“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World”
And so the refuseniks and no-good-niks of the Kurilpa Sector gathered in subVERSivE conclave at the Old Croquet Club beneath the sinister trees of Musgrave Park. There in the shadows beneath the spreading Tower Blocks (whose concrete goose-stepping across the suburb surely embodies the March of Capitalism Triumphant!)the Poetic Underground prepared for their campaign of Cultural Terrorism. Poets, lesbians, drug fiends and vegetarians, many wearing sandals, or sporting the Black Beard of Anarchism, muttered mad maledictions against the monopolistic Molochs, the Mighty Money Men who Make and Shake. Yes, these miserable malcontents clearly cared nothing for the delights of Progress or Growth!
Incendiary odes were armed, Subversive sonnets were suggestively wired to alarm clocks. Secret codes were maliciously embedded in innocent Bush Ballads. All was ready for the Revolution..
Unfortunately, fearing capture by enemy agents, I swallowed my notes from that afternoon and so I’m going to have to reconstruct mainly from memory here..
Our favourite Mystery Musician, JEM SPARKLES, graciously stepping in to replace this months missing act, opened the show with a thump and a growl.. Yes Jem was all sparkles and glitter as she played a mix of her own original songs (all hit material) and a selection of Seventies Jukebox Greats. Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!
After a brief reflection on the ethics of politicians (they haven’t any) by the Reverend Hellfire, the Open Mic got rolling. Hitting the stage that day were;
Michael Vaughan (back after an absence),
old stager Geoffrey “the Gatekeeper” Evans,
Nigel De Free,
John Tracey with a few thoughts on the Greens,
Newcomer, the stylishly dressed Hugo Russell,
not actually present, TC ‘s poem was read by Geoffrey,
Lou, a mate of Bob Mud (Hey Bob! Come and visit us!)
Kurilapa Poets elder Paul Dobbyn,
Long time listener, First time reader REB got up and impressed us with a powerful Rap piece.,
Another first time reader, Marina, took us back to school
with a stirring rendition of the classic Banjo Patterson
Man from Snowy River. The Rev promised to respond next month by reading something by Henry Lawson! Lovely Linda Loop emerged from the kitchen to chant the Lyrics from the Tapeloops 1984 hit song, “The Landlord Said” with it’s concluding line “All Houses should be Free!” Bloody Anarchists!
I think there were one or two more readers, and a couple of prospective poets were allowed to slip through the net, but only after they were made to promise to read something next time.
After a suitably refreshing break and another great set from Jem Sparkle that earned her loud cheers of appreciation,
we moved on to the afternoons main act, the much anticipated appearance by our duly elected local Councillor,
Green activist and Performance Poet, Jonothan SRI.
We invited Jono not only because we appreciate his grass-roots style of, community based political activism but because he has eschewed the usual process of packaging himself as a normal, suit wearing politician and is proud to both call himself a performance poet, and for his attempts to mix his poetry with his activism.
Jono read for about 20 minutes, delivering a consistently powerful set that kept the audience attention throughout. As a poetic performance it was a truly impressive, professional set. His poems were all internalised so he could concentrate on delivery. He spoke well and clearly, bringing just the right emotion to his pitch without going overboard into the ranting which so many younger poets mistake for passion.
As an exercise in political polemics, to me it works, but then Jono and I are coming from pretty much the same place it seems, so I have no idea what a raving right wing bastard would make of it all.
The images and ideas were expressed with clarity, and rather than being dogmatic, to much of the verse was a “questioning” quality. This is Poetry that asks Why? and asks you to help the poet work out the answer.
To paraphrase good old ratbag, Walt Whitman,
“The Age of Politicians & Priests is Over! The Poets shall be the prophets of the Future”
All in all, we took a few bricks from the wall,
the Revolution isn’t over but we had a great afternoon,
with a really positive Community Vibe. We shared words and bread and wine, visions and ideas.
Enjoy the photos.
-Words by; Unckle Rat
-Images by Shane K