Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paternity is a Legal Fiction

This just popped out on the bus - scribbled it down and then typed it up at work and emailed it home

no real need to change anything i thought so i left it as it was.

Lo! Into the slough of despair
The family fell after the death
Of the mother.

Some fell into blinding rage
Some fell into drug usage
Others bathed in self loathing

Dogs bay at ships
With tattered sails

For what is the family?
No more than the mother.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

To those who see only a lack of meaning

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence

the grunts and creaked groans of desire
infant bablement grasping towards language
mad made mad up jumbles of the child's play
the disconcerting confusion of dementia
vast creole sprawling archipelago of pidgin
alive with the ghetto nuance
sweet confusions of precision

cant argot patois slang
language of misery

all of this and more
are a few of my favourite things

(anything in fact but god
(that fat bitch of a dog spelled backwards))

non dulce et non decorum est

Ready Ruddy Rowdy

Historway sable and stood over
Uber gigging giggling scrummage

Scrim shawl whalers
Poverty scrum serum

She could decipher
Stage scribble
Scrabble drawn
Map marks off the
Sribbly gum

Aching jazz tone
Bee sing borne
Oat fat oaf
Potted plan

Singsign being borne
A far star

Friday, November 21, 2008

Six O'Clock Swill

The 6:00 swill - an old tradition which has since fallen away - much to the joy of the drug pushing beer barons, who get knight hoods, while kids go to jail for having some pot or a couple of pills. 6:00 closing time had it's origin (in NSW anyway) in a riot of soldiers, during the first world war. the setting of the poem can be dated from the description of the cricket match. other than that you have to find the reference to ezra pound, cause the kipling is far too easy to spot. who was the demon bowler??

Strewth! Stumble out stumble down
Crikey! Hot stinking street swaying
Vomit spraying in from offices
From wouldn't that rot your socks
Workshops dock yards shop front warehouse
Tile packed pissing where smoking
Cravens they stood afternoon heat.
And then I left, Johnson got out
And Hasset on the same number
Thirty eight runs more Langley fell
What eh? We still battin'? Turn up
The wireless maite nine are out
Fifteen more to get. Johnstone
Like a rock he is, eh? and Ring!

Here over here! Happy new year!
Same Again! Get me a butcher's!

Time boys! Fair go boys! Drink up!
Drink up line 'em up hose 'em down
And bless his cotton socks and out
And the O'Connells and Lynchs
And Corrigans and the Boycotts
The Arenas and Rossinis
Spilling Montagues and the Smiths
Shatter and dinkum drunken
Swagger sway the still bright sidewalk

And two old gray beard old geezers
Wild eyed the cabbage green boyos
With tales of Victor Trumper
The first one player to ever hit
One hundred runs before lunch
In a test match - 'twas all style
One old gray hair 'twernt no style
Said the other - but oh! they
Both agreed he was something
To see - A gentleman in all
Ways and all Sydney came out
For his funeral. Myself I
Drug myself out me humpy.
Singing ain't I a demon
Three quick balls three English fell.
In the dressing sheds the demon
Bowler he was called. I never
Seen him myself but me ancient
One saw him bowl - ain't nothing
Like it the demon bowler
Bloody oath! Gooown! Rattle your dags

Too right me old mate cause it is
Tommy this and Tommy that -
And Tommy how's your blooming soul
But 'tis the saviour of our land
Once the guns begin to sing

Your name it is Tommy? Don't be
Daft! Ya bastard, quoting Kipling
He is, but why? Why old timer?
Strewth I was there, bloody hell
I was there. Doomed to defeat.
The pitch was responsive to spin.

Too right Tommy this and Tommy
That and rat a tat the melting
Barrel shitting myself a trench
Cut through Hill 70 and lots
Of diggers aged sixteen bawling
For their Mummies. And I was
There blooming too right I were there
In stinking hot Camp Casula
And they fed us swill and worked us
No better than mongrel dogs.
And the laddies come down the bush
And they died in their scores, they did.
Not a one could get a beer
Cause the boys in Flanders had none
So the wowsers made our throats parch.
There was Billy a pluggin'
Conscription, and the King he were
Again it. And I was too
No one should have gone, none at all.
The party split, and the workers
Suffered and the Nationals ruled.
And Billy got us Papua.

Our little digger he never fought
And Botha thought him mad, while
Wilson framed him as vermin.
And the Pommies killed Connolly.
And one day it were all too much
And we downed our tools and said
Bloomin' hell this is barmy lads.
Let's go and tie one on.
Cause in six months we will surely
Be dead, buried the Flanders mud.
And when we got to France we built
Up barricades with the fallen.
There were so many and I was
All night and all day cut off
With my captain and stinkin' dead.

So all us dinkum cobbers
And all us thirsty sports we marched
Ranked on Liverpool. Must have been
Over ten thousand diggers armed
And we drank the flamin' town dry.

And the bells and the bells calling
And the barkeep hosing Tooheys
Black Ale Schooners. Here! Over Here!
Went the cry all 'round. Closing time
Soon, here for flamin' Christs sake!
A clinical joyless ruck formed
Of sweat spilling red faced men
In the evening heat, swaying
Stumbling puking pushing
Fights and fists and oaths let fly.
Spillin' swillin' round the Hero
Of Flamin' Waterloo Hotel.
Vomiting, let's away one winked
I know of a gry slog we can...
Swirling round the scrum. Bloody
Buna bloody Gona ragged
Bloody heros carried Fuzzy
Wuzzy angels sideshowed to
Bloody over sexed bloody Yanks
Borneo. And we marched and drank
The town dry and we did not pay
One penny. Beat the publicans
Senseless, they ran and cried and
Then we took over the trains.
Bailed 'em up like old Ben Hall.
We drove down to the big smoke.
And drank and raised bloody hell
Some more. Until the armed police
Arrived. Pointless court martialed.
So we sailed to Sinai and France.
Most the lads never came home.
And the rat lost the plebiscite,
Failed twice. But the wowsers won
The hotels still close at six.

Cause it is still Tommy this
And Tommy that and Tommy
How's your soul, but the hero
Of the country when it's closing
Time here. Drink up! Time gentleman!

Here! Here! The Cries roll up, pushing
For the life boats, joyless slipping
Fingered smashing glass on tiled
Floor, hose 'em down, hosed of beer.
Vomiting forth closing time.
Line up line up five more to swill.
I've got the ways and means, too right.

Johnstone won the test, steered us home.
And Les he laughed, Trim got run out
For nought in both his innings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joy to Sorrow

went to Omar Musa's website (he won the last two ACT heats of Poetry Slam) and he was talkin' 'bout the USA election. Had some good things to say

yeah. that sums it up. also, the over-the-top
spectacle of the Democratic National Convention.
isn't it just too much? much too hollywood in my
opinion. bill mouthing "i love you" to hillary? michelle
obama's nauseating speech?? get the fuck out of
here!! people are eating it up though.

which made me wanna publish a poem i wrote at the time
cause i too was a bit nauseated by the family love theme
i guess only american families count.

but we have to get over the idea that america matters
cause they aint america has ALWAYS been a lie
just have to ask the manahatta indians
The sooner we move past the lie the better off we will be

Joy to Sorrow

The infant lay silent in her mothers arms.
Endless salty tears fell on her cooling skin.
The doctors offered apologies, nurses
Said they were sorry and quietly left the room.
Leaving the family alone with the child
And the father sat silent sobbing staring out
The window. While the grandfather silent seethed
The cost of insurance, the grandmother hovered
Offering tea and tissues and more splashing tears.
Empty. Alone. The infant silent her mothers arms.

In the village a mother claws mindless the rubble
Uncovering the silent infant; with a thin
Line of blood from her nose, a thin line her left ear.
Sudden silent came the drone sudden came the flames.
Someone far off, put down his coffee, flicked a switch.
Almost at once, yet half way around the world,
A father was killed, a grandfather was killed,
A grandmother with a mortal wound, wanted to die.
An officer declared success 'we got some bad guys'.
The silent infant, pale, covered with concrete dust.
The mother's tears falling, splashing powerless.
The silence of the infant in her mother's arms.

At the same time - some place far away from
The silent infants, the candidate took the stage,
With his wife and children at his smiling side.
And the crowd was silent in the candidate's presence.
And his speech was eloquent, and his wife charming
As they spoke heartfelt cadence of the strength they drew
From their children, their family. Once elected
He promised to do all he could to protect
The family.
A Mothers tears are without end.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Some older artifacts (about four years ago). I can see I was groping after something. Did I ever get there? I am not sure. I think I was attempting something interesting.


I can do no more than offer up these pieces to the gnawing criticism of the mouse click

I digress.

Unfathomable depths.
This is our children's inheritance.

Or some unidentifiable creature.
Stations with bare hands.

Sweeter than that of sodomy, practiced passively?
No rational thinking person could be offended.

Coming together we separated.
I wonder where Why HOW
Later the sky turned jet black

He had been rusticated the university spraying.
The relentless attack, the never ending suggestion.

The Unending

Builders came across the unending

Junkies harrased dismal pedestrians
Flowers cleared his idiotic misconduct
The dog died
A lifeless bird

Our underweight universe

Mechanics stole my petty wife
Being supported her laughing life

Brutal Dreams

Must speak of dreams

For is not a factory
Too brutal to dream

Is not being poor
A crime too dreadful ...

To comment
To commit.

Nowadays raw men and women
Are tools of imagination.

He sat and he stared
Looked at his burns.
For he is a poor man.

He looked at his hands
They were ragged and torn

No more boom and bust
Now only relentless growth.

He looked at his hands
They were spotted and tanned

Families, neighbourhoods,
Cities and towns,

All stand to profit.

He sat at the table
Green drab lunchroom
And looked at his hands.

Let all come forth and bloom.
His favoured animal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Rupert Moloch - the arch plutocrat (pluto the greek god of wealth and death) gave a speech about the future of australia . saying how we do not spend enough of education, and have a too restrictive immigration policy (!!!) and we are not doing enough to fight global warming. (give the planet a break he suggests).

the only thing i could say is just fuck off back to the USA and tell your minions at FOX news to rhapsodize more about how much they love george bush, and babble on about how global warming is not man made. this man has huge power to sway opinion, but all he can do is slavishly (like a crack head junkie) follow his greed, supporting the lovers of death and the perverters of language. i am sure dante is organising a special little rat hole for him in hades.

this would have better said 2, 5, 10 years ago when coward was in office and maybe it would have helped changed things. to talk of immigration and global warming now with rudd in charge is disingenuous at best, and stinks of little more than mischief making by one of the old farts who is fact more a part of the problem than the solution.

hollow weenie

Went to the Front Cafe for the last friday in every month poetry reading. there is a reading the last friday of every month at the cafe orgainsed (and he does not get enough credit for it) by uber poetry nerd julian this is always (well almost always) a nice gig, not too crowded, not to sparse. this month was themed of halloween, which was not really a surprise, as it was on october 31 (which is also my youngest girl's birthday - she turned two - very cute bundle of emotion).

There was an exhibit by a painter in the gallery space, but i was not very moved by his work, so let us get on to the poetry. the night was won by a young woman named Liz Beaton, who wrote a rhyming poem (only finished on the night) about falling asleep and rip van winkle wise waking up in the future. in this case only a few years into the future, but one in which the right wing had gained power again (which of course assumes the ALP is to the left) and things were not very good. Seung Baek came in second and Hadley third (which in fact surprised me, as both of them seemed flat compared to their usual efforts.)

My winner was a woman named Jen (sorry did not get her last name) with a very beautiful poem which she described as a "gothic rhapsody" she had a lovely phrasing, and a slow power not often seen in the hurly burly of the slam format. speaking with the winner liz, we both agreed that her poem was one of the few that evening that it would be good to read.

i also enjoyed the reading of anthony (who has just handed in his thesis), as he held up his poems in such a way that a photo copy of his face, on the back of the page, covered his real face. it was an effective conceit. i would have taken better notes , but alas i gave my pencil to one of the judges, so could not take notes.

hmm maybe i should bring a camera.