Sunday, February 13, 2005


Every time a different poem, a different
context, but the biographical note remains a variation
on the one theme. How I was born in Hokitika
in New Zealand sixty-three years ago, have
done this / that, published here / there, am now
living in Rockhampton, Australia. It's the truth, no
denying or escaping that. But scared
I will give too much away if I put too much in
I leave out the most interesting parts. Now only
the bare bones are revealed; & reading them
more than once is more than boring. & that's
just for me — think what it must be like
for other people who follow the sport.

So I have decided to write a chameleon poem,
submit only that but change the biography with each
submission so that meaning, subtexts, even
the very sound of the poem are transformed
by the information that accompanies it. I have
beginnings, have biographies, though which
is which is open to debate. Put it down to the fact
that my mother spoke rapidly, had a tendency
to blur her words so that I was never sure
if it was aliens or Raelians who had
abducted & cloned me when I was nine. Sent
the clone home she believed. Left the
real me wandering the world.

He  Me  We

grew up to be R2-D2, grew down
to be George Bush senior with chromosomes
so damaged by the cloning process
that any male offspring would almost
certainly be intellectually impaired.

Set out to prove Fermat's last theorem
but were beaten to the punchline.

Changed our name to Richie Valens.

Were so badly scarred in the plane crash
in which Buddy Holly & the Big Bopper died
we pretended we had died as well, disappeared
into another name change & forged a will
giving our new selves as the beneficiaries
in the hope that the cyclical nature of fashion
would make us popular again in thirty or so years
especially since our death had happened
in such dramatic circumstances
it would probably inspire a Hollywood movie.

It was a good call. We have lived off
the royalties & on an abandoned oil rig
in the Southern Ocean ever since. Spend most
of our time refining the definitive piece on
whether Procul Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale
contains more of Bach's Air on The G String
or his Wachtet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. But we
cannot agree. So in the meantime, in between times,

writes the poems

write the bionotes

& occasionally
we write to one another.

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