A poem for teachers

I was looking back through the posts and liked this one…

Another Grumpy Commuter

A Teacher’s Lament

(after Trenches: St Eloi by TE Hulme )

Over the flat desks of Room 3B
a wide-eyed wall of ignorance.
In the silence disgusting boys
loitering with intent, picking their noses:
all itching to go, ignore the books.
Girls walk as on street corners,
making boys drool, follow,
drawn by instinct, drawn by promise,
after a pierced bare belly.

The boys have testosterone. The girls have no pants.
Behind the bikeshed, groping, shagging, lying missionary style.
Unwanted babies, chaos:

hell is a school classroom. The minds about me are closed.
Nobody answers. There is nothing to do but drink.

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We just had an election…wonder if anything will change?

In honour of the election here is a special poem about politicians. I’ve posted it before but hey…it never goes out of date.


Every few years we get the chance,
stroll down the road,
tick another box or two,
decide which toad
will screw us over for the next few,

break promises so easily made,
take junkets too,
raid our wallets with glee,
those well-dressed few
who spew smug platitudes and see

no shame in cat-calls, insults, petty
games – he said, she said. Lice!
You disgust me,
you clowns for whom we pay the price.



And on a lighter note I also finished the 2nd draft of the Queen of Langoria….things are moving along

A short trip…and some writing

While I should have been polishing off the last 15 percent of the second draft of The Queen of Langoria, I went AWOL. Yes…I enjoyed a squiz at the Versailles Exhibition at the National Gallery and then the Popular Pet Show at the National Portait Gallery. It was very relaxing and the weather was great as was the Hyatt Hotel.

I between I’m sure that I violated some sort of code by reading John Birmingham’s Alien Side Boob column while sitting in the rarified atmosphere of the National Library. It was at the very least, an act of sedition.

Anyhow, I also knocked out over 1000 words on a new story idea…let’s just call it One Cyborg at a Time for now. Made me laugh.

And here is a picture of Lake Burley Griffin and the bell tower obscured by lush trees and with my foot providing foreground…sensational!




My 2 weeks to write is over…

Yes indeed it is over. And, rather surprisingly, I have achieved most of what I wanted to achieve. I have reached the halfway point in the 2nd draft of Langoria, which was always going to be the big challenge. I still have work to do, but most of the problems in structure and motivation, backstory consistency etc were in the first half. While there is still a lot of work to do from here, the second half flows much more smoothly and shows that I was really into the story and was writing with more confidence and ease. So from here on in I would hope to get some final draft out in the middle of the year, time and work permitting. Now…there is also the issue of cover art.

As an aside, I took time out from writing yesterday to go to the Perth Writers Festival to listen to Garth Nix, Jay Kristoff, and Ken Liu speak about writing. That was an awesome session, very enjoyable and I recommend that if you get the chance you should listen to these guys speak in person. It’s very illuminating. I have been going to writers festivals for a number of years and that was the best session I’ve been to.

So now it’s back to work next week and a lot less time for writing…but I am reinvigorated. Good luck with all your writing…




Just last Wednesday

This was one of my first few blog posts almost 6 years ago. I think Freddie is in all likelihood still riding the buses and boring people to death

Another Grumpy Commuter

Just last Wednesday I was sitting on the bus minding my own business when I got distracted by the conversation going on behind me. There was a man in his early thirties dribbling on to the young girl who was in the unfortunate position of sitting next to him,and being jammed up against the window by his bulk. She looked totally disinterested in his conversation and I think I heard her whisper ‘Beam me up Scotty’ at one point.

The man, I think his name was Frederick Feodor Fuckwit III, was talking about his new house and how good it was going to. It would, apparently, have 55 bedrooms, 45 bathrooms, 11 home theatres, lounges, kitchens, dining rooms, rumpus rooms, double garages. It was going to be really big. In fact his was likely to be bigger than anybody else’s! He was also going to fill it with furniture, including…

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A President’s Prayer

I thought I’d update this

Another Grumpy Commuter

A President’s Prayer

Our President, somehow elected,
Delusion be his game.
It seems that he won
And there’s work to be done
And blame to be deflected.
Support  him today in his legal challenges.
And forgive him his petulant tweets,

As we forgive those who make petulant
tweets in response.
And lead him not into innovation,
But deliver him from progress.
For he has the Staff,
With the power and the will
To speak bullshit
For ever and ever.

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How to be a Writer (by JB)

I am a pretend writer. No, really, I am. I have completed two novels (short ones) which are either not quite good enough to be published, or are simply shit. Perhaps they just need some more work, or perhaps they need an incinerator. One day I’m sure that I’ll work out which is the correct path. I have long ago run dry on my blog The Dregs of History and none of my self-published satirical manuals have sold that well, if at all. Shit happens.

But (I know that stating a sentence with ‘but’ is frowned upon, but fuck it, this is my piece of writing so I’ll do what I want) I do want to get better, so I occasionally read a book about writing rather than piece of fiction. I am assuming they are not fiction too.

Of the books that I have read about writing, two stand out. The first one of these is On Writing by Stephen King. This is a wonderful insight into how he writes and the hurdles he has overcome to get where he is. It is a combination of autobiography and writer’s assistant. The second is a book I have just recently read – How to Be a Writer by John Birmingham. They are very different books.


How to Be a Writer is both entertaining and enlightening, with many handy hints (I hope I never have to resort to his suggestion of writing an erotic letter to Eric Abetz as a way of combating writer’s block) and insights from other writers. I may even get the suggested dictation software. Looks good.

At its heart, this book is a written in short easily digestible chapters. There is no over-long explanations of things, no self-indulgent tangents that lack relevance, and no bullshit about your chances of success. There is, however, lots of humour, lots honest advice about the amount of effort required, and good solid advice about the joys of being a poet (I can speak from experience when I tell you that this chapter is spot on). It is an easy read, just as a novel should be. Not too much requirement for huge contemplation (at least not unless you really don’t know yourself that well and this book has caused a light-bulb moment) and no boring bits. Lots of published novelists could learn a lot from reading this book – it’s a lot of fun.

How to Be a Writer covers writing novels, columns, articles, and even has short section on what expect as a poet. It covers such areas as a writer’s special media presence, endorsement of other writers, some useful technology info, how not to get sued, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Most of all though, it got me a bit more enthused about going back to my novels and cutting the shit of them before putting them back together again. This has been useful and fun. They might even end up as novellas available as ebooks.

And hey, pretend writer of not, How to Be a Writer got me off my arse to write this blogpost after a long hiatus filled with posting half-baked songs instead of prose. Cheers JB. Much appreciated.





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