Ive never been partial t.., p.4

I've Never Been Partial To Girls Who Swear, page 4


I've Never Been Partial To Girls Who Swear

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  I’ve never been partial to girls who swear

  It's been said that the essence of poetry is to speak volumes using as few words as possible. Well, who wouldn't take up the challenge to turn that on its head? Back to the early days of flatting with a humungous hangover and an unexpected visit from the new girlfriend complete with mother and aged aunt – shades of Bertie Wooster in here – but unfortunately, no Jeeves in sight.

  I’ve never been partial to girls who swear

  there can be something rather disconcerting

  of a hungover morning

  in the act of opening ones front door

  in floral print dressing gown and slippers

  because normally, you see

  said artefact stands resplendent

  in satin washable heliotrope

  with tarnished

  brass like accessories

  and they do like accessories

  but I digress

  today, being the eleventh of august


  by any stretch of the imagination

  an odd sort of morning

  and a wednesday to boot


  while providing sadistic pleasure

  in a macabre

  bovver boy sort of way

  for machiavellian mid-week mutilators

  may not be the sort of activity

  you share any kind of familiarity with

  nor indeed, predilection for


  being as far removed from a brace of weekends

  as a body can reasonably expect to be found

  excepting of course

  a two week sojourn in birmingham

  there can be no apology

  for not at least

  sampling the endeavour

  but I digress

  the day

  heralding the morning

  preceding the little known celebration

  of grouse shooting

  the glorious twelfth

  though I’ve never encountered any evidence

  which supports the folklore

  last year being inclement in the extreme

  is it any wonder

  that upon extracting the hitherto

  somewhat spartan plank

  from its occasionally adhesive orifice

  which has more than once

  given rise to the observation

  that had they

  the powers that be

  simply come up with a more appropriate


  for said surround

  such as

  non stick door surround

  or open easy door frame

  then perhaps

  a good deal less damage

  might have been caused to the atmosphere

  through the


  venting of spleens

  on the occasions

  when the surround attempts to

  live up to it’s

  rather inappropriate

  john hancock

  but I digress

  suffice to say

  that upon removing said obstacle

  one’s flabber

  was ghasted in the extreme


  while not a blurter by nature

  nor indeed inclination

  blurting being something that

  those people do

  it must be admitted

  that on this occasion

  a blurt did in fact occur

  the mental leap between

  door jamb

  and unexpected girlfriend

  being one which

  given one’s blood alcohol count

  one could not reasonably be expected

  to make with any degree

  of alacrity

  the blurt

  in and of itself

  would seem a minor inconvenience

  a mere trifle

  but without the sweetness

  or the sherry

  actually more of a rhubarb crumble

  when one’s aged relic

  has mistaken the baking soda for sugar

  and one finds oneself

  unable to whistle

  for several weeks

  but I digress

  the blurt

  while undoubtedly uncouth

  can usually be ascribed as

  a minor misdemeanour

  falling somewhere between

  yawning during the lengthy discourse over

  which pair of identical court loafers

  matches which bum-too-big outfit

  and neglecting to walk

  on the outside of the footpath


  add an alcohol level

  attempting to topple the dow jones index

  coupled with a background of

  aged aunt and

  puritanical tea-total parents

  and one could be forgiven for assuming

  that the situation had

  plumbed the depths

  hit rock bottom so to speak

  it’s a little known fact

  that blurts and muesli do not mix

  especially after an evening which began

  as such evenings usually do

  sombrely enough with an

  analytical foray into the

  readiness or unreadiness

  of something purported to be

  homebrewed apple cider

  and that ended with an

  edgar allan poe pourri of dreams

  such that

  a psychoanalyst

  had one been available at such short notice

  would have immediately

  rushed off to enrol

  in the local community college sewing classes

  to find out the fastest and strongest

  method of attaching

  two feet of additional length

  onto each of the sleeves

  of one’s best dress shirt

  but I digress

  one has to wonder at the

  miracles of fate

  had someone

  perhaps a sunflower seed merchant

  or a watermelon pip representative

  set the challenge

  of vocally propelling a minute projectile

  in a precise direction

  for say

  marketing purposes

  with perhaps a year’s supply of product

  up for grabs for the lucky winner

  one would hardly have been first in line


  truth be told

  could one reasonably be expected to win

  given one’s

  spitting history


  add alcohol

  a floral print dressing gown from a previous liaison

  and the wide eyed

  open mouthed

  just in the area

  popped by

  meet the parents

  girlfriend of three weeks

  and one’s aim

  could not have been truer

  it is difficult to comprehend the


  caused by a mere

  sunflower seed

  granted the speed of delivery was somewhat rapid


  the cushion of air on which it arrived

  was neither


  nor palatable

  but the flavour of the actual seed itself is fairly mild

  and the kernel

  must have been somewhat softened

  prior to dispatch

  one is always at a loss

  to pinpoint the exact moment

  when such things go irretrievably

  belly up

  certainly the

  freak tonsil bull’s-eye

  created a good deal of unexpected noise

  with an interesting vibrato adde

  through said tonsils

  swinging like rocky balboa’s speedbag

  add to this

  an admirable gagging scene

  worthy of the entire cast of cats

  in their guinness book of records attempt

  for simultaneously expelling fur balls

  and I’m sure you will agree

  that the situation could be termed


  fate indeed has a strange sense of humour

  the nosey aged relative

  meet the back of gagging girlfriend’s head

  was undoubtedly spectacular

  but in my opinion

  uncalled for

  the resultant nasal geyser

  leaving me with little option

  but to close the door

  action and reaction

  being something that one is unable to cope with

  before lunch

  I suppose it’s all for the best

  I’ve never been partial to girls who swear



  Yes, it truly happened to me – I was playing up the back of Cultenhove with Murray Lawrence I believe – my next door neighbour – probably about nine years old at the time – too long hair – it was fashionable and none of us liked going to old Jimmy the barber who cut hair in his living room. He was the prison barber and you can imagine what we looked like after a visit – the whole neighbourhood knew you'd been to see him. I got a bumble bee stuck in my hair and started screaming and thrashing about in a panic – My buddy put paid to that with a sizable tree branch – we had a huge punch up over that one!


  if you ever get a bumblie in your hair

  you’d better be a lad that’s well prepared

  with extra strength

  elasticated leg

  double gusset

  cotton lycra

  close fitting

  y front underwear

  not a crappy


  spit peas through them

  stocking stitch

  warehouse pair

  or a set of


  loony tune

  satin lookalike boxers

  that circulate the air

  if you ever get a bumblie in your hair

  you’d better hope and pray your best mate’s not there

  with six million dollar man

  bionically enhanced

  incredible hulk

  charles atlas

  split level biceps

  like a brace of grizzly bears

  to grab a branch

  or log or tree

  and cleave the very air

  with dead eye dick

  coconut shy

  robin hood

  hit for a six

  hole in one

  out of the ballpark

  once more for luck

  devil may care

  reckless abandon

  if you ever get a bumblie in your hair…run!


  the fly knows

  I wrote this after a Waipara festival poetry morning where a young girl – maybe ten years old – came up to me and introduced herself saying “I know you. You're the man that writes the fart poems”. Never one to want to be classified (even when it's true), I thought I'd write her something different – so this is for you, my young fan, and I'm sorry I don't remember your name – however, I do seem to remember your dad did a great reading (the Jaberwocky) that morning.

  the fly knows

  a shopping mall fly

  with not much to do

  buzzed up the window

  and down again too

  he settled on the sill

  with a bit of a clunk

  thought the strangest fly thoughts

  as a fly ever thunk

  he thought of the looks

  if he flew backwards all june

  how long it would take

  to fly to the moon

  would it be slippery

  on the head of a monk

  and how much green snot’s

  up an elephant’s trunk

  a sly little smile came over

  the fly – real slow

  his eye got a kind of a

  glint – like – y’know

  when you’ve just had the coolest

  idea in your life

  and the only friends you can tell

  are your two pet mice

  cause ratty and tooey

  won’t say a word

  it’s not the first secret

  those mouse ears have heard

  like the time you hid your

  sandwich in granddad’s best shoe

  and waited all week

  for a maggot zoo

  the fly put into action

  his cunning plan

  and landed on the nose

  of the nearest young man

  quick as a blink

  he flew to another

  a little old lady

  a sister, a brother

  no nose was safe

  as he flew without shame

  from a new born wee baby

  to an old zimmer frame

  all shapes and sizes

  he touched on them all

  as he flew nose-to-nose

  down the length of the mall

  when he got to the warehouse

  he put on the brakes

  turned to the chaos

  he’d left in his wake

  he laughed a sly fly laugh

  at his journey pell-mell

  for all the mall shoppers

  were swatting themselves


  gentleman in training

  As men we're occasionally criticised for being a bit on the forgetful or neglectful side. I know a few ladies who lament the lack of available true gentlemen and wonder what happened to them. Ladies, there's no point in pining for a bygone age – the gentlemen are still there – only it's a bit harder to become qualified these days.

  gentleman in training

  I never bring flowers

  my memory’s poor

  I’ve got no great stories

  I’m no raconteur

  no point in changing

  I’m set in my ways

  but for better or worse

  I’m here all your days

  let me take you by the hand

  walk you down the street

  I’ll try to be polite

  to those women you meet

  I’ll check out the talent

  at the Ezibuy store

  there’s a seat for guys like me

  right by the door

  sit down, put your feet up

  forget about the mess

  I’ve rented a romance

  the kind you like best

  I’ll tell you what’s happening

  and forecast the end

  as soon as it’s over

  I’ll explain it again


  it’s not about neglect

  or a lack of respect

  I’m the same guy you married

  well, last time I checked

  it has nothing to do

  with a lack of love for you

  I’m just a gentleman

  …in training


  hummingbird wings

  Another of those awkward party moments. A room full of strangers and as the party volume increases I'm having to concentrate too hard to understand the accents – but a beautiful home, perched up on the Cashmere hills overlooking the city. I've always found it difficult to integrate with strangers and having a funny accent can sometimes be a bit of a cross to bear on these occasions – oh come on, say something Scottish – oh! listen to that, couldn't you just listen to it all night?

  hummingbird wings


  shakes hands with solitude

sp; as I peer through the ghost of my father

  at the city lights

  the moat surrounding my introspection

  affording temporary protection

  against the onslaught

  of petit fours, savouries

  and conversation

  the out of body self

  marvelling at the inability of same

  to accept the gifts on offer

  whilst simultaneously

  delighting in abstinence

  which spanish inquisitor

  constructed such strong defences

  which sad marquis

  helped the child lay the foundation stones

  for this lifetime

  of social disgrace

  the temporal holiday

  is abruptly cut short

  by a mouth

  sadly in proportion with its owner

  they never mentioned this in the brochure

  impressionist lipstick


  and who can blame it

  slowly attempts a passing acquaintance

  with something that was once labelled

  but sadly never quite performed as

  waterproof mascara

  before seeking refuge

  behind an ear

  yes dear

  you too have an accent

  the difference is that

  I couldn’t listen to it all night

  the mouth turns

  to vacuum a plate of something

  that may have had a better chance of survival

  had it been left a shade longer

  with its mother

  oil tanker bosoms

  narrowly miss a small wooden schooner

  marooned on the sideboard

  miniature hand-painted sailors dive for cover

  as panic reigns

  in the sideboard tsunami tableau

  break out the rum lads

  it’s going to be a long hard night

  across the great divide

  I catch a glimpse of your hands

  carving the air in earnest conversation

  they seem

  happy hands

  like hummingbird wings

  and I wonder

  do they still dance this aerial ballet

  for me

  or has the weight of love

  clipped your freedom of expression

  does familiarity actually

  bleed content

  so that opposites

  once energised by proximity

  eventually reach stasis


  sometimes you just can’t win

  When we were kids we played soccer non-stop. Inevitably, the ball ended up in someone's allotment. Old Mr Tawse from the third floor used to totter down the stairs brandishing a breadknife to chase us out of his garden threatening to put a hole in that bl**dy ball if it lands in his flower bed one more time. I remember once my old man had an argument with him over a confiscated ball and called him “a silly owld clown” – that made our day – and we thought it gave us carte blanche to be a pack of right little horrors – how wrong we were!

  sometimes you just can’t win

  old Mr Cucumber

  unable to contain his anger

  at the arrival of the soccer ball

  for the one hundred and thirteenth time

  in the middle of his lawn

  grabbed his breadknife

  tottered down three flights of stairs

  muttering obscenities


  gasping for breath

  gasping for breath

  the children

  emotionally scarred

  from last night’s horror movie trilogy

  of cheese melts, popcorn and coca cola

  sought refuge behind the coal cellar

  but not before beheading

  the old man’s prize dahlia

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