Digression via vertiginy


This little piece is in a sense, a spiritual (I hate that word – note: replace) successor to The Loser, which I wrote back in early 2011 and published this year. A unifying principle between this and more recent thoughts, is one I expressed in September

I hope to unsettle, to induce doubt in misogynists (and racists, and ablists, and racists, and homophobes, and so on), through short fiction, poetry and satire, directed at the commonplace. I want to implicitly suggest uncomfortable questions, and yes, I will enjoy watching certain types of people squirm as they doubt themselves.

This can be generalised, of course, to include people who aren’t misogynists, or racists, or homophobes, or so on. If I can induce a little discomfort more generally where people are a little too comfortable (the wealthy?), so as to induce a little reflection, then that’s useful as well.

The following piece is intended to challenge genuine misogynists, through to those who may be a little too casual with their use of a certain reference to female genitalia. I can’t help but think that using sexual references in the negative, is a little too puritan as well – sex is awesome.

I hope to polish things a little in future, in preparation for ambushing an open-mic, or a poetry reading session or two. It’s possibly too long for a slam, although I haven’t rehearsed it yet.

[Note: References to genitalia over the fold, to keep the censors happy. Paraphrases an actual conversation that may trigger some people, so there’s that as well.]

Digression via vertiginy…

Traversing that cultural core-sample,
spiralling down layers of social stratification,
commuters atomised and otherwise hold their tickets
aboard the notorious Trans-Adelaide Gawler Line.

Next stop: ‘SmiFFField’.

On hops Tough Man (or boy, or whatever),
along with knock-kneed, hip-hop Sidekick.
Both are soft of facial hair, and skin,
though tough man has retained the baby fat.

Tough man’s talking into his mobile phone,
as tough men do.
Maybe he thinks he’s in Layercake.
Maybe he thinks he’ll tear this town up.

Next stop: ‘Broadmeadows’.

Tough Man struts the aisle, back straight.
Tough Man swaggers.
Tough Man puffs out his chest, waiting to be received.
Tough Man looks like a pubescent pigeon.

On hop three of The Laydees.
Sidekick steals furtive, yet obvious glances.
The Laydees don’t notice Sidekick.
Tough man doesn’t notice The Laydees – he’s got through to his mate.

‘He said he’d get his mate to smash me!
They know where I live!
I hope he sends him around; I’ve got a butcher’s knife!

Sidekick worries The Laydees will be put off.
Sidekick doesn’t want to miss a screw (whatever his chances).
Sidekick doesn’t want to get his head kicked in.
’Hurr… hurr hurr… B-B-But cunts are useful!’

Sidekick’s token opposition isn’t noticed by anyone other than the inner embodiment of his own shame.

Next stop: Womma.

In earnest hope, Sidekick eyes Davoren Park’s Sexiest.
Two generations of Cold Chisel and AckaDacka,
Honed to a point, wrapped in polyester nightmare,
pokes through Sidekick’s servo sunglasses, into his brain.

Strangely rehearsed, Tough Man talks to the next guy in his address book.

‘He said he’d get his mate to smash me!
They know where I live!
I hope he sends him around; I’ve got a butcher’s knife!

Sidekick’s sweaty crack begins to quiver,
intestines turning into a bag of snakes.
He knows the comparison is belittling,
He’d like to be able to set Tough Man straight.

He just doesn’t want his face smashed in.
He’d like to be loved as a feminist, and as one of the blokes.
Can he be brave, and non-confrontational?
Can he synthesise before he fouls himself?

Next stop: ‘Lizabeth.

The Laydees leave the train, off to Barnsey-knows-what.
Tough man wants to watch a movie.
Sidekick, the failed feminist, wants to go to the toilet.
He’ll be appeasing Tough Man for now…

No. It’ll be more months of solipsist, circular obsession,
searching for the key to his transformation;
to become the perfect friend to women,
and the best mate to all blokes.

Until then, he’ll just settle for what Tough Man wants.
Maybe there’ll be tits.

~ Bruce

2 thoughts on “Digression via vertiginy

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