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.