Mick Bocchino

Mick Bocchino was born in 1954 in Woodville, S.A. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 majoring in English, Philosophy and History at Adelaide University and a Diploma in Education in 1989 also at Adelaide University. Mick worked a variety of jobs until beginning work as a high school teacher in English, History and Drama in 1990 to the present, and is currently working at Marryatville High School.

Mick was an actor with the Adelaide Theatre Group between 1982 and 1985, and the Australian Performance Group in 1985-6. In 1985 he published a collection of poems titled The Also-Is of Work & Play through Words and Visions Press. He has had a number of poems published in the Friendly Street Readers, and was co-editor with Adèle Kipping of Friendly Street Reader No. 15.

He travelled overseas in Asia and Europe between 1986 and 1988.

Mick is currently living in Adelaide after several years of contract teaching in rural South Australia.

poor bugger

the rickshaws go like flies-abuzz about
this carcass of a city.
& another poor bugger, another creased face
leathered legs smells me out & no,
not to be pitied Asia’s dregs but another hunger
at the base of its work or die pyramid.
he says
  ullo mistah. where going. take cheap
  no problem. all over Yogya.
i say
  oh, just walking, just jalan-jalan.
he says
  only 300 ruphiah. one hour.
  no problem.
just an hour ago it was 400
poor bugger but
can he remember me from the other strangers
can he comprehend my occidental desires,
and further, yeah, that i see us as
mere dream of Brahma we
caught in the dance of cosmic wheels
he wants me to hire …
  I just wanna walk, OK!!!
his look is …
is stark disbelief because
its 34 centigrade T-shirt-sticky-busy so
  maybe tomorrow-mingin besok
i offer with a limp smile.
his look then is …
is stark unrelief because
he can’t but hustle
  poor bugger
because because becak-becak
he’s tired of sleeping in his bike
&, I imagine
  tired of looking for sustenance
  in a tourist’s face.
becak-becak-becak …
  poor bugger.

From No. 14 Friendly Street No 14


blessed with sorrows
the little man in white smiled the proof
of penance done barefoot
at the roof of the world for fourteen years.
a young Japanese bows
  “one asks for everything, Swamiji,
  that they might know life.”
  he replies
  “and another has received life,
  that they may know everything.”
i ask nothing
as all my questions are revealed as just that.

blessed with sorrows
is that mantra to muse on along the mountain paths –
where the invitation to discovery
is simply …
to drop the viewpoint
& enjoy the view.

From No. 14 Friendly St. Poetry Reader


sometime near the end of the lesson
i ask her lightly
  ‘where exactly are you, then?’
she smiles thinly, says –
  ‘oh, not here.’
we both know its tough
to not think about the Accident.

At 14 she’s old, is part and whole of this tragic ripple
that starts with the finality of death –
cars bloodwrack blood toofast now pooled
useless like mum&dad and Brad forever –
now just the pain of memory and forgetting.

minutes become lunchtime
when bells-knee-jerk-room-explodes
all soft words
but she stops,
looks out the window, says –
  ‘i just don’t want to think anymore, ever’.

we have been taught too well
how not to share the knowledge
that we weren’t so immortal after all.

From Friendly Street No. 15