Friends with Drinks


Les (Murray) between drinks

The dynamic Kathryn Hummel has a project going, called “Friends with Drinks”. If you have anything artistic to contribute on the theme of drinking with friends anywhere in the world: words, images, whatever, have a look at her tumblr page and submit, submit, submit. Kathryn kindly published my “Art of Boozing” yesterday:

The Art of Boozing (after Elizabeth Bishop)

There is also a Facebook page and a SA Writers’ Centre blog page

Submission are via the tumblr page.


Tram Stop 6

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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Poem a Day 2015 #30 – Not for You


Poem number 30 for April 2015. The final one. I’ll miss NaPoWriMo, because it makes me write every day.

Like many people, I’m very uncomfortable with the exploitation of patriotism by politicians, and the selective commemoration of some wars but not others. On Anzac day in Canberra, an aboriginal man was prevented from marching. He had a banner saying “Lest we Forget – The Frontier Wars” (referring to the people killed in undeclared wars between settlers and the aboriginal population). He is an ex-serviceman and wanted to march in commemoration of his dead colleagues, but also in commemoration of aboriginal people killed in the frontier wars. A policeman told him “this day is not for you”.

The Australian War Memorial website says that Anzac Day “.. is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.”

Poem now submitted for publication



Read more at  New Matilda


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #29 – Cards

Poem number 29 for April 2015. I’ve been messing around with this for a while, and today came up with the card theme, hacked it to within an inch of its life and ended up with this. I think it will re-emerge in a totally different form some time.


the laughter
the lovemaking
the closeness
the rose-strewn days

the workplace bully
the unpaid overtime
the incompetence
the conveyor belt


the joy of birth
a girl in a communion dress
the party games
the picnic rug

the egg-shell tension
the aloneness
the distance
the silences


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #27 – Inherent Vice

Poem number 27 for April 2015. Over the weekend I watched a very strange and very (to me) amusing film called “Inherent Vice”. It’s based on a Thomas Pynchon novel and features Joaquin Phoenix (great actor) as a spaced out, hippy private detective operating (I think) out of a dentist’s surgery, or maybe it’s a gynaecologist’s, I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, I marvelled at some of the dialogue, which is presumably Pynchon’s. I’ve taken several quotes from the film, and messed around with them to come up with some loose sort of arrangement of words.

Inherent vice

He was insulated
by secret loyalties
and codes of silence
until she arrived
like a bad luck planet
in his horoscope

she lay on him
a heavy combination
of face ingredients
he couldn’t read

her appetites ranged
from epic to everyday
he became
a hippy-hating mad dog
of Flintstone proportions
a little shit-twinkle
in his eye

gazing on her like
a precious cargo
that couldn’t be insured
but she was working
with a dark crew

by winter
she had removed
every trace of soul
he once had

His last words:
“It’s groovy being insane man”



Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #24 – Waiting

Poem number 24 for April 2015. Self explanatory.


ragged nails

blue bruised veins

bony fingers

she flicks them to her mouth

twitches her hair

squints at the clock


she’s been sitting here

an hour

nursing a cold coffee

glancing at the door

like a patient

in a doctor’s waiting room


“We close in fifteen minutes love”

says the waitress


she looks at the clock


at the door



“He’s not coming is he?”

says the waitress




“the bloke you’re waiting for”


“I’m not waiting for him”

she says

“He’s waiting for me”



Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #22 – Abecedarian

Poem number 22 for April 2015. Feels like a bit of a token effort, but it’s been a long day and I just want to sit down and watch Game of Thrones.


ample is her beauty

beautiful is her carnality

carnal is her demeanour

demeaned is her elevation

elevated is her flippancy

flippant is her gynaecology

gynaecological is her hirsuteness

hirsuit is her individuality

individual is her joviality

jovial is her kind-heartedness

kind-hearted is her lust

lustful is her magnetism

magnetic is her narcissism

narcissistic is her obsequiousness

obsequious is her parochialness

parochial is her quaintness

quaint is her racism

racist is her savageness

savage is her tendency

tenderness is her undoing

undone is her veil

veiled is her weakness

weak is her xenophobia

xenophobic is her youthfulness

youthful is her zealotry

zealous is her amplitude


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #19 – Lost

Poem number 19 for April 2015. A sort of surreal imagining based on a Cuban snippet.


Years later

I find him in Havana

on the Malecon


“I thought you had died”

“It looked like that, didn’t it?”


He is looking out to sea

His hands are muscular

One is full of stones


Every few minutes

he fires one into the waves


“America is like

an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord

beckoning the poor

to gorge

on its abundance”


I want to ask

why he gave up all he had

for the oblivion of alcohol


I want to ask

what he is trying to hit

with the stones


But I know he would say




Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem a Day 2015 #18 – No Smoke

Poem number 18 for April 2015.  “The blaze that killed 56 football fans at Bradford City’s Valley Parade ground in 1985 was just one of at least nine fires at businesses owned by or associated with the club’s then chairman, according to extraordinary evidence published for the first time”.

No Smoke

the old ground

the turnstiles

the fathers

the sons

the tickets

the rows of seats


The final match of the season

Bradford versus Lincoln

A celebration of promotion

The trophy presented pre-match


the railings

the spikes

the terraces


Wooden stands painted in claret

A festive atmosphere

A relaxed first half


the smell

the smoke

the chants


At first just a feint smell of smoke

People still singing

Men eating pies

The crowd retreats

to the back of the stand

People chatting

Then thicker smoke


the disbelief

the panic

the running

the rush

the crush

the stairwells

the corridors

the flames above

the amber

the blackness


The game goes on until the flames are visible

The crowd in the stand heads for the stairwells

The corridors under the stand are packed

The wooden structure above is engulfed

The turnstiles are locked

Nowhere to go


the rescuers

the scars

the charred

the screams

the 56 dead


eight or more fires

at businesses of

Bradford’s then-chairman

Stafford Heginbotham

insurance claims

worth twenty seven million


the warnings

the previous

the insurance

the truth

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015