I've seen it increasingly in the past few weeks, months, and years. And I have to admit that the problem is, if anything, getting worse. Yes, alcoholics with a poetry problem are seen all over the city, infesting our cafes, bars, and pubs, committing blatant acts of verbalism at tables, on stage, in front of microphones.
Many people in Melbourne will be asking, how has it come to this? How have we let our once-carefree alcoholics turn to these terrible, soul-destroying acts of poeticalness?
I suppose it must have all happened so gradually. An open-mic night here, a night that was supposed to be spent getting wasted on a bucket of ouzo instead turning into a ribald joke-telling session. Before these people knew it, they must have found themselves slurring metaphors and alliteration out in front of an appreciative audience. Sometimes these once-proud alcoholics don't even drink alcohol!
Yes, I know the temptation is always there to read a poem or two, to indulge in a spot of wordplay. But is it worth it, really? The momentary linguistic thrill you get from the pleasing combination of words, the felicitous use of adjectives, the charming and elegant way the poems are structured? Couldn't we be better spending our time drinking booze?
Perhaps it is time for concerted action from the state government: a crackdown from law and order on all practitioners of poetry, higher regulation, limiting the amount of rhymes that can be said in any one venue at any one time - that sort of thing.
I'm toddling off this afternoon to the Dan O'Connell Hotel, and I'm going to steadfastly refuse to indulge in any acts of poetry. Nope. Not one bit... Perhaps you could come, too, and contribute to Melbourne's thriving alcoholic culture. Perhaps I can help to dissuade other alcoholics from indulging in their poetry habit. For just one afternoon. Baby steps, and all that.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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