Thursday, June 28, 2007

Finishing a manuscript is a deeply emotional moment. Printing it out and sending it off into the world even more so. It's like sending a child off to school.

You weigh it in your hands.

You look at what was until now only pixels on a screen. A damn lot of pixels but pixels nonetheless. Now it's three hundred and eight pages of hard copy.

You flick through them.

You just know the judges of the competition you're sending it off to won't love it like you do, won't understand this strange little retarded infant you spawned, but you always will. Or will they? Who knows.

Here are some photos I took before I sent my child out into the big bad world. For three years I carried it in me in various forms, and I carried in that strange incubator known as my laptop. In fact it outlived two laptops, two Toshibas, and I carried it unharmed into a third, a Dell, only a month ago.

This morning it was spat out, all three hundred and seven pages of it.

I was unsure my printer would cope with it, whether the sides would split and it would bleed black blood, but it didn't. Sure it had a minor panic halfway through the labour but a restart soon fixed that.

When it was all out I dried it in a towel, looked over it to make sure it was all there, and naturally as one does with a newborn after a long labour, photographed it with my laptop camera.

Then I casually printed out the placenta-like Synopsis.

My hands were shaking as I filled out the entry form for the ABC Fiction Award 2008 and a stray tear of black blood left my laptop I'm sure.

Then it was off to the post office.

I felt like I was putting it out for adoption, betraying it almost, but no - I was sending it out into the world, hopefully to be judged less harshly than me, who knows.

So here it is, hopefully you'll hear more of it. Either way they say it's the journey that matters anyway. Not that a journey to a book deal isn't always better than a journey to the Dole office, but...

I call it Molochio Leather.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Was Attacked By A Bush Poet!

Here's an old poem that I've just put this here for Wednesday Kennedy in response to an on her blog at

It's a true story incidentally.

I Was Attacked By A Bush Poet.

I was attacked by a Bush Poet it's true; he looked like a rabid Orson Welles

as his porky fist popped buttons off my collar & his face grew pink as a dingo’s bits on heat.

Yeah, I was attacked by a Bush Poet at the peak of a Spring Writer's Festival

after consuming the sponsor's fluids in the stale starchy air of the poetry marquee.

The gaggle of poets had gathered around to do what they did best; compete,

for a minuscule monetary prize,

and a rare shot in the bloated blue veins of their egos of the finest uncut kudos.

And then I was attacked by a Bush Poet,

sure, some would say I was asking for it

with my smart-ass dago mouth and threads and my 'Stop Jabiluka' badge.

I'd actually quite liked his verse;

a mild departure from the Lawson like rants about

horses and hills and sunburnt bullock trains,

and hard blokie homo-erotic fantasies about raping the land for a Queen -

all as alien to my existence as that sad Union Jack in our flag.

So I congratulated him, sincerely if not soberly,

as he pulled back his Akubra scalp

and continued to guzzle at the barrel of Guiness which explained his stout physique.

As his bloated face came down all that he seemed to notice

was the bold black and gold of that Jabiluka badge pinned to the rim of my ethnic leather

and so he began a tirade supporting uranium and sprouting mad Menzies wisdom.

Naturally, I didn't agree.

In fact, I'd just come from the ERA embassy,

and heard of the ferals risking their lives against the dumb ugly evil of Darwin police.

What I actually said to him is beyond me,

but I'm sure it was delivered with the silk like bite of a polite chardonnay

and an accenting flick of the wrist.

Then it happened; his porky fist flying towards my collar like a logger on acid,

then pulling it towards his plump matronly features as he began to bellow;

"You macchiato sipping inner city smart asses,

you dole bludging, drug addled, commie, hippie, poofter, scum.

Pauline’s right; you should all be gassed, you Greenie Wog Asian Jew Blacks."

All around me writers turned, poets even halted tugging dumbly at their drinks

and sat silently in the amphetamine air of violence awaiting my baited reaction.

Now, I'm a runner not a fighter

and while I'm not averse to thrusting the blade of a sarcastic word

into the Achilles heel of an enemy's sole,

I've never been in a fight in my life and I plan to keep it that way.

Like Ghandi said, You can't fight fire with fire, only water.

So responding in kind to his primate violence was never in the equation.

Besides, I'm a card carrying coward, and for all I knew, this yob wrestled crocs

and I couldn't fight my way out of a yeeros bag.

So in the end all I could to do was wave my hands in the air

and place my fingers in victory as I began to recite John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance".

Before long the pacifistic logic of the lyrics

caused the old bush bard to have a cerebral haemorrhage

and begin to fall t'wards the floor like a hard wood

only to be caught by his ‘mates’ and dragged quivering to the tune of "God Save The Queen"

into the annals of history

(where, some would say, he belonged.)

©Benito Di Fonzo. Oct, 1998.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Beyond The Valley of The Summer of The 17th Doll

After the beautiful failure of my combining the literary styles of Raymond Chandler and Lewis Carroll (see my latest idea for a cultural mash is a blend of the cinematic style of Russ Meyer (Beyond The Valley of The Dolls, Vixen, Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, Beneath The Valley of The Ultra Vixens) with the seminal Australian theatrical work Ray Lawler’s Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll. Just think of it – 60s psychedelic soft-core porn blended with the rough elegance of the Australian outback. I could bring out all the sexual undertones of the outback and blend Strine with 60s hipster speak. I’m going to call it Beyond The Valley of The Summer of The 17th Doll. Discuss.


The Loneliest of Cities?

I just read a reviewer refer to London as “that loneliest of cities,” but I wonder, is it really? Surely the loneliest of cities would have to be an Australian town, even Sydney – those sparse, empty spaces, be it the landscape or the never-ending suburbia. Sydney does not even have that sense or artistic community of, say, Melbourne.

Sydney is an empty town where empty people leave their single flats to sit on vast, hot, salty beaches and not talk to one another, the loneliest of cities easily no? Discuss.