Looking for Milton

I look for him everywhere .

In supermarkets , shopping malls ,

along the esplanade where he

hangs out .

Have you seen Milton ? I ask .

But no one has .

Not lately .

Suddenly I need him

this gnome of a man

with the grey goatee .

Milton the Gatekeeper

hoarding the knowledge

like bullion .

Like Diogones with his lamp

I scour the streets

with my headlights

looking for Milton .

  • pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

But is it poetry, John?

But is it poetry, John?

You mean, is it like Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’

you know the one, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’

or ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’?

Probably not.

Well, How about Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost?

Come on, we’re talking 2020 here.

Then what?

A little bit of Billy Collins, I say, and Billy Connelly,

a sort of mad mix, the demotic and demonic.

We let our dirty laundry hang out. moon the pious,

but always in an Aussie accent. Your country first.

Does it have to rhyme? you ask. Probably not.

It’s not like Aussie Rules. There are no rules.

Though it’s a game anyone can play.

Just let it rattle off the tongue, roll off the mind,

Ignore the referees.

Have fun.

I Like Graphic Novels

I like graphic novels.

I always have.

I like the illustrations.

It’s the little kid in me.

I always wanted to be an illustrator

but I never got past

little stick men, sorry, people.

I like that they can tell a novel-size story

in 64 pages or less

when some writers – I am thinking Pasolini here —

can push it up to 900 pages.

Come on!! as Lleyton Hewitt would say.

I have my little list of favourites:

‘Wilson’ by Daniel Clowes and ‘A Taste of Chlorine’

by that French author

and ‘Maus’, of course, the classic by Art Spiegel.

I remember the excitement when I purchased

‘The Dark Knight Returns’ by Frank Miller when it first came out.

It was like when I bought the just released “Revolver’ by the Beatles

and ran down the ramp of the Adelaide Railway Station to catch

the train home so I could play it on the turntable

only to come a cropper at the end.

It was that kind of excitement.

When in doubt, choose a graphic novel, I say.

the Red Wheelbarrow & Frankenstein

It’s the little things I love

Like watching

 ‘Paterson’, the movie

About the bus driver

Who wrote his little epiphanies in his note book

like William Carlos Williams

the doctor who wrote

the red wheelbarrow

And finding out

That’s where Lou Costello grew up,

Paterson, New Jersey

There’s even a park named after him,

Lou Costello the chubby comedian who played alongside Bud Abbot,

The straight guy.

I used to watch those guys in the funhouse

Of the fifties,

Frolicking with Frankenstein and The Wolf man.

But it was Lou Costello

I loved

The funny little fat guy

And that’s where he came from,

Paterson, New Jersey.

Transcendental Soap

I wash myself with transcendental soap,

it makes me shine, lathers my hope,

rinses away all my petty needs,

you know the ones: the urge to pee,

to have three square meals, to sleep

it lifts me high, takes me deep

whenever I feel that I’m on the ropes

I wash myself with transcendental soap

Burmese

The cat is the forgotten candidate when they fight:

sure, they hurt each other but the cat recoils too,

even the walls and lounge chairs at the suddenness,

the squall of this. The walls and sofas cannot move,

but the cat can. Exit, pursued by bear. Only small,

but with the memory of an elephant. The cat remembers

long after they forget.

Okay. Well, that didn’t work

800px-A_glass_of_red_wine

I have a very bad feeling.

Tell me I’m wrong.

That I have written myself into obscurity.

That I was too clever by half.

That no one knew what the f*** I was writing about

in the previous post ‘Not a nightingale ode’.

It was a glass of red wine.

But that’s what happens when you put up a post

while you’ve been drinking

while you’ve been rhapsodizing about a glass

of red wine

Scratching His Cerebrals

Oberon,_Titania_and_Puck_with_Fairies_Dancing._William_Blake._c.1786

What are you doing? I asked.

Scratching my cerebrals, uncle would answer studying the crossword before him, his right hand deftly scratching his scalp, between loose strands of sandy hair, as though he had nits.

It seemed to work. The more furious he scratched, the better he got, the crossword soon solved.

Then uncle would go out in the garden and within a short space of time, as aunty used to say, he’d be ‘off with the fairies’.

Perhaps the two activities were allied.

Perhaps I caught it from uncle but whenever I work on a poem or a piece of stubborn flash fiction, I scratch my cerebrals too.

My partner caught me at it one morning.

Stop it, you’ll go blind, she says.

We both chuckle.

It’s good to make light of things then go back to scratching your cerebrals should things become difficult.

 

  • picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Even the Stinkers

stars-in-the-night-sky

Most people think of stars when they think

Of infinity

Or grains of sand

But I think Adam Sandler,

All the films of his I haven’t seen

And all those I have

Even the stinkers like ‘Little Nicky’

I want to see again and again

and again.

There are so many.

Almost as many as the stars

and the guy’s still making them!

But as Jim Croce says, ‘there’s never enough time

To do the things you want to do,’

It’s just not funny.

 

  • what’s your favourite Adam Sandler film?
  • what’s one you hate?
  • when you think of infinity, what comes into your mind?