The conversation started out innocently enough They asked what I did I replied that I’m a poet After that we had the conversation that most poets have had at least once in their lives or, if they haven’t yet. They will The part of the questioner will be played by the reader. Improvisation is encouraged It’s difficult to say how I got into poetry I don’t know, not really One day I saw a sheet of paper before me and I wrote down some words and they seemed profound to me So I kept doing that and now I’m here Well, no, I’ve not really published anything I’ve yet to be discovered if that’s what you mean but I do have a blog where I post some of the stuff I write but it doesn’t get much traffic Well I guess it is disingenuous as you say to call myself a poet when I’ve yet to publish anything I cook. I work on the line. I work the fry station So yeah, I suppose it is more accurate to say that I am a frier rather than a poet but I still feel that I am better described by my poetry than my skill with in a kitchen The reason I don’t send in any of my stuff is because I don’t think I write anything that they’ll like right now Mostly what I write is absurdist poetry here’s one of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever written ‘I got on the train it went from West Richmond to North Richmond without changing directions that’s fucked’ So what do you think? Do you like it? No, it doesn’t rhyme not all poetry rhymes I’ve read thousands of poems I’ve yet to read one that rhymes. Do you not appreciate the absurdity of it though? What I’m saying is, like, life is like the train and we’re all just living in it and we go from one place to another without our input and without really changing directions And then you get to the really good part the part where it says ‘that’s fucked’ because of how insightful the poem is you kind of expect there to be some really profound conclusion that can be drawn from the premise that would take multiple lines to clearly lay out and then that conclusion could be debated on by people who study my poetry long after I’m dead, because they will, you know, they will. but then all that’s said is how fucked it is again reiterating the absurdity of it all No, I don’t think it’s immature to swear in a poem For someone who claims to know nothing about poetry you sure are acting like an expert How many poems have you published? None, that’s what I thought. Oh, well, yeah. I guess that is technically the same number as me. So what do you think poetry ought to be? Something that all can relate to or something that at least you can relate to I’m guessing the second one since you obviously don’t relate to me little poem and because of that you didn’t like it No, no, please. There’s no need to pretend that you liked what I wrote I know a critic when I see one I want to know what tickles your fancy because it might ensure that I actually make it big in this poetry game some day You think it ought to be more relatable and it should have more lines and cut out the ‘fuck’ obviously but what do you mean it should rhyme It doesn’t need to rhyme for christ sake rap rhymes poetry needn’t I think poetry is simply the art of expressing complex things in the simplest way possible kind of like life is full of complexities and seeming improbabilities but ultimately it’s full of simplicities Think of how complex life itself is and yet we float out in an infinite void and the most difficult part of life, for me at least, is putting on pants. That, to me, is what poetry is I’m on a train it goes from West Richmond to North Richmond without changing direction that’s fucked.
And what cause did they all end up dead for? Now where are they those whose corpses that used to lay strewn about upon beaches and landings and forests or are they nothing more than food for the worms and now nothing more than bone or less What now do we celebrate that they in their time celebrated What now do we share with those who died wanting to carry on their culture to share with us Nothing but dust and shadows All is lost cries the man in the castle all will be lost should cry the man outside the castle Nothing is shared nothing is passed on no grain of sand in a dune can be counted twice in a generation no belief in a man can be carried beyond his term So what did they all die for and what do we continue to die for if not a grain of sand in a great dune that spans eternity And yet so many die for the chance to be considered a compatriot of a grain of sand.
Late at night or is it early in the morning just after closing time at my favorite pub I take a walk down Sydney road to the place I call home along the way there are many sights to see and many more things that can be explored. I light a cigarette while I stand in a laneway and looking around me all I can see are buildings as old as time itself Plaster and concrete and bricks that make up facades that cover the faces of places where people used to eat and live and talk. Just opposite me is a modern Chemist Warehouse selling discount drugs and other things Down from that is a pie shop then the Bunnings and the post office, that will guarantee your item will get there late if at all. And that’s run by people, I’ve found who don’t care about the person at all but prefer instructions written on paper. Bureaucrats. Turning to one wall of the alley I am in, the light at the tip of my cigarette lights up prints that various artists unknown and uncared for have created and posted around these unexplored areas for free perusal. Beside them and opposite them the buildings are tagged with spray paint of the disillusioned and the careless. My cig has burned out and I start my walk back home. La Manna Fresh, then the butchers then La Manna Fresh Organic and just after that a Vietnamese store that makes the best Vietnamese rolls out of anywhere you wish to compare it to. All modern places, with lights electricity, friers, burners, fridges staff in cute little uniforms or without them working hurriedly throughout the day to provide the modern comforts demanded of the modern times. While just above them sits the facade that has sat there for a hundred years or more. And now I am here. It is 3am and I am the only one who is alive to appreciate each of these elements that make up the fantastic buildings along Sydney Road. Just next to them is a barrister’s office. Or something to that extent. And after that the liquor store. It’s here that you can get a bottle of Spanish or Italian Wine For $12 And a case of Furphey’s for $15. Then comes the Middle Eastern bakery It sells Koftas, and Turkish breads, and Kebabs but it’s never open late enough or early enough for me to want a kebab. Crawling along the street, now, comes a cop car. It’s slowing down at the presence of my cigarette burning. I know what they like to see they want to see if I even vaguely match the description of some fellon probably long gone. But they’ll not let that stop them the thrill of arresting someone even on the flimsiest of pretences is what they crawl down the road for. But, tonight, I don’t match the description so all I do is blow smoke at them and all they do is crawl on looking for a different victim of the night. Equally as preposterous and imposing and detestable is the first fully modern building that I’ve encountered along my walk back home And it’s a bank. And it’s disgusting. Just across the road is a pharmacy Another one And thankfully this one embraces the facade that was handed down to it from generations past. Then the cheese store For some reason the only place I feel more at home than at the bar is at the cheese store. Then a cafe, that I don’t visit often because I make my own coffee After that a bookstore that stocks all the latest drivel that would be pushed by Oprah and her lackeys. that comfortable housewives can sit around and tsk at while drinking red wine and caring nothing of the rest of the world And now a bar then another and then another, but Mexican and finally, to continue in the tradition at the end of this section sits another modern building this one dedicated to phone plans Then one of the most glorious buildings that I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s so unfortunate that what it houses is mostly government business but it also has the library so that compensates for it somewhat. Crossing the road I pass by my local tobacconist that also serves as a liquor store and a general store and I see, staring through the window and using the dim light of the sign out front that my brand of cigs has gone up another dollar per packet And now they’re a quarter of a days pay as if smoking a cigarette is some sort of a luxury and not just an escape from the world that prefers banks and phone carriers to the simplistic beauty of the world already around them. But if that’s the price I have to pay to kill myself slowly and get out of here as quickly as I’m comfortable with then so be it. After a few moments have passed I sit myself down on the curb as the police crawl back again still looking to me for the thrill of a cheap arest. I light up another cigarette and I reflect on what it was that people past did on this street. Probably nothing like what I do now or what others do. Probably the drunks on the street in the days gone by were far more drunk than I am at this moment And I’m sure that a pack of cigs didn’t cost a quarter of a days wage.
It’s not a dream it’s a delusion. One that we’re encouraged to maintain To look up when times are troublesome That one day they won’t be One day we’ll get to live in a house Overlooking a lake With a beautiful wife That relaxation is in our future And each night After the horrors of the morning The three extra hours or working The customers The boss The colleagues We dream of this world We escape into it Our foolishness covers our eyes Deprives us of the ability to see the truth And turns our dreams into delusions What chance have you Of competing with the multinational? Of competing with those who have inherited wealth Or land Or connections and contacts? Do you truly think that you can work hard And achieve this thing This dream of yours? There is such limited land on which to live And most of it has already been claimed And the ones who own it Aren’t going to give it up easily Who are you to take it? A tiresome cog in a wheel Why not sell to the machine Work as much as you like As long as you like As hard a you like A cog will never compete with a machine Neither will you compete on this market Delusions are the tools of the powerful Like oil in a machine That keeps the cogs running Until they’re burnt out and useless And replaced Then you might get a home One that you are thrown into And your delusion will fade And your dream will become reality Then your dream will become a nightmare Looking around you will realise This is what you were working towards Your entire life A home for a cog.
I just went from West Richmond to North Richmond without changing directions that's fucked
Come one come all
Roll up and come and see
the duality of man
our freakshow awaits all those who pay
to see how we treat everyone individually
One is so concerned
there is a strong man in a corner
with the opinions of others
he is lifting a heavy dumbbell
that he is willing to torture his body
His muscles flex and relax but that is all that moves
for the enjoyment of others
There is a general feeling of awe throughout
the awed crowd
Next is the one
panning over we notice a man eating
who cares nothing for the opinions of anyone who is watching
no matter who you are you cannot catch his eyes
he sits and enjoys his nachos and his unearned
Come in and see which one you will be
after passing through the hall
see what you will be
It doesn’t matter
Noone ever really makes it
They just keep wondering in a field
of mirrors that whir around a sun
stuck in a galaxy
that sits within an expanding universe
that’s far too old for any of them to ever understand
But the muscled man and the nacho man
They keep stretching and eating
Knowing it doesn’t matter
but hoping it does
At the end of the show
they’re both killed
but by what we’ll never know.
ladies and gentlemen
and please come back
I smoke and I drink Nightly and daily to me it's like prayer But there's a difference between what I do and what the preachers do For one what I do accomplishes something another is that it is killing me slowly All the warning labels and predictable ads say that I'll be dead by 40. But why would I ever want to live longer than that Why would I want to see my friends fade away from me Why would I want a child when children disgust me I can't imagine anything worse than not being able to get it up when a flaxen haired Aphrodite sits upon me Then your memory fades The only real reason we're living All those moments of the life I've lived lost to some invisible trashcan in my mind Why would I ever want to live past fourty It seems to me we should live life as much as possible while we're alive and when our time comes, we let it come rather than cling on to something that wasn't there in the first place Live life then die That's my philosophy.
There are no new things you're allowed to experience. They all have to conform to what is useful Do you want to write or can't you decide? Do you wan to study physics Or mathematics or philosophy or something else You can't You made your decision when you were fifteen. And that's what you'll stick to Unless you want to learn something useless Philosophy, literature, science choose one and proceed. You can't learn anything else any more it's useless to us The people who you belong to Learn what you must and nothing more Thinking is pointless So think no more.