Tag Archives: Melbourne

Places of interest: Where do you write?

5 Oct

I live in Melbourne, Australia, apparently one of the world’s most liveable cities. It’s won two years in a row despite its amazing weather (even the official government website warns: ‘be prepared for anything‘), hipster culture, obsession with coffee, and did I already mention the weather?

But this isn’t a post about what I love and love to hate about Melbourne so I’ll get to the point.

I tend to write most of my posts in my room. It has no windows, is perpetually messy and could do with more floor space. It’s good enough for blog posts and stories but I’ve never really been able to write good poetry here. I’m an inferior poet at my best times and somehow, whatever I’ve produced in my room … let’s hope they never reach your hands, or I could never face the mockery.

Last semester, when my one and only poetry class required about 200 lines of poetry as part of its final assignment, I took to wandering outdoors. I even considered sitting on the grass outside the beautiful State Library (despite my horror of dampness and assorted critters) but I settled on writing in cafes.

I know a whole slew of you will judge me when I say some of the better writings came when I was sipping some overly sweetened icy blasphemy of a coffee in Starbucks. I also put about 2-3 spoons of sugar into my (hot) coffee almost every time when I get it from more reputable establishments. Now you’ve condemned me to coffee-desecrators’ purgatory.

The two Starbucks I went into were very different despite being only about 5 odd minutes away from each other. One was filled with students feverishly preparing for exams. The other had lots of families going in and out, chatting casually and business people looking all smart in their suits, staying only for short periods of time before dashing off.

Some of the best writings (according to my tutor. I’m not judging them on my own) were written in the lobby of a church. I was sitting there for a good two hours, waiting. Perhaps being in church made me consider mortality and suffering, for two of the pieces that my tutor pronounced as ‘moving’ and ‘well expressed’ came from there.

Two poems were written in a food court where my peace was shattered by a large family. I wrote one angry poem condemning them and then another that might be the best in the collected 200 lines. I don’t know yet.

I bought a tablet so that I didn’t have to lug my computer around (though for poems, I found that actually writing them, with a pen onto paper was the most conducive way for me). Sadly (or thankfully), now that I don’t have to write poetry anymore, I don’t go out to write anymore (I play games on my tablet instead). And I lose a bit of the brilliance, rage and challenge of instantly recording in little snapshots everything around me.

Peter Galen Massey

Haiku, Book Reviews, Commentary & The Occasional Nonsense


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