Posts Tagged ‘Yolly’

LODGE ROAD, SOUTHAMPTON (1-3)

1

Determined, the bus belches its way up the incline.

Inside, cold white faces stare at me, unseeing.

They look at me but don’t watch.

(I take care not to stare

as they pull up at the flaky green bus stop

But I do watch).

Out from the bus steps the girl with the long, greasy-blonde

hair. I have seen her often. The sort of girl

you really shouldn’t fancy

(so, of course, you do).

This morning she pressed her body

into an envelope of black plastic,

stuck down the edges with a gash of make-up,

and posted herself to another pointless day.

Tonight she puddles her way home again.

Scuffed red shoes perilously splish-splash their way

past my heart.

A tight little ball of sex

and lost dreams, no longer hopeful,

and not pretty enough for her clothes.

2

On the corner of the road with the playground in

Pepe closes up Pepe’s Italian hair-dressers.

Winds back his shiny new awning

and gazes with smiling satisfaction at the light streaming

from his windows.

Lighting up the pavement.

Everyone will see what a warm inviting place his little shop is,

as they crawl home in the wet.

They will look at the bright lights and Panther hair tonic

and the piles of unbought faded yellow Durex packets

(“Something for the weekend, Sir?”)

and remember they needed a haircut.

(Pepe learnt all this from his father.

so it must be true).

As I pass him, he looks straight through me.

He does not recognize wet people in anoraks.

Only dry, springy heads of hair in need of

conditioning and cheerful chatter.

Next door at the late night grocery store

the till-girl who wouldn’t be working for the Indians if she had

any choice, but you know how work is,

reaches new heights of indifference.

As we all drip politely on her recently straightened pile of

Evening Sports Echos she is already in her lover’s arms.

Proud and defiant, she stares down confidently at all comers

in the local disco.

“He’s mine,” she sneers, “­All mine!”

Rich without money, a coarse, virile possession in an

unexciting world.

26p pint of milk kiss

74p curly smoked sausage groping urgent hands

62p Mother’s Pride Thick Sliced last Saturday in his car

it was the first time with him

won’t be the last

oh no.

She doesn’t even see me as her mind on automatic pilot

calls out my bill.

Well, why should she?

3

I press my nose to the drizzly window of the video shop,

waiting for the crush inside to die down.

Wonder if they’ll remember I owe them a quid?

The little tubby girl is serving, all stupid shy smiles and

dimples. She’ll let me off even if she remembers.

Little black boxes of freedom from thought stacked neatly

row upon row. Boxes of dreams.

Don’t get that one, it’s rubbish. Saw it last week.

(Can’t tell you though.

Don’t want to be thought the sort of

bloke who talks to folks in video shops.)

Trot home clutching our escape route for the night.

Never mind what it is, dear.

(Not that we do anymore anyway).

You stare at him, and I’ll watch her, and when they do

(as they always do)

we’ll clear our throats self-consciously

(’cause we don’t, so much, anymore.)

There was a time when we did.

Watching them at it would

probably have sparked us off.

But the spark went out.

Got damp.

(Should we have got a comedy tonight?

Always should when it’s raining. How come it’s always

raining nowadays?)

Now, out there in the street,

the dirty old bus putters his way home,

leaving a last late commuter cut up on the kerb.

Impervious, inexorable, the great yellow Leviathan trundles into the middle distance,

unaware that my TV screen has turned to a little white dot

that seems to want to suck me in.

As you quietly wander up to bed

I listen sadly to the occasional late-homer,

full of the desperate cheerfulness of a

drab pub where at least someone talks to him.

71 Poems & 1 Story is available in printed format and as a download. Share of any profits to the Bali Childrens’ Foundation and Alzheimer’s Australia

And not just because I was the Editor on the book. 😉

soozeyHaving worked on it for a year, “I am the problem” by Soozey Johnstone is the simplest, most insightful and easiest-to-implement book on dysfunctional executive teams – how to make success happen more often and more easily, and rediscovering your organisational “mojo” – that I have ever had the pleasure to read.

One influential CEO called it “the best Australian book on business I ever read”. I am hopeful it will go on to be a worldwide best-seller.

As the blurb reads:

Is this you? Buy the book!

Is this you? Buy the book!

 

The book is designed to be a very practical “hands on” primer for anyone facing apparently intractable organisational obstacles, whether or not the organisation is recognising or facing up to those obstacles – yet.

As a Director or Manager, you can choose to act on any of the 9 obstacles: just one, or a few, or all of them. Acting on all of them would be a genuinely transformative move.

Or buy the book. Really.

Or buy the book. Really.

From personal experience I am can confirm that acting on any of the excellent advice in the book will make you happier, and your organisation much more functional and successful. Each chapter includes at the end a simple to follow “To Do” list to make implementing positive change easy and painless and there’s a wide “additional reading” section too.

Frankly, I think it will help people navigate everyday life better too, including with family and friends.

And at thirty bucks Australian, trust me, it’s an absolute steal. Incredible value.

So don’t procrastinate: buy it. Buy it for yourself, or buy it for the stressed executive in your life.

You can thank me later, and let us take this chance to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a stress-less 2015.

#stooshpr #iamtheproblem #merrychristmas

Full-Moon

Get the garlic. Grab a stake. Don’t walk under any ladders. Throw salt over your left shoulder if you spill any. Avoid slinky, furry things glimpsed in the distance.

Better still, just hide under the duvet.

A full moon is rising on infamous Friday the 13th – the very same day a solar flare could send a shockwave to Earth’s surface.

It’s a triple whammy for superstitious folks, according to Stuart Vyse, a psychology professor at Connecticut College.

“People tend to try to read something into coincidences like these,” said Vyse, author of “Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition.”

“There will be a small group of people who are undoubtedly, predictably nervous about the day.”

Solar Flares Could Send Shockwave to Earth on Friday the 13th

The day also marks the first full moon on Friday the 13th since October 2000. The next one won’t happen until August of 2049, according to NASA.

In addition, the possibility of a solar flare shocking Earth’s atmosphere and disrupting communication signals adds another level to the tension.

“Astronomical events tend to be seen as very momentous and almost biblical in nature,” Vyse said. “It’s seen as being very powerful and something you can’t do anything about. It makes sense to me that it, too, would be connected to the general fears about Friday the 13th and the full moon.”

It’s a long-standing superstition that lunacy is connected the full moon, and that the lunar phase pushes people to act crazy and triggers more check-ins at mental institutions — theories that live on despite being proved wrong by research, Vyse said.

For people scared of the curse, staying home might be a solution.

“People afraid of these superstitions tend to restrict their activity,” Vyse said. “They tend to, for example, not schedule a doctor’s appointment or not travel on this day. In some rare cases, they stay home from work.”

Which is all very well, except the fruit of one’s loins has organised a new Variety night at Club Voltaire in Melbourne for tonight, and we are making a rare public appearance to read our poetry.

It'll be a blast.

It’ll be a blast. Be there, or be scared. Your choice.

 

So come one, come all.

It’s after dark, so solar flares won’t affect you.#

Be careful of that great big confronting moon, though.

Cue howling in the distance.

Seats are strictly limited, so we suggest booking if you can, if not take pot luck and just rock up, we’ll find somewhere for you. And there’s a bar! Whoot!

A few drinks before listening to our poetry is always advisable.

#We are fully aware of the fact this is a nonsensical statement. Correspondence is not required.

 

So, there I was, having glugged the best part of a bottle of shiraz and now enjoying a second pint of cider, toying with the remnants of a good steak. (The potato rosti had too much thyme in it, and the weirdly modern take on Brussel sprouts was laced with too much chilli – yeah, I know, right? – but the steak was very passable.)

Anyhow, I suddenly felt the need to write overwhelm me. I have blogged about this before: when it happens, it is simply a compulsion that cannot be ignored.

I don’t know if it was the creative environment of being at an open mic, the stimulation of having other artistes around, or simply one too many ciders. But before you know it, I was tapping away on the absurdly small keyboard of my iPhone, running the results past my fellow diners, then showing the hostess for the night, and before you know it, lo and behold, she was laughing and I was on the stage.

Anyway, here’s the result, video-ed on my dear wife’s phone, but the sound quality isn’t great, so I provide a transcript below as well. I actually think it’s not a half bad poem, although it’s only short. Sometimes, the best thing a writer can do is simply capture a moment, so it then lives for other people.

So, enjoy!

“Liam, I apologise for gate crashing your party tonight … but sometimes every writer in the room knows, that when you have to write something, you just have to write it … so this came out about half an hour ago, so I thought, well, “Bugger it”,  I shall just ask Phoebe if she’ll like me to read it. And she was kind enough to say “Yes!”

I will come back and read some other poetry another time.

(Scattered applause.)

Shit! Thank you! I haven’t done anything yet! Apart from look embarrassed. Er … this is a poem called “Snapshot”.”

SNAPSHOT (Open Mic, Melbourne, 4th June 2012)

The girl with the nervous eyes

applauds wildly as he works the frets.

He has announced before the coupling “This is hard.”

She knows what he means.

She glances at his girlfriend

here on a working holiday

from the land of the rising blues.

She prays she doesn’t notice

her sudden blouse-lifting intake of breath,

the shy embarrassment.

She’s cute, too, the girlfriend.

patiently working the Nikon.

How confusing life can be.

And in the wings,

another little angel waits –

hugging her guitar like a life buoy,

hugging it like a friend in a cold world.

That’s what the world needs,

On a wet Monday night.

More hugs: even if they are made of plywood.

Even the hugs of strangers.


 

Once the decision was made,

you were ruthless.

 

You hoovered away our life.

Shuffled poems, letters, and sleeves crusty with bleeding hearts into drawers.

Locked them, and threw away the key, making sure I saw it arc, scintillating,

over the back wall and down the embankment.

 

Watching your demolition, I waited quiet at the foot of the stairs.

Like a man on his way to an execution he thinks he deserves.

The unspoken agreement that it would always end like this stapling my lips shut.

Pinned together by the promises of expecting nothing.

When you deemed it right, we were to be un-realised.

“I will run out,” you’d said. “Always do.

  No lies, not between us.”

 

No whining. No reminiscing.

No last minute pub-garden rescues over bitter ale.

No relying on fevered bodies to make things right.

You had run your hand across my belly, making it stiffen.

“It won’t be that,” you had said. “It will be other stuff.”

 

Quiet now. Waiting for the bullet. Eyes fixed on the sky.

Click, staple, click, staple.  Your timing.

That was always the deal.

 

Casting around the newly laid graveyard, now neat as a pin,

untidy man neatly stowed away,

jumbled memories marshalled into neat rows,

you straightened the flowers

I had bought you, for this day,

self consciously, in the middle of our dinner-partied, wine-soaked table

where once you had bent, looking over your shoulder,

hair tumbling, laughing madly at me.

“Afters. Come on.”

 

Brushing passed me, you hurried up the stairs, and re-appeared,

bearing in front of you like an offending sceptre,

a solitary, white edged and almost new toothbrush.

For a moment, your face trembled and hope leapt.

Then, click staple, our lips were closed again.

You swallowed the toothbrush into my breast pocket,

gave it a little pat, and then another, more thoughtfully.

Looked at me for a moment,

and walked to the door, working the key

I had just given you back.

 

I pavemented, eyes squinting against the sudden light,

refusing a blind.

 

As it closed behind me, I saw you through the bowl of glass

fish-eyed through the mock Tudor door

grasp your broom and resume your busy sweeping.

You never glanced back as you swept and swept

your tears washing

the kitchen floor we had once danced on

all night

.

Anyone interested in checking out my volume  of poetry – READ ME – 71 Poems and 1 Story – can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/7y55a7v

An oft-requested piece from my collection of poems. A little poetry now and again will provide some light relief from business,  politics and popular culture on the blog, eh? Mind you, this poem is pretty political, I guess. Anyway, hope you enjoy it, and here it is:

I suppose one could call poetry unpopular culture, more’s the pity. Whatever. I like it. To me a poem can say things in a way no other medium can. From time to time I will post YouTube vids of me reading from my poetry book. All feedback very welcome. You can buy the book here:

http://tinyurl.com/25l2zv8

Share of any profits go to the Bali Children’s Foundation and other charities.