Notes on Ratbaggery

By | 1 April 2013

6. Real Australian Poetry Rhymes

Literary modernism is totalitarian politics in a literary disguise,
Somebody turn off the spin cycle, the room is spinning too fast.

7. Confessions of a Non-fiction Poet

A couple of years ago, I got really run down. I had to read poetry at festivals and conferences all over the country, which was fun but stressful. At first, I’d have some wine and a beta-blocker before a reading. Then I started on vodka, and always had a bottle by my side before every performance. I was constantly getting on airplanes, trying to knock myself out with sleeping pills and vodka, waking up, trying to sweat it out with exercise and a steam, and then working really hard writing all day. By the time I wrote my second book, I was doing about 10 grams of cocaine, maybe taking two or three ecstasy tabs and drinking three bottles of vodka. Every day. I would get up, chop a line and snort it before I got out of bed. Eventually, I had a panic attack. My body was like, ‘What is happening?’ But I knew even then that I am not anorexic, I’m from Perth. Are there people from Perth that are anorexic? I’ve never heard of one, and that includes me.

8. You Can Call Me Al

Given that an ontology must begin by questioning appearances, its techniques and idiolects will always require that it break with the ‘commonplace,’ even if it then proceeds towards, or concludes with, a meta-ontological affirmation of the current, trivial fictions of just such a fiction. That is, Badiou has always had a problem with species of non-being that play about on the borders of his work. When, for example, he explicated his theory of the singularity of the void and the multiplicity of being, Lindsay Lohan replied, ‘Can we hurry this mess up Al? It’s almost happy hour’.

9. The Australian Anthology of Religious Verse

You started it all, Al Gore. You’re a wanker. You may not like this fact but it’s just an inconvenient truth. If wankers like you ever get in power we can say goodbye to any sort of outdoors activity such as shooting-hunting-fishing-camping, etc. I say we should deplete the planet’s resources. I mean really, why not? Jesus is coming back any day now, and when he does, I will be sipping on a cold beer by the pool in heaven. I really doubt that I will be concerned with the health of the planet at that particular point in time. Just listen to that ratbag Isaiah. Tree huggers need to give it a rest already, it’s all part of God’s divine plan!

10. Don’t Feed the Ratbags

Numerous ancient tales about ratbags are recorded in which they are frequently described as being extremely old, very strong, but slow and dim-witted and are rarely described as helpful or friendly. Ratbags are also described as looking much the same as human beings, without any particularly hideous appearance about them, but where they differ is in that they live far away from human habitation. However, ratbags were considered dangerous by many, regardless of how well they interacted with Christian society, and often displayed a habit of bergtagning (‘kidnapping’, or literally ‘mountain-taking’) and overrunning a farm or estate.

11. The Triumph of Pastoral Poetry

We can’t relax now that we’ve finally created a pastoral poem that is free from nostalgia, exemplifying both Ruskin’s strictures against the Pathetic Fallacy and Ruskin’s contradictory realisation that a poet is a person ‘‘to whom things speak’. Come on peoples, start practicing your performance now we’ve finally got the form. Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest are coming to tonight’s reading at the Kalgoorlie Super Pit. The Sharp Snouted Day Frog is counting on us, the quartz is whispering in our hearts: we can take the mountain. Don’t forget to dress skimpie.

12. Australian Poetry Needs even More Cultural Erasure

Endangered species of Australian poets are nearing extinction.

Therefore we should all honour our time here by indulging our passion and dreams.

For example: Beanstalks, in any breeze, I think of sex all afternoon.

A performance poet wearing a suit jacket represents the slow creep of the capitalist absorption of critique.

Therefore we should bring back moo moos and flip flops.

Before we become completely extinct we need to recognize that we are all in sales.

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