Mid-week is the new weekend – tell your friends

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Hey internet peeps,

So, my posts have been a bit sporadic lately. I think that’s mainly because I had set myself the task of posting every weekend, and weekends have become my busiest time of the week. (Such is the life on a non-nine-to-fiver! Your “weekend” is whenever you get a couple days off.) SO, I will try to post mid-week from now on, and keep this blog dynamic. Dynamic. That’s a good word. It’s my favourite term to invoke when someone corrects my grammar. “LANGUAGE IS DYNAMIC!!” I wasn’t wrong – I just wasn’t your kind of right. Wink.

My weekends are happily busy with the best kind of things – projects! Gigs! People! Working, meeting, and talking. I co-host a radio show every Sunday lunchtime (Megaherzzz on 4ZZZ), so I spend a bit of Saturday preparing interview questions and discussion topics and practising my “radio voice”. (Insider fact: It’s my normal voice. There’s a reason I didn’t get into NIDA.) There are also usually a few music/arts gigs to attend, which are mega-fun.   poetsdressedas_poster

I am going to be in one of these gigs this weekend – a really cool event put together by ubiquitous Brisbane poet, Darkwing Dubs. (Darkwing actually just won the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup yesterday, so if you see that guy around, BUY HIM A DRINK.) He is curating a two-part series of performances that centre around gender in art and society. The first part in the series is called Poets Dressed As … Women! and all of the performers are – you guessed it – women! I be one of those such lady women. Also performing are Lucy Fox, Merlynn Tong, and Sydney’s Candy Royalle. I’m excited for this event as it promises to be entertaining and thought-provoking. I’ve been writing new material, and planning some tricks to put up my sleeve (or to tuck into my bra, if I’m wearing a sleeveless top).

The male part (teehee) of the series will be held the weekend after, and I look forward to that event also! It features a couple of poets I haven’t seen before, and a couple I’m keen to see again – Simon Kindt, Robin “Archie” Archbold, Martin Ingle, and self-confessed poetic lunatic Randall Stephens. I did a couple of poetry gigs with Randall years ago in Perth and Fremantle, and I tell you this guy is high energy. Should be another entertaining evening.

LONG LIVE POETRY!

Property of Scum Mag

SCUMBAGS IN YOUR EARS: Chattin’ with Scum Mag on 4ZZZ

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SCUMBAGS IN YOUR EARS: Chattin’ with Scum Mag on 4ZZZ

I had a really fun show on Megaherzzz last Sunday, ‘coz I got to geek out about literature and poetry for the whole hour! We had the scumbag editors of Scum Magazine in the studio, scummin’ it up. (Click on the link above to listen.) Find out why the online editorial process means that they must be always drunk.

Also, Brisbane slam champ Angela Willock took time out of the Roar Poets East Coast Tour to chat with us. Angela is a youth worker by day, slam-winning poet by night. You can hear my interview with her, here.

SO MUCH WORDY GOODNESS.

A poem for Kanye

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A couple of weeks ago, I was passing through Perth on some interstate travels, and a friend invited me to perform at a poetry night in Freo. I said yes! Thanks! Woo hoo! But then I began to worry: I hadn’t written too many new performance pieces since last time I was in Perth, and this crowd was likely to have heard my stuff before. The last thing you want is an audience rolling their eyes and going, “Not this one again. NEXT.”

So, I scrabbled around for some new stuff I’d written in Brisbane. One was something I wrote for my Dad for his sixtieth birthday, mainly filled with insider references that only my family would get. But I put it in my back pocket. Another was a sort of cutesy, plaintive poem about my posterior, because why not. And I decided to do The Editor’s Rap, even though it’s an oldie, because hell, it’s fun to do. But I still needed another piece, so I decided to write one.

I wrote a poem to Kanye West. Kind of a rap. More like an open letter to Yeezy. I love his music – big fan – but he gets away with saying some pretty messed-up shit about women. It was time for right of reply.

Kanye West, probably yelling about a woman.

I was particularly replying to the track ‘Devil In A New Dress‘ (from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010), and this idea of a woman being dangerous and devil-like because she “has” the “power” to arouse a man. (MEN! Quit getting mad at girls because they gave you “the feelings”. You are the masters of your destiny, the captains of your junk! I believe in you!)

So, this one’s for you, Yeezy.

So you say I’m the devil in a new dress?

Aw, you bet.

All the cash I spent just to make your pants tent.

All the cash I spent, could’ve used on my rent.

All the dress I bought so you’d know what I meant.

What I meant.

Dancin’ in my “root suit”. Riot

coz my dress says yes but I say no

and you don’t buy it.

You won’t listen

unless it’s said with fabric and stitchin’.

Couldn’t attract you by accident,

must’ve been my intention.

Little did I know, tonight, when I was getting all dressed up,

the same hand that sewed this dress was sewing

my mouth shut.

Couldn’t’ve dressed like this because it felt good, NO.

Couldn’t’ve dressed like this because it’s comfy, NO.

Couldn’t’ve dress like this for no reason, NO.

Or coz the shops all have the same damn styles every season … (Am I right, girls?)

Couldn’t attract you by accident –

this is what my dress meant –

must’ve been a plan to torture you by Satan.

Satan, Satan, Satan.

Yeah, must’ve been Satan.

Uh, go and tell it on the mountain, son,

or go and tell Kim Kardashian.

Don’t need to guess what my dress says –

this’ll help you stress less –

focus on my lips and wait ’til I say “yes”.

Don’t need to guess what my dress says –

this’ll help you stress less –

come and make a deal with the “devil in a new dress”.

Big thanks to Perth’s poetry paparazzi, Jamie MacQueen, for recording and posting the video of that performance, embedded at the top there.

Photo of Kanye West from Flickr.

Runner-up in WA Poetry Festival SLAM!

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Photo courtesy of Allan Boyd (2011)

Last night was the WA Poetry Fest’s Slam. It was a fantastic night with an entertaining mix of old hats and new faces. We had an impressive line-up of 20 poets, but most notable were Janet Jackson‘s gorgeous pagan tribute to the moon, and James Hanlon’s touching tribute to his dad, which he ended with a big ol’ dad hug (Mr Hanlon was in the crowd).

And of course, DVS‘s rap ‘Pixel Junkie’ was fun and thought-provoking, and took out first place. DVS is devious indeed, and one of these days I’m actually going to beat that guy in a slam. One day …

But it was pretty sweet to take out second place with my slam of ‘Yeah Orright Princess’, and rack up the highest score I’ve ever gotten in a slam.

Bloody good night.

Poem: “The Bogan Rap (lyrics)”

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I’m here today to tell you about a man – you might know him.

He is every man lining up for The Shed in Northbridge
and he is every man who still thinks Ben Cousins is a hero
and he is every man with a southern cross tattoo on his shoulder.
He bears the cross on his shoulder but, christ, he’s not Jesus
(though he may wear sandals wherever he pleases).
He’s crackin’ a can of coke and Jack Dan
and lurching at me with his drink in his hand
and I’ve seen him, leaning out his Commodore,
keening on me like I’m a common whore.
I’ve got class, man, I like a conversation.
Been to uni and got me an education.
Yeah! This shit’s tertiary, bro,
and I think you should know
to use your head
use your head
use your head
use your head.
Like John Stuart Mill said,
SHOW BITCHEZ RESPECT.
Show bitches respect, show bitches respect,
like Johnny Mill said, show them bitches respect.
…Uh, yeah, that’s not quite what Mill said,
but you know what I meant,
though using the term ‘bitch’ was a detriment to my argument….
But I digress. Yes! Express my words with finesse.
Though this bogan everyman is causing me real stress,
‘coz he’s the loudest and the meanest and he’s got cash, too,
and he’s traded up the flannel for Armani suits
so he’s harder to find. But the state of his mind will divide
him from the other blokes every time that he gets blind.
‘Coz in his head, the world is neatly split into two –
so it’s me and it’s you
it’s yours and it’s mine
it’s black and it’s white
it’s us and it’s them and it’s them and it’s us
and everyone owes him
and it’s not his fault
and his only ambition in life
is to drink every weekend and have a hot wife.
Such is life! I guess this is
the life of his missus –
tradin’ her freedom for his seldom kisses.
So take your coke and your Jack
and a big step back,
‘coz if you’re crackin’ on me, I feel sorry for ya, son.
I got 99 problems but a bogan ain’t one.

Hit me.