Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A most distinct distinction

"Anuresis is inability to urinate; enuresis is incontinence."

There’s many a learned paper
And many a graduate thesis
That’s writ to distinguish in plain simple English
and enuresis.

O it’s woe to those who confuddle
Diarrhoea and diaeresis
What hope have they indeed in their hour of need
To tell
from enuresis?

O send for a doctor of letters
To deliver a stern exegesis
To ease their infection with a syntactic dissection
Of anuresis
And enuresis.

But the trouble for others is double
Yea, the trouble for others increases
It’s as though they are cursed, and it gets worse and worse
If they actually have
Or enuresis.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My anarcho-communal-freegan-groovy-man-biodynamic-self-composting-kind-to-animals-socialist day

I have had a very anarcho-communal-freegan-groovy-man-biodynamic-self-composting-kind-to-animals-socialist day today. Well, I suppose it's arguable that I often do, but today really was an exceptionally anarcho-communal-freegan-groovy-man-biodynamic-self-composting-kind-to-animals-socialist day. By the way, much as I like the term 'anarcho-communal-freegan-groovy-man-biodynamic-self-composting-kind-to-animals-socialist', it is a bit unwieldy, so for future purposes I'll use the equally accurate, but significantly shorter epithet, 'hippy'. Whatever, dudes.

After lounging around for most of the morning because, like, I had a headache, man, I made vegan (hippy!) biscuits. I put a bunch of them in a box, and got a couple of my zines (hippy!), and set off to the train station (hippy!) and caught the next train in to Thornbury.

After looking up and down High Street for a certain record shop, I finally gave in and knocked on the door of a local anarcho-communal-garden-hang-out type place (VERY hippy!) and asked them - no, they didn't know, but they let me use their computer (hippy!). After finding out I headed down a few blocks to Thornbury Records (hippy! in a nice way) and dropped off several zines (hippy!) there.

Then, I caught a tram to Fitzroy (hippy!) and left another zine (hippy!) and the biscuits (hippy!) for a fellow poet (and hippy!) who was due to come into the cafe later today. There I met the Baron wearing a blue psychedelic floral skirt bought for 50 cents at the Rozelle Market in 2002 (hello, hippy!) and we made our way to CERES, the community environment park (hippy!*) where the Baron promptly frolicked among the lemon verbena (hippy!) and I went and bought a latte with biodynamic milk (hippy!), a soy chai latte (very hippy!), and two slices of vegan banana bread (totally, spaced-out, over-the-moon hippy!)

After a short walk around the park (more opportunity for frolicking, hippy! style, amongst the foliage) it was a short trip back to our commune (hippy!), with me discussing an idea I had for a Biodynamic Self-composting Zine workshop (for real - hippy!, hippy!, and more hippy!). Once we had reached home the Baron aerated the compost (hippy!) while I chopped wood (well... sort of hippy!).

So there's at least 20 counts of hippiness in all of that, I reckon, and to make up for it all now, I'm going to be totally selfish and capitalist and shit:

1) Yes, you've guessed it. I've got a new zine (hippy! okay, that's enough of that) out. Worth $3, which $3 will cover postage costs, if you want a copy. Let me know via email** if you're interested. It's got stuff by me, a bunch of other Melbourne poets, and the famous Nottlesby, amongst others.

2) Thornbury Records. Good shit, man. Lots of, you know, LPs and stuff. Also, they stock some of my zines! So if you're in that neighbourhood you can just go there and buy it from them.

3) Sticky Institute. The zine centre for all of Melbourne. They've stocked a number of my zines in the past and they've got this one too - if you're passing through you can grab one from them. They're open Wednesday to Saturday, afternoons.

*TOTALLY hippy. Check it out, they even have a basket-weaving workshop.

**timhtrain at

Forgot to do what I wasn't going to do

Forgot it was Earth Hour last night. So instead of not turning my lights off when I was supposed to and feeling cranky about it, I instead left the lights on when I was not supposed to and felt apathetic about it.

Is it possible to be retroactively guilty about not doing something you never would have done anyway, but forgot about before you didn't do it, do you suppose?

UPDATE! - Suggested replacement activities for Earth Hour for those who don't care about it, but who miss out on all the feelings of self-satisfied virtue/guilt you have when turning out the lights:

COLIN FIRTH HOUR - Hour spent ogling pictures of one's favourite film star on the net, while feeling naughty about it

GIRTH HOUR - Hour in which you stop dieting on whatever diet you're dieting on, and instead order in a gigantic bloody cake, and guts out on it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Smashulosity: a Friday meditation

If I were one of those people responsible for driving around in titanic and cavernous trucks – and I don’t see why I couldn’t be – and pulling those big trucks up into dirty back alleys between warehouses, and throwing behemothian objects into the caverns of those aforesaid cavernous trucks, then you know what? I’d choose a job where I got to throw the most gigantic, metallic objects possible, that would clank and rattle and roll around in the back of those trucks. And also with little bits of glass and screens and other things that would satisfyingly break into thousands of satisfying little pieces, and make extremely satisfactory tinkling noises, every which way. Yes, I definitely would judge each of the objects I threw by the thuds and the clumps and the clunks and the smashes they were likely to make, and angle each throw for maximum thuddage and clumping and clunklishness and smashulosity.

And one more thing: I definitely, definitely would choose to do such a job in a back alley immediately right behind a building where people were listening to bits of audio. And attempting to accurately make textual transcripts of those little bits of audio. And I would wait right until the moment when they were attempting to decipher the most difficult paragraphs in the most poorly recorded audio, and then I would joyously and triumphantly heave those behemothian objects into the back of my cavernous truck. And continue doing so for the next half hour.

If I were one of those people, that is definitely how I would go about doing things.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Attention facebook users!

Clothes need buttons so we can close them up and not go around with things hanging out that shouldn't be hanging out, and so does the internet. Need buttons, I mean. Just look at Facebook - if it didn't have a 'Like' button, all manner of bizarre and strange and crazy and obscene things would come falling out of it. Also, when you click the 'Like' button on Facebook, you leave a tiny, indelible mark on the internet, so that when, millennia from now, people will rediscover the internet, they will be able to see that you liked, (or possibly did not, but wanted to give an indication to the contrary) a tiny thing on the internet that was probably insignificant in the greater scheme of things. This is clearly an invaluable social service.

But why stop at the 'Like' button? Why not have a 'Dislike' button? Why not a 'Nervous and Anxious' button? There is a whole spectrum of social interrelationships and personal emotions that Facebook is neglecting. This post, hopefully, will go a small way to rectifying this.

Obviously, the buttons don't do anything. Making them actually do something would be to advance to a level of expertise that is far, far beyond my capabilities. What, I gave you buttons, don't you ever stop asking for more more more?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unfunny Unfair

Fun fairs for pessimists

Dreariment park - another name for an Unfunny Unfair. Opposite of amusement park.

Gloomy-go-square - what you ride on at the Unfunny Unfair.

House of horror - they don't have these. The whole Unfunny Unfair is the House of horror.

Violet Grumble - show food that you eat while riding on the Gloomy-go-square.

Show bags - These are what you come out of the Unfunny Unfair with. They're under your eyes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Liberace clerihews


Never wore Versace
He had a thing
For other bling.

Part artsy part fartsy
More retro than metro
More other than hetero.

Sometimes spoke archly
Now and then played a waltz
And was schmaltz to a faultz.

Played Vivace
Each ostinato
Marked Moderato.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today at work I will be sitting quietly in a loud shirt.

UPDATE! - Next week, I might try wearing shorts for a long time, sitting loudly in a quiet shirt, or sitting quietly while NOT wearing any loud shirt at all. I will just be naked and loud. We’ll see how that turns out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All this and less

Michael Reynolds took this photo of, well, me and a friend on facebook commented that this was 'a poet's expressive face'. Expressive! I thought. I wonder what it's expressing? 'The cat sat on the mat' or something like that? Or possibly 'isn't it funny weather we seem to be having lately?' No idea what the mouth's doing either.

You can see all this, and less, of this expressive face on radio tomorrow (Thursday), with me in interview with Santo Cazzati on 3CR, 9am, 855 on the AM dial, or webstreamed live at If you're really desperate to see as little of my face as possible for as long as conceivable, I'll be on air for half an hour, reading several poems.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aphorism about a certain author

He was in several minds about several issues. But he couldn't make any of his minds up about any of them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Groundbreaking ideas for new 24 hour businesses

Devon 11
This would be designed to cater to the wide and growing market for Devon sausage across Australia. With a Devon 11 on every street corner of towns and cities, you need never go without a Devon again! All varieties of it will be found on the shelves, including Devon, Fritz, German Sausage, Polony, Luncheon Meat, Belgium, Rokeby Roast, or Rubber Meat. Other, more exotic treats will also be available, such as Devon sandwich - with or without sauce. Also, the possibility of Devon slushies and other Devon-based drinks could be examined, as well as a range of brand-name instore icecreams - (working name, 'Devonly Delights').

ABC Booze 24
This cut price retail liquor outlet would service two distinct needs in the community - the need for pissed bastards to get pissed, and the need for pompous gits to be pompous. By joining the alcohol service in one company - the much-loved dear old 'Auntie' ABC - we can hopefully achieve a sustainable and profitable business model that adds to the ABC's growing retail arm. Plenty of pissed bastards would use the business, and plenty of ABC commenters/reporters pompous gits would feel free to comment on the pissed bastards getting pissed. A number of exciting cut-price deals and cross-sponsorship opportunities are possible (Q&A drinking game - 50 per cent off wine for every half hour of Jon Faine endured by a listener - occasional live shows in which ABC pompous gits get to hector random pissed bastards or soon-to-be pissed bastards buying liquor in store - seasonal half-price liquor sales giving ABC pompous gits opportunity to rant and rave about need for price controls, etc).

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

More earth hour poems

I think that I shall never see
After that tragic and avoidable incident during during Earth Hour when I fell down the stairwell, which had the effect of permanently blinding me.

Roses are beige
Violets are beige
And everything else
Is even more beige
The newsprint is beige
And so is this page
Beige words and beige paper
Oh wait - it’s The Age.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Names of acclaim

What a lot of Gladyses there were born in the early part of the 20th century! They're mostly gone now, but the Nation of Gladys was once, like the Nation of the Celts, thriving, strong, proud, and indomitable, and very fond of a cup of tea and a biscuit (I'm talking about Gladys now, not the Celts) and repelling the detested Roman invaders (back to the Celts now). Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knew a Gladys, I'd wager, and how important it is to know that someone who knew someone who knew them! Well, not that important.

Gladys: the very name seems to signify a certain middle-class respectability, doesn't it? It is redolent of long summer afternoons in cottages in Camberwell or Concorde, of rose gardens, of lawns pruned with nail scissors*, while somewhere in the background the radio is on, probably playing the cricket commentary. The radio with cricket commentary is most likely intended to created a distraction; for meanwhile, Gladys is pottering about somewhere purloining the cuttings of her neighbour Doris's garden (or Doreen's or Eileen's or Iris's or Esme's or Edna's or Janet's or Sheila's) and putting them into a little brown paper bag so she can grow it out back later. But let's not focus on that. The point is, Gladys was Gladys, and the Queen was the Queen, and Mr Menzies was Prime Minister, and all were reliable elements of the community.

It seems strange to think of Gladys as a child, but a child she undoubtedly was. All 10,000 of her, running about different parts of Australia in little frocks while her parents proclaimed at regular intervals, 'Gladys, don't do that', 'Gladys, you've got your dress all dirty', 'Gladys, don't eat that', 'Gladys, don't stick your finger up that, he doesn't like it', and so on. But so it was, and so it is. The child is the father of the man, as Wordsworth said, and what a man Gladys turned out to be. I don't know why Wordsworth thought Gladys was a man, but I suppose he meant it, otherwise why would he have said that?

What happened to Gladys? Well, after she grew up and stopped putting her finger up this, and getting that dirty, and taking cuttings out of Sheila's garden, she raised a little family of her own, and Gladys gave birth to Sally, and Sally gave birth to Mary, and Mary gave birth to Crystal Honeychild Fairydew Weatherbottom, and by then we'd all reached the 70s, which gave birth to the present day. And what a lamentable circumstance that turned out to be (or will have turned out to be when it has finished being the present day, I mean).

We could do with a few more Gladyses now, I think.

*"lawns pruned with nail scissors" - I suppose to extend this we could reason that Gladys also cut her nails with lawnmowers. I don't have a Gladys on hand to verify this, but it certainly seems likely.

Aren't you glad to see Gladys's gladiolus?

Monday, March 07, 2011

An earth hour poem

Given you have the hour with the lights off, Australian Poetry invites you to light a candle and write poetry! Please get in touch with us after the event (via our website) submitting the poetry you wrote during the hour. We encourage you not to submit anything you have written previous to this time/date. We genuinely only want the work you write between 8:30pm and 9.30pm on March 26th. It would be interesting if the poetry reflected, in some way, the experience of having no electric light to write by.
For obvious reasons I will not be submitting this to the Earth Hour poems page on the Australian Poetry website.

The light is off I cannot see
The thingo where I write my verse
The whatsit I just stumbled on
That made me curse.

The light is off I cannot see
The bump I just got on my head
When I fell down or if it’s black
Or brown or blue or red.

The light is off I cannot see
The phone number for my GP
Where is the switch the clock what is
The time – I cannot see.

The light is off I cannot see
The pad I write on, what I write –
Pineapple gallivant green dog –

Friday, March 04, 2011

Fine dining for giants

Welcome to George the Giants, the most popular restaurant for giants in the north of Melbourne. We have a wide variety of people to eat on the menu today, from Amelia to Zachary, and meals that range from exquisite epicurean feasts to more simple, homely treats.

Pam & biscuits
Pam & eggs
Pam omelette
Pam sandwiches
Melted Lees on toast
Tomato soup, with added Tom
Fish & chaps (very popular with the kiddies!)
Fresh fingers (kids love this one too!)

The standard BLT - Bob, Larry & Tim. With or without sauce.
Bolognese, with sauce
The United Plates of America
Eggs, with Benedict
or without eggs, just plain Benedict.
A selection of Brain Marie
Alexander the Late
Eric the Dead
Harry Connick, Former
King Henry the Previous
Caesar, and salad
or without salad
Fried Tuck
George Bush the Prior
George Bush the Latter

Sue berry pie
or just Sue without the berries.
Homme Alaska
Nork pie
Spotted Dick, Mick, Rick, or Vic
or just have Dick, Mick, Rick or Vic without the spots
Pavlova, first name Anna
Chocolate Bud cake
Men, with gingerbread
or without gingerbread.

WARNING: If you have an allergy, please be advised, some meals may contain traces of Geoff.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Stare into the vortex of horror

Stare! Stare! Stare aghast into the vortex of horror, zine makers and zine sellers of Australia! For soon, the metamorphosis will be complete and we will become haggling anarchist twits from Portland, Oregon.

On the plus side, this inevitable future of horror and despair does have Steve Buscemi in it, so it's not all bad.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Celebrity, sort of

I heard from a guy who spoke to a guy who knows a guy who implied to a guy who strongly hinted to a guy who demonstrated to a guy who hypothesised to a guy who argued persuasively to a guy who noted to a guy who sent an email to a guy who spoke to a guy who says you're a dick.

But it's okay, I heard from another guy who sent a memo to a guy who dispatched to a guy who posted to a guy who put up a facebook message that was read by a guy who read out a story to that effect on a worldwide television broadcasting station to a whole bunch of other guys who spread the rumour to another guy who chatted to another guy who said, no you're not, you're a cock.

So now I know what they know and you know it too.

Celebrity, public

Who is James Franco? What is Justin Bieber? How on earth does a River Phoenix (or vice versa)? What on earth are all you people talking about, in the same way that you have been talking about it for the past century?

Is the definition of a celebrity someone or something that everyone else knows about, but I don't?

Another one for the fictionary

internettled - 1) getting seriously pissed off with someone on a blog, forum, twitter, or other internet site, and/or 2) getting into a huge argument with same person on a blog, forum, twitter, or other internet site.

Serious Concerns about Making Cocoa in my Prehistory of Mind

It is strange the tricks the mind will play on you from time to time. For instance, I have a book which I quite like, Wendy Cope's Serious Concerns - or perhaps I should say that I had this book. Because I certainly can't find it now.

I can remember quite vividly the last moment I held this book in my hand. I was going rummaging around the bookshelves, you see, for a number of poetry books. At the time I was looking for the other book by Cope I have, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis - a lovely book with a lovely title, I think you'll agree. Here's what Cope had to say about it (from memory (though obviously my memory isn't the best, as I'll go on to demonstrate)):

I thought of the name in a dream
And some sort of record seemed vital
The poem isn't up to much
But I love the title.

I flung books here and there, occasionally shouting out like a maniac, 'where is Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis? Where is Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis?' After about a half an hour of this modest archaeological exercise, I had uncovered several poetry books by Komninos, Geoff Lemon's Sunblind, a book of poems by Brian Aldiss called A Prehistory of Mind, the Book of Bellerive, a William Blake anthology, and more. Then, on an unimportant shelf on an irrelevant part of the bookshelf, I found Wendy Cope's Serious Concerns. I gave a small cry of joy, because it was, after all, a book which I quite like (I think I said that before), and turned over a few poems. It was good to be holding it again.

Then there are a few moments that I cannot recall - after which I returned to the search for Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis. And I did, eventually, find it, and took it triumphantly over the pile that I had amassed to reunite it with the other Wendy Cope book, the one which I quite like, Serious Concerns. But, as you may guess, and as I recall, by this time I had lost Serious Concerns. It happened, you see, in those moments that I cannot recall.

I have since been over all the bookshelves in the house several times - this all happened about four weeks ago. I have not been able to find Serious Concerns again. I have no idea what I did in those unrecalled moments. Did I think the Wendy Cope book was a steak, and return it absent-mindedly to the freezer? Did I go and waggle it triumphantly in the Baron's face and then place it confuddledly in her pile of library books? Did I go and hide it behind the fridge, where I could be certain no-one would find it? Did I eat it in a moment of passion?

What I am saying is, these moments that I cannot recall are of Serious Concern.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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