Bogans on the Bus

Transports of Delight

I get on the bus, and it’s empty except for three other passengers. One man in very nice shoes is sat right up the front of the bus, looking like he’s trying to practise invisibility. The other two are a couple of clearly drunk middle-aged persons. I tag on and walk past Mr Nice Shoes. He stares straight ahead. I soon learn why.

As I’m about to pass the couple, the bleary-eyed man says “Heeeello” and reaches out a hand to grab at me. I dodge him, say “Hi”, and keep going. This from the Grabber: “F–k you c—t, I was only being polite.”

From my position far, far down the back of the bus, I now notice that the woman with the Grabber is holding a dirty Chux to her forehead. She starts a halting but firm diatribe at the man.

“Who are you … even though I’m with you … who ARE YOU to tell me … to tell me to shut up?”

Man: “Oh, here we go.”

Woman: “Who … are you …”

Man: “Heerre, suck on this.”

Woman: “I’m not sucking on anything! I’m bleeding!”

Man: “Just finish this [evidently meaning drink].”

Woman: “I won’t finish it! … We’ll share it.”

Man: “How will we share it with you … with you bllessshhudinuh?”


The woman suddenly shrieks at the bus driver. “SHUDDINAHHHERE? We gone past it?”

The bus driver, to his credit, calmly replies, “Yes, we stop at the train station.”

Woman: “This gaawdutha train station?”

Bus driver: “Yes [sigh], we stop at the train station.”


Me? I press the bell and get off at the next stop, no matter where the hell it is. Sorry to the bus driver and Mr Nice Shoes, you’re on your own.

Cafe Poet Update: CHALK LINES


Last weekend’s inaugural CHALK LINES was a modest success, with the (mainly baffled) patrons of Il Lido watching poetry in motion while they ate their lunch.

The event was in celebration of National Poetry Week. I wrote my own original poetry on different surfaces all over the restaurant and the footpath outside. I wondered if I might find out first-hand what the local laws about street art are, but the po-po never made an appearance. One Cottesloe resident did tell me he would put me under citizen’s arrest for vandalism, but he was quickly appeased when I included his dog Daisy in the poetry-art.

Penning a poem on a window.

I spent the perfect spring weather scribbling all over the restaurant with chalk pens and sidewalk chalk, and dropping cards of poetry on the tables. Most popular was the poem ‘What Is She’ scrawled across the white tiled walls of the ladies’ toilets. Everyone likes something to read in the bathroom, after all.

It was gratifying to have people approach me and start passionate conversations about poetry. One kind gent even bought me lunch to “support the arts”. ART DOES PAY! He drove past later and recited a poem out the window of his car. What a champ. I also had the joy of watching a couple walk along the footpath reading a line from one of my poems to each other.

The staff were equally supportive, encouraging me to write on the windows and passing along feedback from customers. Il Lido is fast becoming one of my favourite spots in Perth, and not just because of its support of poetry; the view is unchangingly gorgeous, the food is mouthwatering, and the whole establishment has a fine appreciation for its place within the community and Cottesloe’s history. It has a very comfortable atmosphere.

Chalking away on Marine Parade.

The only black spot in my sunshiny weekend was the fact that I misspelled “poetry” in one of my chalkings. Luckily there were plenty of eagle-eyed passers-by keen to notify me. What helpful souls.


POETRY IS DEAD. LONG LIVE POET(R)Y. (And long live typos.)

Cottesloe set to get poetry-bombed this weekend


We are currently in the midst of National Poetry Week (5-11 September), an initiative by Australian Poetry to WRITE, BUY, SHARE, LIVE and CELEBRATE this engaging artform.

I’ve been the Cafe Poet at Il Lido Italian Canteen, Cottesloe, for the past three months, and I plan to celebrate NPW by dropping a poetry-bomb on Il Lido this Saturday and Sunday. It’s an event I’m calling CHALK LINES.

People having lunch at Il Lido this weekend will find that poetry has crawled across the footpath, leapt onto their tables, squeezed itself into their sugar packets and burst against the walls.

Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s poet laureate, said, “Poetry is all around us, all of the time.” And this weekend, this literary sentiment is going to become quite literal for the patrons of Il Lido.

Find CHALK LINES on Facebook.

Cafe Poet update: Putting poetry on the table


Patrons at Il Lido cafe, Cottesloe, can find poetry tagged on the table vases.

Il Lido Italian Canteen has been kind enough to take me on as their poet-in-residence, and now the fruits of that residency can be seen around the restaurant.

Il Lido decorates its tables with vases of fresh flowers that are changed regularly; some days I’ll be writing under the shadow of purple irises and other days it might be long-stemmed artichoke hearts. They’re just the kind of friendly touches that make Il Lido such a lovely place to go every week.

Now the vases have a new addition: ‘poetry tags’. Every other vase has a tag tied to it, and each tag carries an excerpt from one of my poems. Diners can read a grab of poetry while they eat, and maybe it’ll inspire them to check out some more local poetry.

Il Lido is on the corner of Marine Parade and Forrest Street, Cottesloe. I’m there every week, and I welcome company! To find out when I’m ‘Cafe Poeting’, follow me on Twitter: @perth_massive