September 13-19, 1999: Joel Spencer and David Barnes

Week of September 13-September 19, 1999

Joel Spencer  and David Barnes

Joel Spencer


My name is Joel Spencer, I live in Melbourne, Australia I have published one novel in Australia I have had many jobs I am 25 years old.

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Joel Spencer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Seeing you among uni students
They were
rushing toward their accidents
open-mouthed, limbs
giggling with the energy
of unlearning
Unlocking all the traps
that had so slowly wound about them
over the years
The future a catastrophe of moonlight
You were
leaning over the bannister,
you were
a wind without flags,
a rumour of body parts
flung together
in a perfect accident.

Moving House (again)

The winter we left
was a mess of elbows and papers We were ‘shipping out’, seeking port
blindly in seething cloud

of couches and the strange
smell of sharehouses
Other people took us in
because you knew them and they took pity
on you for me
Shining from behind
the persian curtain
of yr eyelids.

David Barnes


I am very much Australian, I moved from Paddington, my birthplace- New South Wales, on to Victoria, where after graduation as a ward of the state of Victoria I started work at 13 as a carpentry tradesmen in Melbourne, leaving for the bush to build indiginious- Aboriginal Settlements in the early 60’s, and had a wonderful time- living, working out bush, a great people who showed me their love of the land-

After 11 years at that, I took what I could (driller, trench digger,  stockman, petrol pumper, cook, whatever) for a living & experience I traveled then took up picking Folk Guitar, singing at the main Folk singing centers & festivals throughout Australia Travel,  included turns about Australia, Tasmania, England, & France I also spent time in the USA in 1994- (mostly New England, Boston,  & Rhode Island, with a turn inland to Michigan)
In Perth I worked in Real Estate for 24 years until my wife died of lymphomia cancer- in October 1996 We met in Alice Springs- 1971 The, Northern Territory- “top end” as it was called back then- I have lived in Perth since 1972– I Married here– I fell in love with Perth-on my first round- Australia trip– and concluded,  that if I “ever” married-At 29 years of age- I did– that I would Settled here in Perth, a wonderful state
I traveled from the age of 17- until I was 29–

My writing began when I first took up playing Folk Guitar– at 18yrs of age- and has continued all my life- I really started writing poetry- later in life, and became a full time writer/poet in 1997

I built Poetry Downunder May 1998– firstly for my own poetry, and somehow it just grew into what it is today–

I have a young son — Daniel- whom I am very proud of, he is now – 12 years old-a great lad and good fun to be with- and I love being a “mum & Dad”
I currently work in Perth, hard at the operation of this website,  I have been published in England America and around Australia online- and in odd Anthologies somehow- I came 3rd in Auzlit au online Victorian poetry competition in 1998

I am currently revising 100 poems for publication, and completion of my book Sacred Dances
The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by David Barnes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


i am Australia
land of bloodred sands
mountain’s- wide open plains

living my structured life-

i blend unseen
forage for food
down nature’s dream-

i have lived your brutality
i neither fear- nor hate
accuse or forgive

more wounded than ire-

your fumes rise
choking you continually

when you destroy yourself-

who shall work?
in your glazed towers-

live in your emptiness.

Sanitarium Society

You meet them,
Incumbents for the public —
Men suited in blue, black, gray, over the years
Faces that smile benevolently,
Soulless beneath veneered facades,
Eyes smiling, ice-cold, calculating,
On whose tongues silken words emanate,
Mesmerizing tones to ones ears Seeking to feed you sanctimonious morality Men who bury veracity in obscurity,
Baubles that, if unclothed in light of day
Burn with the heat of disclosure You heed
How they preached an art
Practiced in the corridors of power,
Justification of their unholy alliance,
Suppression of fact
For it is not in the public interest
This can of worms wriggles,
Threatening to open before them —
And you listen and watch,
Absorbed by the jaws of schematization,
Inlaid with ambiguity over time Tormented in spirit,
Licking wounds, beliefs-dismembered in surgical precision,
Weary and opposed, you publish truth beliefs —
And still the Jackals nip your heals in deceit,
Disguised to cleanse the brotherhoods And you You find you are expendable,
Classified a war-causality waged in deceit and deception These religious men of repute,
Captive of thirty piece of silver —
In their hands you place mistaken trust,
The doctor, the surgeon, the lawyer, the politicians accountants;
You dance with the devils in the sanitarium society And when one in status falls
Another rises takes their place
You wonder,
In whose hands can you place credence?
Surely not in men
Arrayed in blue black and gray.

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