Monday, December 30, 2013

Height -02/01/2014


notta life or death
sleepless obsession
I don't need
don't want her
to save me

there are still days
where this thing
feels about as good
a fit for me
as stand up comedy
for Mahatma Ghandi

when this dizzying climb
just makes me think
all these vertical feet
I'm bound to one day fall

but for now
if she can just
keep making it hard
to get outta bed,
and feign an interest
in Star Trek

and remind me use
the vegetables
before they go off

and take the fucking photo

if I can keep bugging her
to quit smoking

keep making her laugh
with her whole face
and I do not pretend
to understand
anything about dub-step,
menstrual moods
or bleeding hearts

then yeah

we'll make it through, love.




Monday, December 23, 2013

(a link to) Randall Stephens' 2014 bio


Eh let's face it, this is about the only new piece of writing you're getting out of me before 2014, so here is, enjoy.  No okay, really I'm just sticking it here so I have a quick link for it when people ask in future.  I'm all about the future, right now.

Meanwhile, we're almost ready to band-camp my album for digital download. Then you'll have no excuse. 



Approximately 14 Billion years ago an infinitely dense and massive singularity exploded, creating the universe.  Then nothing much happened.  In 1980 “The Empire Strikes Back” came and Randall Stephens was born.

He writes poetry about other poetry, cycling, sexuality, masculinity, dinosaurs and your boyfriend.  People have called Randall controversial. Randall has called people losers, they’re both right.

Randall is currently living in Denial, and has toured extensively through other emotional states throughout Australia, as well as New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Borneo. He's also competed in slams in London and New York but didn’t do that well, so don’t tell him I mentioned that.

His work has been published by erotic fiction label Little Raven, Australian Poetry’s online journal Sotto, and broadcast on 3RRR and 3CR radio.  Randall currently serves as President of the Melbourne Poets Union, helping to organise, curate and hosts regular monthly readings.

His newly re-jigged album Product is now available at with a third of the proceeds being donated to Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Meanwhile, he continues blogging poetry at 'Tales Told by an Idiot' (

He also hates re-writing his bio, and has vowed not to do so again for a while.

-more info: 


Happy holidays folks. Let's make 2014 a better one.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Admission -20/12/2013


look for human things here (beep)

the hospital as a symbol of compassion and civilisation (beep)

the hospital as a symbol of all the cold sterile interchangeability (beep)

and beaurocratic stiffness of social mechanisms (beep)

look for survival (beep) and then find boredom~ the ultimate sign your life is not materially in question (beep)

all I need to do to keep living is say my date of birth and name to get medicine every three hours (beep)

my parents may outlive me (beep)

beyond sentiment and the moral-of-the-story, machines (beep)

at the empty promises
I make myself
of all I will do
with my second chances
when I get outta here




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Haven't Done / Never Done - 17/12/2013


You think about all that stuff when you're in hospital,
well yeah like getting arrested,
or like that principles office wait,
like car breakdown in the middle of nowhere,
there's a guilt for ending up stuck there,
but the fault isn't the one you're probably supposed to be groping for,
it's not in a reflect-on-your-bad-behaviour way,
more in a wincing man-you-slipped-up-and-that's-why-y'got busted way

You remember beginning a Vipassana meditation course,
fresh with vast stretches of self lying ahead,
horizon-line miles of bad road,
so sure there has to be a point, you're equally sure you'll miss it,
like you need to punish yourself for things you never did,
and punish yourself for all the things you never done
your consciousness, conscience and libido expand like gases into any size room they put you in
you fart,
you eat worse,
you think about asylum seekers and Star Wars,
you wish people were here,
then try and get rid of the nes who show,
breathe in these books you finally got the time to read,
then the pages put you to sleep, and you wake up needing to piss so bad you have an erection.
think about how you never used to leave your room,
for all your books, videos and model kits,
your mum said you'd adapt really well to prison
and that maybe you'd end up there.

The writer in you wants to sketch out;
the heart-cleaving face you saw,
some sorry character
holding his wife's hand
because that's all he can do now,
against the beep of machines,
or write whimsy about the paraplegic haemophilia counsellor,
who came back to work his old job to feel useful instead of rotting away on a DSP,
after a four-storey fall took his legs,
you can't talk to him about your problems because
...what the fuck man.

The moralist wins over the writer, in you decide these stories seem gratuitous cheap shots,
like some shit Shane Koyczan might do, and get away with.

You never get away with shit,
is why you're here.

Oh and then there's all the fear,
scared like maybe you've lived too long already,
and that liver cancer was supposed to get you,
scared to death by living,
scared of big and heavy and empty life is,
trying to fill a whole life up without 2.3 kid-set-top-box mendacity,
like punishing yourself

for things you never did,

and all the things you haven't done.




Monday, December 16, 2013

Rough -17/12/2013


"Forgiveness is for anyone who gives up hope for a better past." -Buddy Wakefield

I'll never be able to undo the damage others already did her
I got here as soon as I could

I missed reliving her dead ends
through with one way streets
been trying to hold her
like an apologetic prayer
for a better past

smooth talked re-enacting
rough treatment at least
she know now my hands
soft enough that I won't
make it any worse

that is mercy
she is poetry
and I am late

I've been holding her
desperate as the promise
you know you can't keep

some people out there know
what my real name is now
what I tried to do to help
why I can't stay

she won't forgive me
any less than she'll understand
my reasons for leaving

I got here
I got to her
soon as I could
am leaving now
and it's already

a little later than I should.





Thursday, December 12, 2013

Percent left -12/12/2013


When I shut down
my phone
our friendship

is offline.




Monday, December 9, 2013

Dialect -10/12/2013


as I held the door open for her
what I really wanted to say
to this stranger
was something like-

"I like your arse,
can I please wear it as a hat?"

Instead of that
the more conventional-
"oh after you"
comes out my mouth
with a big smile
which she returns
before walking away

and somewhere
in that translation,

I get lost.




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Delicacy -4/12/2013


I mean if any one of you
actually knew
what a good cook

I am
you would want
to have sex with me

a lot

just sayin'




Saturday, November 23, 2013

"wants me to tell him something pretty" -23/11/2013


on Saturday night

it's okay to drink cheap

it's okay to drink alone

but it's not okay

to do both.


Kudos to you if you recognise the quotation/ title. 



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Well, at least I can gloat after Greenland melts -20/11/2013


dad comes around
and before he's even
through the front door

if global warming is real
why is it so cold
and raining today
this close to summer

feeling as flat
as the Earth is
to him

a suppressed urge
wanting to go argue it out
with cross-bearers
under the clocks

thirty-three years of age
finds me mouthing
yeah dad whatevs

I glare into his
skeptics smile
that keeps failing
to see

just how frosty
the actual climate
has gotten

here between us.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

Scott Morrison, stop making it easy. -16/11/2013

there is nowhere else we can go

I can't really debate with you
the if
or the why
that this is wrong

I can't move to a maybe
or wriggle a little on
the pros and cons

a crippled four year old
girl who has escaped
persecution, torture
and death
was imprisoned
then deported
to an offshore
concentration camp
by our country

...I mean I got nuthin'

do y'need me to draw you a picture?

there is nowhere else we can go

because here we are
a croaked coalmine canary
invading Poland
down a river not reaching
the sea, don't you
Australia, see
however it started
this is happening now
and you can either see by now

the machine is broken
for yourself
or you are incapable
of ever seeing that

nowhere else to go

we hold these truths
to be
self evident.

you say, well
moral outrage is just
so easy in this case
I ask you in return

why should
how could
moral outrage
at this 

possibly be that hard?




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

As a rule -12/11/2013


Your ideal lover is someone
you can never quite out-drink
as a rule

they will also have
far better dress sense
than you

as a rule your closest friends
should always be better writers
smarter chess-players
and more-able
fence climbers
than you

have at least two friends
who are very conservative.
play them off against everyone else
at parties

then each other
then quote both of them
when they're not around
pretending their ideas are yours

none of your friends
should be good at budgeting
or be particularly reliable
with money

none of your friends
should go to the gym
or even look like they do
or if they do
no more than say
three days a week

you can have friends
of the opposite sex
just as long as
you always remember
they are all secretly
working together
to bring down your gender


beyond your friends
avoid anyone else
who says they get bored
or who watched television last night
or who defends television
because you know they're lying
about watching SBS

other than with your doctor
accountant, or bike mechanic
you should practice lying to people
constantly and wherever convenient
it is a skill that must be maintained
the ability to lie convincingly is essential
in most emergencies you may face

it's also important that you
have the best taste in music
out of anyone you know

don't try and sing
unless you're a singer
or around a campfire
or drunk
around a campfire
once you are drunk
everyone wants to hear you sing

you should be creeped out
by any of the following:
-people who don't swear
-people who like their bosses
-the idea of amicable breakups

and especially anyone
who professes to have enjoyed
their high-school years

your parents should know
nothing definite about you
so both parties have something
to complain about
at family gatherings

you should never have
their complete approval
at any time
or you're definitely
doing something wrong in life

if you don't have anything nice to say
you're probably excellent to talk to

people without strong opinions
should bother you, strongly

don't waste any time talking at them
it's like trying to punch a balloon
but less fun

having arbitrary favorites of everything
is great, however
it's more important
to identify the bands
films, foods,
and especially people
you utterly hate

you should be able
to talk about this hatred
at length
and without saying
a single thing
rational or reasonable

follow this advice
you'll do okay
as a rule

don't use your phone
to write things
while sitting
on the toilet
because your foot will got to sleep.

You idiot.





and it look how excited he is...

(jumpy photo by Lawrence Schwartzwald)

So yes, once more unto the Sweet, we are back to bring you one of Slam Poetry living legends BOB HOLMAN. Yessir, Melbourne-town is lucky enough to catch him passing through Australia and we've assembled a suitably big-deal local line up. 

I'm voltroning together feature readings from EMLIE ZOEY BAKER, ANTHONY WP O'SULLIVAN. With live music from PHILEMON, and hosting it myself.

 Meanwhile, here's how it is with the rest of the giant robot lions...


The founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, and producer of the award-winning Public Broadcasting System series, THE UNITED STATES OF POETRY.  He has published sixteen books of poetry if you include CDs and DVDs (which he does), and is currently working on two Endangered Language Projects: Lost Wor(l)ds: A Poem of Many Tongues, with each line from a different minority/endangered tongue; and “Word Up! Language Matters with Bob Holman,” a 90-minute special on Endangered Languages for PBS.

(if you are not seeing a YouTube window on Mr Holman, then click here)

More info on Bob: 


Published award winning poet and slam champion, Emilie has performed poetry all around the world, and is the winner of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival's Slam!Review. She has toured internationally and teaches poetry in both primary and high schools and is co-co-ordinator of Liner Notes a spoken word tribute to a classic album now in its 9th year performed as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. In 2014 she will be core faculty at Canada's Banff Centre for their annual Spoken Word Program along with her third tour of Canada. 

(if you are not seeing a YouTube window on Ms Baker, then click here)

More info on Emilie: 


Long time convener of Melbourne legendary Tuesday-night Melbourne poetry reading The Spinning Room A writer, musician, performer, poet and gig convener who enjoys spreading a little too much of himself and his personal life across the internet. His family still talks to him but he has very few friends. He runs the sporadic Bar Stanza readings and spent the early part of 2013 talking his particular brand of idiotic prattle across Europe, where he performed at various festivals and clubs to sizeable crowds who seemed attentive for real cash money and drinks. He occasionally likes himself too much and often loathes himself a lot.

(if you are not seeing a YouTube window on Mr O'Sullivan, then click here)

More info on Anthony:


Philemon (aka Lia Avene) writes music of average length and usually in E major.  Songs for the abyss, because life is hard, and even great cavernous black holes need a lullaby from time to time.  She is currently working on increasing her lung capacity by breathing only every five strokes while swimming. The result is dizziness and water snorting. Philemon has been hailed as literally the worst ever bio writer claiming that 'writing your own bio is like trying to sneak a finger up your own butt without yourself noticing'.  An up and coming solo musician, Philemon is constantly gigging around town and captivating audiences.

Rather than embedding a video of Randall tsk tsk'ing Philemon for not in turn having a better video for him to link to, let's go look at a link leading to samples of Philemon's actual music:

And for more info on Philemon, please check out and like:

and then there's me, and I'm pretty good too, an' stuff:


 (because fuck you and why the hell not). This will probably one of my very-last live performances for quite some time, apropos:

(if you are not seeing a YouTube window on Mr Stephens... you're missing out so click here)


So yeah, next Tuesday at the John Curtin Hotel, 29 Lygon Street Carlton

$10 entry / or $8 for MPU members, speaking of which:

Proudly sponsored by the Melbourne Poets Union

Monday, November 4, 2013

Somewhere Else -04/11/2013


He used the L word.

Somewhere a smart bomb,
inexplicably fizzles out,
falling harmlessly from the sky.

The same moment,
a poachers rifle jams,
then back fires,
as a politician gets a flat tire.

A ticket inspector winks and lets,
some single mother go.

The fire alarm triggers in an office
for no apparent reason.
They all evacuate,
and get the rest of the day off.

The kid finds her long missing
brick of lego
needed to finish
the latest creation.

As the television 
is switched off
in finality and disgust.

and the woman
who heard the word

smiles right up to her eyes.




Friday, November 1, 2013

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been -2/11/2013



got stopped
turned back
at the border
they didn't find
any pot in my bag

too enfranchised
too much in order
my cynicism ticks
in the wrong boxes

my misdirected anger
was too directed
was immune to style
and sick from cleverness

skin too comfortably fit
not nearly victimised enough
by fashion

I didn't really belong
among those who didn't.




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On Maximalism - 31/10/2013


this is my minimalist poem
about maximalism

funny as fuck
first few times
got it now-you all sound
the same (more so) 

and more
is less. 

Enough said. 




Telling Smiles - 31/10/2013


don't go around
telling a woman
she should smile

maybe you can try

giving her some reason to




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm almost done.


been sitting here
little longer
than I care to admit
trying to find
really clever funny ways
to tell the internet
I'm feeling down

haven't come up with anything yet

which in itself
also makes me feel down.




Monday, October 28, 2013

Exchanges -29/10/2013


I lost her ring.

She was a sex worker who came into the needle exchange early one night, three years ago, wanting to leave it and a few of her belongings there in the booth with me before she started that night.  I told her I'm not responsible for her stuff and that she better come back and get it before my shift ends in the morning.

She never came back, ever.

I can't remember much about what she looked like now except her not being pretty, blond hair I think scruffy, some sores on her face maybe and that annoying generic whiny voice all junkies have. I remember being irritated with her for asking. I remember coming back for my next shift and seeing the ring still there.

Then a week. Then another three, and then finally I took it.  It was equal parts not wanting to see it waiting there anymore and... kinda liking it myself. It was real silver with a simple elegant design on it.

I like to think she just simply forgot it. And maybe she also quit heroine and also street work that night too, and that's why I never saw her again. Allota women go missing doing the sort of work she did around St Kilda, without getting media outpourings for it.

We had a information sharing/report system set up for women to warn each other about unsafe clients to go with, 'Ugly Mugs' is what they called it. When I started that job I read the updates on every shift. I stopped doing that pretty quickly though, except if I had to take down one down myself.

Things in there were pretty grizzly.

Usually I took my rings off when I started work to make it easier if I had to type, I'd leave them on the edge of the desk in the booth, same place where I left that women's ring. It was a tough job.

Some people end up doing some pretty hard things to earn money.




The broken back of Ben John Smith - 28/10/2013


when I found 
his hospital room 
Ben John Smith was surprised 
by my appearance

the first time we've met
outside a poetry night
so he'd assumed
I always walk around
wearing a safari hat

(debunked that)

then told him
I read his book
while on the toilet

also that
I've been biting his style
ever since
highest form of flattery

...and all that shit


Oh and Seriously, do check out Ben's book, it's delicious: buy it here



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Out of Ten - 18/10/2013


Poetry doesn't love you

don't think it even particularly likes you
infact it told me you're a bad lay,
pedantic, and that you're stingy
had to get it very drunk
before it would admit it

no wait I'm lying
it was actually over coffee

called you a horrible fake
or was it a complete fraud?
yeah either way
Poetry hates you

sorry to be the one to tell you
actually no okay
lying about that too
I couldn't wait to tell you

oh and Poetry also said
every time you click your fingers
it's thinking about stabbing you
in the throat

I'd stay out of Poetry's way, if I was you.




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Get It - 16/10/2013


nice guys don't finish last.

creepy dudes with hang ups
with  resentment deep down
of what they don't have
though know they really
desperately righteously
and truly-ruly
deserve from women

men with a jealously inflated
sense of entitlement
all-thumbs clinging to this notion
that they're still
really nice guys?

the beta-male
underdog romantic 
oh yeah them,
they finish last
all the time bro

nice guys
aren't in this race
in the first place
at least, against
or not in the sense

of having to compete with anyone.




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reloaded - 12/10/2013


Kill your gods.

make it look like an accident.





Sunday, October 6, 2013

In Sydney -07/10/2013


From an old friend I bump into 
outside a vegan ink tattooist 
that I end up chewing over 
poetry's poverty with
here on King Street
for half an hour

to the kid 
missing both legs
and an arm,
in a wheelchair
getting off the train 
at Redfern station,

to the endless and space-less
parked car streets
detouring you into miles
of hyper-privileged 

to my friend's broom closet
cum backyard
and it's procrastinating
work in progress
sitting planks between
modern art and permaculture,

to one way traffic 
that always catches you
looking the wrong way,

that skyline of Christmas jewelry infernal
that smiles at your provincialism
that makes short stories long
that makes you want to stay
that hole you want to fill
that makes less sense than a love letter
to a one night stand
that naive need for a final epic poem
that hugs this impossible place
that can't emerge because this muse
that won't sit still for your story
that is not supposed to end

this strange big-city hospitality
flying in the grumpy face of anyone
who wants to talk about rat races
and urban isolationism

this big-titted town is to me
what yellow-sun is to Superman

feeling recharge in my cells
flat out of Melbourne
rise above the clouds
for less than an hour
and I'm back

in Sydney.




Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pussy -6/10/2013


gets there and remembers
how anxious/awkward
he is with people

he thinks about cats
who also don't like people
but like being around them

he likes cats
it was in this way
that he learned
how to become

a party animal.




Friday, October 4, 2013

Leggy - 5/10/2013


want to be that coconut oil
you rub all over your legs
and want to be the-
actually wait no

really I just want to be all over your legs




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Escapist -5/10/2013

It's been so long
since the Shadows have asked me
what do you want?

since every city skyline
stopped looking
like a denuded stand-in
for flying saucer
space monsters
since the Borg invaded
sector zero zero one
since the wormhole entrance
was mined to stop
the Dominion

recently online I saw a chart
some crazy fucker had made
with hundreds of starships
from all the many science fiction shows
it was as intricate
as my adolescent mispends
it had everything 
from Red Dwarf to Robotech

I stared at the screen for hours
and again, for light-years
as if back a few years
looming at that giant map of India,
laid out on the table before me vast
the night before I crossed that border

memory of whole worlds
being created and destroyed
by my imagination
came flooding back
my girlfriend asked me why I ever stopped
when I showed her all the tiny figures
I so painstakingly painted
for my Star Wars model collection

joked it was because
I finally gotta girlfriend
but wasn't joking

remember these things
making me happy
also remember these things
as pursuits you do alone
in your room
and don't share
the results
with many

there is a past
that for all its isolation and anger
also involved doing things
that simply made you happy
that took you away
to far flung corners
of the universe

all those hundreds of starships charted
no matter how powerful and fast
couldn't travel far enough
to catch up with a self-conscious me
who wanted to rehabilitated from geek

amongst all the worlds
and their fictional lives
only this one I stand on
continues to change

these days
my phone makes a sound
like a communicator from Star Trek

I don't mean it reminds me of that
I mean the actual sound has been downloaded
and it makes that noise
and even though
I reckon it's really cool
I'm still a little sheepish
when telling people

but like, y'know,
maybe not quite
as much

as I once would have been.




Monday, September 30, 2013

Last minute propaganda for tonight's PRODUCT launch -1st October 2013


Three last minute things to show you how seriously and solemnly I'm taking this event...

Well, not much more I can say except: hope to see you there folks.




Friday, September 27, 2013

Where I Live -27/09/2013

angry words Dad's out the driveway
mad at me for that Abbott 
another righteous detractor
fresh on my old aching back

driving home, a point

yet it's no different
get it from most people
most days mostly 'cause

everybody always knows
what you're doing wrong
where I live

an' it really nearly always
just comes down to this~

I would pay
more attention
some respect
to any of you critics

if you were paying me
any attention at all

when I'm not doing something 'wrong'


Tonight I was supposed to be writing a poem for my mum's birthday tomorrow. I haven't done that.



Triggering -27/09/2013


they will talk to you about tolerance
and diversity and acceptance
and shit

to turn on you with a hare trigger
mob-moments remembering you
as a second hand sketch
layered only in your mistakes
by none of your favours
few of your apologies
and fewer of your reasons

they will hold themselves against you
so tight
you'll fuse with this
broken fractured their takes
on you and invert pride
after visibility
and with all they know how
they will make you tired
all over

and over again
and think anybody ever
who is good at this shit
or resorts to selling it on to kids
like a birthday party clown

ballooning out
and is it all too much
or is it not enough
are you big enough to write
for that small an audience

you're not good enough to quit
and too ornery for children
with nothing to teach anybody
except how-what not to do

so... are you
more than the shapes
they make to frame you
can you still be brilliant
without the shine of spotlight

can you do some good
without having to be the best
do you know the score
or do you just need one
are you out of ten
or will you go out of your mind
trying to figure it out

-side your self
is your entity
only as large as an identity
are nothing else just a preference
a collection around in passing
of a-genders and broken parts
apologising piece by piece
or are you...


all they can hold against you
is only how near they can get
to you
as you let them

how far you can go
will be as far as you're willing
to take it
and not

you are carrying with you




Friday, September 20, 2013

Abbott the Death Dance, a Promise -21/09/2013


it's been two weeks Tony

shutting women out of power
tautologically mouthing
the curve of a viscous circle
when you talk of merit
two weeks Tony

clean energy closed down
to hand minor taxes extracted
back as tribute to mining moguls
two weeks Tony

using military force
against people fleeing violence
the idea that innocent people
don't need protecting
but protection from
just two bloody weeks Tony

angry as the mess you made
deathly watching
you swift as a sunrise
demolition what little
social gains
this country made
the last four decades

as my twenties drop away
the future's a real thing
with definable features
coming out of a mist
riding a hydrocarbon surplus
wider than two generations
of coral reef

two fucking weeks
making me glad again
I don't have any children
now for all the wrong reasons

someone picked me up
for calling you a cunt
even euphemistically see
people like
ticket inspectors
real estate agents
and police officers
those you can call cunts

but you're just a straight psychopath
hold the euphemism

back in April
I was repulsed by people
dancing in the street
after Thatcher's death
like that was poor taste
a little too much for me

I feel it, get it now
taking this personally
believe I will outlive you
if not this vicious chaos
you're visiting on me

and yes
Tony Abbott, two weeks in
no matter how longs it takes
today this promise I make
I will be dancing
out in the street

the day you die.




Thursday, September 19, 2013

PRODUCT: The Official Album Launch in Melbourne -Tuesday October 1st 2013


I'm very relieved/excited/nervous/hungry/thirsty/horny/sleepy/poor/yougettheidea-y to finally be announcing a proper launch event for this proper album of mine. We're going to release this damn PRODUCT out into the wild!

Here's a link to the Facebook event page:

The event and album are the culmination of months of work and refinement, throwing out ideas and starting again from the ground up, and discovering new life and vitality in my older material. I've collaborated with fellow spoken word artist JACKY T, to produce some great music, and conned my old friends ALEX SCOTT, MEAGHAN BELL and of course STEVE SMART into re-recording the old poems with me.

I'm looking forward to trying out the poems live with the new sound-scapes as backing, and throwing in a few surprises.

As well as Steve and Alex, joining us on the night are my friend VAN ROBERTS (aka Little Raven) and as our host/MC the magnificent AMY BODOSSIAN.  So please come along and join us:

Tuesday October 1st
John Curtin Hotel
29 Lygon Street, Carlton

$5 entry or $15 with the CD

We had a great time at the John Curtin doing the last Sweetalkers event upstairs there, and even a midst fringe and a generally heavy poetry schedule of events, I've tried to pick a day that doesn't conflict with any other events.


For those who can't get to the event, the album is also now available online, using PayPal. Just send $17.00 (AUD) to '' ($15 for the CD + 2 bucks postage), just make sure to include your postal address too! 

There will be online version available for sale soon as well, through, hopefully by the time you read this. 



Monday, September 16, 2013

A Random Stampede -17/09/2013


The self-professed difficult genius
of Orson Wells
you saw on YouTube
his posthumously embarrassing
drunken outtakes
filming commercials.

The the interview
mere days before his death
in which he said he regretted
where he'd spent his energy
wishing he could be remembered
as a nice guy
knowing he wouldn't be.

The various different classes
of Federation starships
from both the twenty-third
and twenty-fourth centuries.

The year when tattoos stopped being hard.

The curly hair
of that chubby little
paedophiliac dude who used to
run that fantastic comic store
in Footscray
it was always quiet in there.

The number of people you spoke to
taking calls for Lifeline,
where their phone out.

The Mediterranean ghost town
you got lost in
when visiting Turkey.


The chill-cool smell
of a dark storm water drain
escaping a hot summers day.

The last conversation you had with your Father.

the really cool jacket you lost
not sure where
but probably in Newcastle.

How much you hate reggae music
and, very generally now,
the people who like it.

Black Sheep's album
'A Sheep in Wolfs Clothing'
and it's utter perfection.

the overuse of the word random
and more recently the phrase


things that bubble up
daydreaming while spending your day
folding letters and stamping envelopes.




Friday, September 13, 2013

you're out of fashion, and they're not gonna let you back in -13/09/2013


the bike sounds
like it has arthritis

my right knee
could use a de-grease
while the left
needs a little lubrication

this traffic
is over-caffeinated

the sky
needs its battery changed

my phone has had
way too much sugar today

and as for me?
I'm just lazily riffing
on Tom Waits

wherever he is right now
I'm sure there's still
a drunk piano close by

oh and if he asks
for his song back
you tell him I said

go eat a bowl of fuck




Temperament -13/09/2013


Now starve the artists
feed them only recycled pages
and stale bed crumbs
call them talentless and awful
tell them to stop
then take away all things
that they like
return them broken

don't worry
they'll love you for it
never coming after you

and in the dark
those little roaches
will actually believe

it all makes their art better.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

In the Window -13/09/2013


I wonder if it's wrong
to get turned on
by the sight of
bare mannequins' breasts

for a moment
this makes me
start thinking about
Baudrillard's theories
on simulacra

and then I go back to staring at the plastic tits




Thursday, September 5, 2013

This Election ( Randall Stephens' Very Earnest and Political and Topical List Poem, about the Election).txt -September 5th, 2013


this election, I'm voting for the other guy

this election
I'm voting against people I don't like
I mean besides you

I'm voting for the people
who aren't the people
I'm voting against

this election I'm voting for the party
I nominate on my voting form

this election I'm voting for
my twenty seventh birthday party
because it was the best

I'm voting for partying for my right to fight

this election I'm voting
for internet columnist Bob Chipman
he'd make a better Prime Minister
than anyone else I can think of
and he doesn't even live in Australia

this election, I believe in Harvey Dent

this election I'm voting for wake me
when this election's over

this election I'm voting for Australia
isn't Australia big enough to run for office?
all on it's own

I'm voting for The Greens
you looked at the alternatives?
who said it ain't easy being green?

this election
I'm all like fuck this election
and this election is all like no

this election I'm... fucken fuck
this fucking election
go eat your children
put a price on the sky
I'll wait here

this election
I'm voting for the burning car tyre
that rolled down the alley
nearly hitting me
during that demonstration
I got caught in
whilst in Kathmandu
back in 2008

...go tyre go!


(yes, leaving the .txt in the title was deliberate.)



'cause you ain't playin' a cello fucker -5/09/2013


'cause you ain't playin' a cello fucker

is how I hope
the dirty look
returned to the bum
who caught me
opening my wallet
to give change
to the busker
will translate
into words

after denying him
the sliver I dropped
into the musicians hat

he plays beautiful
love the cello
beauty... y'know?

sometimes you really should pay for it.




Monday, September 2, 2013

Banking -03/09/2013


in the tension
between that perky sweet
little-late afternoon smile
and the vigour she used
pounding that bank pad
on your cheque's back

that makes you wish
you could give her

another deposit




Father's Day, Regrets -1/09/2013


in his youth
he went around
trying to get
petitions signed
to have Maori taught
in New Zealand schools

took alotta beers
for my Dad
to tell me that

would've taken more
to tell me why
he regrets it
sitting there
shaking his head

fuck it

drunk enough as it is.




Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fear and Loathing at the Queensland Poetry Festival, 2013


Randall Stephens actually had a really good time at Queensland Poetry Festival 2013.

This is a bunch of tweets I punched out during/around the weekend in question, strung together here to masquerade as some kind of report, pretending to be a poem.

Poetry sucks. yeah even when it’s good, poetry sucks. And you fucking know it.



30 seconds of failed hobnobbing at the opening
and I already want to punch myself.
Haven't changed clothes, shaved,
or brushed my teeth in nearly three days and not wearing underwear.
Came to Brisbane to scurry beneath it and pick my nose in drier air.
And that's all.

Pi-O and I sneered at each other. Free wine. I'm good. Scrotum.


What's new Randall? ...
Well, tell y'what it ain't people winning poetry prizes for masturbating on Greek/roman mythology. 
Daedalus flew up his own arse, fucks sake.

I grumble into my seat
people move away from me

we talk into the mirror at the bathroom stalls,
he tells me in drunken confidence that I’m swimming with sharks
wondering which side of the net we are on right now
and as best I can

I try washing my hands.



No hoodie, no undies
No toiletry bag.
Time to go shopping.

Buying cheap/non-descript clothes,
under somewhat emergency circumstances,
 while on the road,
makes one feel a little like a fugitive.


I miss my girlfriend.
I also just missed the bus
which means I'll also miss CJ Bowerbird’s feature
( at Queensland Poetry Festival)
times like this I miss
knowing my way around
miss my wonderful bike

Yep, lotta miss
not alotta hit so far today.

Got me what I need from the local junk store
Thrown into the bargain,
I also went and found a quiet public toilet to jerk off in
I tell myself
this is not so much to blow off steam
And more for nostalgia's stake

But it does blow off steam.

He speaks so carefully
not wanting us to miss a single word
a painfully slow driver

making me want to reach for an overtaking lane, early.

Inconsistent in tone, pacing and character. A badly produced incoherent mess of ingredients that never jelled into anything memorable, at once poorly structured, and entirely predictable in reaching its ultimately unsatisfying conclusion,

I give this veggie sub half a star.

Fuck me that's alotta poetry up in 'ere
I’ve been here ten minutes and it’s been hours.

Yeah nah, fairly safe to say as a rule:
anyone stating they want to 'unpack' something you said/wrote
doesn't have your best interests at heart,

and should probably be stabbed with a rake as soon as possible.

Hours of poetry today. much profundity and erudition.
Head heavy.
Think I need to go eye-spy girls in hot pants and eat me a hot dog.

think it is simultaneously wonderful
yet kind of hideous that one can procure,
fairly easily now,
such a thing as a vegan hot dog.

Travel wank as follows: 
In Brisbane,
talking to my friend from Perth
a person I met in Bundaberg comes up to us
I talk about how my film won a prize here 2 years ago
couldn’t be here to accept it then
because I was in Thailand.

Punch yourself Randall, punch yourself now, you deserve it.

sound poetry ...enough said

Yeah fuck you too Sound Poetry

I talk only in bitch
can talk to people here, only in bitch.
I’m fluent in it to the exclusion of all else
have my phrasebook of injuries done to me by bigwigs here
Let me tell you about the time Pi-O was a cunt
about how I once got along with Eleanor Jackson
or something dumb about Shane Koyczan

...that I wasn’t actually there for.

drink drink drink
think about drink.
bitch think drink bitch
 I am incredibly small voice here
getting smaller

I miss.



Gentleman Practice. Missed it last night.

both of us fighting
twinned and dawning realisations
about one another
sometimes you're wrong
about being wrong about people
so my old friend and I argue
I say
he says

all the wrong things

a lesson that life keeps trying to teach me
over and over again
just look out for yourself
said before and often: I’m a slow learner
but when it comes to this lesson:  I skip the classes,
I talk through the lectures
I flip off the teacher

Some things it seems, I will never learn
This thing I know, I don't want to learn.

She tells me why he was shaky on the stage
The booze needed to get him out of the hotel room
the nerves that eat you
between empty seats and spotlights

maybe I should stop making fun of people who don’t want to be applauded

Jennifer Compton is walking around like a Muslim women
mouth covered like it’s shameful
we saw it silver screen size with Ian's mouth, and Anna Fern's
last night... oh last night
but we don’t blame here for the atrocity of that film,
and I also want to tell Jen
it’s that fucking beret she should be apologizing for
But she’s a mate, touring buddy

and I done enough damage this weekend.

'sides, it does look good on her
I just hate berets on principal

Feeling about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit
I decide to risk stinking up the slam with a non-slam poem before I leave

I stink up the place
smells like pride and a ticket too many
Holes punched

The festival is not over, but is for me
train pulls me away
glued to the window

the best lines of poetry
I'll ever have rise up and pop out of existence
like bubbles in my beer glass
as I stare out of movement out there

maybe that's the real parallax here,
with so much of us given over to (status)
the best if ourselves is never

should never, be so freely shared



Things are going to be fine in Syria.
Tony Abbott will not get elected.
The next Star Trek will have fresh and original ideas.
My new boss will better than my old boss.
The moustache fad will end.

And it won't be raining when I come back home.