Saturday, May 31, 2014

Shemotional - 31/05/2014


my boss asked me if men cry
thought about it for a second
said yes

she asked what makes us
said I don't know, really
probably different stuff than women
and the same stuff as women
and I agreed we should do it more

then I volunteered this-
the last time I cried
was about a month ago
was hungover from my birthday
my girlfriend looking after me
and I started crying because...
I don't know really
I felt bad
like I didn't really deserve
this nice treatment
scared of being a jerk
and maybe she didn't love me
and I felt better afterwards
and as I tell her this
I see my boss smirk
oh just a little bit she did
thinking it silly

started me off thinking back
'bout a high-profile poet
jacked up on some numbered wave
of feminism who called me
for sending out thank yous
after one of my first gigs

little smiling assassin
she made smirks like that too
clench my jaw
(well what the fuck you ask me for then woman)
written all over my shrug
never mind, I say

guess it was silly
and it didn't count
'cause of a hangover
and men don't cry
not really
don't be silly
I'm just overly-sensitive for a ma-
...for a Thursday

we were having a hard day, that day
at work






Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Her Side - 29/05/2014


she shot a look at me
through the security glass
that hit like a Tool song
...say both parts of 10,000 days
right in the gut

tell a single young homeless
and pregnant woman
that you have
no housing for her
and your day is suddenly
a lot heavier to hold
on the far side
just wanna go home now

guess she did too



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No Rematch With Creed - 29/05/2014


I am a loser
and lots of people out there
don't want me
to forget that

I remember
taking on a Nepalese sherpa
in a dal-bhat eating contest
high in Gokyo Ri
and losing
Three plates to his four

never really had a chance
most likely

so sure I'm a loser
probably always will be
I know it

but I will keep taking you on
make you eat your heart out
make yourself sick
trying to prove it
to everyone else



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Darth Vader Died, My Dad (live performance video from May 2013)


Leading up to making/releasing the 'Product' album last year, I had a bunch of videos shot and professionally edited, a few of them made it onto YouTube, though after the launch itself I never quite got around to making the rest of them available online.

So here is my original/definitive poem about my Dad. Originally written close to 6 years ago, the landscape around us, both personal and political, has changed somewhat, as regular readers of this blog will know.   But underlying it all, I think this poem still has honesty and emotional value.

Additionally, I have of course distanced myself from the poetry community and slam poetry in particular. Nevertheless, almost a year ago today, I had a great time at this gig.  Enjoy

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


My Dad couldn’t tell a poem
from a recipe for lentil soup
he has exceedingly little use
for either
that’s just two of the differences between us

in fact for the longest time
all we had in common
was a fondness for Star Trek
and loathing for one another
back then we interacted
only when the school principal
contacted him
your son is in detention
your son is out of control
he’s about to get kicked out
of this school again

those phone calls were my biggest fear
he got mad at my behaviour
I compared him to Darth Vader
likening my Dad to that evil black monster
‘cause how could he be my father?

when I was sixteen
I scratched off his face
from my infant photograph with him
he had no right to hold
who that baby had became
doesn’t know who I am
spend time with me -doesn’t try

confiscated possessions in punishment
things missing from my room
and him already at work
not there so I could show him
how much I hate him
didn’t talk to him for days
for weeks that would have been for-ever
if I could help it
living under his roof
his rules, in his house his Television
his unreasoning bullshit
his face scratched out
I just wanted to punch it in
but couldn’t…
because he was much bigger than me

with the end of high school
our tension eased
without principals calling
we had a kind of agreement in principal
don’t bother me and I won’t be bothered by you
I began working up that HECS debt
we might sometimes sit together watching
some Star Trek

for years it was left at that
until I saw another photograph
with the same face that had I scratched
away from me as a baby
my father’s face in a photograph of me
different hair colour
smaller stature sure
but there his features were
written all over my face
as I left for overseas
I heard him call me his Frankenstein’s monster
let loose in the world
recognising now that I’m assembled
from different components of him
more than facial features
I have found his strengths
and frailties similar to mine

at family gatherings delving into every topic
polite company prefers not to discuss
my poor sisters and mother duck for cover
they will never understand
these globally-warmed heated discussions,
pleading with us for no more
of the exchanges we fire like proxies
for Andrew Bolt and Michael Moore
failing to see the animation twinned in our faces

we both –know- an opinion isn’t worth itself
unless y’can beat someone else
over the head with it
it’s not live at let live
live to not suffer fools,
who are foolish in their foolishness
we’re both convinced we have the monopoly of truth,
then call a truce, agreeing to disagree
having duelled a worthy adversary
we’ve found our unique way to communicate

in years between scratching out his face
and finding it the same one
atop my own head
I re-watched Return of the Jedi
with more analytical eyes
where Darth Vader the begotten dark father dies
unmasked, and redeemed
reborn in the arms of his son

I understand now those vast spaces
between our words
those years lost opposing worlds
generation gaps between cats in cradles
and discs in the DVD player
watching Star Trek together

I know now why I like a good argument
or even a bad one
my father laughs like me, from the belly
he laughs at what I laugh at
in a world that all too often needs laughing at
he enjoys his books and his bikes
a quiet drink and time alone to think

what makes my dad, my Dad makes me, Me.
an apple, not falling far from his tree
his Frankenstein is my Darth Vader

I love him, simply stated
or better articulated
how David said it to Captain Kirk
at the end of Star Trek 2
today Dad the time has come
to say,

“I’m proud… very proud, to be your son.”




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Very Sexy Sex - (revised 21/ 06/ 2014)


was late to work today
because I kept masturbating
after the alarm went off
figured if I was cursed
with waking up early
I should at least
get an orgasm out of it

at thirty four years old
by now can give myself
some amazing orgasms

to the point it can often sour
if not ruin
my sexual relationships
with others

one of my last partners said porn
and over-developed forearm muscles
ruined me, for her

in her efforts to get me off
she would make these awful faces
intense with concentration
that was very off putting
I didn't have the heart to tell her
besides she had huge breasts

thing is
I think about that sometimes
when I jerk off, now
even though at the time
probably I was thinking about something else
further back, when building up to cum
trying to concentrate on climaxing

that seems to be how it goes
despite my attentiveness
in pleasuring a given partner
learning to read new lovers’ breaths
feel and respond to stimulus
sometimes in the middle of sex
other things
get me excited

I remember
the jagged in-ear whisper
from this girl I slept with
declaring how great my cock is
I’d never heard anything like that

I came instantly

I remember
first time I played rough
holding a woman’s wrists behind her back
against some dirty tin fence in Auckland
how her knees melted into me

I remember
looking out a tiny window in Kathmandu
a lover going down on me
thinking hey- here I am
looking out a tiny window in Kathmandu
while she’s going down on me... cool

then I lifted her up
bent her over that tiny room's bed
did her from behind
so she could see the view too

all these moments
themselves be-came memory
ejaculated deposits in the spank bank
saving of accounts
re-living touching myself

little things from years back
like that pair of gaudy ear rings
left behind where they’d been dropped
next to the ripped Ansell packet

a sharp gasp made
when I pressed a thumb
into hips while I was on top
while I was inside her

or fucking my first girlfriend
holding her head forward
to make her watch it
go up and down

this is where I've been
when I cum
all that sex
sexy fucking sex
stuck in my mind

thing is
I don't think sex is sexy anymore
that window was sexy
Auckland was sexy...
(god can't believe I just said that)
times in your life are sexy
after the fact

whilst fixating on the how
and the why and the whom
you cum-with
or don't-with ...not sexy

I'm a voyeur of my own life
perving on my own past
my brain continues to operate
by projecting forward
or reflecting back
memorising what it will later consider a turn on

someone getting themselves off
isn't a typically romantic or beautiful image
but the idea, I think
is sexy
whatever that means

late for work is sexy
the fact that you can make yourself
feel good, by yourself is good
it is worth running late for

almost told my boss that
as an excuse
who knows
she might have got off herself
on picturing me frantically
fighting those five minute snatches
between the snooze button
fucking myself
from memory

masturbation often seen
as a poor substitute for a partner
is actually more important
it all happens inside
time spent penetrating your own mind
your memories, thoughts
of all things yours, is sexy

all there in your head
sexy as you can make it
and you can make it
if you just remember that
you will

enjoy... yourself




Friday, May 16, 2014

How are you today? - 16/05/2014

there are two types of people in this world

ones who think
to put down those divider bar-things
for you
when you're behind them
in the checkout queue

and cunts.




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Problems - 14/05/2014

my mum misses her mum
on Mothers' day
gave her a book with me naked on the cover
and another one I haven't read
she paid for lunch though


my girlfriend doesn't have enough money
to stop her mouth from hurting.
I have lots of money but am not giving her any
because I don't think
healthy relationships work that way
I'm an expert

explain my theories over the phone to her
she had trouble talking because of her jaw

two occasions where ambulances came to my work yesterday
plus someone had a breakdown in the lobby
you could hear it from the back office
I watched it lo-res on the split screen monitor
mounted up in the corner
above the spare desk
it was my first day

they assured me it's not always like this
know they were lying
and I said so right back


today at the World Hemophilia Congress
went to talks on women's sexuality
and then caregivers of children
with bleeding disorders

just curious really
love hearing about the problems of people
that I don't share


feel a little gross now
admitting all this
numb and disconnected
from the confession
can't talk
fuzzy and not good with guilt but-

-actually I don't know how to end that sentence

pretend we found a point
then stopped





A picture of Tony Abbott being punched in the face - 14/05/2014


You've probably already seen this somewhere online before, but here is a picture of Tony Abbott being punched in the head.


(click to enlarge)




Monday, May 12, 2014

WFH 2014 World Congress - 13/05/2014


"We are sorry, but the lifestyle you are after is currently unavailable".

There are people from over 120 countries at this World Congress for Haemophilia, in Melbourne.

today I walked through the expo centre looking at all the multinational pharmaceutical companies displays, all the men in suits, all the medical professionals here who want... something.

I used to work as a labourer here at the MCEC sometimes, setting up and breaking down exhibitions just like this one.

A lot of the display banners talk about achieving normal lifestyles. I got paid twenty two dollars an hour through the night for reccie work.

I wonder how much those Pfizer guys are pulling for this.

In the opening speeches at the Opening ceremony, some assistant health minister called the global HIV/HepC epidemic in the 80s and 90s a "challenge the bleeding disorders community had faced."

I held my applause.

I've decided to use my cross-continental bike ride/poetry tour as a fundraiser to hopefully raise awareness and more importantly money for Haemophiliacs in developing countries, known as the 'close the gap' campaign.

Call me a bleeding heart.


#WFH2014 #haemophilia #UnsettledinAustralia



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Seeing Things - 11/05/2014


I've seen things in.Melbourne
you people wouldn't believe

urban explorers attacking rooftops
overlooking night time canyons on fire
streetlight scraping out darkness
off the shoulder
of the botanical gardens

cranes-beams over gates
up one hundred or more metres
in the air
looking out at glittering horizons

all these moments
will be lost, in time
like tears in the rain
when we're gone
time to urbex

time too high

(click to enlarge)


With apologies to Blade Runner:

(if you are not seeing a palayable video window click here)



Happy Mothers' Day, to me - 11/05/2014


My first career-job was in the child protection system, at the age of 26. I had no idea/conception of the awful things some mothers are capable of doing to their offspring, and these are insights I cannot really ever share (either on broadcast here, or even privately among those who know me).

I've seen the biology just gone so broken that I can never quite honestly join in, in raising a toast to motherhood as a broad thing. From some walks of life you just don't get to go home again. Believe me when I say, that I am sorry to say so.

Today, I see virtually everyone on my news feed expressing love for their mother, and fuck-me-dead, I don't want to be all captain bring down about something as ...good as that.

But (oh y'knew a but was coming folks) for myself I just can't make myself join the party. My love for my mother feels like too much of a private thing for me to pervade publicly. It's full of superlatives like "most dearest" and "best, kindest". Etcetera. Superlatives, to me, occupy the same brain-space that expletive language seems to hold for other more prudish people. Something vulgar and offensively un-expressive. So, because of my own hang ups, I just can't take you there with my mother and I.
All that matters is that I let her know how much I care. When I see her, I will try.

I spent this morning with the woman I love, her relationship with her mother exists at the other end of the spectrum to mine. I needed to remind her how special she is, days like today make people in her position feel... bad.

I can't fix those kids I worked with. I can't make myself talk about my mum with mediums I don't trust, and I can't undo what was done to my girlfriend. All I can do is dwell upon these things, float words, chew fat, see what sticks to the wall. It will help me be better towards the people I care about.

I believe they deserve it. I believe caring about others is ultimately how a human looks after itself. Motherhood functions with that, when it functions.

Today, I am trying to be functional too. My best wishes to us all.





Friday, May 9, 2014

If These Walls Could Talk I'd Paint Over Them - 8/05/2014


trust you
as far as I can throw
my voice
real heavy
in a doppler shift
that you will hear
a few seconds





Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Self Reference - 8/05/2014


but when I do look up
from my phone
I don't know 
what I'm supposed to see

when I stop being bad poetry
surface from screens
or other writer's pages
clock off from welfare work
aren't distracted
by being a haemophiliac

when I do get time to myself
without her
I feel only the subtractions-
I rush to holes
in my life
I don't know how to fill

who else should I call
what to do with my hands
how do see something
without putting a camera
in between it and you

want to not want anything
and don't get it
there's a cold out here
that ain't concrete
or warm coats

this isn't the first time
I swam out this far
I remember

"if you are going to be lonely
find the biggest sky you can
as far from home as possible
to do it under"

when I look up from my phone
again, I will look

in the eye.


As for the self reference:



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Like Ben John Smith -7/05/2014


talks about the love in his life
shit scared as if by speaking about it
someone'll come snatch
that feeling away from him

Ben John Smith 
is not a performer
you can't rehearse sincerity
and it's not a matter of half measures
pausing a little bit pregnant

hurts when he reads his poetry
out to you, has to force the words
from off his unrolled shaky pages
a clenched fist self incriminating
pitiful confession
of what would've otherwise been
a perfect crime

we never would have caught you 
no one ever would have noticed
y'woulda gotten away with it

and I don't know
if it's that you don't like yourself
or you just don't like
your own sincerity

if I knew
how to make
having a sit-down cigarette
next to a dead animal
something beautiful
or just good
I would
steal this from you
and run

and I would never give it back
you give away your work
none of it calculated or deliberate
it's not trying to get laid
or preach a lesson on
reaching twenty-million
trauma-porn prophet
not  white-knight Goddess
so much cookie-cutter
rhetoric candy-coating
safely aping others style

not polishing up your act
bitching about the musical chairs
and first placing-prizes
in a world the size of Monday night
at a bar, late

you make me remember
back to a bad-sex time
when poetry would hurt
when y'would make yourself...

Ben John Smith
a self made man

we listen to you flagellate lies
out of us all altogether
a super aggregate
sacrificial Jesus fuck guilt magnet

I wish speaking didn't hurt you so much
wish your writing would lie sometimes
I know you can't make it

no word of a lie
I have bad dreams
subconsciously threatened by
visits from other professional poets
more apparently career successful
than my workaday self
most of them are nice to me
in my dreams

unlike all of them
Ben avoided scoring out of ten
dosent spell so good
hugs as though he means it
and never gives me nightmares

tell you I would rather
try fucking someone
without using my hands
than write open honesty
if these wall could talk
I would paint over them

I don't want to be Ben John Smith
I'm not sure sometimes
that he does either, but
and I'm not alone here
I am very grateful

that he is.


Check out Ben's work at:



Monday, May 5, 2014

You should listen to Randall Stephens' album online. Also buy it, why not.


Last year I launched a new version of PRODUCT, my first album, completely re-recorded with music produced in collaboration with Jacky T, professionally mixed and mastered at Obsessive Music, and featuring Steve Smart, as well as my friends Alex Scott and Meaghan Bell.

Then, feeling a mix of self-satisfaction and utter exhaustion, I neglected to follow it up with any single mention of it on my blog here. Finally I got the entire album up online for download through bandcamp, complete with individual thumbnails for each track, earlier this year, here it is. (CLICK HERE FOR THE BANDCAMP PAGE) or scroll down to play the album of of this page.

You can stream the whole thing from the embedded site below, (yes for free) and/or if you're so inclined you can pay to keep a copy of your very own for fifteen dollars.


...or or or, if you're really so inclined I have twenty or so of the actual physical CDs left, and you can an extra buck-fifty and I'll post one out to you.

Five dollars from every album sold is being donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.




Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth be With You -4/05/2014


Though it's unclear anymore
whom shot at who first

though I can't see it
exactly the same way
I saw it as a young kid

though today I saw
a young kid's mother
obsessed with the gunfire
and ignoring the story
for it's actual content

and although, yes
the bulk of the material now
comprises more of evil
than of good-

I still love Star Wars

It's spectacle and scale
fired my imagination as a child

it's action and visual design
captivated me as a teenager

while it's filmic styling
and mythological underpinnings
inspire me as an adult

The force will be with you