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"My Friends" by Komninos

this is one of my all time favourite poems

my friends.

my friends
get drunk at cheap hotel
after cheap hotel
day after day after day
and return home with wilted vegetables
and aching heads and guilty consciences.
my friends
take fast train trips to fitzroy street
to score
get on
and get off again some time later.
my friends
sit in coffee lounges
learning to say spanakopita and macchiato
spending their present
contemplating their future and their past.
my friends
design pamphlets
mix glue
and spend their nights plastering the walls of popular streets.
my friends
write songs
write poetry
paint pictures
make films
act roles
dance wildly
express vividly.
my friends
sit wide eyed mulled up
bonged out
in front of television screens
night after night after night
my friends
drink coffee smoke cigarettes
drive motor cars bite fingernails
write poetry to the demon god war.
my friends
were born after the year zero
the year hiroshima burnt
the year man proved there was no god.
my friends
grew up with television sets as baby sitters
suckled by advertising and disney cartoons.
my friends
hailed the beatles as the new messiahs
and rock and roil as a new religion
only to be exploited by their church.
my friends
danced the mekong delta boogie
and the tet offensive rock.
my friends
thought they were living in england until 1972
and knew definitely they were living in the u.s.a in 1975.
my friends
hold placards march for peace the city streets
in government monitored demonstrations
knowing that the powerful
will not give up that power without a fight.
my friends
did not leave the city in the seventies
who stayed
and who stewed in it.
my friends
have not settled down to a volvo a pool
a home and a family.
my friends
have begun an unending process of questioning
which constantly uncovers the contradictions
of this existence.
my friends
sit at home
crying alone
in their chosen aloneness.
my friends
sometimes dream of a volvo a pool
a home and a family
or a mudbrick cottage in the bush.
my friends
wilfully lie bi-weekly for their survival
to government counter staff
who know they are lying
and wouldn’t help them if they weren’t.
my friends
justify their existence
by means of submission government authorities
conforming to guidelines rather than ideals.
my friends
wash dishes sell coffee
wait on tables pull weeds
do anything to supplement their meagre incomes.
my friends
desperately try to resolve their differences with parents
trying to understand why they spend the rest of their lives
sorting out what happened to them in their childhoods.
my friends
have babies with asians and africans
so that they can have amazing little children.
my friends
want to be parents
before they are too old
to enjoy parenthood.
my friends
resisted the societal pressure to marry
but cannot deny the biological pressure to reproduce.
my friends
think more seriously about parenthood
with each successive abortion.
my friends
fail in and out of love
depending on how insecure they’re feeling at the time.
my friends
steal vegetables from market stalls
to help stretch the weekly budget.
my friends
grow their own vegetables
to cut the cost of living.
my friends
take toilet paper from coffee lounges
government buildings hotels and picture theatres
to help cut the cost of shitting.
my friends
are attracted by youth
but know they are beyond it.
my friends
take trips outback
to be closer to the real Australians.
my friends
return knowing they will never belong there.
my friends
learn spanish
so that they can be closer to the struggle in el salvador.
my friends
wake up in strangers beds
with large hangovers.
my friends
count wrinkles and grey hairs on birthdays.
my friends
wait patiently for the phone to ring
or the door to knock or the postman to call.
my friends
work 9 to 5 jobs to afford their social drug addictions
alcohol marijuana coffee and nicotine.
my friends
know what herbs are good for you
and what teabags to drink.
my friends
ask for free range eggs at hamburger joints
to make a political point.
my friends
lick plates in restaurants
to constantly remind the others that people are still starving
my friends work hard at being non sexist
whilst trying not to hate men.
my friends
feed cats kangaroo meat
so they won’t eat the native birds.
my friends
have seen mountains grow out of molehills
mount collins place mount nauru and mount grollo rialto.
my friends
have been mesmerised by the fluorescent
lulled by the white noise dazed by the neon
subdued by the transistor and the silicon
and intimidated by the air conditioning.
my friends
and me

Kominos 1/87


Thanks Jess for sharing this

Mona Rose

may I ask why it's one of your all time favourite poem?

I think it is Australia's "Howl" (Ginsberg).

The long answer would take an essay

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author comment

we're all eyes :)

would rather see you do some work on the thermometer poem.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

I read this yesterday out loud to barry and led it sink it. Yes. It is exactly that: Australia's howl and Weirdelf's Watermana.


to be included with "My Friends" and "Howl" is the highest praise I've ever received.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

It's a blog of a poem by an Australian poet called Kominos. It only refers to me in Anna's comment including it with "Howl" and my poem "Watermana"

But it's pretty fucking terrific, eh?!

And yes, it does say a lot about my life, as I have lived it. It's one of those poems I wish I had written.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

I do however appreciate their works..sexton and plath
indulged wealthy people

We were middle class
with contacts to the very poor and the very wealthy
where we sat both at times...

Great poem Jess shared here..
If this was written in 1987 then its a great poem!!
I remember the coffee shops..Very poor and run by
idealists then...Before grunge...before starbucks took
over our Bay Street in Toronto of which I hung out
by the way when I was equally eating from dumpsters
and getting good food from a food bank Jamaican lady
under the toronto Gardiner Expressway...

My girlfreind then and I would dig through garbage
in Davisville..Smokeshop garbage gave up some
Cohibas one night!! Davisville is the most upscale
place...My friend had a room there with others..
he is connected but we competed too much.. he won
maybe...old money.>I had none..but it allowed me
acess to that world..

Okay closest thing I can say is in North Bay Ontario
on Highway Eleven North Google Maps is a place
called Coffee has the most bestest view
of our lake.. WHEN I really feel like living it up
I go here....not very often....In Toronto I ate from
Scott Mission Dinner strofoam handouts and
sat at bar called SILVER DOLLAR famous then
not sure about now...

I wrote shitty poetry before this and had a lot of
very hard assed critigue of towns on my case
the ONLY reason I write decent shit now is
that I licked my plate and raised free range chickens
in the last twenty years....Otherwise I would
still be even more obnoxious then I am

when all is said and done.....I had some good
times...I had some hard times..

Lonnie is right you ARE capable of writing

Thank You for this great poem from that era
that I lived!!!

Your friend Steven!

An epic on life and somewhere in there awake, lies the backbone of this world that are never seen, but we know of them because we can walk about our cities and countryside in a kinda freedom that they allow us to have. That they suffer and we still fail to see is mankind as it has evolved.
Ask the poor how the poor exist never ask the rich or those in power how on the backs of other they can walk and enjoy their Marinas and clubs.
Sometimes the only club they see is offered to them by a policeman that is there to separate them from those that have..
If only I knew where they scavenged I would throw better things away.
In that I cannot change the way we have made..
It is a very great write that shows a picture of the main stay of humanity in its inhumanity, very sad and always makes me angry that we have under dogs when we could all have more, and the children would become a proper evolvement of our species.I will shut up as this grates on my ways, everyone is my friend even though I may not be theirs, but I shall work on it for the next thousand years or so..
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

This just goes to show that even non-rhyming poetry can be memorable lol (couldn't help mysef). This poem describes both ourselves (at places) and the ones who almost everyone knows. Howl is very apt as it has a wildness about it without being hateful. Appreciate your posting it................stan

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