Fake poetry

Fake poetry

Let me tell you about poetry.
You can’t believe anything these days.
Even this poem is fake. I found it on the internet.
You don’t know if that’s true or not.
Fake poetry is everywhere. Don’t believe it.
People will say they wandered lonely as a cloud.
Clouds don’t wander. Clouds go on patrol.
That is a fact. Don’t like it? Call it an alternative fact.
This is alternative poetry.
How do I love thee, let me check your ethnicity.
Keats is dead so punch me in the face.
These are literary references.
I have the best references.
Believe me. I have the best poetry.
People always ask me about poetry.
Nobody loves poetry more than me.
We’re going to have so much poetry
you are going to get sick of poetry.
Some people won’t like it. Morons!
They are the enemies of poetry.
I’m going to make poetry great again.
I’m going to build a wall of poetry so high
poetry just got ten feet higher.
Twenty feet! I have lots of feet. Big feet.
The man who follows after me will have big shoes.
That’s an alternative phrase.
You don’t fill shoes. You use them to kick.
Kicking is great, I love it. I’m very good at it.
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow
dazed with pain beside the white
That is more li-ter-a-ture.
I need to spell these things out
because I am very smart.
I’m smarter than the average poet.
There are images in this poem
that are too complicated for most people.
I know images. I have the best images.
A lot of images out there are not great.
Bees knees. Bad image.
I do very well with bees. Bees love me.
But this thing with the knees, I can do better.
My knees have the most pollen.
That is a great image.
Cat’s pajamas. Cats don’t wear pajamas.
Cats are the enemies of pajamas.
You know what I do with cats?
Grab them by the pajamas.
I’m going to make pajamas great again.
This is a great poem.
People love this poem.
People tell me, that poem with those images
that’s a great, great poem.
It never rains when I read this poem.
This is my most successful poem ever, period.


Marcel Currin 2017

Awesome interview

The Bay News spoke to local author and poet Marcel Currin about his new book Go Random Strangers You Are Awesome which is a collection of opinion columns he wrote for the Bay of Plenty Times.

How did Go Random Strangers You Are Awesome come about?

The book collects the best of the opinion columns that I wrote for the Bay of Plenty Times between 2013 -2015. I set myself a very high standard for those columns each week, which was that my own writing was never allowed to bore me and it had to be something that people would want to read more than once.

Why did you decide to publish it?

I published the book for my own satisfaction. Writing the column was the primary focus of my creative energy for two and a half years and I wanted to have something to show for it. I continue to meet people who tell me they miss my writing so I figured it was worth putting it out there as a book. Feedback so far suggests it was the right decision.

A risk with this sort of collection is that the articles become dated very quickly, but Go Random Strangers is not shackled to its current events. A view I maintain throughout the book is that we’re all humans and we’re all in this together. That’s possibly a quality that helped my columns to stand apart as cheerful notes of thoughtfulness in a predominantly negative landscape. There’s something warm and generous about the collection as a whole, qualities we definitely need right now. I think it’s going to last the distance.

Where can you buy the book and how much is it?

$25 from Books a Plenty or the Dry Dock cafe. I got permission from the Bay of Plenty Times to self-publish the book on a small scale. It’s not a book that is trying to take over the world. It’s there for my own satisfaction and for the enjoyment of everyone who is lucky enough to get a copy before it sells out. It will eventually join Ministry of Ideas as an ebook on the Kindle Store.

How long have you been an author for?

I published a book of very short stories, called Ministry of Ideas, in 2012. It’s sold out now but is available as an ebook on the Amazon Kindle Store. I’m still very proud of it. It’s the sort of quirky little book I would love to discover and buy for myself.

I’ve been writing my whole life in one way or another. Since 2004 I’ve had poetry published in literary journals and anthologies. A poem I wrote about Memorial Park was once used as an NCEA English exam question. Imagine that, the entire nation of students stressing over my poem at the same time. I’m not sure that’s the best way to get an audience, but it was pretty funny to have people studying my work.

When did you first discover your love for the written word?

I don’t remember ever not loving reading and writing. Credit my parents for all the stories and Spike Milligan poems they read me as a kid.

What is your favourite type of writing genre and why?

I like anything that is written well and sparks new ideas. The words themselves need to be a pleasure. That’s what attracts me to poetry in particular. Both of my books offer individual morsels of writing that satisfy on their own terms.

Artist (a poem)


Franz came from Belgium
to weave swirls of espresso
around the coffee machine
at Alimento.

He dances with each cup,
precise yet tender in his choreography.

Swings with a blaze of stubble
flash of an ear ring
sugary beads of sweat.

A painter applying crucial swoops of colour.
Conductor of the most delicate music.

Even in rush hour
stoops to twist the saucer
just so

note perfect.


I just rediscovered this poem about a coffee barista. I wrote it over 10 years ago and I can’t remember where it was first published. I feel like I had a conversation about it with the editor of Poetry NZ at one point, because he helped fine-tune the ending, but I can’t find any issue where it appeared. Oh well. Here it is anyway. It’s nice to be reunited.

First tummy bug

Something different about his cry
two wide eyes in the dark
the tang of sick scratching the air.

Stripped off in the bathroom
his sticky blond hair at odds with the night
sleepy cheeks thrown wide awake

and his heart, like a mouse
or smaller, and just as quiet
flip-flopping somewhere

pumping his life to fingers, toes
—such a short journey
unswaddled by jackets and sweatshirts

sneakers and jeans—
tonight there is just the slope of his chest
the slump of a puku

a smooth little bottom standing clutched and clean
and his fluttering heart
silent, naked and sweet with sick

beating above a puddle of pyjamas
as he waits while I check the shower
against the strange new cold.

First published in takahē

Results from the inaugural and mostly failed midnight cat haiku competition

Last week I tweeted about my cat yowling at the door in the middle of the night.

Most tweets wither and die but I got a reply from Adrian Schofield who for some reason was also awake in the early hours. He tweeted: “There has to be a haiku in that.” On a whim I thought, sure, why not, so the next day I issued a haiku challenge.

I’m not exactly a Twitter giant and this was a random, lonely tweet that got lost in the wilderness. Adrian shared it on his Facebook page, so the few entries that did arrive came via Facebook. Accordingly, I’m going to award the prize to Adrian for moral support. Some fun offers though. Here they are.

Feline in the night.
Bellows out til dawn is near.
Will she find the rear?
Knock knock dumb human
I’m waiting here, don’t you know?
Look down…look down…look!

This would have been a strong contender:

Who are you kidding
No one knows how haikus work
Cats suck anyway
I summon thee slave
heed Snuggles the Destroyer,
Lord of the back yard
Not feeling too flash,
Want to blow chunks on the rug,
Come on let me in!

Notable entry from a 14 year old:

Oi please let me in,
I'll claw my way in you know,
You giant arsehole.

Painting with words:

yowl yowl yowl yowl yowl
yowl yowl yowl yowl yowl yowl yowl
yowl yowl yowl meow
You never feed me.
I'll meow while you slumber
Don’t mess with me.

This last one came via my own Facebook page and is arguably the best entry, but I know this guy and he already has a book. So Adrian still wins. Judge’s decision is final.

Belligerent cat
Immovable man. And still
A little door waits


Look how firmly it sits
on whatever glass table spans the horizon.

A continent of billowing sunlight
shifting walls of explosion
mountains stacked upon mountains.

It is the most definitive thing.
It is loaded with the thrill of its own weight.

How did such boldness arrive unannounced?
Where does it hide the slow churn of its gears?

I want to rap my knuckles against its secrets
step through its corridors
feel the pulse of its engines.

Massive harvester of the air. It gathers up silence like a bomb.


First published in takahē 2016