THE CARATACUS BLOG

Nam si vos omnibus imperitare vultis, sequitur ut omnes servitutem accipiant?
(Tacitus, Annales XII, xxxvii)

20 Oct. 2005

Beggars

To beg the question surely begs the question:
Must questions exist merely because answers
loiter down blind alleys? Ragged beggars
of questions tout on every common corner,
litter the portals of our premises,
flaunt their suppositions for our pity:
their middles undistributed, their hocs
entirely post, their sequiturs all non.

Ad hominems, slope-sliders, logic-choppers:
shaking their poor amphibolies for alms,
making their hidden meanings clear with language,
with words that smoothly flow from line to line,
easy to understand, chock-full of grammar -
they thrive because we cannot prove they don't.

2 Oct. 2005

The Town Pub of Crapulence

I will arise and go now, and go down to the pub,
And a celebration have there, of beer and spirits made,
Nine schooners will I drink there, then give my eyes a rub,
And make a lunge at the nearest winsome maid.

And I will drink more beer there, for beer comes pouring slow,
Pouring from the Hahn's Lager tap, into the frosty glass;
There midnight's rather woozy in the bar-lights' lurid glow,
And dawn full of bouncers kicking arse.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day,
I hear good lager gurgling with loud sounds down my gullet,
As I stagger somewhat stonkered out on the pavements grey,
A pie-eyed, blotto, pickled mullet.

1 Oct. 2005

Pub-Fever

Oi must go down to the pub again, to the raucous pub and the crowd,
And all Oi ask is a pint of Old, and a band that plays too loud,
And the bouncer's kick and the pokies' song, and my eyeballs shaking,
And a hot tart with a cheeky face, and a bar-stool breaking.

17 Aug. 2005

The Days of The Royal George

A song of the Young Push, The Royal George Hotel, corner of King and Sussex Streets, Sydney, 1964

I

You'd walk in the bar and enter the realm
of the bright and the heightened soul,
where the wild boys drank and the wild girls too,
and the decks would tip and roll,
as we voyaged in schooners and glass canoes
down rivers of words to the sea,
set our course by the stars to fabled shores
where the myths that we made could be:

in the days of juice and certainty
such legends we did forge -
in the roaring days, the invincible nights,
in the days of The Royal George.



II

The Young Push ruled the Royal George,
where wharfies and Nazis brawled,
where Libertarians chased nymphettes;
where Larry, and English Paul,
Dimitri, Daphnette, Kate, and Chris,
and Newcastle John, and all,
would drink and sing the days away,
and the nights, till the final call -

in the nights of yippee beans and truth,
such legends we did forge -
in the roaring days, the invincible nights,
in the days of The Royal George.



III

The folksingers in the backroom,
sing, banjo and guitar,
and romances stir and blaze in the lounge,
and the Beatles blare loud in the bar,
and the Lads at the side-entrance steps -
tourists gape from passing cars
at their flying hair and Edwardian gear
as they hoist up their ale-filled jars;

all the singing and fighting and loving,
such legends we did forge -
in the roaring days, the invincible nights,
in the days of The Royal George.



IV

Oh, Rick O'Hara, and Zita and Jeff,
and Terry, Swiss Walter and me,
played cricket in Hyde Park, free as lords,
which the populace gathered to see:
and I clean-bowled Paul, who threw down his bat,
for he thought that it could not be done!
Then back to The George, to weave our tale
of an epic lost and won,

in the hero-days, when we strode like gods,
such legends we did forge -
in the roaring days, the invincible nights,
in the days of The Royal George.



V

We turned our speech into poetry,
our universe into our own;
and many a pair of flirting eyes
met mine, and, challenging, shone;
and many a smile made promises
as the evening's glow wore on,
as the beers were poured, and the parties planned,
as the hours passed, and were gone:
till the barman called out, "Time, gents, please!"
and we drifted off, one by one,

away from the songs, and the hero-tales,
and the romances we once forged -
in the roaring days, the invincible nights,
in the days of The Royal George.



VI

The pub in my mind is empty now,
all the wild boys and wild girls - gone;
and I say their names over like a spell,
whose faces and voices I knew so well,
whose friendship is some old story I tell,
whose handshakes and kisses I once could touch,
who smile to me now, just beyond my reach -

for we've finished our drinks, walked out to the night,
no heroic myths left to forge -
and the roaring days have faded and gone,
the days of The Royal George.


Beatnik Cricketers

The Old Push here, here, here, here, here and here.

Known Antecedents of The Days of The Royal George:

Henry Lawson

Bob Dylan

and again

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

and, of course, Mary Hopkins