Friday, August 07, 2009

anti-establishment / graffiti (2009)

my adopted suburb
their arrogant houses
such prettified much
minding of one’s
own business here i
autechre providing
soundtrack to distort
dulled neighbourhood
covertly spitting
cropped beats over
picket fencing music
selected to alienate
surroundings vs. self

to alienise gardening
guard-dogged securities
executive salaried or
old-monied majesties
my word how rude
as a poet codenamed
wordy to scrawl upon
such spongy scenery
with my bum graffiti

Note: Autechre for the uninitiated.


  1. Brilliant! Portrait poem with movement and a little lyricism, almost Robert Adamson style but a different soundtrack, different river and more pointedly political. Fantastico!

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Paul. Can't say I see the Adamson thing... I'd consider this one of my more throwaway (though still half-serious) efforts. I'd like to perform it though.

  3. Well, I think if you have Adamson, Tranter and the other guy, oh that's right Kinsella, you'll find Adamson was the most lyrical and fluid. He wrote a lot about being next to a river, a literal one. This poem has the boy in movement but the landscape stationery. The effect is the same. A point of stillness inside around which the world vibrates, that vibration translated through language produces lyrical poetry. Or Romantic poetry. One must not verge on the sentimental though Stu. Which is where Tranter comes in. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's only an amateur's reading.

  4. Tranter sentimental? Are you talking about his earlier work, or...?

  5. Excelent poem, I do not know why but it reminded me of the times I used to live in london town. And the snail is hilarious.
    bye stu

  6. Yes, parts of London can be very alienating. The suburb I live in isn't that unlike certain suburbs of London, I suppose.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the snail. I don't believe in the exploitation of animals, even if the purpose is artistic. I guess some people wouldn't see painting on the snail's shell as exploitation, but I do. Then again, I'm not sure whether this is some kind of photoshopped image? Even if it is, the sentiment that we can do as we please with other sentient beings remains. On the other hand, it is very interesting as a work of art, in the way that it raises issues of public vs. private space, etc.

  7. No I mean, Tranter's caution against sentimentality versus Adamson's lyricism. It was the dynamic between those two poets which created some of our best poetry.

  8. Ah, I see what you mean. Definitely friction and sparks in that dynamic, I agree.

  9. good work, i like the way the line endings punctutate the thoughts. plus i love autechre! have you heard their remix of that merzbow track?

  10. Thanks for having a read, Jason. Just had a peruse of your blog. A twitter novel... interesting.

    Do you mean the remix of 'Ecobondage'? Just had a listen via YouTube. Pretty intense for a Monday morning!

    Speaking of Merzbow, some of their tracks were incorporated into the Wordsalad podcast I was featured in earlier this year.

  11. Damn, man. You beat me to it with "headphone-wrapped". I had a poem the other day where I was trying to say the same thing, and I couldn't decide whether "headphoned" was a verb, or me just being stupid. I like your adjective rendition much better.

    Overall, this poem has a stellar rhythm. And the even line-lengths help a lot. So does the lack of punctuation, which allows the images to pour into one-another, bolstering the sense of frenzied juxtaposition (an element of the music versus vision theme: "surroundings vs. self").

    With another draft or two, I'd say this poem can take you places publishing-wise.

  12. Hey Daniel,

    Thanks for the feedback, man.

    I still think 'headphoned' has potential for you.

    As for this poem... I'm not so sure about the last few lines. It kind of neatens up into rhymes, which could work, but at the moment I feel it's a bit forced.

    I just removed the exclamation mark after 'my word', cos I felt it broke the flow. I tend to agonise over punctuation...