Theatre Tuesday

October 9, 2017

Sedation group happy

So you’ve been feeling a bit past your use-by date, and a little tarnished by time.  Perhaps you are terrified that you are losing your way, and becoming the type of writer who repeats themselves, not to work and rework ideas like an artisan kneading bread, but because they can’t do anything else.  You meet that type, and they piss around the corners of conversations, lest new ideas insinuate and undermine their certainties.

And then someone* finds one of your poems, tucked away on this very blog, and includes it in a theatre work, and it is given a new voice and body by an actor**.  And you listen to it take its place in the work, and feel glad that someone felt its energy and its humour; a humour wedged between despair and hysteria.

Because you’re a total dag, you adopt a horizontal position in a photo amongst some of the other poets, and the actors.  You*** would underline how much the production meant to you in some alien form of punctuation.  You really need to discover decorum, rather than dwell in a cellar of rum.

*Adele Chynoweth, who directed the work Under Sedation, currently showing at The Street Theatre, as well as selecting/arranging the poems

**Ruth Pieloor (The other actor is Ben Drysdale and you can probably spot him in the photo above.)  The photo below shows Ruth adopting a Polonius stance, after the production.

r as p

***You obviously doesn’t mean you, dear reader.


The ineffable boredom of Polonius

Hamlet had a go; stabbing him behind the arras,
which does not mean what you may think it means
if you didn’t do Shakespeare in your degree.
But he never dies, this Polonius. He pops up as
Scoutmaster, Deputy Principal, minor MP, Mayor,
spouting cliché through his immortal mouth;

To your own self be true

he tells graduating students, some of whom
have read of him being stabbed behind the arras
and have suffered quite enough already thank you.

Youth are the future of Australia, he adds,

and I’m sure there are American and Indian and
Kyrgyzstani Poloniuses, for he has bred, you know,
splitting in two in each grave; coming up each morn
at fifty-five years. They go on cruises, Polonii,
and spend their ineffable boredom in other places
dripping like middle-aged piss for

Travel broadens the mind

which, in this case, it clearly doesn’t.

Never put off until tomorrow, he exhorts.

I feel that there must be a way to kill off his breed.
And I will work and work to find a way to eliminate
every smear of Polonius from discourse public or private.

Make hay while the sun shines,

and I am forming daggers from papier-mâché
made from the most tedious editorials still written,

in real print newspapers

crapping on about the

sacrifice of previous generations

and the inevitable

need for fiscal constraint

and I will sneak up on him, like Hamlet, but less hosey,
and force a cliché dagger down his moth-eaten throat,
though I fear he will just regurgitate the dagger,

waste not want not

he will say or

Violence is the last resort of the unintelligent and never a solution

and it is, Polonius, oh yes it is,
and may you choke on your sayings
and die, smearing the arras, wall, or whatever
in horrible, tedious wisdom, like the worlds greyest
graffiti, little vombits of save and safe and think and

look before you leap

and it will be too late, and nobody, no nobody will weep

for the death of the boring uncle, with his inexplicable fetish
for hiding behind arrases, which is the only interesting thing
that the mouldy old sententious prick ever did.

And may flights of silverfish sing him to his rest.

P.S. Cottier

Now this is not a Very Nice Poem at all, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a rave.

Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here. That includes New Zealand, where they are quite good at cricket.