Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Street Faces 2

the girl at the tram stop is young
kinda cute
bit of a hippy

she talks to me of the coal she bought for her hookah pipe
wonders if the tram will be here soon

she’s a little drunk
carries her coal
and two shaken bottles of beer
says she insisted the guy at the shop double bag them
but he didn’t
it broke and she dropped them
from the bike now chained near the stop

she’s gonna leave it there and catch the tram

i pull my canvas shopping bag from my pack
and hand it to her
she demurs
says it’s too good
i let her know i have more

then i give her a smoke
we light up together
and talk of inconsequentialities

the tram comes
and we ride it together

i tell her to have a beautiful life
when i get off at my stop

Friday, December 18, 2009

so much fun to read...

And a hush was heard to fall across, well, actually not, in that, to my understanding, the term hush is used to designate a perceptible lack of sound, and as such, would seem to be not a phenomenon which is heard, as such, but perceived in a non-sensory manner as a comparative lack of such sound, and therefore perceptible more as a recognisable difference in level of sensory input from one time frame to the next following a marked event or point in time which can be used to pinpoint the change from one such frame of time and the one following, so hearing such a phenomenon as a hush fall, if an incident without mass as such can be said to fall, but this would be a serious digression, would not reasonably be considered to be a possibility, and as such…..

Most if, not all, of the ambient sound which had been audibly present in this place up to the current point in time appeared, in an audibly perceptible manner, and not by becoming visible, to have diminished subsequent to the aforementioned event in such a way as to cause a noticeable lack in said sound comparative to the perceptible levels of sound prior to the aforementioned event.

just my way of thinking

A friend once suggested to me that it’s easier to be beautiful in the dark.

I disagree.

It’s easier to be beautiful in the light.

In the dark you can’t hide behind your appearance.


I once thought to rehearse for life

But curtain call came too soon

And I was forced to ad lib

Monday, December 7, 2009

Future echoes

I fear that I shall
Run out of words
That there are only so many
Just so many
That I can tell you
I love you
Before the sincerity of
That phrase
Will be attenuated by the
Repetitious redundancies of our
Inadequate language
That we will become
To our own
Expression of that which we both feel

How then can I trust that an
Acquired numbness
Of your ears to those words
Will not translate to a
Numbness of your heart to
Their intent

How then can I let you
Know that you are the
Other half of my

How often can I then say

I love you

Between now and the end of our lives

And have you know
I mean it still

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pretenders - a pantoum

Poets trying to impress poets
Writing poems true to form
Twisting and turning their intelligence on display
Like I do for you today

Writing poems true to form
Using clever construction terms
Like I do for you today
But don’t take them too seriously

Using clever construction terms
Creating displays of impressive vocabulary
But don’t take them too seriously
They who compel by cunning display

Creating displays of impressive vocabulary
Pretenders proving what we already know
They who compel by cunning display
Shown for what they are

Pretenders proving what we already know
Twisting and turning their intelligence on display
Shown for what they are
Poets trying to impress poets

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance day

I miss you, old man
As I sit here remembering
The day we met
Right here at this bar
The bar we’ve met at every year since
Recognising something in each other
That brought us together

There we were, old man
Remembering together
As you do on days such as that
Such as this
Fresh back from the parade
Drinking together
A generation apart
Closer than many could be

You told me of yours
I told you of mine

You spoke of trenches
Of comradeship
Of that feeling you all had
The patriotic call
The belief in what you were doing
When it began

And then you spoke of horror
Of bodies
Of bloodstained mud
Of mortar fire and midnight rifles
Of disease and cold

You spoke of disillusionment
And then of comfort taken
In bonds made between those that were there
And the feeling beneath
That of all the wrong that was done
It was done for the greater good

And I envied you that conviction, old man
That comfort
As I told you of fear
Of hot jungle rain
Of confusion
Of silent death creeping through trees

I told you of times with no comfort
No sense of right and wrong
Just alive
And not

And there were things I didn’t tell you
Though I know you no doubt knew
And I thank you for not asking
For allowing me not to speak

Of villages destroyed
Out of suspicion
Or of children shot
Out of fear

And of…

But I looked for you today old man
Unsure if this year would be the one
Knowing your time would come some day
As they all do
Realising I had hoped it would be later

Always later

And I miss you this year, old man
But still, here I sit
A glass of neat whisky next to mine on the bar
And I’m listening to the world change again
Hearing people make that call again
Wondering what tomorrow will look like

I miss you, old man
Old friend
But it’s possible I might see you again
Sooner than either would have hoped

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

to read or not to read

Article I wrote for the DanPoets Zine I was publishing around 2000. Seems to still be relevant given the large number of new poets I see every year.

It starts like this: while on this journey that we call life, you, unlike half the developed world, have your eyes and mind open, observing and experiencing most of what goes on around you. Also, just like the other half of the developed world, you are wont to put pen to page to capture what you see and experience. This is fine, you like writing, and reading over it reminds you of stuff you’ve done and the things you’ve seen. Sometimes it gives you something to think about and helps you with the whole growing thing. And, hey, writing can be the best cathartic activity short of punching people in the head, and other stuff I’m not aloud to say too much about because this is a PG Zine (except for the occasional swearing in the poems, but that’s art, damn it!).

Now comes the turning point. You realise you’ve got some killer stuff here. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could share it with others, but for this you need (insert dramatic music here) an audience.


No big deal, you’ve got friends (my sympathies if I’m wrong), so you show it to them, email them little stories and poems, throw bits of paper at them each time you see them, and generally bug them for opinions on your literary genius. Sooner or later enough of them tell you all this great stuff about your work and you think, “Hey, just maybe I should find a bigger audience. Why don’t I try one of those open stage deals I’ve heard about, I think more people need to hear what I’ve got to say.”

Deciding is the easy part, but a lot of people struggle with the doing. Not because they shouldn’t be there, open stage means just that; they’re for anybody who wants to do their thing. What usually happens is that all of a sudden you realise you are about to stand up in front of a group of people you may not know, and bare yourself in front of them (not literally, of course, although I have seen this done). Reading poetry or other writings to an audience can leave you a bit nervy, I know I still get jumpy a lot of the time, and you wouldn’t be the first to start to talk yourself out of it.

Don’t. Once you’ve decided it’s what you want to do, then do it. It’s not like you can actually die from embarrassment, it’s just a figure of speech, and you’ll probably find that the people in the audience dig it just because you did it. A friend of mine once asked an old hand at the stage thing, “But what if I shake?” The answer of course was, “Then shake. But don’t stop reading.”

That is the real point; don’t stop reading. Or writing. Or sharing your stuff around. Of course, once you hit the stage, you probably won’t stop, it’s rather addictive, and there are plenty of venues around. Holding this little publication in your hand means you’ve already been to at least one of them (or someone wanted you to read this killer article about reading for the first time. Oh, and the wonderful poetry inside.) Have a look inside the back cover for more, or ask the wonderful folks that run the venues you already go to where some of the other gigs are, and what they’re like. There is a wide variety of them around, and we might have a chat about that in the next issue.

See you at the mike!

Monday, November 2, 2009


A man walks into a bar
Orders a beer
The bartender serves him
Leaves him to drink it

This is not a joke

And you are not a poem


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The original inspiration for the name of this blog - character profiles for a role playing game a friend of mine ask me to play many (like 15) years ago. I enjoyed creating them, but didn't last long playing the game.

Personnel file of the warrior band WADDAWEDOINNERE.
Or, "Who are The Wadds?"

Shudduppin Daiscum is the Dwarven fighter often referred to as Argh due to the fact that this is all that most of his opponents have had the time to call him. He is the son of Hurryuppin Daiscum and Arbitch Offawoomin. He is arrogant beyond his height and deals rather violently with anyone that refers to themselves as a 'Mean Son-of-a-Bitch' as he has yet to find anyone worthy of his calling brother!

Twang Fweethwack is a Skaven archer, and has pledged her undying loyalty, among other things, to Argh after he responded to obviously feminine calls of distress and inadvertently rescued her before stopping to have a damn good look at her. Her fierce attitude to battle is belied by her insistence at being referred to as Fweety.

Overthiss Wheyguise is an Elven mage linked to this unlikely band by a deep, dark secret. So deep and dark that none of them actually know it, but they figure that a mage can be handy to have around; especially one with his skill at mixing cocktails. The mage is usually referred to by his friends as Spock. None of them know what this means but it stuck after an incident with a small group of rather shy and insipid looking humans whose lives were probably rather limited before they were ended by The Wadds.

Sikh Anyeshalfind, the Darkling priest, joined this band after he was less-than-politely asked by Fweety to heal the wounds of Argh after a battle in the priest's home town. Since his town was destroyed in the battle, and Fweety's insistence that he assist her did the same to his home, he figured he may as well offer them his services on a more permanent basis. Or at least until something better comes up.

Toulouse Orwin is a Darkling rogue with a formidable reputation. This reputation does not extend beyond the Wadds, however, as most of the survivors of battles she has been in don't seem to remember seeing her there. Grudgingly referred to as Lulu by the rest of the Wadds, she is also the origin of Sikh Anyeshalfind's nickname, Sikko, having known the priest earlier in her life.

Wazzadbee Hindyoo, or Wazza, a Gremlin rogue, is the most annoying member of the band; especially to the other Wadds. In fact, his continued presence in the band is more a testament to his roguish abilities than to his charm. His loyalty to the Wadds, and especially to Lulu, the focus of more than his loyalty, is only outweighed by his ability to avoid the repercussions of his actions. A fact which is especially annoying to Lulu, who only at her weakest or drunkest moments, admits that a guy that hard for even her to pin down, is good to have on your side.

Helloath Aylor, a Fairy fighter, is the newest member of the band. She does not often admit to her surname, preferring to use just her first name, and curses loudly at any mention of her parents. Her reasons for wanting to join the Wadds are vague, as were the rest of the band at the time she met them. Late at night. In a tavern. After a battle. In fact, the rest of the band don't remember her joining, but figure one of the others must have had good reason for accepting her presence. Not much is known about her, and it is Argh's educated opinion that they may not get the time to remedy this.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a rose by any other

the powers that
have no
change names of
things for
real reason
than that
thought it time

epinephrine does not
the ring the
emotive sense of
adrenaline rush
no consonant
hard enough to
capture my
to your

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

King Who?

He had watched as the creature snatched the woman from the sacrificial altar. Had followed the beast through the jungle. Had seen the men that accompanied him on this rescue chase killed by the massive foe that they pursued. Had seen the beast fight to the death with a prehistoric monster that could only live in this jungle on this island that had been, until now, untrodden by the feet of white men. And now...

And now he hid behind a rock in the cliff top lair of this massive beast watching the woman he loved lie unconscious in the palm of the monster that men called Kong.

Kong was staring intently at the prone form in his hand, tugging at the torn clothing that barely covered her body, dropping, forgotten, the pieces that tore away from what remained of her ragged raiments.

Concern for his love growing rapidly, the man tried to move to a better vantage point to plot some sort of rescue. Skirting the cliff top ledge he was not quite careful enough, and sent a cluster of rocks clattering loudly down the cliff face.

"You can come out now, little man; you are in no danger from me." Kong, his booming voice still echoing through the cave behind them, turned towards him. "Unless I accidentally sit on you, of course."

Startled, he stammered " can talk?"

"Clearer than you, by the sound of it." Kong replied, his apish face managing a wry grin.

The man sat, astounded, looking up at this huge creature.

"Stop staring, little man. Anybody would think you'd never seen a talking ape before."

He could not help but laugh at that. "Well now you mention it, Kong, I haven't."

"Please don't call me that, little man. My name is Kevin, actually."

"Kevin?" he replied, stifling a laugh.

"You think that's funny, do you?" he asked, quietly, moving towards the man.

"Um, no. Sorry, er, Kevin. I just didn't expect it from such an imposing looking being. Mine's Joe."

The woman, still lying in the great ape's hand stirred. "Joe? Is that you?" She opened her eyes to find herself staring into Kevin/Kong's smiling face.

"Hello, little lady." he began, to which she promptly screamed and fainted.

"I wish she'd stop that, Joe." he lamented as he put her gently down on a bed of grass nearby.

"Well, Kevin, you're not exactly the sort of thing she sees every day back home. Now you mention it, I'm kinda stunned that I'm sitting here talking to you so calmly."

"I'm glad you are, Joe, I don't get many visitors here."

"What about all those ladies the natives keep sacrificing to you?"

"Well, er, that's different."

"I'll say. I saw you undressing Lisa when I got here. Hey, you weren't going to....."

Kong's laughter almost knocked Joe over. "I'm not an idiot, Joe. She fits in the palm of my hand. This," he continued with an obvious gesture, "doesn't. You do the math."

"Okay, but what have you been doing with all those women. The natives must have been sacrificing them to you for decades."

"Yeah they have and I'm getting quite tired of it actually, but they won't stop. They think that if they don't I'll break out and attack them. I didn't want to break out, I liked it here."

"Then what do you do with them all."

"Not much. I stopped taking them for a while, but then they blamed the women and just killed them themselves, so I started taking them again. Some of them are still wandering around the jungle, no doubt, but most just panicked, jumped off the cliff, starved to death, that sort of thing."

"Why did you start taking them in the first place?"

Kong looked shyly at Joe. "I was, er, young and, um, curious."

This time it was Joe's turn to laugh.

"It's not funny, Joe. I'm quite embarrassed about the whole thing, actually. Initially they looked so interesting, and sort of, um, appealing. You know, all soft and curvy. I learned pretty quickly what I could and couldn't do; some of it was quite tragic. One poor girl was caught sleeping between me and the wall early one morning while I was dreaming about what might be. Nothing glorious about that morning. I stopped actually touching them after that, so it's a real shame about the one I drowned."

Joe looked horrified at that thought, and the great ape looked almost as if he was blushing. "Hey, we all do it, Joe!"

They both laughed at that.

"So what were you doing to Lisa, then?"

"Well, all I usually do these days is bring them back here, then leave them to their own devices, but this one's different. She's pale, and her hair's all yellowy, I haven't seen anyone like that before. I guess my curiosity returned. I wasn't going to do anything, though."

"So, I can take her back with me, then?"

"Of course, there's nothing here for her. And, um, Joe?"

"Yes Kevin?"

"Take me with you."

"I thought you liked it here?"

"I did. But the jungles really boring and those natives are bugging the shit out of me. Can I come?"

"Yeah, why not. I've got a friend back at the ship who came all this way just to meet you. Isn't he in for a surprise!"

Kong picked up Joe and the still unconscious woman and carried them back to the huge gate at the edge of the village.

"Put me up on the top of the wall, and I'll get the gate opened for us, Kevin."

"No need, Joe. Watch this." And with that the great ape kicked the gate square in the centre and Joe watched as it exploded outwards into the village, the huge log used to bar the gate snapping like a matchstick.

Joe looked up at Kong in surprise.

"I told you I hadn't wanted to break out. I didn't say I couldn't."

Joe and Kevin laughed all the way to the ship.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I have seen the finest minds of my generation confused, abused, diffused in the pool of mediocrity in which they swim, the only forum open to their minds their hearts their words

I have seen the finest minds of my generation wasted, rent, shattered on an anvil of diversionary alchemie, their light gone dim in temporary, illusory, expansion of the self

I have seen the finest minds of my generation overlooked, ignored, dismissed, destroyed, annoyed that they do not make a difference, cannot fight indifference, unwanted by the society many of them claim to speak for

Oh, vox populi are not we, but me and mine are kin and kine to those that came before and howled their call for more than ordinary life who lived in strife and took to wife the pain of modern mortal man

For I have heard the finest voices of my generation Sing
Sing songs of wonder, of disgust
Songs of pain and wanderlust
Sing songs of joy and songs of love
Of all down here and up above
They sing of light and sing of dark
They sing of seas, mountains and parks
They sing of cities, playgrounds, streets
They sing the movement of our feet

I have flown with them through futures imagined and pasts elucidated, have flown through hearts and minds and space and time, have flown into brick walls of thought, our irresistible force of hunger in it’s paradoxical clash with the immovable objects of philosophies whose depths we do not fear

I have seen highs and lows, and yeas and noes
And ins and outs and roundabouts

Seen ups and downs, and smiles and frowns
And lives and deaths, and long held breaths

I have danced with dreamers on the heads of pins with a conga line of demons and angels

I have seen and heard and watched and sung and danced and dreamed and flown and howled with the finest minds and voices, hearts and souls of this my multi-generation


oh we…

we have just begun

Thursday, October 8, 2009

that'll do, pig-bit...

My mother is one of those people who believe that the proper function of food is to decorate the refrigerator and make it look like there's food in it.

Say, for example, you went to the fridge at my parent's place and saw one last piece of ham or something in there and thought, "Gee, that would make a good sandwich!"

Turn around and say, "Can I have this piece of ham?" Usual reply, "No, that's all there is!"

What does this mean? Is it cruel to this piece of ham to relieve him of his loneliness? Or maybe because he's lasted this long while the other pieces of ham have gone the way that pieces of ham so often do, that last boat ride down the alimentary canal, he has earnt the freedom to grow things and smell up the fridge? Survival of the last to be eaten! Actually, that ain't too far wrong. Darwin would be proud of that smoked pig bit. But what would be the breeding purposes of that last piece of ham? I shudder to think. But with a mind like mine, I often shudder when I think anyway.

Back to the ham. You have been told that you can't have it because that's all there is. Your reply?

"I can see that. How does that translate into me not availing myself of this inviting remnant?"

"You can't have it because then it will all be gone, and somebody might want some."

"Like, Duh! Somebody does want some. That's why I asked for it."

"You can't have it. Now leave me alone."

Stimulating debate, eh? And not surprisingly, one that ends with said survivor of the ravages of hunger being gingerly disposed of a couple of days later. Brave piece of smallgoods that he was. Should give him a medal. Something like 'Avoiding capture by the owners of the fridge while creating the need for vanilla essence and bi-carb in enemy territory.'

Three cheers for the might(il)y smelly ham piece! Hip, Hip...

Don't ask me, I just got here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

and finally...

And what of the end
If end there be
And beginning be not
In and of itself complete
The last page is turned
My single candle burns low in its holder
Wax running onto the desk
Where my hand lays
Cramped fingers grasping
As in final desperation
The empty pen
All its words poured forth
From within its now purposeless shell
Candle flame gutters
Tries vainly to illuminate
Its own local part of this world

Before it breathes its last
I will retrieve the next
From the drawer where more
Lay in preparation
Next to my store of fresh clean pages
And new word filled pens

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

true story, but not recent, found in my notepad

Tram time again. Another monotonous trip to my monotonous job that I hold only to pay the rent, keep a roof over my head.
I open my distraction. A comic. Hellblazer volume 1. The collection of the first series where John Constantine had an identity away from Swamp Thing. Jamie Delano’s writing is superb; the art rough, but suited.
I am distracted by a fellow passenger and a card falls out of the book. The commuter who caught my attention retrieves it from the floor; she hands me a postcard and a smile. Must have used it for a bookmark some time before.
It has a photo on it. Old. Black and white. A man at the beach; short cropped hair and a big moustache. He is profiled, looking back over his shoulder at the camera, and is wearing loose knee length and a matching sleeveless top like they used to wear, so many decades ago.
I don’t remember it, but it must have been one of those free ones picked up from the rack at some cafĂ© or another.
Such a pile of these collectables I have; images of a fridge or door wallpapered in true wish-I-was-still-a-student style.
I turn it over. He is Alfred Deakin, the 2nd, 5th, and 7th Prime Minister of my home country. 1903-04; 1905-08; 1909-10. Brief stints of popularity, and of, one would hope, service. But a man of note, photographed at Point Lonsdale in 1910. Important enough to have a university named after him, among other things.
I smile at the lady across from me. A nod of thanks. I replace the card in my comic, return to the story; pass the time until I reach my stop.
Continue my meaningless employment.
Put food on my solitary table.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Didn't know they'd accepted the newer one

But this gives me the happy.

The Poets Against War site accepted a second poem from me last November apparently.

Never told me, and I'd forgotten to look:


And the earlier one:

rememberance day

That's all.


Friday, October 2, 2009

So... I'm here