“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”


DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)


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29 May 2017

POEM FROM A BLINDMOUTH 19 YO

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on account of my mouth being blind



for nineteen paper years
when they said look
i turned my mouth to the sunsets and the gums and the views

and on account of my mouth being blind I didn’t see

of course there were the fresh green
rich days of farming growing up in me
drinking straight from the cow’s tit

and of course there were the fresh green early girls
honestly knowing no further than a kiss
i loved it

and there grew the knowledge of loneliness
grown into with hay and hill pines
not resulting from being the only
sometimes i loved that too

and i came to feel the real of people
the beast in them
the self in their deeds and their minds and their souls
and in me
and in me

but anyway
when you think of it
i’ve really only crumpled nineteen paper years from a bloody huge book
i’ve taken them shyly and torn them loose
and there’s many left
and they’re blowing away
and they’re falling in the fire
and they’re falling in the streams
and o god how am i
o god I’m the litterbug of the universe

o god my dreams



philip white
kanmantoo
september 1971







That's the DRINKSTER above on the Cassie Street veranda with legendary neo-Mennonite millennial shamans of the age, Nick Lainas and John Kingsmill ... photographer and landlord please raise hands

Having run away from home, the little Whitey soon enjoyed bohemia and poverty and beneficiaries like Rob Brookman and Vee Laughton, who let me squat awhile in their front room in Cassie Street beside the graveyard with the Wirth's Circus people in it. And the cypress I climbed and fell from whilst drunk and crazy.

Hellie Sangster lived there, too. She let me ride her pushbike to my work at Brierly's bottle yard, where I learned recycling part one, which led in its poetic way to the revolutionary South Australian Beverages Containers Legislation, thanks to Ken Kesey.  

This is still the best recycling legislation In Australia, if not the world.

Because of a few major unscheduled pit stops to sort design problems in various mechanical and electrical systems, like personally, internally, I've had a few weeks off the deadlines and the reportage, so do please forgive me for hoisting a few old shreds of poetry from the dungeon to keep the eyelid cinema flickering.

I'll be back. My sump oil is warming on the stove.

I reckon that pic above was the year I got into this lucrative poetry business when these blokes came to town for awhile (from my diary Old Soup):

Lorenzo, who Ginsberg said was Lawrence's son, is a person I've never been able to track. However Lawrence did a signature, Lorenzo would mirror-image it on the opposite page. After a week in town, whew, the three of of them disappeared into Arnhem Land. In the best Adelaide poetry - always underground - things changed after that. But the gap between the poetry written by rich kids and the scavenging poor widened, and the poor who wrote the poetry were not encouraged beyond being a cute thing at the bottom. 

In other words, good published poetry disappeared.

While dear Allen howled and groaned, young poets shout and preach now, which is a pity. 

It means we still don't listen. 

And fair dinkum, I'm sick of fucking preaching. Been there. Done that.






















The cover of Old Soup is the letters page from Rolling Stone, May 17th, 1969. That precious sea-mail fortnightly was my lifeline to reality before I got to the local version of it in the gilded palace of sin, only to find it wanting. Reality, I mean, not the Rolling Stone. Reality in the little city between the desert and the sea. Where there was little real-world reality.

Hunter came next.



26 May 2017

25 May 2017

ROAMING IN THE GLOAMING

Some shots around the shack in the last light of this Thor's Daeg ... photos by Philip White

APPELLATION LINES LACK ELASTICITY

Terroir #00Aiii(7) This is Pangæa, the big island of Earth, about 335 million years ago. Like the floating lumps on a  big iron pot of brontosaurus stew, it started to break up about 175 million years back. Keith Slee and Assoc., Besp0ke Wallmongers, recommends no new border walls or fences should be built until we improve their elasticity. Our people can put your people in touch. [Usual connectors.] In the meantime, keep stirring.

24 May 2017

THINKING OF TERROR AND SOUL

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I had a soul





I had a soul.
I took it through milkshed and byre,
tussock and thistle, ragwort and bog
with a burlap sack on my head for the drizzle.
With me it watched the blackwood hewn
and the underground tank surrender its muck
to bucket and shovel,
till all was strewn on grass so green
it really needed to be seen.

I had a soul.
With me it watched the poddy-calves drop
from the neat blow of the axe-back
and the steam rise from their opened flesh
as their gizzards writhed alive, still digesting.
It crawled with me in their soft stacked hides
and the fleas in the hay of the barn,
with brothers playing in the beams:
everything was what it seemed.

I had a soul.
They flayed it over communion wine
and tortured it with hymns exhaled through trembling wattles;
pious old throats filled with the holy spit
and sanctimonious halitosis.
I fucked that soul off across the gaping graves:
kinfolk and kindred who did no harm,
young whose souls some other bastard claimed.
We carry their husks home in the rain.






Philip White





23 May 2017

STRAWBERRY SNUFFLEPUP FOR PINOTABLES

nother sketch from the Very Old notebooks ... image©Philip White ... Bass Phillip Pinot reviews coming soon... Milton Wordley took this photograph of Bass Phillip winemaker Phillip Jones and the author last time we sat down for a proper chat in The Exeter:

20 May 2017

THE EWES ARE BACK IN TOWN

"Hey Daphne, don't go over there! Let's hang here in the shade at Unca Philip's ... " 

Just a few of the ewes now eating the vineyard weeds and grasses in the vineyard outside my back door. Sure beats Roundup! 

This was a few days back; the peerie lambies are since beginning to pop; the ravens are mobbing to feast on placentas or any poor soul that arrives imperfect and weak. They're brutal reminders of the brevity of real life. 

I love having the sheep around. They are not stupid. They watch me through my windows. 

They think I'm stupid.

This lass matter-of-factly dropped her twins on the lawn while I made coffee this morning. She cleaned them up, ensured they could walk, seemed to advise them to take a wee snooze after their ordeal, and got straight back to eating grass and making milk ... Mr Ears, bigger one, left, has a black nose and knees ... cute as fuck ... photos©Philip White