November 28, 2007 at 6:46 pm | Posted in writing | 14 Comments
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I want to tell you about the second time I got arrested but the story won’t make much sense unless I tell you about the first time.

In the mid 1980’s I went to see Iggy Pop, live at East Leagues Club. He had just cleaned up and was in fine and outrageous form. Halfway through ‘Girl I Wanna Be Your Dog’, the young lady in front of me collapsed backwards, out cold from excessive pogo. I caught her under the arms so her head didn’t hit the floor and knock loose any of her many piercings and dragged her backwards out the front door.

While she was recovering I shared a huge Marley with the two enormous Maori bouncers who had trailed us out and as a result of my very minor celebrity they invited me backstage after the gig and one thing led to another and Mamu, the largest, got me a job as a towel boy in Anne Marie Tilley’s illegal brothel.

It wasn’t long before I was driving the girls to and fro and one warm night as I was waiting in the car for Candy, listening to the insects and thinking about the ontological status of fictional characters, I absentmindedly lit a tiny racehorse just as the cops knocked on the window and I was busted.

As soon as I could I told them that I worked for Mrs Tilley and they made a call to Jack ‘The Bagman’ Herbert and I was free, with an apology.

When I walked through the door to the unlicensed premises Carl Vermeulin gave me a depressed fracture of the cheekbone. Carl was a sweet simple giant of a man and it was truly sad that some years later somebody obviously thought he knew more than he did and he was murdered in the gym of Boggo Road Jail by two lifers and a 180kg bench press. I still have trouble with my sinuses.

Mrs Tilley was off marrying Fat Hector Hapeta again so that tap was the end of it and everything went back to normal. The girls quickly came to trust me, life was good and it was three years before I got arrested for the second time.


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  1. All the characters in this story are real people, except Mamu, Candy and the narrator. You can google them. This is my all time favourite document about the life of Hector Hapeta

  2. I don’t want to google them
    this is delicious writing, i’m not sated

  3. That Easts Leagues Club has seen some bands…and some brawls!

  4. home sweet home

    i’m adding you to my cyberhomeroll (no raw fish involved)

  5. oh, sushi time, i thought, but no, perhaps more sake,

  6. Thats my great aunt you are talkin bout dont dis what we do at least we have jobs

  7. Hello, I would never dis what anyone does for a living, everyone has to pay the rent and I certainly meant no disrespect to your great Aunt, although I should point out again that this story is a fiction woven around historical facts and I have never met her or Hector Hapeta. I hope you enjoyed the story and I apologise if it upset you at all.

  8. do we ever learn about the second time the narrator gets arrested?

    or if we do, can you link to it?

    what is the significance of this being your home?

  9. Here is the second time I got arrested, Purple.
    This story is set in my hometown, Brisbane, Australia in and around which I have lived all my life and this period in history feels to me like the origins of the person I am now, 25 or so years later and these are the type of people around whom I have spent most of my life, hence, Home.

  10. so, how much of this is true? Your story?

  11. Bravo, dear. I quite enjoyed this. I think you have a quirkiness that makes everything interesting. I like the casualness that you used toward the end–this guy was killed and jail, and I still have trouble with my sinuses. That’s really amusing to me. Just thought I’d share.

  12. Loved this Paul, and also Purple, that now sounds bigger and more beautiful :)!

  13. and i thought you were a great poet. holy shit. this and ‘purple’ are amazing. i’d request a full-length (novel? memoir?) but prose writing with this much care takes a long, long time and judging from yr sordid past, i dont know how long youve got! 🙂

  14. The middle sentence is the key from which the whole text, even this blog, all of it emanates. It is the frog hitting the pond in Basho’s truely immortal Sonnet Of Love, as translated by verbose, self-educated Australian poet. I say Australian because without a sense of place you’re a permanent exile, Squires.
    “listening to the insects and thinking about the ontological status of fictional characters.”

    So this is the first chapter of the new book.

    The “Listen”

    Everything emanates from a sound. Kerplunk, the first beat of your mother’s heart. That absolutely has to be the first point of separation of consciousness. As soon as you are aware you are hearing, you are aware of yourself as separate from the universe. The Tao is in the hearing without awareness of hearing. Then the ordering of things, categorisation, the naming of categories which gives rise to language, open your mouth, what the first sound that comes out if you don’t think and just open your mouth, Maaaa

    That is the sound of mother in almost every language. So we come to awareness of ourselves as someone who believes in God. And that she is an archetype of woman.

    And Art is born, as an attempt to recapture the connection, to be between heartbeats. To deny the existence of epiphanies is to deny all spiritual existence. It is cool, yes. Cool to the point of dead.

    The point of poetry is create a living connection between two humans. The intellectual exercise is always secondary.

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