Archive for the ‘adelaide’ Category

This is the first, at 6pm Wednesday 26th August 2015 at the Halifax Cafe with cycling partner and writer extraordinaire, Heather Taylor Johnson:

http://friendlystreetpoets.org.au/2015/08/13/fsp-featured-poets-series-the-halifax-cafe-heather-taylor-johnson-mike-hopkins/

fsfp

and the second, starting 90 minutes later, just up the road from the Halifax Cafe, in James Place (off Rundle Mall) at the Coffee Pot, where, along with 12 other poets, I’ll be channelling Kate Bush.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1000941483258059/

I popped over to Tram Stop 6 yesterday afternoon to have a look at the poetry signs and billboard. Looks good. Here’s a gallery of snaps of them. Click on the first thumbnail and it will bring up the slide show.

Tram Stop 6

Posted: May 6, 2015 in adelaide, experimental, travel
Tags:

Back in late 2013, I participated, along with several other writers / artists, in a project to write words for a public art project at tram stop 6, about halfway between Adelaide and Glenelg. This is the very grey concrete tram stop:

Tramstop 6 - South Rd

 

I wrote about it here. The project was organised by Mike Ladd and Cathy Brooks for Marion Council

The project is in the process of being implemented. Here are some pics provided by Mike Ladd. I haven’t dropped by to look at it yet. There will be an official opening sometime soon.

Cycle_IMG_8111_smInstal BB6_IMG_8073

 

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No Skating_IMG_8114_sm

 

Mirror_IMG_8106_sm

 

 

Lost_IMG_8105_sm

I’ve won something. Something big. Two business class return tickets Adelaide – London and 3 nights in a London hotel. Just for updating my details on the University of South Australia alumni site. All I have to do is attend a function in London around April next year.

I did my M.B.A at the Uni of SA about 24 years ago. This is part of their 25th anniversary event next year. Previously, it was the South Australian Institute of Technology. I think the year I graduated was their first cohort of Masters graduates as a University.

I’ve won things before. I was trying to remember what:

  • a joint of beef at a butcher’s shop in Acton, London, which I used to pass on my way to school. About 1969 I think. It had a free special ‘opening up’ raffle. When I took the joint home my Mum suspected I’d pinched it.
  • 10 quid on a one-armed bandit in Cardiff in about 1975. For some reason it sticks in my mind. 10 quid was a lot of money in those days.
  • Various bottles of wine for running races (hard work).
  • Numerous medals for running races (hard work).
  • A few ‘on the page’ poetry competitions. (I think $150 was the biggest – hard work).
  • A few poetry slams ($50 a go I think- hard work).
  • The Rostrum South Australia Speaker of the Year competition, twice  ($500 a go, that’s significant – really, really hard work).
  • And going back to the Uni of SA, I won the Alex Ramsay medal for most outstanding student on the M.B.A. course, and that was the most work I’ve ever done to win anything, so maybe this is payback.

I think that’s about it. I don’t have a track record of winning random stuff like this, maybe because I don’t generally enter random competitions. This one didn’t even seem like a competition. No skill required, just update your details on the web. Apparently 15,000 other alumni did the same thing, but mine was the number that the computer selected.

So one of those wonderful surprises that reminds you of the role of chance in life.

Poem number 23 for April 2015. Written on a park bench near my house.

Park Bench

in the morning

a fitness group meets

dump their drink bottles

compete for best body image

 

in the afternoon

a woman sits

talks to her dead husband

weeps for absent children

 

in the evening

a couple connect

share each other’s warmth

make promises they won’t keep

 

at night

a man sleeps

hides his blankets

under the trailing hibiscus

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 16 for April 2015. Possums regularly wake me at night. (great night at Langmeil. Will report tomorrow).

Drop Ins

no possums invading

my backyard last night

no vampire hissing

no fresh scattering

of chocolate drop droppings

along the path

no clod hop bounding

 across the roof

nor crash landing

on the neighbour’s fence

no scritch nail fighting

along the path

 

just the                                distant                  sound

 

of freeway air brakes

 

and the mournful            two

 

in            the         morning

cuckoo

 

 

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 15 for April 2015. Following on from poem #7, or rather finishing it off. As noted, I’m not a fan of bush poetry.  Tonight (Wednesday 15th April) I’m a guest poet at “Poets and Platters” at Langmeil winery in the Barossa Valley. There is a well-known bush poet also on the programme. Last time I heard him, he was (tongue in cheek) ridiculing vegetarians, with some hackneyed lines about mung beans and rabbit food. Being a vegetarian myself, I didn’t laugh, though most of the audience did. I’ll return the (tongue in cheek) ridicule with this tonight. A world premiere!  As he’s after me on the running list, he’ll probably have the last laugh.

Last of the Bush Poems (completed – well first draft anyway)

A poem needed writing

for to please the winery push

and me usual stuff looked wanting

they might think a load of tosh

so I looked for inspiration

laid some thoughts for incubation

and I sought for information

on the poetry of the bush

 

First I grabbed an old akubra

then I dropped me accent posh

And I drank til in a stupor

and neglected for to wash

I dragged out some corny punchline

about vegans, sheilas, waistlines

and I read up all the guidelines

on the poetry of the bush

 

I bought a new Land Cruiser

You won’t catch me near a horse

Then I bought a new computer

Wikipedia is the source

Of all me information

About swags, and sheep and stations

Coz I get the palpitations

When I’m in the bloody bush

 

I drove down the supermarket

To stock up on bush supplies

I bought string and corks from Target

for me hat to ward off flies

softest swag and new Drize-a-bone

gas-powered fridge and satellite phone

I was well prepared to leave home

to write poetry in the bush

 

When I reached the wilds of Salisbury

Well me nose began to bleed

and the dusty paddocks scared me

when I saw some sheep stampede

So I stopped near Gawler Oval

dumped me swag and asked some yokels

Where’s the nearest comfy hotel

That serves beer here in the bush?

 

When I saw the pub landlady

well meself I introduced

as a widely known bush poet

who could keep her crowd amused

for fifty bucks and free beer

I recited in her front bar

I was feeling like a film star

so the lady I seduced

 

Now I’ll go back to the city

And no longer will I roam

I’ve memorized me ditties

and acquired a bush man’s drone

And me poems I’ll deliver

Like the man from Snowy River

Coz I get the sweats and shivers

If I’m ever near the bush.

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 7 for April 2015. I’m not a fan of bush poetry, or at least not in large doses. Next week (Wednesday 15th April) I’m a guest poet at “Poets and Platters” at Langmeil winery in the Barossa Valley. I suspect the audience may be bush poetry fans, so I thought I’d better write something which will appeal to them. This is the start of a bush poem which I will do more work on, and hopefully deliver next week.

Last of the Bush Poems

A poem needed writing

for to please the winery push

and my usual stuff looked wanting

they might think a load of tosh

so I looked for inspiration

laid some thoughts for incubation

and I sought for information

on the poetry of the bush


First I grabbed an old akubra

then I dropped me accent posh

And I drank til in a stupour

and neglected for to wash

I dragged out some corny punchlines

about sheilas, poofs and waistlines

and I read up all the guidelines

on the poetry of the bush


So I bought a new Land Cruiser

You won’t catch me near a horse

Then I bought a new computer

Wikipedia is the source

Of all my information

About swags, and sheep and stations

Coz I get the palpitations

When I’m in the bloody bush


I drove down the supermarket

To stock up on bush supplies

I bought string and corks from Target

for my hat to ward off flies

softest swag and new Drize-a-bone

gas powered fridge and satellite phone

I was well prepared to leave home

to write poetry in the bush

When I reached the wilds of Salisbury

Well my nose began to bleed

Gawler’s fields were scary

And I saw some sheep stampede

So I stopped at Gawler Oval

Pitched my swag and asked some locals

Where’s the nearest comfy hotel

That serves beer here in the bush?

… to be continued

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 6 for April 2015. I’m reading the epic book “2666” by Roberto Bolaño. I’d say I’ve nearly finished it, but I still have about 150 pages to go. It’s a 900 page book. I’m not sure if it’s a work of genius, as some say, or an overly long ramble in need of severe editing. I’ll post a review when I’ve finished it. What’s for certain is that there is some stunning language in the book. And when you consider that Bolano was Chilean, and that it was written in Spanish, this seems to me to be even more impressive.

For today’s poem, I’ve taken some phrases, fragments from one part of the book, and played with them, to turn them into something that resembles a poem. Most of the words are Bolano’s. A large part of the book is concerned with an epidemic of murders of women in Mexico, called in Spanish feminicidio (“feminicide”), in a fictional town called Santa Teresa. In the real life northern Mexican region of Ciudad Juárez it is estimated that 370 women and girls were murdered between 1993 and 2005.

2666 – Poem uno 1

 

Where six roads meet

and buses head in all directions

my driver waits like an undertaker

 

A makeshift market

An old woman selling pineapples.

Out of politeness I buy one

 

In an island of light past the shacks

giant butterflies dance like cripples

reminding me of a sunset years ago

 

The streetlights bathe me in an aura of haste

My breath smells of scorched oil

I hear accordion music on the wind

 

She was a legend invented by inmates

I think I hear her laughter

like a prisoner’s nightmare.

 

I find her on the outskirts

behind the hundred year old walls

Her dyed hair curtains her face

 

Her skin is empty now

as if she has been drained of everything

except absolute fear

 

All that is left is a crater

the prisoners, the jailers, gone

“Don’t push your luck boss” says the driver

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 5 for April 2015. At Port Adelaide Fisherman’s Wharf market today, there was a particularly grumpy man selling very cool looking toy steam boats. He claims that nobody else has them, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same as the one in the youtube video above. He has a sign saying “Don’t hassle the boat” – but I think it really means “don’t bother me unless you’re going to give me cash”.

It’s had a hard day

puttering around

the washing up bowl

 

Do not take photographs of the boat

 

Unless you are going

to buy one or at least

something from my stall

 

Do not interrupt me reading my newspaper

 

I can’t be bothered telling you

about my fascinating boat

unless of course you buy one

 

Do not think you can find a boat like this anywhere else

 

You won’t. I’m the only person in the world

who has them and I’m pretty sure

you don’t deserve to have one too.

 
Postscript:
For a far more poetic view of the visit to Port Adelaide, see here:

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015