«The ninth satire» [contents]

Oh Yeah — In France A Skinny Man Died Of A Big Disease With A Little Name — By Chance His Girlfriend Came Across A Needle And Soon She Did The Same — At Home There Are Seventeen-Year-Old Boys — And Their Idea Of Fun Is Being In A Gang Called The Disciples — High On Crack And Totin’ A Machine Gun. Time, Time — Hurricane Annie Ripped The Ceiling Off A Church — And Killed Everyone Inside — U Turn On The Telly And Every Other Story Is Tellin’ U Somebody Died — Sister Killed Her Baby Cuz She Couldn’t Afford 2 Feed It And — We’re Sending People 2 The Moon — In September My Cousin Tried Reefer 4 The Very First Time — Now He’s Doing Horse, It’s June. Times, Times — It’s Silly, No? When A Rocket Ship Explodes And Everybody Still Wants 2 Fly — Some Say That A Man Ain’t Happy Unless A Man Truly Dies — Oh Why. Time, Time  Prince, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’

for Jeff Klooger

Last word
This is a book of poetry, biographical fiction, non-fiction, dreams, fiction, portraiture, nonsense and comedy. In a different way and for different reasons, this book, like the previous one, pays no attention to the interesting notion that writers should have identifiable, stable voices. The effect is, no doubt, confusing. Some writers can hide behind a ‘book’. I would not agree this is, in any sense, not a ‘book’.❦ Much of the prose is, in one way or another, and in varying degrees, not mine, though I either wrote it or am responsible for its re-presentation here. ‘First and Last Words’ and ‘Uncle Stranger’ were, obviously, diaries. The work of condensation has the tendency to remake texts in the image of a particular reading. As well, ‘Uncle Stranger’ has been re-written in order to protect the confidentiality of the persons to whom it refers. ❦ Sometimes it has been necessary to tell a lie in order to record a lie. The relationship between those people who prompted the stories and the stories themselves also varies. The people were not ‘raw material’, as writers usually understand that term. I’m sure what I had to work with was always more or less cooked. Perhaps all stories are, in some way, only stories about stories. ❦ The origins of the poetry are more personal and less clear, being not always entirely mine, yet never like any of the voices I listened to. Do poems have their writer’s voice hidden in them? —Yes. And, I hope not. The purpose of a poem is to say what is.


Cover of ‘The ninth satire’: Charles Blackman’s ‘The Mask’ (1989). Reproduced with permission of the artist.
This book was published by Pariah Press (Melbourne) in 1994. Pariah Press was a coöperative publishing company and its small print-run books did not have commercial distribution.
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