Miles Merrill is the creative director of the literary arts organisation, Word Travels. He is also a writer, performer, facilitator and event co-ordinator who combines poetry with theatre, experimental audio, hip-hop beats, stand-up and, occasionally, political confrontation. This is an extract from a three part group poem that was performed at The Riverside Theatre as part of a Sydney Festival show in 2005.
(Imagine us all crushed together on a train moving through the crowd as a clump, leaning when we turn.)
Every morning we form a multi-screen sightseeing machine.
From Home – (All repeating the following line together to a crescendo until Miles turns an imaginary nob)
To Bossland- where the grey pigs play, living another man’s dream. (All chanting like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory oohowee oh oooh oh)
In between is a network of clogged veins with a CBD heart.
I am a cell living in a vessel. Pump through the circulatory city on a peak hour vein.
My name stuck in the tracks
Written in the cracks
Rolling in the gap
Sea to city
Wombarra to Bondi
Parramatta to Kuring-gai
past Blue Mountains
I bust from a finger
a spray of blood into the bush.
(Miles runs from the group as they spread in straight lines throughout the crowd.)
Every morning you ride a serpent
over the bones of buried people
their foreign words float in your ear
Ghosts haunt you through familiar suburbs
(Chanting) Baramada Baramada Next Stop.
Don’t these trains chanting place names
If sorry is your only reply, guilt is implied.
Every morning a new trial to sleep through.
And here come the grey pigs (I sit and close my eyes)
Want more? Go to Follow That Sound next Friday ( if you can’t come to A View From Moving Windows opening night). Follow That Sound is a tour through the wild lanes and ancient gutters of The Rocks. Spoken-wordsmiths perform and magic happens!