You can catch one of my poems “Adelaide is..” opening and closing the ABC Radio National 360 Documentary, “The Poet Stripped Bare” (with a language warning), about ‘the seedier side’ of Adelaide poetry scene.

Listen online at:

or on ABC Radio National 729 on the AM dial this Sunday 3 June 2012 10:05AM

“This is poetry…but not as you know it. Take a deeper look at Adelaide’s literary scene to find a bunch of poets who you won’t find on the manicured lawns at Writer’s Week. Instead, find yourself in the ‘best dive in town’, where we meet one of the scene’s most notorious characters, Teri Louise Kelly. Follow Teri’s unique story, and through her unapologetic and brutally honest verse, discover what it took to lay herself bare as a woman, and as a poet.

‘You know how it feels right? …How it feels when you wake up facing the brutal reality that the total cost at life’s checkout is beyond your resources and despite what they preach, life isn’t even an evens game… you know how that feels don’t you?’”

Little Known Poetic Forms – The Tourette

This week’s post is inspired by a BBC documentary (which my nephews in England put me onto), called “I Swear I Can’t Help It”, about Tourettes syndrome. I hope nobody takes offence at me making light of what is clearly a serious affliction, but there was a lot of humour in the documentary.

The Hopkins Guide to Poetic Forms

1.     The Tourette

The Tourette is a little known poetic form, consisting of a single line of poetry. The distinguishing features of a tourette are its content and its delivery. The line must be of a highly inappropriate nature and it must be declaimed in the middle of somebody else’s poetry reading. The value of your tourette is increased if you aim it a well known, serious poet, and if it is entirely in conflict with the other poet’s material.

For instance, if a feminist poet is in the middle of reading a poem about the negative effect which men have had on the world, a tourette exponent might launch a line such as:

Breast implants saved my sex life

If a mytho-poetic / mens’ movement type of poet was in the middle of a poem, an appropriate tourette might be:

Men who hug each other all have tiny penises

For your first attempts at a tourette, it is advisable to station yourself near the exit of the poetry venue, in case your target poet, or the poet’s fans are not admirers of the tourette. As you become more experienced in this fascinating form, you may be able to use the brazen approach, keep a straight face, and sit in the audience as if nothing has happened. This often works, because the audience a) can’t believe it has happened and b) hope to God that you won’t do it again.

The Tourette. A fun poetic form, guaranteed to raise your profile in the poetry world.

Profit, Loss and Poetry

Perhaps the strangest place for me to have a poem published is the Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, a publication “dedicated to the advancement of accounting knowledge (which) provides a forum for the publication of high quality manuscripts concerning the interaction between accounting/auditing and their socio-economic and political environments.”

Steve Evans, Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Flinders University, included one of my poems in a paper he wrote for the journal. I had to write an academic abstract to go with his paper.

The paper discusses research that shows that the incorporation of “artistic activity, such as poetry, fiction writing, music, dance, and so on” into finance and business courses can be very beneficial because “students are nudged out of typical linear thinking habits and become markedly better at problem solving, especially where unfamiliar factors are involved.”

I think the abstract and the layout go beautifully with the message of the poem. This is part of the paper:


Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

Literature and Insights

Manuscript ID: AAAJ-Mar-2012-00985

Manuscript Type: Literature and Insights

Keywords: creativity, critical thinking, office working, code of ethics, computer language, gossip



Mike Hopkins Australia



Reflection on the frustrations of working in the modern business office setting.


Fictional poem.


That the accumulation of relatively minor irritants, distractions and frustrations can have a significantly deleterious effect on the mental condition of some sensitive office workers.

Research implications

Warning signs for the potential implications for occupational health and safety of the culture and working conditions prevalent in many office environments in the 21st century.


A poet’s perspective on modern office working conditions.

Key Words

office, work, cliché, mobile phone, meetings, gossip, mission, strategic



It’s the tea room gossip that irks ya

It stings and blinds ya

With its “he said” and “she said”

And “you’ll never guess” and the bloody

“Oh my God! Oh my God!”

“What was she thinking?”

You thought at first they were all dull and grey

But it turns out the place is like a Bangkok brothel

It’s the tea room gossip that irks ya

It’s the mobile phone ring tones that needles ya

They frazzles and dulls your brain

Bleating from unattended desks

Tinny tones of the latest TV soap theme

Or over and over again some comedy show catch phrase

Possibly mildly amusing the first time

Irritating the second and then increasingly exasperating

Until you swear you’ll bring a sledgehammer in tomorrow

And smash the bloody thing to smithereens

It’s the mobile phone ring tones that needles ya

It’s the meetings that drives ya to distraction

They numbs and deadens ya

The ‘purely for decorative purposes’ agenda

The action items never to be actioned

The head spinning pointless Powerpoints

With ballistic bullets and apoplectic arrows

Meaningless as a mission statement

And sleep inducing presenters talking to the wall

It’s the meetings that drives ya to distraction

But it’s the clichés that finally does ya head in

They blisters and rips ya

As you’re listening to a heads up about world’s best practice

Getting incentivized to leap from behind the 8 ball

Through a 24 by 7 window of opportunity

Into a whole new ball game on a level playing field

Moving forward, at the end of the day

In this rapidly changing globalised environment

Yes it’s the clichés that finally does ya head in


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2012