“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)





29 May 2017




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
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.

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