Wrap Around People

  Yesterday was good. Yesterday I spoke to Adrian from Yatala. He’s in the same wing as the bikies But he keeps his distance. He’s doing good. I spoke to Graham too. He’s having a by pass. I told him it’s a piece of cake That he’ll feel much stronger after the op. He appreciated that. My mate with the septicaemic toe phoned. He just has to keep it elevated But he can join us at the pub. My daughter phoned from Brisbane to check. My son from Vienna. Charlie came. He had the flu for three weeks. We had … Continue reading Wrap Around People

The Little Things

  I like finding the little things Like watching The Jim Jarmusch film ‘Paterson’ About the bus driver Who writes poetry like William Carlos Williams And finding out That’s where Lou Costello lived, Paterson, New Jersey There’s even a park named after him, Lou Costello the chubby comedian who played alongside Bud Abbot, The straight guy. I used to watch those guys in the fifties, I’d curl into their movies Like they were a big security blanket. But it was Lou I loved And that’s where he came from, Paterson, New Jersey And no one there ever forgot it. Continue reading The Little Things

On Precision

  If you were lost and couldn’t find yourself what description would you provide? How helpful would it be to police, the general public? Would you even recognise yourself on the street if you only had your description to go by? Try it. It’s a real challenge to nail yourself in words, the way novelists do to their characters in books. Get a friend to test the precision of your appearance. Continue reading On Precision

How it Happened

  I wrote a poem once. I wrote it on a school lunch bag. It was my first year as an English teacher. I wrote it during lunch hour and carelessly left it on the table where I sat with other English teachers. I thought no more about it. Someone found it and sent it to the SAIT Journal, the journal of the teachers’ union. They published it. Look, someone said. This is your poem. They published it. It was the poem about Fridays, how much I loved Fridays, how they are the cul de sacs of the week, how … Continue reading How it Happened

I Am Appearing in a Book

  Having failed to write a novel in which the main character is a thinly disguised version of me, I am pleased to report I will be appearing in a book as myself, fully fledged and undisguised. It is an honour any writer would wish. `The book is being written by a librarian who works in the library I frequent. Based on Chris Paling’s ‘Reading Allowed: True Stories and Curious Incidents from a Provincial Library’.[2017]. the non-fiction work will profile some of the charming odd bods and other characters Steph has encountered in her twenty years on the job. At … Continue reading I Am Appearing in a Book

Barfing in the Bushes

The career trajectory of an Olympic swimmer, it has been reported, went into a steep dive when he began barfing in the pool during meets. Recently, at a pizzeria, struck by a bug, I began barfing in the bushes. It did not affect my career prospects though it affected the people around me, ‘Can’t you barf quietly?’ my companion proposed. ‘No, I can’t. Can anyone?’ I challenged. . It did, however, produce a poem in which I compared the retching body to a washing machine. Like that household appliance, the retching and pre-retching body must run through its cycle before … Continue reading Barfing in the Bushes