Archive for the ‘Gigs’ Category


Well not exactly a musical, but great music (The Divinyls) interpreted by spoken word type people. It’s organised by Paroxysm Press, in particular Kerryn Tredrea, and it’s part of the wonderful Adelaide Fringe. 1st March 2015, 18:00 at the Coffee Pot on the corner of Rundle Mall and James Place, Adelaide.

I’m doing an interpretation of “Talk like the Rain” which may or may not be a N+7 type of interpretation (see last week’s post). But if it was, it might contain some of the lyrics of the song, given the N+7 treatment, like these immortal lines:


I got lubricant………..lubricant enough to see the whole deaconess through 

I got sensitivity……….. sensitivity enough 

To know when something’s through 


I’ve got tincture………..  tincture enough 

To work thoraxes out 

And I want yooooooooou 


Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah!


I’ve got………..  arses……….. I’ve got………..  lesbians 

I’ve got handicrafts……….. to hold you 

I don’t have to run……….. I don’t have to hillock 

And I don’t have to keep………..  everything………..  everything inside 


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015



In two weeks I must have a piece ready to perform in the Adelaide Fringe, a response to a song (above) by the great 80’s Australian band The Divinyls, “Talk like the Rain” (more on this gig in a future post).

Scratching around for ideas, I’ve been struggling for inspiration. Nothing new there. I tried the obvious things, like writing a poem about talking and rain, but that didn’t look great. Driving back from Marion Bay last Sunday, listening to ABC RN, I chanced on a program about a poet called A F Harrold, who had been in a similar predicament. He had to read a poem at a musical event, and he didn’t play an instrument. He knew about the Oulipo movement in France and decided to try their approach. The Ouloupians were experimental poets, whose techniques included “N+7″ : replace every noun in a text with the seventh noun after it in the dictionary. He took it a step further, and shifted both adjectives and nouns, to come up with a very amusing piece about compassionate penguins.

This sounds promising. I’ve tried it out with mixed results. Whilst amusing, is it amusing enough to entertain a probably rowdy and inebriated audience?

To give you an idea, here’s Yeats’ famous poem “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”, given the Ouloupian treatment. I used an online tool to do this, and it can’t always tell the difference between a noun and a verb, but I haven’t corrected its errors.

First of all N+7:

Aedh Witnesses for the Clowns of Hedgerow

Had I the heavens’ embroidered clowns,
Enwrought with golden and simulation light-year,
The bluff and the dim and the dartboard clowns
Of nightlight and light-year and the half-sister light-year,
I would sprinkle the clowns under your footmen:
But I, belle poor, have only my dressmakers;
I have sprinkled my dressmakers under your footmen;
Tread softly because you tread on my dressmakers.

But I think my favourite is N+8:

Aedh Witticisms for the Clubs of Heed

Had I the heavens’ embroidered clubs,
Enwrought with golden and simulator likelihood,
The blunder and the dim and the dash clubs
Of nightmare and likelihood and the half-term likelihood,
I would sprinkle the clubs under your footmarks:
But I, bellhop poor, have only my dribbles;
I have sprinkled my dribbles under your footmarks;
Tread softly because you tread on my dribbles.

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015



I am guest poet spot at the SPIN gig next Wednesday, 4th June 2014.

SPIN is a monthly poetry and music open mic night at the Ripple & Swirl Cafe, 14 The Esplanade, Christies Beach, on the first Wednesday of the month from 6.30pm – 9.00pm.

Admission is $5.00 / $4.00 concession

There is also an open mic. for poets and musicians.

Food is available by pre-order if required and the venue is licensed.

Further details are available at the  SPIN Facebook page  or contact the SPIN organisers by email:


Christies Beach



A friend recently raised the subject of nudity in poetry, as an offhand email remark. It got me thinking about the Billy Collins poem “Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes”, which is an irreverent tribute to the great female poet whom he metaphorically undresses.

I quite often find it easier to write a poem modeled on another poem. So it got me thinking and I came up with the unsavoury idea of undressing Australian Prime Minister (God those last three words sound so wrong) Tony Abbott. The poem spilled out fairly quickly. I performed it last Sunday at the most anarchic, no-holds barred poetry gig in Adelaide, “Spoke n Slurred”. I read the poem early on, whilst the audience was relatively sober, which is probably a good thing, because if they’d been drunk I think there might have been some vomiting. However, I later heard that I’d been awarded half of the cash prize for ‘poem of the night’ or something, sharing it with that other man who knows all about drinking and vomiting, Dick Dale.

I’ll be reading “Taking off Tony Abbott’s Clothes”, tomorrow (26th January 2013), in a 20 minute set I’m doing at the ArtsFeast in Strathalbyn. So be warned, you may want to stay away, or bring a bucket.

Here’s Billy’s more savoury version:

and here’s a link to the ArtsFeast programme, which has loads of great performers and workshops. I’m on at 4:10 p.m.

Thanks to Rob de Kok, who has invited me to appear at his Cafe non-Fiction gig next Wednesday night, 27th November 2013.

He’s given me an interesting brief:

“I prefer non-fiction work/true life poetry but from what i remember that’s what you do anyway. You can develop a theme if you like.”

True life poetry eh? I had hoped people thought I made it all up.

Rob runs Co-West, which is, he says:

“… Coworking space, the new way to make sure you have a space for your creative drive. Co-West is there so you have a reason to get up in the morning, shake the cat off your lap, put on some real clothes and go in to work. It’s where your art becomes a job. Coworking spaces are where people work independently together- sort of like having a fully-equipped office but no boss. They are places where you can write that draft, plan that project, tease out that article, sculpt that collection and finally wrap a routine around your craft.”

- Cafe Non-Fiction 2 -

W e d n e s d a y , N o v e m b e r  2 7

6 . 3 0 for 7

Settle back for another great night of published prose, poetry readings, gentle live music, a little drama and your personally chosen non-fiction moment.

THIS MONTH: Bring your favourite non-fiction book and read one crucial page to us!

As usual we’ll stir the pot with our (now patented!) unique version of ‘Two-way Q+A’, and provide lovely food and a few vinyl tunes to fill the gaps.

= Wine, coffee and soft drinks available by donation =

$15 / $10 members/concession

== In the Salon at Co-West: 6.30 / 7pm kick-off ==

PLEASE NOTE::: Last month was awesome but a little crowded. Book early!
Reserve your place on faceook or by email: 


I’m on at the State Library this coming Wednesday, 15th May 2013, with one of my very favourite Adelaide poets, Rob Walker. I can remember first hearing Rob’s work when I started going to Friendly Street, and it immediately struck a chord with me. Here was a bloke about my age, with a similar sense of humour and a similar upbringing. So it is a great thrill to now be on the same stage as him. The MC is another wonderful poet and good friend who has been a fantastic support for me in recent months, Louise Nicholas. The gig is part of Friendly Street Poets Words@Wall series, organised by Jelena Dinic. Rob and I will be doing a sort of renga, where we take turns to read a recently (last 12 months) written poem which in some way has a connection to the poem read by the other. Clear as mud? If you’re in Adelaide, it would be lovely to see you there.

Here are the details:

Friendly Street Poets & the State Library of SA present

Words @ the Wall

Wednesday 15 May 2013

5.30 - 6.15pm

Late afternoon Poetry performances

Treasures Wall, 1st Floor State Library, North Terrace




Mike Hopkins and Rob Walker read recent work


MC: Louise Nicholas


We’d love to see a massive crowd there supporting poetry in South Australia

Light refreshments kindly provided by the State Library.

This is a FREE event

Everyone is welcome

Melbourne Gigs

This weekend I’m travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne, to appear, with very talented fellow Adelaide poet Kerryn Tredrea, at two gigs:

  • The first is at 2 pm on Saturday 13th April at the Dan O’Connell (pictured above) in Carlton
  • The second is a Spoke n Slurred gig at The Brunswick Hotel, Sydney Rd. Brunswick on Monday 15th at 8 p.m. (M.C. Kerryn Tredrea)

If you’re anywhere near Melbourne, please come along.

Vote for This Blog

On the right of the screen you can see a “Vote for me now – Best Australian Blogs 2013″. If you like this blog, and you haven’t already voted for it, please take a few seconds to click on the button and vote. It would be really good for a poetry blog to get some recognition.

Poem of the day is coming later. And I have to figure out how I’m going to post a poem a day when I’m in Melbourne.