling reductionism
circling around a drain
of hands-in-his-pockets
and notated misogyny

it's hoping to think his way out of
a room with a phone that won't ring
a staring contest with a weekend
that won't blink

his black-book a band aid
covering the scrape of waking up
a daze into weeks
where did everybody go?

it's end result gestalt of
he doesn't-need-nobody
turning bodily on it's head
to where instead
nobody needs him

so he thumbs for crumbs
through that black book
though it's not actually black
nor a book
really just a blank space
where he got stuck

and now needs to turn a page.




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Got Here as Soon as I Could -2011



I got here as soon as I could
high pointed-out of a plane
to jump fifteen thousand feet

then land on mine

this year found me valentine
stealing a cloud-top kiss
Mount Taranaki's weathered face
peaking out just to catch us
grinning 365 days of endorphins
into a road trip turned romance
stopped short

by a year
from any detours
from popping a collar
buying an iPhone
house-sitting a set-top box
or hemorrhaging any money
through holes they'll make in your wallet
to fit a petrol tank

still not buying into any of that
this year

found me staring down
sounds of a talked walk
writing burnmarks
on a hundred-more or more lonely nights
wrote when the blank screen
was a bleeding animal
or the empty stomach
out of an autopsy
when I've been dead-wrong
and fucken knew it

2011 hit me square like a stiff drink
into a dose of cold water
licking ice off the window frames
in my glass house with greener grass
than status updates ever dare say

this year
played me along like a laugh track
following from one joke to the next
and none of them I was in on
the comedy situational
my humour unintentional
the timing...

when at last I realised
that you better accept yourself
before expecting anyone else to

so I accept myself

I got here as soon as I could

2011 was a pat on the back
reminder for the facts that
I am me
and I like being me
wouldn't want to be anyone else on Earth
least of all, say my old boss

Paul Bourke of The Salvation Army St Kilda Crisis Centre Health Services

poor Paul, every single day in 2011
you had to wake up being you~
not just the biggest arsehole working welfare
but the worst -thing- two people having sex
ever produced

while I climbed a cliff up in Borneo
you were stuck
an office desk up your arse for a spine
hiding behind tasteless shirts
and a tucked in hair cut
a protracted excuse for incompetence posing
as a position to fill

I got to be me
every day this year
like the ones where I went busking
with a bearded lady in the town I was born
or took a friend to see 2001 on a cinema screen
or took bike-rides down dead of night streets
or meditated silent in the Blue Mountains

I'm grateful for it all
for a year that brought my sister back
safe after the Christchurch quakes
that brought my old cat back to live with me

grateful for the shared bottles of wine
for the shared smiles
shared nights
amazing people who gave me
some of the best parts
of their year
to mix into mine
we've shared good days
to make one year
amongst seven billion others

2011 was an impossible distances
traversed on a raft of failed attempts
to find a perfect order of words
snaking into a tale
ending up eating my own words
that cyclic
ending as beginning thing
that types up mistakes label-named
from messes you made
out of this year
to find yourself

thinking next time you can do better
thinking next time maybe you'll get this right

I got here as soon as I could

with year 2011 sitting flat on the floor
fat like an overstuffed suitcase
with a lid that won't zip close
no matter how much I sit on it
stuffing five countries down
into a shape you can't really sum up
a whole year

except in remembering
good advice given
from a girl who told me
while embracing
to hang in a little longer
when giving someone a hug
so I did,

this year

I hung in there.


well I wanted this done for Dec 31st for obvious reasons, but the damn thing kept turning into a braggadocio list for the year gone, replete with photos of the prize money Alex and I got from our video, meeting Shane Koyczan, seeing the World's biggest cave... blah blah blah toss, snore.

Anyway, that's not the intent, and while I'm not honestly convinced I've scrubbed out all the wank, this thing's already endured more editing and rewriting that the Nepalese Constitution, and it's already the 4th, so fuckit, I'm letting it go, as is... got it here as soon as I could.