Archive for the ‘experimental’ Category

Tram Stop 6

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

 

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Lost_IMG_8105_sm

 

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.”

 

 

Not for You

this day is not for you

this march is not for you

this commemoration is not your commemoration

this flag is not your flag

this land is not your land

this war is not your war

 

(this day is our day

this march is for us

this commemoration is of our dead

this flag is draped on our coffins

this band is playing our music)

 

this day is not for you

these graves are not your graves

these memorials are not your memorials

these speeches are not your language

these legends are not your legends

these dreams are not your dreams

 

(This day is our day

This skin is our skin

this lore is our lore

this history is our history

these myths are our myths

this system is our system

this way is our way)

 

this rule is our rule: THIS DAY IS NOT FOR YOU

 

Read more at  New Matilda

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

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.

Cards

the laughter
the lovemaking
the closeness
the rose-strewn days

the workplace bully
the unpaid overtime
the incompetence
the conveyor belt

diamonds

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 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 number 25 for April 2015. …. for something completely different. How could anyone not love Facebook?

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 24 for April 2015. Self explanatory.

Waiting

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

again

at the door

again

 

“He’s not coming is he?”

says the waitress

 

“Who?”

 

“the bloke you’re waiting for”

 

“I’m not waiting for him”

she says

“He’s waiting for me”

 

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

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.

Abecedarian

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

Lost

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

“Florida”

 

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

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

 

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/apr/16/bradford-fire-secretary-supporters-club

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015

Poem number 17 for April 2015. Not sure what’s going on here, except it’s cryptically political and inspired by hearing a far, far superior poem this morning called “Good Morning America” by Curt Anderson.

Good morning Australia…

may I direct your attention

to rivers of alcohol under a veneer of ice,

the dilated pupils of the penniless gamblers,

and damaged sportsmen

giving themselves up for adoption by the state

rather than face the unreality of idolatry

 

may I point out

the desecrated monolith at the heart

of your promotional campaign

where the status quo is inverted

in an attempt to gloss over

the ruined fabric of dot paintings

 

can we speak quietly

of the domesticity of your suburbs

in which abuse is colour blind,

the churches are oh-so child friendly

and the hierarchies pre-occupied

with limiting their liabilities

 

and perhaps I could just whisper

in a guarded way

of the barbed remarks

and arguments persecuted

by wiry men refusing refuge

 

 

do not raise your voices

lest you drown out the staccato slogans.

the dogs may become inured to the whistles

of the ring-leaders

and the circus may be left

with only straw men

and locked cages.

 

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015