Friday, February 28, 2014

Suburban nude

Getting undressed for the shower, you are just shrugging off the final item of clothing when you realise with annoyance that you are not sure whether you have taken the post in for today. Laziness slouches in as you decide you couldn't be bothered putting your clothes back on to get the mail. Soon after comes anxiety, and with it the dawning awareness that you will have to do a naked sprint for the letter box to see if there is any mail (this is even more irritating than those times when you took the bins back in wearing only your dressing gown, or did the gardening in a pair of underpants). Then comes concern: for your neighbours, who will undoubtedly be horrified by your nude sprinting up and down the driveway. Not to mention how embarrassing you will find it if the letterbox actually turns out to be empty because you have either actually taken in the mail earlier today and forgotten about it or you just didn't get any mail today anyway.

And then enters the good old feeling of Ah Fuck It and you turn the shower on and get back to your ordinary state of utter apathetic bliss.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Problems of modern life....

There is a chicken in our house. I am of her flock and she is of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

This is rather awkward, as there are three chickens in the backyard. I am of their flock and they are of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

Which is even more embarrassing, for there are three more chickens in the backyard on the other side. I am of their flock and they are of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

I wonder how I am going to explain it to them all? That I have been seeing flocks behind their backs? I don't know if their tiny chicken brains will be able to comprehend it.

It is all very difficult.

Sunday, February 23, 2014



Some say that it's a butterfly
Flitting here and there,
Some say that it's cheap alcopops,
Or lacy underwear,
Some say it is the gift of God,
Some say it is nowhere,
But I say chocolate banana shoes

Some say that Bunnings sells it cheap,
Some say it's in the air,
Some say it's something we should try,
Some say we shouldn't dare,
Some say the airline lost theirs
And have nothing to declare,
I swiftly paint my whippets quack

Some say it's nudist cars with guns,
Some say it's pubic hair,
Some say it started with the Queen,
Or even Tony Blair,
Some say it's trolling someone's blog
Some say it's being square,
But why do budgies wimples snip?

If cymbals ooze along the grams,
Or men bend down in prayer,
If mome-raths gimble in the wabe
Or legs are shorn and bare,
If it's a costly thing to earn,
Or life's not free but fair,
Let spiffing pimples tango now -

NOTE: The poet does not endorse painting your whippets.

Because freedom. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Critica dicta

"Can art exist without an audience?" - Alison Croggon. 
If artists did not exist, it would be necessary for critics to invent them.

Criticism is the sound of one hand clapping.

All artists are thwarted critics.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no critic to analyse its fall, is it really art?

Art lies in wait for the creator. The creator lies in wait for an audience. The critic lies in wait for them all.

It may be possible to write the perfect criticism, but only of art that does not exist.

It is not necessary for art to be created to be art.

It is not necessary for art to be created to have an audience.

It is not necessary for art to be.

It is not necessary for conceptual art to have a concept.

All minimalist art is overstatement. All maximalist art is an understatement. Criticism is the in-between.

Art is an argument between a critic, the artist, and life.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chook central

Chooks seem to present themselves in many and varied ways at our house. We started off with a modest modicum of chooks, Daisy and Griselda, to be layers. They were duly given a pen to the side of the garden and duly began laying.

Shortly after this, we were presented with Agatha by my brother. Agatha had an interesting story; she had for some months been living at my brother's house in Warburton, on the side of a large hill, with two guinea fowl. At night, foxes would come down off the hill and pick off the guinea fowl, but Agatha survived. We were wondering how she was going to fit in when she came to our house, but we needn't have worried: instead of waiting for the other chooks to peck her, Agatha just lowered her head and ran madly at Daisy and Gris and pecked them both into submission before placing herself over the food bowl and scoffing the lot. In fact, we've discovered pecking is pretty much Aggie's raison de etre - she'll peck anything from a trouser leg to a fellow chicken, just to keep her beak in.

For a time being we acquired Henry, because Daisy got clucky and we took pity on her and gave her an egg and in due course we all got to know the egg better, and there you go. Henry was a bantam rooster, in fact, and took to living inside, perching on teapots, and placing himself between the sounding boards of the harp and the piano when he wanted to crow. What a soothing, tranquil time that turned out to be.

Daisy and Gris eventually slowed down in their laying and we acquired Esme and Shirley, the two Australorps; and eventually Esme became clucky, as Daisy had before her. We gave her some eggs, too, which is how we ended up with Geoffrey (despite the name, Geoffrey is most likely a girl).

What is this all leading up to? Well, this afternoon I was lying in the bath when a chap positioned himself at the front door and began shouting in. "Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?" Eventually the Baron wandered out, and I got some clothes on (well - a towel counts doesn't it?) and went out as well. He was holding a chicken. Another brown, by the looks of it (quite like our Daisy and Griselda). And he was kind of sort of wondering what to do with her.

How had he discovered us? It appears he'd been wandering round our street and asked someone walking the dog if anyone round here had chickens. Apparently we're a bit ostentatious about the whole chicken-keeping thing - (what - is it the habit of walking the chooks on the oval, the loud squawking in the morning from the Australorp's house, the occasional habit they have of escaping into neighbour's gardens, making it necessary for us to somewhat illegally leap fences and chase them out again?) Who would have thought? 

So we appear to have a new chicken. She's sleeping in the laundry right now.

You've heard that expression 'chick magnet', right?

Well, the Baron and I appear to be something similar. We're bloody chook magnets!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our new neighbour

When you have bees, you often hear or read other people telling you: "tell your neighbours about your bees". "Take them some honey", they'll advise. "Do it soon! Do it now!"

Somehow, the Baron and me never quite got around to the Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees part. No, we're pretty resolutely and adamantly stuck in the Not Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees part of our lives, and we're getting pretty good at it, let me say. We do some Not Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees frequently and often, so much so that by now, just about everyone in the neighbourhood must have been not told about our bees. It's amazingly successful. Mind you, our neighbours might have found about our bees anyway, thanks to the magic of looking over the back fence, but if they have, they haven't told us about it, which seems right and proper.

Some new neighbours recently moved in next door. We had come to know the old neighbour, T, pretty well; he was the one with the Chow Chow dog, though he told us officially the landlord wouldn't allow dogs on the property. Well, these new neighbours, it turns out, have a dog too (which amazingly I didn't find out by looking over the back fence - well, not before he had announced his own presence anyway). This reflects well on them, I think. In keeping with the general comradely spirit of the neighbourhood, they haven't told us about the dog, and we haven't told them about our bees, so I think we're getting along reasonably well.

Anyway, today we decided to get rid of a few cat biscuits, and what better way to do so than by using it to bribe the dog? The Baron snuck a look over the back fence and saw that the dog was sleeping; a hasty, "puppy!" quickly brought him trotting curiously over to the fence. He was just gathering his energy to bark, apparently, when the Baron scattered some cat food on the ground. He loved it! When I went to have a look, a few minutes later, he was still scarfing up all the biscuits lying around. (I was happy to add to the collection).

You know, it's just possible the neighbours see him as a bit of a guard dog. I'm not sure about that, so much. He's good at eating biscuits, though. I hope he doesn't tell his people.

I don't know if this blog post had a point except for how wonderful it is to not tell people things. And even if it did.... I wouldn't tell you anyway.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Salad daze

This might sound odd coming from me in my thirty sixth year of existence, but I don't get salad. Just what is it anyway? A smattering of lettuce, a spritz of vinegar, a trivality of tomato or apple or citrus to provide flavour? It is less a food stuff than a bowl full of oxygen with some vegetable matter in the in-between spaces.

Salad raises profound questions of existence: when does a bowl of leaves and vegetables and stuff stop being just leaves and vegetables and become a salad? Who even eats salad, anyway? Salad has long been regarded as a vegetarian cliche, but in my experience vegetarians are hardly ever interested in salad: "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse-sized soy-bean curd block!" cries the Archetypical Vegetarian, standing proudly on the hill and casting aside the inconsequential arrangement of arugula they have been presented with.

Try as I might, I can never make a bowl of lettuce and vegetables go from being a bowl of lettuce and vegetables to being a proper salad. Is there a formula one can use to balance out the lettuce leafs with a proportional amount of non-lettuce leaf material? Ought I be carefully measuring out and weighing each lettuce leaf to determine the impact they will make on the final complex mathematical algorithm for the stochastic system of food that will grace my bowl? How can you stop the liquid stuff, the vinegar and oil and all that, from just trickling down to the bottom of the bowl? Wouldn't it just be more simple, more honest, if, instead of presenting people with a bowl of lettuce leafs on the table, to just bowl the whole lettuce over the floor towards them?

The vegetable that missed its calling as a bowling ball. 

And surely, if the lettuce is really what people are after, we could think of a better system of serving it up to them than salad. Couldn't we decorate these round, attractive little balls of leaf-matter by carving them? Alternatively, we could stuff them with other food stuffs: or, for the real lettuce afficionados, we could serve them up as lettuce shiskebabs, on pointed sticks, as a frugal but nourishing treat in these financially-straitened times.

Surely this would make more sense than to serve them up in - a salad.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hetero-metro-friendly Valentines

I love you in a totally-not-gay-
So hetero-metro-friend of mine,
Would you be my Valentine?

Send him Roses chocolates fine,
My heteroflexual Valentine,
And casks of sparkling goon bag wine,
My intellectual Valentine,
And when our hands and lives entwine -
Oh! Man! Dude! Too far! My sweet asexual Valentine.

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Here, have a beer.
I'm off to the loo.

For Valentines I got your flowers
But the postage cost too much, man.

Thought for the day: on keeping a tidy house

It's amazing how messy things don't look when you ignore them.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blurst poem in the world

Like being the oldest person in the world and then dying, being the worst poet in the world and then writing something to prove that is hardly an exclusive category these days. It was just over a year ago when Gina Rinehart wrote the (allegedly) worst poem (in the 'universe', according to this story), and now Aussie battler Rinehart finds herself pipped at the post by newcomer Kristen Stewart:
Kristen Stewart writes worst poem of all time 

 Kristen Stewart is doing anything she can to escape the brooding monotony of her one-dimensional performance as Bella in teen horror-romp Twilight... 

 Behold… The worst poem of all time, which she recited out loud to the publication during her cover interview, and kindly allowed them to publish in full for their own general amusement.... 

Just who is the worst poet in the world, in the universe and of all time anyway? Could either of these upstarts really challenge the acknowledged worst poet of all time, William Topaz McGonnagall? Surely it's time for a Worst Poetry Slam to settle this matter for once and for all.

First up, we have Rinehart's poem, Our Future:
 The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife 
 And billions now are pleading 

Er, THANK you. Ms Rinehart's effort will now be engraved on stone and cast into the fiery pits of Mordor from whence it has sprung. Next up, Kristen Stewart brings a touch of whimsy to the worst poem competition with her poem, entitled, My heart is a whiffle ball/freedom pole.
 You read its clock, scrawled neon across that black/
Kismetly … ubiquitously crest fallen/
Thrown down to strafe your foothills/
…I’ll suck the bones pretty.
As I said to the Baron earlier today, better than a kick in the pants with a wet sock. 

Now let's move on to Mr McGonnagall, with his beautifully sensitive work, The Tay Bridge Disaster.
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time. 

Hey! HEY! If you're going to throw stuff like that, make sure it's only RIPE tomatoes please, and preferably throw them in that bucket over there so we can make some passata afterwards, thank you very much. 

But in the end, gentling ladymen, isn't 'worst poet of the world', like 'favourite poet', rather a subjective category as Wendy Cope points out in her lovely poem Favourite?
When they ask me, “Who’s your favourite poet?”,
I’d better not mention you.
Though you certainly are my favourite poet
And I like your poems too.

William McGonagall looks dourly upon your petty efforts at writing the worst poem in the world.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Newfangled dingle dongle

I was at a blog meet once with Crazybrave and Nabakov and at one point Zoe said, "Let me just google that on my iPad".

"Ten years ago", pointed out Nabakov, "No-one would have the foggiest what that means".

And look where we are now.

It started when I Google pinged my iPad.
My Dragon didn't recognise the tone.
My Wiki didn't upload all my Yahoo
And had left my Facebook status all alone.
My landline wasn't talking with my laptop
And my dongle wouldn't dingle with my phone.

I tried to tweet the error with my pigeon
But nextdoor's Apple drew her from my home.
My fax was whinging to my duplicator
As it sadly tried to Roneo a stone.
I tried to call the neighbour on my mobile,
But my dongle wouldn't dingle with my phone.

I replaced the landline with a ripe banana.
About my floor spaghetti now is strewn.
My laptop's been upgraded to a kitten.
And now, instead of Yahoo, I just Groan.
And all because my Google pinged my iPad
But my dongle wouldn't dingle with my phone. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

A great novel, summarised in verse

The following novel may or may not exist. But if anyone challenges me, "This isn't fiction at all! You just made it all up!", then my only answer is, "Yes, but it's all true, dammit!"

Summarised briefly
In verse

Her breast
He pressed
Unto his chest,
The rest. 

Depressed - 
Molest molest molest molest molest. 

"Good sir, unhand the lady, lest" - 
"Well, do your best!" 
"I'll put your weapon to the test!" 
"Murder! Fire! Arrest! Arrest!" 

Went west. 
There met an old time friend, 
When pressed, 
Confessed - 

It was only in the summer of that fateful year we found she had been demonically possessed.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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