for the good of mankind I must now slaughter you without mercy

111If you’re not heading to Passionate Tongues tonight, La Mama Poetica will come alive with words from Angela Meyer, Ben Pobjie, Sean M Whelan, Briohny Doyle and Barry Dickens. Poet Lynne Dale‘s vox pop ( several posts below) has got all of us Overland Overloaders thinking about the largely invisible (in terms of visibility in the bars, pubs and libraries of the poetry reading trail, rather than in the poetry itself) domestic lives of poets. Overloaded’s Ben Pobjie is the father of three children, including six month old twins. On poeticising fatherhood, he waxes:

It seems like only yesterday
You were a tiny child sleeping in my arms, innocent and unaware and peaceful
And now you’re such a strapping lad, tall and strong and buoyant
And so I think it’s time for me to tell you
That you’re a terrifying genetic freak and I’m going to have to kill you

It seems like only yesterday
I bounced you on my knee and read you bedtime stories every night
And now here you are out in the world, seven metres tall and impervious to conventional weapons
And so it’s come to that time in every father’s life when he must say, Son,
You are an abomination and for the good of mankind I must now slaughter you without mercy

It seems like only yesterday I fed you with a spoon
It seems like only yesterday I watched you in the bath
Playing happily with toy boats and squirty Bert and Ernies
It seems like only yesterday and yet it’s true
They grow up so fast
In fact in your case you grew up in less than 72 hours and began glowing with an unholy radioactive aura
And now I have to get out my plasma cannon and my magic sword
And hunt you down
Before you melt anymore trains with your breath

It seems like only yesterday
You were my beaming boy
And now I suppose you still are, in a way
Although your smile has taken on a terrifying aspect of pure evil
And though it seems like only yesterday I said to you
I’ll always be there for you
Now I can’t help feeling that my only purpose in life is to wipe all trace of you from the face of the earth so that the human race can start anew with hope in their hearts that this nightmare will eventually pass from their memories and let them sleep at night without waking up screaming with visions of your unstoppable destruction hammering in their wretched, horror-twisted brains

And I guess that’s what fatherhood is all about.

-you can catch more of Ben’s work at La Mama Poetica this evening.

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  1. Just a quick note to Maxine and others: was checking the site stats, and it’s clear that this Overland-Overloaded project is generating a lot of traffic. So congrats to everyone involved.

  2. Clearly, there are real possibilities online, though funding’s always a problem. Are you putting your hand up to edit somehting, Maxine?

  3. I don’t believe in poetry being sole edited and I’m not nearly open minded enough. You’d need a team.

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