Thought I saw Les Murray in my rear vision mirror
walking with a black dog where the footpath isn’t clear.
Had like a simile in one hand but no lead gripped in the other:
puppy was or wasn’t his, it would appear.

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Pituitary Blues

for Karl

It’s a sunny day in Melbourne
The rain is pouring down
I chased the nurse around my bed
I did it sitting down
I think I know just what to do
But I’ll put it off till spring
Easier to wrestle
When them alligators sing
For the minute think I’ll just relax and listen to the band
The pituitary blues has got me by the gland

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Ex Libris

If all the books in my whole house I’ve never read
Out of tricky polymorphism re-expressed into
(Non-sexually of course)
Ones I would
And sat up hoping:
Some get better, some worse, and some stay just as they are.
Although the number about fish masses;
About novel and novelist, painter – but not a musician – declines;
And the ones unchanged present themselves perhaps more brazenly.
I have calculated tMissed the Blackbirdhe number of novels I might in my day
Assuming an average span of average ones –
Is it obvious the Canadian brother between 39 and 60 beats his heart
Three two hundredths slower than la femme canadienne? –
Novels I’ll actually consume will not allow much shilly-shally
Yet the space for authors unbidden, novels unbidden –
Sadly those cut short beat them –
And books I just have to waste my time on if I’m not to ascend to boredom
Leave a narrow shelf space running off into time for the ones I must, I shall, I dread but do:
Just enough to range and rearrange
Deck chairs.
So when you speak to me of brevity, I’m against it:
It isn’t art that is too short but the frequency of art things too much and short things make many
So I’m against it.
So when you speak to me of clarity, simplicity, communication, surely you don’t mean in the service
The service of what you mean by brevity.
They’re not out there making haiku but slogans
For commercial disruption not the real kind
Just where less makes more and more make less
So I’m against it.
Time anyhow prints me a book on the stoop in the shape of a person and how
Can you say no to puppy eyes?
One more drops off that shelf at your feet. Yes I will walk your damn book.
It will be my pleasure. The pleasure is all mine. Come on then.

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a science fiction convention

Covered the Natcon for Radio National. Is it me or is it SF fandom? A bit of both. We have both changed. I have never felt so at home at a con before. In fact it has been quite the opposite; that although I might have a lot in common with the people at such an event I could never really talk to them. Well, I still have the trouble talking, but I’m not too worried about that now. Before in some sense it was like not being able to talk to myself, and so distressing. Now?

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Old Friends

Got an email from my old friend Donald in Mallacoota wrote the other day. What it must be to live there! Less than 400 people in the off season. But also very limited in what is available to you. I don’t mean in entertainment: the entertainment must be the same as here; I mean we we have a band, we watch movies, we drink and we fall about. No, it’s just that if you want to change your life you can just go out and get another job – perhaps not easy, but they are here, unless you have one of those jobs that there is only a handful in the whole country.

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computer depending

Yes, hung from our computers. Mine had problems with its power supply, which I was told might cost more than a new laptop to repair. Fortunately, Lenny was able to fashion a new pin and solder it, saving me about $1600. Yes, and although I had avoided that sickening feeling of not having backed up my work, I was very much put out by having to use another computer. I had to use it elsewhere, nothing was where I wanted it; I suppose all this was fairly wussy, but I spend so much time on the laptop and I am a creature of habit.