Wednesday, March 20, 2013

If You Can Hear This You're Too Close -21/03/2013


you can debate
what's on the page
ain't on the stage
in poetry
til you're blue in the face...

if your vehicle has no wheels
if your plane has no wings
your book has no pages
your speech no words

if your breakfast is at night
and your dinners done by morning
then what you have
with your meal
is a mislabelled palate

poems read aloud
should be poems designed
or re-designed, for reading aloud
just as a poem written on a page
(or a screen) better
reed       that               <-weigh

them poets mate
they debate the debate
they equivocate
on and on
on one hand
but on the other hand...
so bloody tired of hearing
the out-of-date pontificate
for fucks sake!

the page versus the stage
like the roof versus the walls
book better than the film

like saying shoes are better that socks
like dinner better than breakfast
like saying... nothing at all
like saying one hand
is better than the other
is only true when you mass-debate

somethings out there
simply don't need dissection
don't need to be compared
you might love your Mum
more than your Dad
and who cares?

you might like winter
better than summer
but those are at least both seasons
and so whatever your reasons
you  poets...

right it to be red
say it to be HEARD!
or both but cut the

because that
both reads, and sounds, absurd


Oh Randall but but but butt....yeah, shut up. I don't care. No, this is me shutting down the discussion (my involvement there in).

 It's not only boring, it's also completely baseless to compare two different types of things (ah ah I said types of things -not things). If you still wanna wave a flag for whatever corner you're in: go write some dry academic paper I won't read ,or some shouty-singing fucking slam poem I won't listen to. Don't care. Done. Go away.

Oh and apparently it's World Poetry day today. Go eat a stapler.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rash -14/03/2013


I have this rash
on the small of my back

I named it 'after you'




Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sweetalkers presents ANTHROPOETRY: The Players (08/03/2013)


At Sweetalkers next Tuesday, these are the people I'll be trying to squeeze ten dollars worth of poetry out of for you...


Ben Mellor is a UK writer, performer and poet who has performed at theatres and international festivals, garnering critical acclaim wherever he goes. He won BBC Radio 4’s National Poetry Slam 2009 and the Dike Omeje Slam Poetry Award 2008. He has had poems and short stories published by Corporate Watch, Inc. Magazine, Poetry Review and Route and his first full length collection, with accompanying spoken word album – both titled Light Made Solid – were published by Flapjack Press in 2010/11.

Anthropoetry is Ben’s first full-length spoken word show, and his third solo show after the critically acclaimed theatre pieces ‘Voices of Dissent’ (Contact) and Everything We Need (Royal Exchange/ Dartington), both part of the Changing Cycles Project – “Mellor is astounding in his performance” **** The Public Reviews.

Dan and Ben began working together on Voices of Dissent and the two have continued to collaborate on various theatre, music and spoken word projects over the years. They are currently also playing together in a band called Geddes Loom, which also features the singing, songwriting and ‘cello talents of Léonie Higgins.

The Big Chill Campfire Sessions: Ben Mellor
(if you are not seeing a playable YouTube window above click (here)


Dan Steele has been playing music since an early age, starting out on the Piano, and taking up the guitar at around 12, but regrettably giving up on piano at the same time, although he likes to tinkle the ivories again these days.  He has played in bands for most of the time since learning guitar, some have been better than others.

Dan works as sound engineer, composer and sound designer for theatre.  Has a solo project producing electronic music, often using found sounds as well as often working in collaboration with other artists.  He has been working in theatre since leaving school, initially as a sound engineer, and later finding himself working as Sound Designer for various projects.  Composing professionally came later as for a long time writing music was something he did only for himself.

(below: Ben and Dan doin' their thing together on stage)

Dan and Ben began working together on Voices of Dissent and the two have continued to collaborate on various theatre, music and spoken word projects over the years. They are currently also playing together in a band called Geddes Loom, which also features the singing, songwriting and ‘cello talents of Léonie Higgins.


Randall has somehow managed to convince award winning Australian writer Briohny Doyle to return to the spoken word stage to slum it with us poets yet again. A ”scholar of the apocalypse” she has written for Ampersand Magazine, Going Down Swinging, Overland, Cordite, Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow and all over the internet.

Briohny has taken the stage at the Cockatoo Island Festival, The State Library of NSW, The Melbourne Writer’s Festival, The National Young Writer’s Festival, The Overload Poetry Festival and The Wheeler Centre for Books and Ideas with everything from room stopping spoken word to XXX fan porn. She’s been commissioned to write performance work from the Sydney Festival, The Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, The Red Room Poetry Company and the Sydney Writer’s Festival.
Have a squizz at her website:

To check out podcasts of Briohny's spoken word (sound edited by yours truly) go to: 


Emily Andersen is an Australian poet who lives in Melbourne (and sometimes London), whose work is inspired by the themes of pop music, politics and place. Emily was mentored by the late Dorothy Porter between 2004 and 2005, and made her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut in 2012 with her one-woman spoken word show Love in the Key of Britpop.
She has performed her poetry on the BBC 6 Music breakfast show, as well as at spoken word events in the UK and Australia, and at Fringe World in Perth and Adelaide Fringe. Emily previously wrote, produced and performed in plays for her former company the Union Players, and was General Manager of young writers’ organisation Express Media between 2007 and 2010. As well as writing, her passions include activism, community cultural development, psycho-geography, the Fitzroy Football Club, and pop and indie music, particularly Britpop, the Beatles and Morrissey.

...and your MC for the night is:

(hey y'know what? I just rewrote this bio for a couple of submissions that probably won't ever see the light of day, so here is...)

A Melbourne-based performance poet who combines humorous and personal writing with an energetic delivery style to create a strong stage presence.  His work in concerned with masculine identity, romance and relationships, eroticism, travel, sustainable living, the experience of urban cyclists, people who annoy him, and dinosaurs.  Randall has toured his poetry extensively in Australia with his first spoken word album Product, as well as in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Borneo, competed in poetry slams in New York and London.

His work has been broadcast on RRR and 3CR in Melbourne, and published by erotic fiction label Little Raven, as well as in Australian Poetry’s online journal Sotto.  Together with filmmaker Alex Scott, Randall won the Queensland Poetry Festivals Filmmakers’ Challenge in 2011, for their collaboration on an animated poetry film “I Statements”.

 Randall serves as Vice President of the Melbourne Poets Union, and is currently writing a book of gonzo-poetry about his work with Asylum Seekers entitled “The Gated Community”. In 2013 Randall and long-time collaborator Steve Smart will also be releasing “Fuck These Guys” a series of chapbooks collecting their work on their hang ups about women and sex. 

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

oh and the bloody venue....

John Curtin Hotel, 29 Lygon Street, directly opposite Trades Hall. (it looks exactly like the above photo)

(and almost exactly the same at this photo below)


So, I guess it's C U Next Tuesday...


Sweetalkers presents ANTHROPOETRY -this Tuesday March 12th


Ladies and gentlemen, we're back...

Tomas Ford, a good friend of mine in Perth, wrote Steve Smart and I earlier this year recommending we check out a spoken word fringe act he'd seen over there called Anthropoetry by two travelling UK artists, and maybe try help set them up with a gig over here.

Tomas, himself one of the most daring, imaginative and confronting performers in Australia (peered I think only by, say David Stavanger, Adam Hadley or the mighty Emilie Zoey Baker), anyway Tom to a certain extent shares my ambivalence and impatience with elements of the spoken word scene, thus is not given to make these calls lightly. That immediately got my attention.

I'd love to say I was looking for an excuse to bring Sweetalkers back, because I always enjoy lying to people.  However because the window was closed on all the other gigs around town, and because I'm at heart just a fan of good, rich spoken word performance myself, I realized this was my, I mean our only chance to see this thing performed in Melbourne.

So, as a Melbourne exclusive event, we're very excited to be presenting you Anthropoetry. So excited in fact that we made a poster, no kidding, look, look!

ANTHROPOETRY is a musical journey around the human anatomy, infused with hip-hop, science and comedy , inspired by anthropometry, the study of measuring the human body. Exploring modern life through the lens of archaic quack medicine and hokey beliefs, UK (BBC R4) slam champion Ben Mellor delivers a social and political commentary at once searingly topical and deeply personal.

Created in collaboration with Dan Steele, a multi-instrumentalist and sound designer, the synergy between Ben’s blend of free-verse poetry, rap, beatbox and satirical humour and Dan’s subtle but emphatic use of guitar, keys, drumpads and live-looping technology, has earned the show 4-star reviews and audience acclaim at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, and at the Edinburgh Fringe, where it was first performed in 2012.

We've been getting nothing short of a barrage of message and comments from people from Perth and Adelaide since I announced this event on Facebook, and while that means a lot more to me that critics reviews, let's look at some of these too (out of Edinburgh):

 ‘Elegantly crafted rhymes… always engaging’ 
  **** (The Scotsman)

A fine body of verse… vitally affirms poetry as a spoken medium… a joy to listen to.’
 **** (Broadway Baby)

Slick poetry set to music, and a particularly impressive political and lyrical bent’ 
 **** (Sabotage Reviews) 

‘A talent and attitude that makes him one of the most intriguing spoken word artists out there…
Mellor and Steele provide a formidable double act… the synergy between poet and musician is key

**** (The Flaneur)

I've been listening to the accompanying album over and over since Ben sent gave me a copy. If you'd like to listen for what you're in for, check it out at:

But wait there's more, I've also lined up two amazing support acts for the show, in the persons of Briohny Doyle and Emily Anderson, both of whom are old-school poets, neither of whom have been seen gracing our stages in years, and both of them we'll be excited to see in equal measure. But I'll tell you more about that, them, Ben, Dan in the next blog...