Tongue Tied

High Kitsch
Tossing up whether to stay,
in trouble for needling tone
weeding out redundancy,
extraneous “that’s”,
nervous “buts” grating,
musicians can’t get away with
bum notes, a voice singing flat,
drums out of time, violin out of tune.
In writing and painting,
does anything go?
with crafty nitpicking
dropped stitches unravel knitting.
“Art is a matter of opinion”
bleats the vainglorious fool,
“to write at all is better than silence”
yet quietude is restful and brainfarts terrorize,
crackling chip packets in cinemas,
literary abstract expressionists
demand respect for widdershin words,
the minimalist scribes for a single dot
in the centre of the page
.
what’s the bloody point of words anyway
if clumsy drivel is high art too,
do you feel anything at all?
do you suck or blow?

Jinjirrie, February 2021

Song for the Old White Bois’ Club

Scummo Lake

BONKARAMA CANBERRA

Don’t step out of line, girly,
I’ll run me blokey hormones all over yer,
You’re a cute little blonde from the junior staff
and you’re gonna learn who’s boss round here.

It’s Canberra bonkarama,
where men are men and run the show,
Put on your glad rags and take my arm
or your career will have to go.

CHORUS:

Bonkarama, Canberra
Bonkarama, Canberra
Where men are serious
and women are nervous.
Bonkarama, Canberra
Bonkarama, Canberra
There’s sexual potential
in the power differential,
It’s just good old human frailty
To lech after female beauty,
You can trust our daggy leader
whatever crap he feeds yer,
Bonkarama, Canberra
Bonkarama, Canberra.

Jinjirrie, November 2020

Related Links

Inside the Canberra bubble: Liberal ministers’ relationships with staffers prompted ‘bonk ban’

Christian Porter was warned over public behaviour with young female staffer by then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull


The Canberra bubble investigation points to an underlying problem we seem to see over and over again
Michael Pascoe: Hypocrisy and smokescreens cloud the ‘Canberra Bubble’
Ghosts of the past come back to haunt PM
A former staffer for Liberal frontbencher Alan Tudge has claimed she felt “belittled” and “bullied” by him and wants the PM to investigate.

Heat Wave in the Land of Drought and Flooding Rains

Heat Wave

You could cook the snags
on the sizzling shed roof
so we’ll have a barby
in verandah shade
speechless with heat
regard each other
dessicating in halcyon days
dive into dam shaded
by regenerating
forest fightback
against settler colonial payback
outside this land ruined
by cloven-footed whiteness
the quick greedy buck
populating and perishing
they push the bush
and who gives a fuck?
it’s the Australian norms
raise a glass to the
coming storms.

February 2018

(Published at the Buck House Writers Group)

Invasion Day 2018

Settler Colonialism

False Muse

what is this verbose cotton wool
but suffocation of truth?
sentinel poet effuses verse
for privileged settlers
descant to daily injustices
chorused in white racist media
relentless revisions of theft and denial
endless rights and return betrayal
triumphalism of patriarchal curses
veiled advice to contaminate resistance
normalise collaboration
embrace post-colonial defeat
tender submission to ongoing genocide
for security of invaders
boot must sink in hard
negative peace sucks the bones
such brave generous poetry
healing to conqueror spirit
a noxious complicity with drones
rubbing noses of oppressed
in the misery of their predicament
with hubris of beauty and art
escaped red lines revealed
in anodyne alliterations
and poetic capitulations

January 26, 2018

Invasion Day

Invasion
Invasio
Invasi
Invas
Inva
Inv
In
I

January 26, 2018

Related Links

“The new campaign to deny the Aboriginal genocide, led by Quadrant, was taken up in the Australian mass media by a chorus of right wing columnists with records of antagonism to Aborigines and “leftist” supporters, and easy access to a wide public.”

In Genocide and Resistance in Southeast Asia by Ben Kiernan.

‘Even within the realm of literature, political writers and readers knew that their enemies were active. In 1956, Richard Krygier, head of the local arm of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, established Quadrant, explicitly intended, as he put it, as ‘a counterweight to the kind of leftism so evident in Meanjin.’ The founders of Quadrant liaised about their project with ASIO and Prime Minister Robert Menzies; their funding came primarily from the the Congress for Cultural Freedom.

Yes, that’s right – Quadrant, that scourge of tax-payer funded arts organisations, owes its existence to money secretly siphoned from American taxpayers courtesy of the CIA.’

https://overland.org.au/2014/06/overland-and-the-cia/

‘ After a series of exposes and repudiations of the CIA connection, in 1967 McAuley published a careful response in Quadrant admitting the funding from the CIA was ‘deplorable’, but no more than ‘a well-intentioned blunder’. His defence that he had been an unwitting recipient of CIA largesse has been restated by the new editor of Quadrant and by its previous editors. Yet how was McAuley so unaware when Clem Christesen knew the money came from the CIA as far back as 1956? How was it that the editor of Quadrant had shown so little curiosity as to the source of money being so liberally handed out? A quick perusal of McAuley’s editorials give the flavour of the invective he would employ should the editor of a left-wing magazine discover he had ‘unwittingly’ been receiving 40% of his income from the KGB.’

http://jacketmagazine.com/12/pybus-quad.html

‘THE conservative magazine Quadrant has accused the Australia Council of political bias after its annual grant for next year was cut by 30 per cent, from $50,000 to $35,000.

Quadrant’s editor, the historian Keith Windschuttle, a key protagonist in the history wars who denies that the removal of Aboriginal children from their families was racist or deliberate policy, has written to subscribers saying the decision by the council’s literature board was ”patently political”.’

http://www.smh.com.au/national/quadrant-cites-political-bias-for-15000-funding-cut-20091221-la2e.html

‘The troubles Quadders has with Ozco funding might suggest that they would have an easier time returning to the CIA as their main funding source. But wait – in Cassadnra Pybus’s The Devil and James McAuley, we learn that the Congress for Cultural Freedom (the irony-free CIA front set up to pay for magazines like Encounter and Quadrant) repeatedly warned the magazine’s early editors that it was too politically strident, and not publishing enough of genuine cultural worth.

Got that? Even the CIA thought Quadrant didn’t publish enough good poetry.’

https://www.crikey.com.au/2009/12/21/rundle-windschuttle-screams-blue-murder-over-quadrant-funding-cut/

Trakkydaks

Trakkydaks

I tried to throw out my favourite trakkydaks
Gift to the flag irises and bromeliads
Forty years’ comfy wear, that’s the facts
A couple of holes, easily mended yet sad
100 percent cotton, washed out pale green
Hung off my frame faithfully, concealing
Lumps and bumps, a warm inner bogan
Uncaring of yobness before social ceiling
Robbed pleasure from non-objectified self
With trakkydaks now a secretive fetish
For this wannabe neo-primitive wood elf
Stuff the wankers, I’ll keep them, be selfish.

Jinjirrie
June 2017