Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Things got ugly, in so many words -May 1st 2013


if she wants
to find herself described
in something you wrote
tell her, fine
tell her it's there
tell her by all means
come find it

but also warn her ~
for all it's imagined attraction
this has never been
a safe place to go

looking for yourself


Like so many poems, this piece started life as a tweet/facebook post and I imagined it as jumping-off point for a much larger, self-involved, self-aggrandizing, cabaret of closeted skeletons of what-lead-me-into-writing, slam-poem.  It's taken me the better part of a year to realise I didn't need that, and have the confidence to just let it be a long story short. I'm a slow learner.



Friday, April 26, 2013

Randy's Advice to Young Writers -27/04 (revised 28/04/2013)


My advice to young writers: 


because you're young
and awful 
and don't know anything yet 
(including that you're awful)

because you're young
and brilliant
and you fucking know it
yeah you should also quit
(especially you should quit)

because I don't need the competition kid

get the fuck outta here
go be awful 
go be brilliant
pages can wait
til it's first written on y'face

and quit asking advice from wankers.


"I was born old and it wasn't much fun" -Steve Smart



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANZAC day & the Origins of War -25/04/2013


well...  ugh.

I spent the last half-hour trying to find a short version of George C Scott's amazing opening speech from Patton, on YouTube, for a satirical Anzac day poem, but in that process had to imbibe so much right-wing crap that I actually feel sick now, and lost my nerve.

It's kind of a non-statement, but: we're living in the twenty-first century, war is a horrible thing that should always be avoided, never be supported. However, I don't begrudge anyone going to an Anzac day march. Lest we forget.

It's very easy for a some inner-city, highly-educated, progressive-politics, middle class geek like me to make grand sweeping statements, and lambast about militarism.  Yes, I do think all that patriotic stuff is a pile of brainwashed bullshit, yes I think it's stupid for people my age to go honour the noble courage of some ancestor they never knew sent somewhere far away to commit violence, because the big men at home in suits couldn't keep a lid on it.

But I'm living in 2013, and dubious cause or no, I have never had to sacrifice anything, haven't lost anyone to a conflict, and highly doubt I ever will.  I'm going to go out today with my family, as a living whole, and celebrate my birthday. Lucky me, lest we forget.

So, I'd encourage you to go get a copy of Patton for yourself, and see how well that rhetoric stands up today. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with some straight up science instead:

"it's tempting to close one's eyes to history and instead to speculate about the roots of war
in some possible animal instinct, as if like the tiger we still had to kill to live, or like the robin redbreast to defend a nesting territory.

But war ~ organised war, is not a human instinct. It is a highly planned a co-operative form of theft. That form of theft began 10,000 years ago when the harvesters of wheat accumulated a surplus and the nomads rose out of the desert to rob them of what they themselves could not provide."

-Dr Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man




Saturday, April 20, 2013

Skinned -21/04/2013


We wear a skin...

we wear a skin
of shamed breast feeders
of prescribed discomforts
branded by bottle-fed men
scared and stuck
behind their belief
in one size fits all figs leaves 

we wear a skin blemished
by advertised body types
that wraps us up so tight
our insides shrink
wrinkling into whatever shape 
best fits and matches
their price tags

bicycle riders wear a skin 
of lines marked unclearly
catching car door fractures
safety zone bruises left...

...by those who would prefer
cyclists as a sight unseen

until this cycle breaks
we wear their lack of vision

dangerously invisible
against their traffic-

jammed billboard supermodel citizen
swallowing two dollar-a-litre
swill stationed wagon lines

there are no straight lines
anywhere on the human body

today we shed their skin
and all it's obtuse angles

our learning curve cycles
today we’re exposed
celebrating our bodies
all bodies actual
not just sexual

naked as our smiles
our cheeks, on seats

you can see me now"


The World Naked Bike Ride took place in Melbourne on March 3rd, this year. Sometimes it takes you a while to figure why it is you do what you do, after the fact, and how to correctly articulate that doing.

All photos taken by myself, hopefully they add more than distract from the flow. In selecting each it was hard to balance the titillation factor (whilst not completely shying away from, or hypocritically claiming to ignore it, either) with the more documentary side of just celebrating that we were all out there having a good time.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Australian Shames -18/04/2013


I believe the day will come,
when we will attach more shame to being a bigot
than we currently do in this society to being called

There is a day coming

when Australian society will recognise shame
as something for people who stand
in the way of other people's love
their freedom to love
their freedom to express that love
and not apply shame to those of us
who are attracted
to members of their own gender.

No one knows how long they will live for

but I believe I will live long enough
to see this day come in Australia. 

I also believe it is a shame, for Australia

that we are not there already

I believe that want happened last night in New Zealand,

is something that should be celebrated the world over.

(can't figure out how to embed this video of People singing in the New Zealand Parliament  but clock on this link: [HERE ] to give it a watch for yourself. If it doesn't move you... well that's a shame)


I don't pretend this is the best piece of writing I've ever done by any stretch, but I felt it's really important to make this occasion, for posterity  Y'know, right side of history and all that gorgeous stuff. Have a good day my friends, especially those of you across the Tasman from me.  



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Inner Piece -14/04/2013


you miss pieces of the person
not the whole person

you miss their eyes
more than their hair
the bottom of their ear
not so much their neck
the sound of their voice 
but only when they talked
through a smiling mouth

you remember lunches (together) fondly 
though dinners (out) were always a hassle
you miss Sunday night being with them
having left them for what they were like
come Monday

too old for blind sentimentality
seeing now that you can never
more than forty nine percent miss
what you half-heartedly held
when you had it

you made up the rest
in inner dialogue
lots of three dot eclipses
... to make it all fit

you have a bag with a broken zip
to hold all these perfect pieces
of an imperfect person
and no patience for puzzles

are missing a lot of pieces
of a complete person