Geoff Goodfellow

Geoff Goodfellow began his career as a poet at Friendly Street in 1983.  Since then he has published ten books, most going into multiple print runs. His first book No Collars No Cuffs, originally published by FSP, has now been through nine print runs.  His Poems for a Dead Father (Vulgar Press, 2002) was short-listed for the Age Book of the Year Award in 2002.  In 2008 Geoff was diagnosed with cancer.  He has made a great recovery and now has a synthetic voice box installed in his throat.  His battle for survival is recorded in Waltzing with Jack Dancer: a slow dance with cancer (Wakefield Press, 2012).  His most recent book Opening the Windows to Catch the Sea Breeze: selected poems 1983 – 2011 (Wakefield Press, 2014) includes a 3,500 word Author’s Introduction detailing how he transitioned his working life to become a poet.  Geoff has read his poetry in Canada, USA, Cuba, China, Europe and the UK, as well as around Australia.

For more info visit his website.

Just Like Pirates Had

they reckon
it came out as easy as a first tooth
that afternoon
in the pub at Semaphore
& two weeks after, in the same pub
he’s half declared himself
a folk hero

reckons now
he’s gunna cop it sweet
the invalid pension better
than the dole cos you don’t have
to front the office each week

reckons he’ll kick a goal with
compo too
heaps saw it
the other bloke just drove
two fingers straight in
ripped it out & stamped it
into the front bar lino

so now
he gets to wear this
real neat eye patch
just like pirates had.

From Friendly Street No. 9 & Tuesday Night Live

Tailor Made

she slid along the bar
gliding to the clink
of glasses
the swish & snap
of a beer tap
& knew just what
that customer wanted
when he said
give us a bit of head
but smiled politely
as good servants do

but he obviously thought
he could still be a chance –
slid his White Ox
into his overalls pocket
& changed to tailors –
anything to impress

said y’ new here aren’t y’
on his next one
where’d y’work before

i was an SP she said

jeez i don’ mind a bet
wouldna picked y’
fer a bookie tho
not in a million years

supporting parent she laughed
tossing back her hair
& moving up the bar

& while she was talking art
to a bloke two up
he eyed her split skirt –
caught her eye & big noted
he’d been to Pro’s last opening

then switched to house white

& as she slid across
his change
he pulled her closer
with a wave of his head
said softly –
i’d love to get into y’r pants

her eyes flashed like
the blinking fluoro above her
as she replied
with the blush of a schoolgirl
the polish of a professional
i’m sorry but i’ve got
one cunt in there already
i DON’T need another

& he hasn’t been back yet
for his tailors.

From Friendly Street No. 11 & Tuesday Night Live

Don’t Call Me Lad

Don’t call me lad
just don’t call me lad
got more hair on my balls dad
than y’v got
or had

i’m eighteen years old man
& i’ll sink or i’ll swim
just don’t call me lad
my name is James
or just Jim

& now that i vote dad
my party is green
get away with those flags dad
red & blue are both mean

y’can roll up y’r sleeves dad
& slip on y’r tie
y’ can rant & lay guilt trips
but i’ll spit in y’r eye

yeah i grow some plants dad
but i’m keeping it cool
four’s not a plantation
i’m not such a fool

i just can’t find a job dad
year twelve was a waste
two friends have just died dad
too much of a taste

yeah i get the dole dad
though it don’t do much good
but don’t call me lad
i’d work if i could

now i’m mellowing out man
this home-grown is just wild
so don’t call me lad
i’m no longer a child

so don’t call me lad

i’m no longer a child.

From Friendly Street No. 13 & Tuesday Night Live