Three first world concerns

The scholastic affliction —
virus transmits an urge
to write a PhD

Paleo or vegan diet?
Debate attracts more comments
than Palestine

American spelling triumphs —
well color me cheeks,
what’s wrong with ‘u’?

PS Cottier

sign

This one is inspired by some of the whingey conversations overheard at my local café. Hats off to the woman who was complaining about how expensive marble is in kitchen renovations, as if it was a human rights issue. The second stanza (or pseudo-haiku) is based on newspaper debates on-line.

I do feel an itch of discomfort about American spelling, so the last part is a go at myself. And the sign has no relation to the poem, I think.

Tuesday poem: How I hate you

September 10, 2018

How I hate you

Reality TV, bastard child of documentary and soap opera,
I hate you more than competitors hate the dishes served
up by the other teams; their yucks and carefully edited
smirks are nothing to the pure flame of hate I direct at you.

I will buy one of those little devices to make crème brûlée.
Nay, I shall buy twelve of them, and hang them from
a bandolier, all Sergio Leone, only French.
And I shall discover the producers and brûlée them, irrevocably.

Custard hearted slop buckets are those who reduce
something like food to these fiendish competitions,
and pit like infamous olives the spitting couples.

Let there be an end to these spectacles!
I open a can of baked beans.
I heat bread.

PS Cottier

ukobach

After lengthy delay, here’s a very slow-cooked poem. Enjoy!

On the shocking spread of unregulated materials

Gnomes
Despise
Picnic
Rugs

PS Cottier

many-gnomes

Pun based acrostics have their place at my place. Particularly when one has been tormented by numerous emails about one’s privacy for weeks. If you’ve never heard of the GDPR, you have my felicitations. Which is not to say that it’s not A Good Thing, but let there be an end to the emails, please. And this is from someone living in Australia; I dread to think what it’s been like in Europe (which includes the UK, at least for now).

The worst statue in Australia?

In Cairns, there’s a Captain Cook.
Of course, you say, he’s everywhere,
a kind of cane toad, or rabbit,
with a nicer, powdery wig.
But, and do my eyes deceive me?
in Cairns he’s saluting.
A Nazi salute. But, you say
(again), James lived long before
the Nazis. And you’d be right.
Yet someone built this… ‘art’
long after the Nazis.
Someone placed it in front of
the Endeavour Inn, now gone.
Now Nazi Cook stands there,
all forlorn, ugly as Ugly’s ugly uncle,
giving his tireless salute.
The mind boggles. And yet, I say,
given the way his arrival
heralded attempted genocide,
maybe his inadvertent Nazi salute
makes a kind of sense?
This statue, which would last
ten minutes in Canberra
(that’s as in the place people live,
not the places politicians gather)
is just as grim as facts.
So perhaps this is the best statue
of Cook in Australia?
Not aesthetically, for it’s foul,
foul as a nightmare’s farts,
but historically?
I’m not the first to comment
on Cairns’s Nazi Cook.
And yet still he stands, gesturing,
truly obscene, seen on the way
to the Reef (the Frankland Islands
named by yes, you know who)
or back. You can’t see it
without the words ‘topple’
or ‘Aussie-mandias’ coming to mind.
Cairns’s Cook kicks pale mythology
quite out of decent bounds.
Unspeakably ugly, laughably gross,
and, it must be said, somewhat true.

PS Cottier

Nazi Cook

The Cairns Cook is aesthetically disgusting. At least one Indigenous artist, Munganbana Norman Miller, has taken action to address it, politically. (Note that the headline suggests that putting a ‘Sorry’ sign on the statue was vandalising it; I think that anything would improve this statue, apart from the fact that putting a sign on it is hardly vandalism. The article itself has a different tone.)

Seeing this thing made me realise that Australia really is a big place, politically. (‘Canberra vegan poet investigates Far North Queensland in one week stay!’) I have been trying to find a way to talk about it for a couple of months now, putting it in the context of debates about what we do with statues that are problematic. (That’s a link to an article by Paul Daley.)

You can read a little more about the building of this Cook statue here. That article says the gesture is copied from a painting of Cook ‘protecting’ Aborigines, which adds to the mix. There’s a much better photo there; mine was taken in a mini-bus in a state of shocked amusement. (But note that there’s a sign saying you can win a trip to Las Vegas under him, in my photo, and something about the Cock and Bull. Cook and Bull?)

Cairns, statue aside, is beautiful.

Tuesday poem: (Getting old)

January 29, 2018

Getting old —
I mix Laphroaig
with TISM

PS Cottier

If anyone isn’t familiar with TISM, here they are below at the Collingwood Town Hall. And yes, I found myself watching and listening to them while sipping a single malt and filling in my wee whisky book, which consists of meaningful comments such as ‘very nice’, ‘peaty!’ and ‘lovely’.

Once you know that Auchentoshan is not the sound of someone sneezing, it’s all downhill.