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.