Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Huddling Season - 28/06/2014


you're lonely
          but can't stand
                      being around people

                      you can't quite reconcile
               what you understand
      with what you feel

what you think
        with what you know

                             you want the space
                   but you're afraid of it
          half-past answers
    that came with expiry dates
from questions
                         that weren't framed right

            burning you up
on a cold night




Sunday, June 22, 2014

Randall's live performance of JUMP! - May 2013


Completing the series of videos Alex Scott and I produced last year when I was still trying to sell you my album, this video was taken at Slamalamadingdong Poetry Slam (the same gig where a few of the live poems on the final album were recorded).

(if you are not seeing a playable video window CLICK HERE for a direct link to the YouTube video

If you want to sing-a-long with Randall, (or just can't understand what I'm muttering my way through) the poem itself follows this post.

Feel like a bit of a YouTube binge? 
Why not check out my video channel for a previous installment of my battles with the English language at

Feel like checking out what this spoken-word-album nonsense is about?
Why not click on this rather handsome looking picture below to find out:



I can tread water
like there is even a grace to it
I can breathe under water
…at least,
I try to now and then

never did learn to dive you know
all I can do is jump
a feet first drop down crash
to resurface salty
burning throat and nostrils
but I’ll be smiling
because I enjoyed falling

that leap and grasp for air
that rush of empty in the updraught
and I seem to just
- hang -
in space for some moments
before the body of water moves on me
rushing up impossibly fast

then my limbs want for feathers
and a gliders grace but oh no
down I go

I’m a projectile launched out to see
with all the grace of a fridge trying to fly
failing, falling, closing on the water
until I crash piercing through
with a huge splash

my contact here was a flat-on-the-back bomb
shattering torpedo punch
going too deep to stay in control
and swim

coughing I come up to a bubbly hiss
with a huge air pocket in my pants
sting of that slap already searing my skin

but like I said above
before we jumped off into this
no matter the belly whacker smack
that comes after the jump
I still enjoyed

falling for you




On 3RRR's The Grapevine this morning, talking erotic fiction - Monday 23rd June


Tune into Triple R (3RRR 102.7FM) this morning at 11am for The Grapevine, I'll be guesting-it-up in their Reading Room segment- with Melissa Cranenburgh.

We'll be talking erotic fiction, reading, writing, the new Little Raven collection, censorship and whatever else we can squeeze into a half hour.

More about The Grapevine:

Or you can stream it live from the net at:

If there ends up being a podcast after the facft I'll embed it here later. 




Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dry - 22/06/2014


he's not hungover this morning

no recrimination
to be held against dumb things said
or done

no nagging guilt
to start looking after himself

no better judgement was railed against
last night
no headaches or lingering bad moods
this morning
clear headed and well rested
empty bed

his strength
with nothing to push against
morning exercise is less
than a stretch

his liver wants to thank him
he doesn't want to hear it
he speaks only in damage
spent as much of the previous evening
apologizing for his sober awkwardness
as he might have
for making a right-tit of himself anyway

he held a promise
like it was holding him
to ransom
didn't think he was an alcoholic
until he stopped drinking

but he has faced his first night out
sans getting soused
like he just went ahead
turned the music down
before the neighbors even had a chance
to complain

he's not hungover this morning
and it feels

just awful




Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Launch tonight: "A Storytellings of Ravens" -TONIGHT! (Saturday June 21)


My new resolution to promote each and every event of note I perform at collides with slap-dash do-things-past-the-last-minute work ethic, combining to bring you this belated post, about this exciting event tonight. My first ever published work (the poem "Except for Architecture in Helsinki") is now finally available in actual print, as part of the first three collected volumes of Little Raven-


'A Storytelling of Ravens: The Best of Little Raven Publishing 2011 – 2014' is our first print publication. This omnibus is a sleek, sexy, in-your-hot-little-hand book that combines work from 'Little Raven One', 'Little Raven Two', 'The Brunswick Street Strip' and exclusive bonus material.

The launch features performances by Aimee Nichols, Jock Read-Hill, Nicholas G Frank, Rebecca Bauert, Talia Eilon, Steve Smart, T.J. Minogue, Hissy Loco, Deborah Derenkowsky and Randall Stephens. MC is Little Raven's Director, Van Roberts.

Doors 7pm.

Cost: $10 / $20 
($20 entry includes a copy of 'A Storytelling of Ravens.'

More info and Lite Ravens publishing's website HERE

Hope to see you there!




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

...not in our stars but in ourselves (or Astrology sucks shit and my 6 year old nephew already knows more about how the sky works than you) - 17/06/2014



in the year 2014
some people
still believed in it

this is why
you can't have
nice things
this year

I mean I think you can’t

   ... someone told me

       ... not really sure

              ... well no I don't actually know anything about this matter

                             ...look I'm not taking any responsibility for this

                                     ...stop making this so hard

          ...lets just go check a thousand year old chart instead

that will clear this up

as brought to you by ancient peoples
who didn't know Uranus and Neptune existed
(or even Antarctica, for that matter)

In the year
two thousand
and fourteen
practice it

Carl Sagan must be shrugging in his grave

in the year 2014
it’s all fairly harmless though

because of it
you can still have conversations with people
who pre-judge and determine who you are
the content of your character
and your emotional attributes
based on when you say
you were born

while our bigoted Prime Minister
talks climate change skepticism internationally
the word science in air-quotation

no relation there

...I mean it would be irrational
to try connecting disparate
things together
wouldn't it?

join the dots

kept alive today in 2014
by twats
who probably couldn't tell you
half as much about the constitution of our galaxy
or the layout of our solar system
than my keen-eyed
six year old nephew

   ...yeah you go Oliver!


(if you are not seeing a playable video window click here for a direct link)

Taurus, in case you were wondering. 

You fucking peasant.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sigmund who?... -16/06/2014


am unable to find 'hard' bristle toothbrushes
in any supermarket I've looked in

it's all medium, soft and extra-soft

when you get right down to it
all the world's problems
extend from this point





Friday, June 13, 2014

(by the time you read this)


I remember seeing raindrops bead
over my handlebars the other night
and wanted to write something then
but had already made too many posts
that day

these posts
these bits of data will outlive me
stored somewhere by the NSA
Google and what/whoever else
it may never be read again
or all that much, while I am still alive but


this angry thoughtful
tired horny carnival of dread
I keep punching out
on my phone will still exist
long after I am gone

I'm just neurons
-firing off nail clippings
sweat, semen
unwanted body hair
bound into a soft shape
by an immutable will
to not die (just yet)
propelled to interact
with the world
by the various appetites
that constitute a human life

day by day
until the one comes
where I won't wake up
inside of it
nor talk or think of something
to post on my timeline
during it
no longer contained
by calendar dates

I will still exist though
I'll be this post
about the rain drops
that beaded on my handlebars

the ones
that were catching golden light
off the street lamps above
as I cycled home

they were beautiful
already gone,

by the time you read this


(no date on this post)



Sunday, June 8, 2014

La Mama Poetica -TOMORROW NIGHT! (Tuesday June 10th)


Tomorrow night (or tonight if you're reading this Tuesday) I'm honored to be performing at La Mama Poetica, which as a long-time Melbourne poet, is a kinda a big deal. La Mama theater has a proud place in the history of Melbourne underground/grass-roots/bohemian culture. (At least according to some documentary I saw about Lygon Street. Anyway... trust me, and more importantly come along!)

La Mama Courthouse Theatre
349 Drummond Street, Carlton

Here's some details on (besides yours truly... you know who I am presumably or you're not reading this).

Paul Mitchell is a Melbourne-based poet, fiction writer and journalist. His first poetry collection 'Minorphysics' won the 2003 IP Picks Award for Best Unpublished Australian Poetry Manuscript. In 2007, he published 'Awake Despite The Hour' (Five Islands Press) and a collection of short fiction 'Dodging The Bull' (Wakefield Press). In 2013 he wrote, produced and performed 'Being A Wheel Family', a poetry-based show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Paul was co-judge of the 2013 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, and teaches creative writing at Melbourne and RMIT Universities. He is completing a PhD in English (Creative Writing) at Latrobe University.

Bronwyn Lovell is a Melbourne poet who has been published in 'Australian Love Poems', 'Cordite Poetry Review' and the 'Global Poetry Anthology'. Bronwyn was the winner of the 2013 Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize and has been shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize and the Montreal Poetry Prize. She works as a Publications Officer for Writers Victoria, writes a poetry column for 'Lip' magazine and is Australian Poetry's poet-in-residence at 'Kinfolk' in Melbourne.

Lish is a Melbourne entertainer who writes poetry plays, short stories, comedy and songs for adults and children. She has two chapbooks, Butterflies of New Dawn (1996) and Leather Skin, (2002) and one recent poetry collection Breath (Luckner Press 2014). She has co-written and performed in several plays, including The Stork (with Kerry Scuffins for Overload 2004), Goddess Wanted must provide own pedestal (Melbourne Comedy Festival, 2005) and played Venus in Venus of Marrickville (a modern readaptation of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis by Komninos Konstantinos Zervos). Along with Pamela 'Mimi' Sidney, Patrick Alexander & Paul Skec, Lish was one of the four founders of Accidental Poets @ Good Morning Captain. She has organized and hosted readings at various Melbourne venues, organised several song and poetry writing workshops and was the winner of the Human Rights Poetry Slam Award in 2010

$12 Full / $8 Concession
Box Office & bar 7.30pm

You can book ticket online at
or phone 9347 6142

Facebook event page:


Going to break out some new poems and a few classics.  Hope to see you there.



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Of Hard Things (Unsettled in Australia, chapbook sample #2)


they made you
out of rocks and glass
and all the hard things
shards and gravel
of your home soil
lying under a village
shot to pieces

they baked you
at pressure brittle dry
til you cracked

they made you
out of things that burn
like not knowing if you can stay
if you'll be safe next week-after-week
from being sent back
to the men who put bullets
through your home
and the family in it

they made you
to combust
skin like kindling
out of nineteen months
on a prison island
all your Christmas' never came
til at once

that last human ember of protest
sparked within
couldn't take any more
of what my country denied

          set yourself on fire

then one morning
they made me
come and get you
out of the Alfred psych ward

had a wad of petty-cash
from DIAC
some stuffed shopping bags
and an address in Dandenong
to drive out to
then leave you there

and through that
they made me

like I was an accomplice





Thursday, June 5, 2014

New chapbook "Unsettled in Australia" prologue piece -teaser trailer extended uncut directors cut unrated special limited collectors etcetera edition


Those of you on the facebook/twitter vine know I've been working away on a little poetry chapbook, in time for a combined cycling/poetry tour I'll be embarking on come-August.

The chapbook "Unsettled in Australia" is about working with asylum seekers in the community, which I did in 2012, with Australian Red Cross. It's 98% material that you haven't seen before on this blog, written specifically for this publication.

Ultimately the book will be used to help raise money to assist the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, whom I know first hand do great humanitarian/legal/community/work.

I don't want this to be a collection of trauma-porn stories I've appropriated off of the vulnerable people I worked with, but rather an anecdotal account of my work, a gonzo-style first person shooter as welfare worker, reflecting on Australian society as I tried to help people integrate into it.

The writing is coming along, however I'm already having to edit things out. One rather painful excision is a prologue I wanted to have open the story. The idea was to set a mentality about Australia in a global context of being a very rich country, and all the community services we enjoy (with the people I worked with did not have access to, even once out of detention).

 I love the idea of starting with a prologue set years ago on the other side of the world to give a bit more sweep to the overall story, however an opener needs to be punchy too, and this is just too damn long, because of the length doesn't work as an opener/precursor to the story I'm trying to tell, especially as it doesn't deal with the subject matter.

However think it's an interesting piece of writing on it's own, so I thought rather than just recycle-bin it, why not put it up here for posterity's sake, and as a teaser of sorts-


What does paradise mean to you,
living in this place?

every day spent here
I've gazed away hours on those clouds
down by the banks of Phewa Tal
rowboats and pagodas float
quiet in front of forested foothills
guest houses nuzzle up sides of the valley
smoke and mist rise lazily off the water
tastes of incense off the breeze
mingle in with my cheap beer

before today
paradise was my prologue to Pokhara
everything from Buddhist meditation
to massage and adventure tourism
at your fingertips

a hill or two back your city actually starts
where all the Nepalese people live
everything concrete walls and dust
broken plumbing and warbling speakers
blaring plastic bags and gravel roads

I walked around for like an hour
trying in vain to find a bin
to put my banana peel in

ended up just throwing it in a gutter
wrapped in western guilt
with the rest of the garbage
how many angels can dance on the head
of your conviction not to litter
amongst rubble
...westerners don’t venture this way much

I came out here looking for a post office
found you kids running up to me
asking where I come from
making me wish I could talk
in your language
because I say the name of a country
you pretend you understand
but if I could tell you where
I actually came from
you would not believe me

beyond that lake oasis
a kilometre from your house
can't describe to you
what my country is like
it would be easier to say-

I come from paradise

where you won't go mad
looking for a rubbish bin
streets are magically kept clean
by trucks with giant robot arms
picking up all the collected garbage

where I come from
the government gives money
to people who don’t have jobs
it tries to provide housing
for people who are homeless
where the power stays on
all of the time

where there is running water
in every home
even in our toilets
it is clean enough to drink

where I live
hospitals are for everyone
and medicine is mostly free
If I had been born here, kid
a haemophiliac like me
without access to that system
would have died
from the bleeding disorder
before I reached your age

I come from an impossible place
where you can live in comfort
your whole life
without war, want or disease
where superstitions about gods
don’t rule over people’s lives

you probably have belief in some deity
who promises you things like these
I don’t have any beliefs
I have never gone hungry
and I never will
I know this
as certainly as I know gravity
just as I know for certain
we better get the hell off this street

because where I come from
we don't see riot police like these

- - - -

I don’t know where those riot police came from, either

out of nowhere
five minutes ago I was inside that post office
waiting in line musing on the above
out the door now
mission accomplished
my parcel back to paradise
a shiny line of soldiers shoulder to shoulder
right down to the gate

they looked magnificent
fiberglass helmets and shields
wanted a photo of them--
never seen tear gas canisters before

where I come from
we haven’t had a Maoist insurgency
or a corrupt monarchy

this is what I wanted to say
to you before, kid
I don’t know
what you know about
my country
I’m just being simplistic

those heavenly afternoons
I’ve had up the road
could make me boast back home
about Paradise
and I could spend just as many days
defaming my country for you

it would still sounds celestial
you wouldn't believe me
but all that separates
me from you
is Himalayan mountains
a few long roads
then the Indian ocean

all that separates us
is an accident of birth
two feet of height
four inches of my backpacker beard
and a couple thousand dollars

you kids are long gone into this afternoon
a dipping sun gleans light off those riot shields
shit’s about to go down tonight

they’re looking at me
don't make eye contact with-
always hated police everywhere
I know motherfucker's just doing his job
like I just do my job
when I do my job

I was trying not to think about my job
so far I've found it hard
to explain what social work is
in a developing country

kids who come running up to you
just wanting pens and balloons
don't believe in our poverty
by your understanding
everybody is rich where I live
and truth is we have fantasies
for entertainment
of a post-apocalyptic worlds
that would pale against this

where I come from
people don't know your poverty
any more than you kids know
what the word poverty means
people the world over use these words
but their meanings differ  

another thing kid
just as the hills here
separate a lake paradise
from a rioters purgatory
back home
we have marked divisions
of our own

in Australia
our biggest problem
is not knowing how to help

people with problems.


(see I shouldn't have told you it was too long, because now the whole time reading it you were saying to yourself hey this is too long, weren't chya?).

Anyway, I am going to hack that down to about 20-30 lines somehow to include it in the book. Hopefully it will be finished within the month. Watch this space.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Universal Constant - 4/05/2014


governments change
leaders and regimes are toppled
laws are passed and overturned
artistic praise is fleeting
audiences swell, wax and wane
with tides of fashion
lovers come and go
daylight burns out
as the stars above shift
and the mountains themselves
move over the eons
but amongst all that
and always...

the waitress will come
top up your water
right after

you just farted






Monday, June 2, 2014

Taking Sides - 3/06/2015


my feminine side
is an internalised misogynist
with a great sense of humour
passively aggressively
not talking to me
every time I try getting in touch
with it

...but it gives good head

my masculine side
hates the actual word 'masculine'
thinks it sounds prissy
or some shit

every time I try getting in touch
with it
I end up in a head-lock
as it calls me a poof
then asks me quietly,
if I still do poetry
before crying on my shoulder
sobbing uncontrollably

leading me to the sore-neck
I don't like taking sides

my inner child
a little shit who nicked
my fucking wallet
and gives aspirin
to seagulls
when no one's looking

my inner demons
don't mix well with my mates
never pay their way
and drunk the last of the goon
when I was out

while the better angels
of my nature
all took flight
leaving for higher wages
paid leave
and more flexible hours

well who needs you anyway