Swaghead - an epic journey in 12 cantos
Ever thought how a lone man, an Australian outsider who is not what he thinks he is, might give himself a second chance and become a hero, at least to himself? This is an epic with a difference. It narrates the story of a young man, Jesus Brown, who embarks on a sea journey as the poet Swaghead. As in traditional epics an event becomes the turning point in the narrative, usually a storm. More
Ever thought how a lone man, an Australian outsider who is not what he thinks he is, might give himself a second chance and become a hero, at least to himself? This is an epic with a difference. It narrates the story of a young man, Jesus Brown, who embarks on a sea journey as the poet Swaghead. As in traditional epics an event becomes the turning point in the narrative, usually a storm. And so it is with Swaghead. And after the storm he is soon in the clutches of Ha Ha Satan who, with Swaghead as his audience delivers his diatribe with a lisp. And there begins the first of three strange encounters Swaghead will endure, climaxing in a violent act which may or may not make a difference to his life, although it must be done.
This is a story told with an unusual mix of verse and prose, wry humour and contemporary fantasy; and with an underlying melancholic tone that is bound with hope, expressed through characterisation and drama. The narrative is infused with contemporary cultural and musical references, and hopefully it will entertain the reader.
HE’S JESUS BROWN BEFORE HE LEAVES,
HIS HOME OF WALRUS WILL SOON VANISH,
HE’LL BE SWAGHEAD WHILE HE GRIEVES,
WHEN HE’S ALONE ON SPURIOUS SEAS.
This planned escape will stall my life;
For I’ve no purpose,
No commitments to claim,
I’m unsure whether I really belong;
It will be better then, that I journey,
Away from family,
And away from borrowed mates,
That I may clear a few things up.
It’s because of something I’ve lost,
A crux of ordinariness,
Which I’ll be losing again,
After this journey’s made me a hero.
And while I’m gone
I’ll do the business,
And mull over my carnivale condition,
Because I am not who I think I am,
And that’s the understanding.
Let journeys begin in night’s cold themes,
In lovely autumn, before it’s passing.
Let it begin in the local graveyard,
For the unwelcoming dead to dispute
The truth of their sad intruder.
There’s no real greeting,
Not armed, decorated, nor clean,
My sad eyes are aimed too high, too low,
I’ve no principles, and so far
I’m feeling sorry for myself.
The dead stir beneath my Blundstones:
‘Look at our broken bones, no marrow’,
‘The worms have got to know us
And have rewritten our epitaphs,
While eternity envelops us.
Why is he here, this reinvented con?
L‘allegro masquerading as doom?’
I’ll sneak past the poet’s cafe
And past the post office,
And away from a purging pub.
I’m to follow a shooting star
And the Aurora night will be mine again.
Soon I’ll hear the loner’s ballad
Floating from a rocky crag.
Enough is never enough, it sings.
Dark waters flush, and flush again,
There’s a goodnight rhythm to it,
Like no other circadian cycle.
And a contiguous sea
Is soon to seduce me, Jesus Brown,
From my Walrus home,
An island state town
Beneath Terra Australis,
I’m from a nation of endless sunshine,
Blight with flies, dicky desert beats,
Where blends the dry and conurban.
For under shade at bbq’s
There gathers communards of friends,
In drinker’s shorts
And skimpy numbers.
They who mingle over holidays,
And Saturdays at the races.
No greater a nation for prosperity
In two o o nine!
And in times of drought and fire
No greater a nation for mateship.
Longest by shore,
Dreamed of by wandrin’ custodians.
Once came transportation and Him,
Sodomy and European fanning;
Cities grew from cubist planning,
And squatters were never evicted.
No land is developer’s land;
Dry, with a curved spine
Deeply imbedded to its east.
Ownership is by colonial deed,
And few now walk and reveal that land
In spoken word and dance.
White evangelists got the romance,
And mixed ochre with blessed wafer;
Converts were mustered, never to return,
Their ancient roots left fallow,
And sewn into sterile prayers.