margarets dead is a dead poem

hello, so here we are now

huddled for this tented voyage

never ready for blunt-faced

rock star poets to speak

like main street pastry

sweet calorific word-units rained brutal

all yr fat thick metaphoric

les murray-style stanzas

spoken lines and maybe munted rhymes

here in this sacred semiotic space


hills n hills of rows of fine vines clarified

harrowed like hashtagged hashtags

a margaret river narrative

not even a weed in sight


and poetry is dead again, woke

n poured into glasses like weak jokes

and cigarettes, coffee roasters

and eighty-seven-dollar chocolate and cheese

and the baddest naughtiest ice-cream

born from shiraz cabernet dreams

of bastard vintage and political vinegar


and germaine spoke

like jesus and god and the spirit at once

in the wake of equality

a loveless dead sex

like uncles, fathers, brothers, men, boys

they loved even worse by the ones we love

banal sex in a 5-star marriage

sex is not always a broken penis, like unoiled guns

and cricket bats and knives and failure

and crimes against the state

and microphones dropped and poems dropped

and voices dropped like nooses

here on this stage


and i stood inside a football at easter

in the blinding southern st kilda sun

for either jesus to come back to life

like john snow came back

and knew nothing

and yet you, my friend, actually

know all of the things, mate

stolen bodies, stolen children, stolen words

and i sulked in the shadows of them

at anzac dawn

a shrine of woke remembrance

to gigantic television screens

deep inside the coldest cryptic concrete bunker

and forgot about fire, about poetry

that they all died without glorious clarion

limbless, pissing and shitting

in mud, blood and blood and blood

and bones scattered crude from cannons

screaming for all our beautiful mothers

or came back in a deathly silent gaze

or crippled in the acrid rancid smoke

in a chaotic ordered haze of stupid bullets

arms ripped to shreds

up n over the trench

a carpet of skulls and hearts

a torso of blood scars

i stood silent

like, waited for it

to hit me

and it didn’t

because lest we forget

we actually forgot

to remember

not to do it



and i am a man

a dead poet man

a middle-aged man

privileged, fat

white fucking man

a Wadjella man

in white man pants

in a white man shirt

telling you

that Noongar culture

is intrinsically more valuable

than a continental seasonal calendar

from kent, brighton

and the isle of wight

that makes no specific sense

to koolbardies and chiddy chiddys

in Boranup and Wooditchup

or the dark caves and coastal surf violence

of Boojarah noongar booja

n give us the new old names of things

to tell more real stories

in south-west tents

to new people in old mans skin

that six old seasons live here

are better than four colonials there

and here we are now

deep inside the death of poetry


and so, with money to burn

we drip n spill words into this

voyager dirt

a flinty aftertaste, some bulk tannin

of contraband novels, short fictions

truffle encyclopedias

best-sellers, worst-sellers

written solo in cages

and all the simultaneous

consumers of our text

in the same space

right here right now, hello

if i could sing i would

and the song would be sung

bold like an anthem, the first post

a stunned nation of anarchists

who can only vote for politicians

and burn poems written in cells by

australians of the century

australians of the decade

australians of the year

australians of the month

australians of the week

australians of the day

australians of the hour

australians of the minute

australians of the second

australians that have no happened yet

and we thank them all vociferously

for dying in unison

in bloody chorus

on nicely fonted posters

in transperth buses

because the end of times

is right here right now in this tent

can you see it? mate

look, this man here spitting syllables

into another white wine region

because the words got written by hands

and fingers on keyboards, pens, pencils

crayons, ochre, scratched onto rocks

in silence

and yet we speak them

in groups, in teams

in empty white noise

because poetry

is not dead yet

we speak ourselves into

prolific existence

we push poems into you

into your face

off the pages

into the air

the salt and eucalyptus

of this southern sky

these poems are for you

and if you breathe them

you wake the dead

you woke the poems up, man

because you hear them


in this tent

the poems are not dead

this poetry does not reject you

these poems may reflect you

this poetry will inject you

these poems will infect you

are you ready…?


Allan Boyd (aka the antipoet) March 2019

NOTE: This piece was written for, and performed at, the 2019 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival, where a handful of Perth “Slam” poets and I were invited guests. We performed our stuff to a packed, lunchtime audience - immediately after Germaine Greer’s talk on her definition of rape. The event, held in a huge white tent, under a gigantic Australian flag at the Voyager Estate Winery, was a few days after Anzac Day and a few days before the 2019 Federal Election. We were chauffer driven to the gig in a new Jaguar – or may have been a Benz…

MRRWF Website:

BIO: Allan Boyd (aka the antipoet) is a Perth-based poet, writer, musician, sound-artist, organiser, educator and anarchist - performing (and pontificating) activist poetry and art experiments at myriad gigs, events and festivals in WA and across Australia since 1995. He hosts the monthly Perth Slam; is the Australian Poetry Slam WA coordinator and is currently undertaking a degree in Cyber Security at Edith Cowan University. He says: “FUCK SHIT UP!”