25 November 2013


Because I went to a thing in Canberra and talked pomes at people.

I have just this afternoon returned home from the 2013 Australian Skeptics National Convention (#auskepcon) at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra. As everyone knows, these conventions consist of a room full of cranky, beardy old men sitting around hating everything and patting each other on the back for being so good at hating everything.

Except it wasn't. Thanks to everyone (especially the Canberra Skeptics) for a top notch do, and to all the people who spoke, organised, attended, made tea, drove me around, introduced themselves and didn't think I was creepy for hugging so enthusiastically. And thank you extra-specially for inviting me to be poet-in-residence.

I wrote and delivered seven pomes at the convention, all loosely based around the theme of conspiracy theories. So I'm going to post one pome a day for a week to make up for my blog-silence over the last couple of months, and then things should return to the usual pattern whereby I write intermittently about strangeness and idiots.

Poem One of Seven:  JFK

Fifty years ago, in Dallas, hatched a plan both cold and callous:
Rifle shots rang out and sped toward the presidential head.
On that day in late November, many here may still remember
When the news from Walter Cronkite came: “the President is dead”.
Then when Oswald was arrested and his innocence contested,
People thought he’d soon be tried, but something else occurred instead.
Two days later, one Jack Ruby shot him underneath his booby.
He was acting independently, alone. Or so he said.

Questions raised about the story of the book depository
Made the single shooter tale begin to look a little lame.
Soon the doubt became a series of scenarios and theories
About how Lee Harvey Oswald was set up to take the blame
To avoid the repercussions of revealing that the Russians
Working with J Edgar Hoover had been plotting with the aim
Of removing Jack from office, while a friend of Jimmy Hoffa’s
Worked with Castro and the mafia to bring about the same.

Still, distrust and obfuscation, after much investigation,
Linger on, from nineteen-sixty-three until this very day.
But this tale, though worn and dated clearly isn’t isolated;
There are many dishes served at the conspiracy buffet.
Like the fluoridation drama and the birthplace of Obama
HAARP and Roswell, GMO and Chemtrails’ evil, toxic spray.
Love ‘em, loathe ‘em or ignore ‘em, we’re all gathered in this forum
To investigate conspiracies, and why they’re here to stay.

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