The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “CORNER”.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080504.mp3]

Jon I and chatted about the CD launch the night before, bits and pieces from our respective weeks and the topic.

Ed Bates provided the backing this week.


in the corner of my brain, my memoirs lie in store
a tangled mass of odds and ends, just like my undies drawer
a battered little toy box holds the memories of my youth
where bullshit, myth and fiction live side by side with truth
they reside in perfect harmony, in fact they share one heart
after all these years cohabitating i can’t tell them apart

the ship we built from a fruit box, survived pirates and a fierce typhoon
the aeroplane we made from a dustbin and crossed the world in an afternoon
the sword carved out of balsa wood that smote every evil doer
digging for buried treasure and smashing a hole through the sewer

the places we held most sacred, the tree house, the municipal tip
the scrap heap at porter’s timber yard and the local shopping strip

rising up above the clouds, like Camelot of old
the local corner milk bar, the letters spelt out in gold

every lolly you could ever wish for, at times it could almost unnerve you
so much choice it drove you insane, not to mention who ever had to serve you

you’d stride through the door, clutching your coins, heart pounding in anticipation
the look of terror on the shopkeeper’s face, their heart pounding in trepidation

you’d pull out your coins, count them five times, then march to the counter at last
the proprietor’s eyes begging for mercy, praying you’d get it over with fast

“2 freckles, 4 black cats, a musk stick, 12 bullets, 8 ju jubes, an umbrella then maybe
2 sets of teeth, 6 red indians, 10 bananas and 12 jelly babies”

“um —- forget the teeth, make it 2 cricket balls, six snakes, but make them all red
i’ll swap the 8 ju jubes for 4 – no 2 choo choos and 6 spearmint leaves instead”

“now i’m 2 cents over, so make it three red indians, 4 raspberries and 6 liquorice blocks
a big boss cigar, a packet of fags, 4 freckles and 12 lemon drops”

“i forgot all about the aniseed balls so the ju jubes and bananas are gone
swap the snakes for 8 milk bottles, the umbrella for a sherbet bomb

after nearly three hours you’ve got 2 cents left, your mission is nearing it’s end
in the blink of an eye, you’ve changed your mind and you start all over again

everyone’s losing their patience but you’re not about to retreat
this is a major transaction, who cares they’re queued into the street

you know your rights – you’re not about to be rushed, you’re a kid, you like the suspense
the other customers will just have to wait, i’m mean you’re the one spending 20 cents

“on the other hand if i get a gob stopper then the cricket balls get the gong
you get 32 bullets for one all day sucker but then of course they don’t last as long”

“but i really wanted the black cats, so forget the freckles and fags
i’ll have 16 bullets and 12 spearmint leaves and i want them in separate bags”

“24 jelly beans but i don’t like the green ones, the stress has put me on edge
bugger it give me a sunny boy, 2 snowballs and a bloody chock wedge”

you learnt more at that shop than you managed at school, addition and multiplication
the discipline to make a decision and the art of negotiation

how to survive in a hostile environment, harried, heckled and disparaged
lessons that opened your eyes to the world, prepared you years later for marriage

the old corner stores are a thing of the past, excepting in memories and dreams
loose lollies figure little in the few that survive it’s all smokes and porn magazines

now i drink at the Lomond and that’s on a corner, and i know what i want, no doubt
so pour me beer, no a vodka – wait, a whiskey, —- bugger it give me a stout

(fade – spoken)
what about a brandy and coke, tequila perhaps? — nah
um — ah, a sherry, yeah, a cream sherry, no wait a minute, make it dry, yeah, that’s it, a dry sherry
or a port, tawny port —- or a portergaff!
shit i don’t know —- give me a packet of peanuts will you!
ah, no, make it salt and vinegar chips
what, no salt and vinegar chips? —– bugger, i really fancy salt and vinegar chips!
ah you pick, give me anything —- no i don’t want chilli chips —- nah stuff the twisties —– no i don’t like bbq flavour —– beef jerky! what do you think i am?
James please just pour me a beer!
jeez, how long do you have to wait to get served around here?
no, i never asked for draught! James i did not mention draught!
you know i don’t drink draught!
maybe a pale ale, but definitely not draught!
blonde — i could try a blonde! —– could — but i won’t!
VB definitely —– definitely not on tap —– from a stubbie yes, but definitely not on tap —- definitely not! never!
practically never!
well, not usually anyway.
sometimes, but not usually
sometimes, sometimes quite often, yes, i’ll give you that, maybe even most of the time —– perhaps
bugger it! i really fancy salt and vinegar chips!

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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