kidattypewriter

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Shouting random letters at football fans

Being an old sort of codger now, I've been going to the Dan O'Connell Saturday pub poetry sessions for well nigh on 10 years. It's an impressive stretch of time for any pub poetry session to be going (the Dan poetry's been going for over twice that long, a quarter of a century in fact), but even more impressive is that somehow the old joint keeps this up week after week. Even - to the surprise and bemusement of most Melbourne locals - during the AFL Grand Final, for most of those 25 years at least. This act always seemed a little strange, even sacrilegious - the bar would often be packed with punters there to watch the football and a bunch of poets would turn up. Sometimes, it's true, they put us all in the beer garden. On one memorable occasion, Geoff Lemon was the feature at exactly the same time as his team were playing in the final - consequently, and it has to be admitted rather apologetically on his part, he seemed rather more interested in the events going on on television than the poets around him. Such was the strangeness of this yearly occurrence that once, I even wrote a series of 'Team songs for writing' and found myself shouting them at a pub full of grand final viewers and a motley bunch of poets. I even got them to spell out the name - 'Give me an A! Give me an R! etc' - of an Ancient Greek writer or two. And there were rousing (well, rousing for me at least) odes to punctuation:

Well there she was a writin' in her book
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)
Usin' commas hyphens quotation marks full-stops
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)
Upper case! (Upper case!)
Lower case! (Lower case!)
Upper case lower case punctuation is so fine!
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)

(Those team songs for writing, and a few other footy-related pieces are in my latest book, Hangover Music, by the way. You should totally buy a copy!)

Good times, good times. But all good times must come to an end, and this was no exception. Poetry at the Dan for this week is on a Sunday (weirdly it all feels less sacrilicious than having it on a Grand Final Saturday). It's not quite the same doing it without yelling baffling metaphors at a crowd of indifferent or even hostile footy fans, but life is about change.

In the meantime, living in Melbourne and all, I even adopted a football team, in that way you do. I did it either because they were just about the worst team and not likely to win a final any time soon, or because they had the best song. That team has since had the bad grace to win the grand final twice, one of those occasions being this afternoon. But their song, I am pleased to say, has remained consistently awesome. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was the song.

To conclude, and on an unrelated note, here is a poem, of sorts.

Is Tigger the Tigger that's best with the ball? 
Is Tigger the best of them all?
For Eeyore is down, and Pooh Bear is out 
And Christopher Robin is aged and stout - 
Is Tigger the tiggerest Tigger of all? 

See Tigger go tigger all over the hall, 
With vigorous, tiggerous call - 
There can be no doubt, he's winning the bout, 
It's a riot, a rort, an absolute rout - 
Yes, Tigger's the tigger that stands proud and tall - 
For Tiggers the best Tigger out of them all! 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

I'm sorry, we're all out of Sturm und Drang, would you care for the lemonade?

Okay, so you're in the audience and sitting down to watch the third scene of Richard Wagner's cool and exciting new opera, Die Walküre. The music strikes up and you already feel as if you have drunken the mead of Valhalla. As the curtain rises, you see the 'Gipfel eines Felsenberges' (the peak of a rocky cliff) right next to a 'Tannenwald' (fir forest). There's a 'Blitzesglanz' (a flash of lightning), and framed in this dramatic tableau you see a Valkyrie on top of the mountain on a HORSE, over which lies 'ein erschlagener Krieger' - a slain warrior. (Because it's the 19th century and nobody's budget extends that far, even Richard Wagner's, the horse is probably made out of wood and creaks as it's drawn here and there on stage, but what the hell - the orchestra just plays a little louder at those moments). The point is - this is just ludicrously romantic! - gigantic mountains next to vast forests, lightning flashes in the clouds, GODDESSES ON HORSIES! This is as cool, as nonsensical, and as utterly necessary as the elephants in Aida.

Just kidding, you're sitting in the audience for a modern production of Walküre and instead of galloping around on the mountain tops out of the clouds, the Valkyries are shifting bodies around in a shabby old pile of rock like so many pieces of furniture in a rental house.

Bring back the horses!



(Post a follow on from a discussion with Steve.)

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Excuses for hipsters

Sorry I'm late, I was busy teaching yoga to my goat.

I was crocheting individualised bonnets for my bees' feet. This winter has been cold, you know.

Excuse me, my beard got caught in my fixie.

It was an emergency! My tweed jacket clashed with the Weltanschauung.

My craft brew and I were undergoing an individualised counselling session to help us achieve self-actualisation as a couple.

I was bookbinding a recipe book with twine made out of my cats' fur.

So sorry! I had trouble fitting Buttons, my alpaca, in the train on the way here. Did we miss anything?

My kefir had emotional issues.

I got lost in my beard and couldn't find my way out.

We ran out of kale! It was an emergency!
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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