Saturday, February 13, 2010

Alcoholics with a poetry problem

I've seen it increasingly in the past few weeks, months, and years. And I have to admit that the problem is, if anything, getting worse. Yes, alcoholics with a poetry problem are seen all over the city, infesting our cafes, bars, and pubs, committing blatant acts of verbalism at tables, on stage, in front of microphones.

Many people in Melbourne will be asking, how has it come to this? How have we let our once-carefree alcoholics turn to these terrible, soul-destroying acts of poeticalness?

I suppose it must have all happened so gradually. An open-mic night here, a night that was supposed to be spent getting wasted on a bucket of ouzo instead turning into a ribald joke-telling session. Before these people knew it, they must have found themselves slurring metaphors and alliteration out in front of an appreciative audience. Sometimes these once-proud alcoholics don't even drink alcohol!

Yes, I know the temptation is always there to read a poem or two, to indulge in a spot of wordplay. But is it worth it, really? The momentary linguistic thrill you get from the pleasing combination of words, the felicitous use of adjectives, the charming and elegant way the poems are structured? Couldn't we be better spending our time drinking booze?

Perhaps it is time for concerted action from the state government: a crackdown from law and order on all practitioners of poetry, higher regulation, limiting the amount of rhymes that can be said in any one venue at any one time - that sort of thing.

I'm toddling off this afternoon to the Dan O'Connell Hotel, and I'm going to steadfastly refuse to indulge in any acts of poetry. Nope. Not one bit... Perhaps you could come, too, and contribute to Melbourne's thriving alcoholic culture. Perhaps I can help to dissuade other alcoholics from indulging in their poetry habit. For just one afternoon. Baby steps, and all that.


Mitzi G Burger said...

Surely poets have the right to freely associate (especially when they're mixing metaphors and serving them with a twist of something tangy)?

Dan the VespaMan said...

And herein lies the problem Tim. The irresponsible attitude of establishments such as the DOC hotel, who blatantly allow patrons to over-indulge on poetry. They don't care do they, they simply don't care and then leave society to pick up the pieces.

Should their staff not be trained in the "responsible service of verse"?

bruised Bruce said...

But what if one is a poet but doesn't know it?

TimT said...

Then we make the poets may not know it, but they sure do show it. And before you know, it lowers the whole tone of the place.

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