Friday, December 30, 2005

what the focaccia is going on?

Do we all not love each other?

Probably not.

CAMPBELLTOWN solicitor John Marsden returned to work after a year-long battle with cancer and slammed the Federal Government's new anti-terrorism legislation.

The controversial legislation passed through the Senate last Wednesday after more than 100 amendments.

Mr Marsden, a former national and state president of the Council for Civil Liberties, said such legislation should not take away basic human rights and civil liberties.

"There is a need, a real need, for legislation to protect Australians and our country," he said.

"(But) such legislation should not go over the top or be excessive."

He called on the Government to delete any reference to sedition laws, which he described as "totally archaic and unneccesary in our modern society".

The anti-terrorism Bill caused a national outcry, in particular the sedition provisions which allow for close monitoring of terrorism suspects, new police powers of preventative detention and updated sedition offences.

Amendments now ensure the Commonwealth Ombudsman has more power to oversee detention, detainees will have greater access to relatives and police will need to satisfy a greater number of grounds to impose limits on who a suspect can contact.

There will also be a five-year review of the anti-terrorism laws and a 10-year sunset clause.

The Attorney-General also agreed to a Australian Law Reform Commission review of the sedition provisions early next year.

"It is very important that sunset clauses are included in these legislations it is very important that the parliament and those elected to represent us are committed to human rights and civil liberties," Mr Marsden said.

In Different
Weeping swallows bellow out their last orders
to the pitapat priests of everlasting borders
decked out in kaftans and Semitic kitsch
Glory to the Doner Lamb of God and Shish
King of the curly kebab on an armoured cuirass
Only Beelzebub the docker can endure us
So remind me to button up my facial flies
as this lazy truth I exorcise
the birds, the words they unlock slowly
let them seep not flood, I want something holy
on my tongue unleashed, lost by the power
incessant dripping of cold mental shower
divining rods search for a sudden key word
a mariner says “he who laughs last, laughs leeward”
And so out each half of this foolish oath
Can I pluck the wisdom from them both?
Or must I rely on Santa, The Good Fairy and the Easter Bilby
Or the cream cracker fella in a gorgeous trilby
To provide me with my ghostless present
A harmless man mouthing something pleasant

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy Zamenhof day

Portreto de la majstro Ludovic Lazarus...

The telegraph and telephone have made of the world a whispering gallery. Or as they say in Esperanto "Telegrafio kaj telefonio kreis el la mondo flustrogalerion".

Today Dec 15 is Zamenhof Day so named for the birthday of L.L.Zamenhof, (1859-1917) the founder of the Esperanto language. Zamenhofa Taga to you. Zamenhof was born of Jewish stock in Bialystok in the Russian Empire (now in Poland). His native languages were Russian and Yiddish, but he also spoke Polish and German fluently. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English, and he also had an interest in Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian. Interestingly, he is considered a god by the Oomoto religion. A Japanese Shinto-offshoot religion devoted to all things Esperanto, apparently.

Zamenhof made attempts to create an international language with a grammar that was very rich, but also very complex. He decided that the international language must have a relatively simple grammar with a wide use of suffixes to make new forms of the words. Esperanto was the result. Linguists describe it as "a language lexically predominantly romanic, morphologically intensively agglutinative and to a certain degree isolating in character". It has the five vowels of Spanish and Swahili and 23 consonants. There are approximately two million speakers worldwide of which one thousand are native Esperanto speakers.

The most famous living native speaker is probably George Soros, the American financier. Soros's father is Esperanto writer Tivador Soros. And the word Soros (to which the Jewish family changed its name in 1936) is the future tense of the verb 'to soar' in Esperanto. The family was in Hungary after the war and George Soros escaped to the west by participating in an Esperanto Youth Congress.

Viva Zamenhof!

why was I completely beaten by the rhythm
one sentence split out 13 times in this prism?
I was suspicious of this faker’s dozen
I could not stop my head from buzzing
I counted them out of their draughty shelves
but my numeric music was a staccato of twelves
how had I one less beat
with which to make ends meet?
as my brain tumbled full of rocks
I pondered on this little paradox
I died of pleasure and went straight to heaven
as I counted 2 notes for the syllables of eleven

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Millions of Brazilians

so remind me again, how many is a Brazillion?

It could be the Dubya joke of that punchline but not words I would expect Guus "Goose" Hiddink to utter over the next few months. Croatia are there too. Hrvatska, as the locals call it, and well known to many 'Socceruse' being as the ancestral homeland of Messrs Viduka, Popovic, Skoko and others.

But first up are the sons of Nippon. Australia v Japan. Of interest from the Kokoda Trail to the Gold Coast. Matthew Perry's fault, he should have left them alone to their Shogunate in 1854. This is the inevitable consequence. Sayonara O'Hara, Yukio Mishima, General Tojo, Hirohito, Akira Kuresawa, Seven Rashomanic Samurai, your boys are about to take one hell of a beating!

You cast your mind back
I’m trying but I’m stuck
with a persistent image of a river of anglers
and a sea of bodies and roddy danglers
This current coursing through my brain
interrupting all other thoughtish train
causing traffic chaos in the synapses
minor crises, frequent lapses
I waited for your word roadmap
as a hypnotist you need to clap
get me from this distracted sensation
help me concentrate on your conversation

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Pericles' funeral oration

"We alone consider the man who refuses to take part in city affairs useless"

Now I'm not known for my role in public affairs. But Pericles, or at least Thucycides has a point. Athens was the vanguard of a form of 'demos' though slaves and women were not invited to the Agora.

In 431, shortly after the Peloponnesian War had broken out, Pericles delivered his Oration to commemorate troops fallen in battle. The historian Thucydides was the journalist present and his recording of the speech is our primary understanding of Athenian democracy.

He gave an idealised account of how Athenians are able to put aside their individual needs and strive for the greater good of the city. They submit to the rule of law not because they have to (like the military dictatorship of Athen's rival Sparta) but because it is in their common interest to do so.

Blanket Fears
I wake in pearly sweat of a stillborn night
From dreamshades of homeless turpish delight
and a hide and seek with a fleeing fear
neither hot nor cold, I’m nowhere near
Do I pig in ignorance or unclot in bliss
or surrender to a godless reign of uncharted kiss?
jolted by an infinite wrist with all the time in the world
brakes are screeched, anchors dropped and flags furled
I slowly retreat to a chamber of monotone echoes
and watch sparkling chameleons imitate pale geckoes
but no colour change can hide this vicious pain
its a pasty camouflage of the somewhat insane
fighting deja vu tensions as I partly realise
that these rhythmic blips are plaintive cries
and my self-defence mechanisms are meagre and crude
hopelessly ill equipped to deal with chronic solitude

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I want to ride my bicycle

Boys on bikes for a cause. Team Dave (and only one of us a true Dave) went 210km Around the Bay in a Day in October. Port Phillip Bay, that is, the big loopy thing reaches two big claws out around Melbourne. 110km to Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, then lunch, a 40 minute ferry (packed with pushies) to Sorrento, and then another tough 100 back to Melbourne.

At the end, beeline straight to the Docklands beertent where this photo was taken. Weary, happy, Radmeisters all

Dec 31, 1999
This pencil struggles, quivers and refuses to unleash its lead
as I cross-examine in the Supreme Court of my head
let no stone be unturned in defence
describe my whether before the fog gets too dense
We want the unvarnished story of the night before
before its harnessed truth descends into lore
Please tell us, did you enjoy your countdown time
were there two thousand ways to leave 1999?
on how many levels did you engage
was it worth the 1,700 km pilgrimage?
did you recover from your huffy party start
when you turned down the role of the starring tart?
unready to drink from this party cup
no imagination left for the group dress-up
in tokened effort hesitantly down the stairs
taking despondent steps between distracted prayers
But in spite of wishing you’d never therebeen
you risked the sceptred wrath of the gilded queen
your pointless effort to blend at the back
but majesty demands you be put to rack
you were released on bad behaviour from your party prison
a witness protection scheme of inspired girlish vision
Aided by alcohol and becoming teethkeen
you smiled up from under the guillotine
“give me the head of the Barry Pissed” she cried
who painted your crown in multicolours well-supplied
though others chanted a faint disgust
as your hooligan hair became crimson rust
the identikit mugshot of party photographs
will take its place in memories library of laughs
not the bastard offspring of asylum and penitentiary
but clowning to the music of the end of the century
worshipping at the floor of an alcoholic tabernacle
awaiting the visitation of oft-spoken tackle
their double daring drinking game wove its spell
and sextruth peeped out from under its shell
then the sudden arrival of an unwanted intruder
stops the party faithful from becoming lewder
and apart from a whimsical visit of the talking buttocks
lock and key were kept firmly on all jocks
but now the unknown ones had made their call
we were suddenly placed in an upside down ball
and to escape the outsiders, they fire-blazed a diversion
which inevitably led to alien conversion
they knew all their tactics were in vain
and surrendered to this parasite pain
reluctantly accepting this insidious encroaching
they turned their thoughts to midnight approaching
with champagne fluters and flares set off in the dark
for a private party in a public park
a caravanserai of wandering Turks
bowing to the Great god of Fireworks
fighting a curious foreboding as a city poises
then a twelve o’ clock eruption of war-like noises
eerily blasting off loud-silent shadows behind city buildings
shone fleeting shapes, disappearing blues, diaphanous rings
as it ended, excitement was assuaged
the beast of ennui became uncaged
a blanketing sense of misplaced importance
flagrantly fed a gnawing impotence
the book overshadowed by its glowing cover
gleefully shouts “thats all folks, its over”

Critique of pure cant

The Noumenon, the 'thing-in-itself' is not an object of our sensible intuition.

Sensible enough, though hardly intuitive. Immy Kant usually knew what he was talking about though John Gray gives him a right old serve in "Straw Dogs" for his hopeless humanism.

We are all ever so 'umbly in Uriah's grip of Mad Kowtow disease.

Like flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods.

Shallow words
Countries out there warn me
I see a sign marked “Plenipotentiary”
its a word with lots of potential
pre-played jaguar shaped saxophones
shouts and bounces on a landless moon
10,000 words or more are a heinous condemnation
Of the largest exaggeration in the Southern Hemisphere
Less inclined to believe me
Hoarding billboard ancient scores
Settled by the football fieldmarshalls
Klaxon jugs spill overboarding pass
stiffest upper lips quiver in mustachioed bribery
Sangfroid in the cabin dance asks
where is Buffalo or Rome?
Spittle on the Picadilly line
Laissez-faire come home

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fermi paradox

Enrico Fermi asked "well you smartarses, so where all these ETs hiding?" And seeing as we haven't found them, they must not be there. Hawking said the same about time travel. Where are all these people from the future then. If time travel eventually is possible, surely they'd be here already?

The Fermi paradox can therefore be summed up as follows: The commonly held belief that the universe has many technologically advanced civilizations, combined with our observations that suggest otherwise, is paradoxical, suggesting that either our understanding or our observations are flawed or incomplete.

I would suggest that both are flawed and both are incomplete.

I'm here aren't I? Merlin and I are going sdrawkcab.

once more out weaving onto the road
a shallow happiness takes hold of the soul
a beer and a wheel are a matter of fear
but damnation not hotdogs is my goal
its Mecca not Macca's for you, my boy
you're the Prince of Darkness Slurpa pride and Joy
and as the faraway wailing drifts into your mind
you realise you are no longer one of a kind.

Narziss 1 Goldmund 1 (Nargiss won 4-2 on penalties)

O Oceania, how dear thou are to me/though I cross the Asian sea/I miss thy half a place forever/I will walk to youth in Asia/With the wisdom of the Solomon Islands/and Flock of seagulls Iran/with Korean republics/and a Chin Chin Flute/in an anthem of anathema/

Yes Australianfussballspielern have defuncted Ooor-u-gwi in the Sydney football Fishbowl. Mark O'Breshiano equalised, Harry carrys, Viduka and Coke missed the penalty but Mark Schwarzeneggar terminated 2 Uruguay penalties. And John Aloysius, bless his soul oh so soon a, Alavesian extraordinaire breaks 32 years of hurt and hoodoo. Wash Angola. No Turkey To Go. Cote d'Ivoire singing in Ukraine, Czechia, by Ghana

Stirred Not Shaken
does madness set its own goals?
an offence in philosophy and legality
a babble of contradiction
without reference to natural law
Can it be explored like a science
theists of the imagination
letting loose on divine barbarities
butchered colours and bruised lovers
getting stronger, getting stranger
in the bleak wilderness of the soul
are flowers sent by gods
a sweet bouquet in a holy hole
though you tip over this perfumed bucket
and find only sticky liquorice
enjoy the aniseed ride
don’t spit it out
or rule this mad goal off side

Saturday, November 12, 2005

narziss v goldmund

The Australianfussballspieleren take on Uruguay in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Brisbane Ancient Evenings Time) in the first leg of their world cup qualifier in Montevideo. Woolly Days' thoughts are with them as they try to break the hex on Australian qualification that stretches back to the last time the Weltmeister championships were in Deutschland in 1974. Johnny Warren, o sing your chant from the grave and spur on your vainglorious countrymen.

walk like dinosaurs. press on...c'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la Guero...cuando Beck's the boy...Steppenwolf in dem and cream to all...

Quasi Modus Operadani
tricky legal barristers defending a wrong
leads my truth a merry dance to siren song
mostly sung blue, mostly sung borrowed
sadly laced and sweetly sorrowed
knowing is parked away in cobbled web
penning swan lake nervous deb
drowning in vats of superficiality
so throw away this mid strength reality
let go this buoy and grip your lifeline
explode this furnace through the pipeline
boulder smoulder say you’re sorry
almost lured, puny frightened quarry
hooked on hard rock caffeine
dental drilling laughing gasoline
open face blast, lovely isn’t it?
hugo your way, I’ll mine your own business
now you’re starting to get the picture
in your game of life, always be the victor.

Friday, October 28, 2005

while their crops perish in the fields

but guess what? not one of them tried to claim the reward. Blacklisted from their selection! Ned, be damned....I am a widow's son, outlawed. My orders must be obeyed....Graham Berry, over to you.

Meanwhile I have to compare William Gibson's Hinterland with H(erbert) G(eorge) W(ells) (w(ell!)) 'The Time Machine. Wells' social Darwinian vision of Elois and Morlocks and Gibson's cargo cult on the Highway. Not sure which has dated more. Wells' Communism or Gibson's USSR.

Again and Again
took chaos hood from co-incidence
pronounced my life full of incidents
mostly self-styled thirsty trouble
too seldom tee-totalling double
sundrenched in torrential twice-happenings
cartographer's cartwheel fortunate mappenings
turgid thoughts turkey shoot
target happy triple tippling truth

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Neath me the fire

reading about Margaret Wertheim's magnificent dissertation on the history of space and spacial concepts The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace. Everything from Dante to the Internet via Aristotle, Kepler, Newton, Galileo, Descartes, Kant, Hubble, Einstein, Wells and others. She has a lovely way of looking at things from an off-kilter angle that makes her observations rooted in something other than raw fact. Yer mad, man.

I have to save you
from a deadly homebrew
a concoction made behind dark doors
wino cellars under hobnailed floors
Hallowed be thy name
and wild be thy nature
I’m ruminating on the cud of love
milking the sacred moo
cow’s licking clucking coo
slickly cuddling a cloud called you

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sports Poll: Drogballs?

Thwaite won't wait. Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Angola don't have to wait. National holiday declared in Tome, capital of Togo. Abidjan is the same, Didier Drogba leads the celebration. Cromwell killed well in Drogheda. Uruguay v Argentina live 10.15 am AET Thursday to determine Australia's opponents in Oceania v Concacaf playoff. Angora Angola! chez Guevara, Free Freddy Flintoff, change charge charcoal frill grill. Rejuvenate and when you do, have some of this,

Conversation Stopper
I’m suffocating in that terrible gaffiatus
Between my q-q-question and your considered answers
Caught in a spasm of my own considerations
Spread around me like pinching cancers
Malignant growths that stultify
crushing flower weaving armies of childrenness
a sergeant major shrilly berating
frogmarching my brain into tree-shrugging wilderness
just as this scorched earth mania triumphs
slowly smouldering in purple embers
a wry smile cracks the code to the safe
something in here cogitates, remembers

Sunday, October 09, 2005

anglican sundays

Sunday so slow in the suburbs. Churchmice are hibernating. The world is elsewhere. Outside the oppressive heat of Summer come early to Brisbane. Where are all the people? "I'm an anthropologist" says the man in Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha. She is two dollars a touch and ten below the waistline. The anthropologist has put away his pencil.

Time for doughy words:

Sometimes, abundantly clear to me
I’m intensely afraid of bread
And no earthly rationality
Will conquer this floury dread
I dream my hands get sucked in machines
And fingers become individual slices
I am a victim of the Slasher in the Rye
And other complex baking devices
A piper pied to its overwhelming perfume
Its freshness awakens the beast
Those sourdough moments annihilate me
A hopeless prisoner of yeast
I savagely attack with a butterknife
And burn it to the stake as toast
Freshly blazed hearts beat fresh for revenge
Seven seeds for a grain hole ghost
But they cannot murder my edible cravings
Rats will uncover a trail of crumbs
They’ll take the bread from out of my mouth
and loaf about in unleavened slums