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george anderson

George Anderson was born in Montreal and presently lives near Sydney, Australia. He started writing poetry about four years ago and has published  poems in dozens of publications worldwide, including Zygote in My Coffee, Scorched Earth, Divan, Get Underground, Real Eight View, Thunder Sandwich, Remark, My Favorite Bullet, Antipatico, Thylazine, Megaera, Blackmail Press, Southern Ocean Review, and Five Bells


Leaving Motueka, New Zealand


Greg slaps me heartily

on the back/ drunkenly

says I can stay for breakfast

says he’ll cook us up ‘a big feed’

of bacon & sausages & eggs

says there’s a bed out the back

says if I’d prefer- I can sleep with him

He cackles loudly & I’m unsure whether he is serious


This is another one of those stories

where things go wrong; fuck up

the sort of times you wish you could have handled

situations differently

but that’s where the joy & essence of life comes from-

you rushing headlong into the moment

without fear

without you fully thinking it through

At the time I was working for Lex Boyce

on a tobacco plantation in Motueka

I was a handyman of sorts around the farm-

slashing the sweet flowering laterals of the plants

placing the string-bound tobacco sticks into the kiln

shifting the aluminium irrigation pipes from paddock to paddock

plucking the sticky black weed along a motorised four-seater trolley

Anyways, it was my last day in Motueka

I planned to hitch down the west coast in the morning

I was standing half-pissed outside the Imperial Hotel waiting for something/

anything to happen- it’s closing time

earlier in the evening this crazy chick on the dance floor

kept grabbing at & squeezing my testicles

perhaps she was somewheres about

A bloke emerges from the bottle shop with an armful of DB

‘Hey mate, where’s the party?’ I ask.


We pile into the back tray of the Hilux

Its engine growling as we curve along the narrow dirt road

bouncing like penned sheep, trapped in time

A couple of ks up the road

a young cop pulls us over & says:

‘OK you cunts. Everybody get out.

Including you shits on the back.

Driver, let me see your licence’

Young Doug is instructed not to drive

the vehicle until 4AM but as the police

tail light disappears from view

Doug hops into the truck

& as the truck speeds up

he lets out a wild whoop-

& it seems that everything is permissible

that nothing really matters but the moment


The party ‘did good’ for a while

there was a bathtub full of grog

the host seemed affable enough

but as people started to leave

I could feel myself nearing the edge

I was talking to this tall blonde bimbo

and I asked her something like,

‘Why do you put so much shit on your face?’

Her face buckled inwards & she quickly left the room

I grabbed a large half eaten food platter of

                                                     nuts and chips and carrot and dip &

tossed it over my shoulder at her

Greg runs into the room> He’s seething > He’s

shouting at me above the music:



I sense he wants to fight

& leave the party immediately

I know I can smash his dopey face in

I don’t want to lose another visa

Staggering up the cold road.

I’m disorientated. I walk

for about an hour

presumably towards town

& later try to sleep for a while

in a ditch

clutching my jean jacket.

I continue my journey

& come across a cannery

I’ll allowed to sleep on a pallet

In the night- for some reason-

I dreamt of an unimaginable

horror- that I was being married!

But when the time came during the ceremony

to sign my name in the Marriages Registry

I began writing obscenities. ‘Fuck you- you cunt. Who

The fuck you think you are? Etc…’  Everyone was laughing.

I decide to call the wedding off and speak to the father of the bride

We agreed to split the bill for the wedding which comes to $10,000

I agreed to pay interest as well. I work out that I would have to pay $140

per week..

In the morning as I’m thinking all this

I hear someone sweeping at my head

He reckons I was walking the wrong way

I hitch to Motueka, pick up my gear at the batch

& start thumbing for rides down the west coast



I don’t know what prompted me to record this experience

nor what I have achieved by it

but every last syllable is true-

apart from the dream near the end

which was told to me by a friend about twenty years ago

He rang me the other day and explained

how he was trying to get his daughter enrolled in the conservatorium

how they had joined the choir of a local church group as a stepping stone

how much her tuba playing has improved lately through private tuition…

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