Monday, February 26, 2007

A poem for a birthday, not a birthday poem

For a good friend.

Fangs of Conscience

I stand atop an embankment
pitching rounded stones
into the red-raw clay below.
Tea-trees list in the breeze
and dangle their branches in the cool
of an unrippled pool.

The stones clack like dice
and form a sloppy cairn
below my feet.
On the hill behind me, a cow
hoods its lips over a stand of clover
and fulfills its ambition to eat.

Out of rocks, mud on my cuffs,
I look on my works and despair
in the chill air.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Help me assimilate:

You hear that voice; I know you do. Ease his pain.

Now's your chance; make that voice go away. You -- yes, YOU -- can cool my fevered brow.

Please - just tell me:

What does W00t! mean?

Where'd it come from? Is it cool, 733t, trekkie, street, emo, what?

Or, you can keep walking. The choice is yours.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hey, Bob... Be my uncle, already!

I write poems and generally do an ordinary job of coming up with titles.
In Australia, "ordinary" means "incredibly bad".

Suddenly, I find myself inspired; I have a list of titles that are not bad.
In Australia, "not bad" means "excellent".

Now, all I have to do is write a slew of poems, hang them on these titles, and Bob's your uncle.
In Australia, "Bob's your uncle" means "you're all set".


(drums fingers)

Bloody Bob. Late again.
In Australia, "late again" means "late again".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


stomp your boots and leave
your crumbs of outside on the floor
drape your soggy overcoat
on any chair you find

shoulder past the door
into the hollow tv chair
flip the buttons, tour the globe
by thumbing the remote - on

seven, news is on the air
but as the reader monotones
thoughts escape your head like sheep
bolt through a trampled fence

tail on tail, the dullard drones
to do a lesser nothing there
following themselves in blank
disinterest: life like sleep

peace in empty meadows: there
is nothing left to stir, aggrieve,
tantalise, or vex your mind
you have yourself to thank

Monday, February 05, 2007

Call me *what*?

Today, in an email exchange, a friend gave me a winking, good-natured insult. And then she called me 'sugar'.

I didn't think people spoke that way anymore. It felt what I imagine as Southern: sophisticated, dignified and clever. I've never been so delighted with an insult; it made me as happy as many a compliment has.

This is why I'll never be a politician; I'm too easily swayed.

Which reminds me: Why hasn't the leather garment industry ever used the slogan "easily suede"? It just seems a natural.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Elementary, My Dear Everett

You know, Rupert Everett could have taught both Elvis and Billy Idol something about the art of sneering.

I've just watched a Sherlock Holmes mystery on telly -- The Silk Stocking Murders, I believe -- and Everett was brilliant as a somewhat dissipated, haughty Holmes, barely tolerating in the beginning his capable, helpful, but plain, colleague Watson. The impatience is borne of a desire to be left alone in his vice -- to loll in morphine addiction.

But even in the guise of pasty and sallow poor health, Everett is still as enviable to other men, in his way, as any James Bond ever was. I've been a fan of his ever since I first saw Another Country. He casts an air of unquestioned superiority that doesn't alienate, but commands admiration... from a respectful distance. And, like Jeremy Irons in the Brideshead days, he makes a cigarette look like the most wonderful treat a man could ever want. (Only occasionally did cigarettes actually measure up to that vision.)

Gradually, as he's drawn into the case, Holmes' attitude toward Watson softens. He only becomes interested in the case when it appears interesting enough: beautiful society debutante, found strangled with a silk stocking, dressed in clothes that aren't her own.

As they move on, Holmes looks upon Watson as inconsequential but useful, then indispensable, and finally, as a warm friend. Watson suffers along, and appreciates the change, but it doesn't move him unduly. He's a steady sort.

Everett creates in his Holmes a sort of Harry Higgins-like character: despicable, unassailable in his superiority, but finally fond and likeable. Rex Harrison might have appreciated Everett's Sherlock Holmes. It adds a strange depth to the character I hadn't seen before.

The only problem is that now, I want a cigarette.