Nice to see you.




I grew up rural working class. Much of my work is raw and from experience.
Many stories and poems published worldwide.

2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)


''They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes,
Within a dream.''


Contact: anthonyjlangford2@yahoo.com.au

I'm proud to present... a smile for your dial!




Not so long ago, in an independent galaxy near you...
A very talented Poet just released his second collection;


Put a Smile on that Face




BUT WAIT!


You may not be into Poetry, many aren't, but this isn't a book about Mrs McGillyicutty's visit to the green rolling hills. You'll find it accessible, chockablock full of biting black humour and startling revelations to boot. You'll find a couple of examples further down (some of the poems are quite controversial so I've posted, shall we say, more PG examples), but prior to that...

Check out the blurbs from the back cover.




‘Eerily reminiscent of the late poet Stan Rice, Kirwan’s words can almost be read as a sarcastic spiritual confession. A ruthlessly honest exploration of the human psyche, on one hand it seems a self-help book for the fabricated dishonesty of society, on the other it gives voice for those who have none. Humour is speckled through Kirwan’s observations, refreshingly brash and unapologetic. Yet there is an unrelenting bleakness to his words, a bleakness all the more tangible because every sentence, every word, is true.’ - Claire Fitzpatrick, poet, journalist



‘The dark, acerbic world of Dominic Kirwan’s second poetry collection may churn the stomach with its no holds barred content, yet in the same breath, can bring about air splitting laughter. It’s smart for certain, but its heart stopping honesty will keep you coming back for that one more fix. Enter the catacombs if you will, but don’t expect the mirror to be kind. It’s far too pure for that.’ - Anthony J. Langford, poet, film maker 






Yes that's my blurb from the book. I do know Dominic but I have never met him. I support him because I truly believe his work is not only unique but astonishing. I challenge anyone to find work that even comes close to his. As an artist myself in search of truth in life and art, I've never come across a poet so deliciously in touch with the folly of the world outside of Bukowski and make you laugh while ripping your guts out. A big call yes, but I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it. 

Please support a unique Australian talent,  shunned by the mainstream bores (so far), and know that you're also supporting the arts and independent publishing. God knows in this capitalist world, we need to preserve our ground roots artists. Plus the guy's living on dry biscuits and baked beans. 


You can purchase it right here...



Gininderra Press (Print copy)  (less than $23)


Amazon (ebook/Kindle)  (less than $6!)






The Last Funeral

When the Funeral Director died
No one quite knew what to do
Thankfully, in a show of stunning foresight
He had left behind a list of instructions
To be followed exactly
In the unlikely event of his passing

Black balloons lifted his coffin into the sky
Mourners shot at it with BB guns
Being somewhat inexperienced with firearms
They missed him
The Funeral Director’s casket soon disappeared completely
Drifting into the ether
A vanishing black speck in the eye of the sky

So at the official Wake
Of the official Funeral
Of the last official Funeral Director
An announcement is made:

“There will no longer be any more funerals.”

Death is standing next to a bowl of spiked punch
When he hears this
He adjusts his burning, syphilitic testicles
Shifting them just a little to the left
This sudden, unexpected news
(although it should have been blatantly obvious by now)
Rips through him like wildfire

Death realises
That this truly is The End
He is out of a job
He sighs
He grips both sides of the punch bowl
He dunks his face into the fruity slop
And like a pale horse at a septic watering hole
He proceeds to drink

Three raucous hours of drunken debauchery later
Death is dead
According to the Coroner
It was alcohol poisoning
According to those who knew him
Death died of a broken heart

There will be no funeral.




Excerpt from This is a Public Disservice Announcement

Perhaps the colour blind
See the world as it truly is?
Maybe only the deaf
Can hear what is actually going on?

We need light
To recognise the darkness
That surrounds us
The blind have no such handicap
Yet they bump into things
That are not there

If you are completely blind
And you are reading this
I can sympathise
Something needs to be done
The light at the end of your tunnel
Does not come in Braille

If you are completely blind
And you are reading this
You really are doing quite well
But you may be a hapless victim
Of gross misdiagnosis

Do you see what I mean?

...


Mr. Kirwan also created the artwork.




The original La La Land


artist unknown - possibly Dan Dingler or S. Steindorf**


I was physically assaulted...

...in Ireland in 1997. I spent a week in hospital. Afterwards, for some months, (actually years) I was in a state of PTSD, without really grasping it. In those days, counselling wasn't as prevalent as now. Besides, I just wanted to forget about it. The entire trip was about to trying to relive some past glorious days living and working in London.
Anyway, I was in a brief relationship straight after that incident. It folded after five months, but I was greatly upset over it. She wasn't anything special. Truly. I had latched onto her, seeking solace, without realising. I returned to Australia with my tail between my legs, with two years of violent nightmares to come. *




In 2011, I wrote this poem about it. I was alarmed at the number of people walking around, clueless as to their surroundings. It's worse now. It's an epidemic. People have a false view of the world around them. Shit can occur regardless of course, but you can avoid trouble if you're alert. 

The poem was published in 2014. Here's the post where I announced it. (The site that published it has not archived the actual poem).
So here it is again. The original! Nothing to do with Ryan Gosling but when I saw the La La Land title pop up in IMDb in 2015, I had to laugh. 



Welcome to La La Land


Not without an inkling
I was cautious
As I revisited, a former life in London,
Now faded.
Snippets of smiles, with a nasty side unseen.
A formidable facade
Passing off as reality.
And so I entered La La Land
Without knowing.

I had my heart ripped out by a twat
Who was only a reciprocal for
My post-traumatic stress.
I’d spent a week in hospital in Ireland
After having my head kicked in.
Wrong place
Wrong time
My actions, barely relevant.

That sense of security
Right and wrong
Is a fucking pretense.

Safety is an ideal
Not a surety
If someone wants to bring you undone
To the extreme
They will.

So go on with your headphones
Your swagger and your ethos
As you smartphone your way into oblivion

This is La La Land.




More Poetry




* I have no memory of the assault. I don't know what happened. I did have my head kicked in. I had swelling on the brain. Horrific headaches. I couldn't see out of one eye due to swelling for some time. No broken bones however. 
Unfortunately it was the second assault I've received. And no I'm not a troublemaker. The complete opposite. A story for another day.

** Thanks to artist Laurie Langford who first shared this image.

Top Ten Films of 2016, Resolutions and some feelgood loving



What's worse than New Year's Resolutions?

New Year's Resolution Memes





Howdie Folks,
G'day Mate
How are ya love
Good day to you
Peace and Goodwill for the Year Ahead
Could always be worse
Could be a damn sight better.

I hope you're well, I truly do. Life can be a shit fight at times. A constant ebb and flow of dilemmas, decisions and insecurities. Doubt lingers and assholes thrive. It's always been that way. This year will be no different. Hopefully we might cope with it a little better.

Let me know how you're going. You can leave a comment on the site or drop me an email. Some people reached out to me late last year following a few related posts. Yes I was down in the dung-heap. I went to some dark places. No need to reiterate; you can go back and check if you like. It's all right there. Thank you to those people. It did help. I really appreciate it. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a young daughter, I don't know where I'd be right now. Truly. It was .... like that. (And let's not even go into all the shitty politics, terrorism and celebrity deaths of the year).

So let's get to something more 'up', perhaps a little frivolous, though films are a passion of mine, so perhaps its not frivolous at all. Here's my Top Ten films of 2016. Obviously I haven't seen every film released in the year, so if you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments. Others might benefit too.

Let's get into it. As always, there's no particular order.




Image of Captain Fantastic


Both a comedy and a drama, Viggo Mortensen is brilliant in this tale that challenges the way in which we live told within the context of a fractured family. Fresh and invigorating. 





                                                                Image of Son of Saul


Officially from 2015, this was nominated for the Best Oscar for foreign film. It's a holocaust film, told from the point of view of a man forced to work to help exterminate his own people, but it's the unique way it's filmed that brings you in close and personal. Brilliant. 






Image of Hacksaw Ridge


What made this film so powerful, aside from the incredible battle scenes, is the content itself, being based on a true story. The buildup felt a lot like Full Metal Jacket and other films, but the second half is stunning, (especially on the big screen). An excellent return for Mel Gibson as director, even if he did cast Sam Worthington. 




                                                          
                                                            Image of Free State of Jones

An aspect of history that I was not familiar with made this story a fascinating one. That's always worth a few extra points. I like the way it was shot, and Matthew McConaughey is a fine actor.





                                                             Image of The Nice Guys
                                            

Comedies are usually a mild distraction but this was hard to resist. Nice to see both of these actors stretching their talents, and the nod to Lou Costello was hugely appreciated by fans of the legend, namely me. (Ironically Lou was mentioned in Arrival too).




                                                                 Image of Snowden


True stories well told are always worth watching, and there's not many incredible stories of individual courage like Edward Snowden's. It's overlong but it's a return to form from Oliver Stone, who's made nothing but shit for years. Big Brother is watching, and it seems no one gives a shit.




  Image of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The first real Star Wars film for adults. No cutesy moments for kids. This is a dark tale. Main characters die. There are complex motivations. Ben Mendelsohn was great. And it all ties in beautifully in the lead up to the original film from 1977. (RIP Carrie). I don't think we'll get something this 'real' from the S.W. universe again.
                                                              



                                                                 Image of The Lobster


Bizarre and bold. Released late 2015 but could feature at this year's Oscars. Hopefully it will. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is a genius (check out his earlier films) and Colin Farrell is superb.




                                                               Image of Arrival

I wasn't interested in this at all. The trailer looked woeful. I only went because nothing else was on. What a surprise. Far more intellectual and engaging than I expected. And there's a close connection to parenthood, which resonated with me, obviously being one. Amy Adams was excellent.




I have a feeling these films might make the grade, but I haven't had the opportunity to see them as they haven't been released yet and/or available on Home Media (and no doubt a whole bunch of indie films that haven't surfaced yet).



                                              






                                                                Image of The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Lastly, a toss up between Genius, Deepwater Horizon, (more true stories), Midnight Special, plus another Michael Shannon film in Frank and Lola and Embrace of the Serpent but I'm going with The Autopsy of Jane Doe. I feel like I'm too old for horror movies. Most of them are merely jump fests, but this one really tried to step outside the cliches and originality is always worth honouring. With a great actor like Brian Cox on board, it says something about the quality in place. Very well directed and pretty creepy. 


I'd love to hear your views/recommendations. 


I have a couple of books by friends I want to share with you in the coming weeks, as well as more Poetry of course, short stories, and more videos. I'm hoping to ramp things up this year. Something's got to shift. Let's see what happens. Despite my cynicism regarding New Year's Resolutions, I am feeling quite positive. 


Take care of yourself. Until next time.... Peace.




The Force will be with you... always.






Top Songs of the Year and Christmas Wishes


Hi,

Here's some tunes to end the season on (or is that begin the season? It's all a bit silly). Please take the time to check them out. There's some great tracks here.

It's not really my Top Ten. There are a whole bunch of songs I liked this year, though perhaps nothing too outstanding (or am I just getting old?). Nah. 😉😈



































So here's to you in hoping that you have a good Christmas and get some time to relax.

I couldn't decide on one image, so what the heck. Have a great one and hope to see you on the other side. Thanks for sticking around. You're a legend.




       





The reason I deleted Facebook


Hi,

Hope you're doing well, and that's genuine. (drop me a line)
Facebook? Far from it.

You're probably on Facebook and that's okay.
I was for years. About seven I think.
One day, I'd had enough. Why?
Many reasons perhaps, but let me sum it up with this little poem.




Needy much


Every ailment
Every deserving cause
Every suffering soul
Hoping for a little solace
Hoping to be considered
At least
Begging to be saved
Too tremulous to suggest a thing

Lost to the swamp
Of the self-serving
Relentless posting
False empathy
Cabbage leaved wrapped
Plasma draining
Dialysis desperate
Attention junkies

The loudest voices
Demand the most immediate service
And in persistent droves
Drenched in the cry for sympathy
While the crippled swirl in silence
Too proud to plea
As they’ve always done
Below scrutiny
Suffering
Out of sight
Rarely in mind.



Summed up even better in this:
The Best Anti Social Media song in history.













More Poetry

More Satire 

Cheers!














Gamblers



A Melange a Moi *

You know that point you reach
Where plenty matters still
Maybe too much
But if they asked you
To kill yourself
You might just do it

There’s an attraction there
A push/pull philosophy
That’s hard to unravel
If only it wasn’t so ‘cemented’
In the finite.

Those who decry ‘big picture’
Insisting on personal responsibility
And what about them
Have no conceptual grasp
Of where you’re at
Which is why you’re here in the first place        
And they so removed
So far from this…
And that’s their unconscious
And unappreciated blessing.

Which leads us to
Tonight’s roll call.

And the number is…




(A mixture or medley of one, Me)





 I wrote this months ago (early '16) but now that it's up , reminds me a little of a short video poem I made five years ago.




All very cheerful. Admittedly, not in a good state of mind at the time.

More reading, Men and suicide. 

More positive material coming soon. Promise. 





Famous After Death - B.S. Johnson


B.S. Johnson, writer, poet and teacher decided in 1973 at the age of forty to slip into a warm bath at the family home while his wife and two children were away, and slit his wrists.






Why did he do it? He had six novels published in the early sixties to early seventies; two collections of poetry and had directed a bunch of short films for the BBC.




Unlike most British writers before or since, Brian was born into a working class family. It’s always made a difference and he certainly felt it. Yet he was smart. He could match wits with any of those stuffy, secular bores. In fact, he could surpass them. His work would not be mainstream or even left of field. His work would be ground-breaking. He would be lauded as a pioneer. He believed a writer should have lived the life that is being written about (unlike many who believe a little second hand research is enough. Times haven’t changed). For his novel, Trawl, Brian joined a fishing expedition on a small boat to the icy Scandinavian waters for three weeks. He paid a price for authenticity. He was horribly sea sick for the entire voyage. The fact that he persevered demonstrates his commitment to his art.







His novel The Unfortunates was based on his dear friend Tony who died of cancer before the age of 30. The death troubled him. His vibrant equal, reduced to a pasty 'pastiche' of a human being. Brian was devastated. 

The novel was presented in a box with the pages in sections, with the notion that it could be read in any order. Thirty years later, others thought they were being original with similar approaches.





Yet he struggled to find an audience. Early reviews were good, but sales low. He thought the public stupid (a thought reiterated by many creative talents for centuries) and the literary circles conservative and elitist. He could not find a foot into any other territories, a fact which caused many arguments with agents and publishers, often ‘firing’ them or creating conflict to vent. He did have a temper, (it often seems born out of frustration) and he could be harsh. 






He found one appreciative soul in Hungary. His talents were recognised and he was invited to Budapest to meet other writers and intellectuals. He went, more than once, and even spent an afternoon discussing film and literature with students, one of the highlights of his professional life. Before he turned to full time writing, he was a teacher and in fact spent a year in Wales later in life in University residence, teaching only a couple of classes a day so that he could write, with agreement from the university, demonstrating their recognition of his ability. His wife Virginia went with him too. He enjoyed his time there, yet it was quite isolating. He loved the outdoors, but it was not enough. He did not wish to hide forever. He wanted the recognition he felt he deserved. The family returned to London. In many ways, nothing was ever the same again.



Brian forever felt like the outsider and never received the recognition he felt he deserved. As he became older, he would pick fights with those in the literary world, often people who were influential, showing no shame or fear. He struggled with it all, though he loved his wife and two children, (it took him years to get over an early relationship). Brian was overly sensitive, which the best ones are, as its their sensitivity to people and life that provides those unique insights. He loved Virginia but believed (perhaps rightly so?) that she had fallen out of love with him. 






Certainly sensitivity comes at a cost, in an almost Faustian way. Their soul is sold to the Devil at birth, it seems, without their consent. There’s an inbuilt compulsion which drives them. It’s not a choice. However they do want to be accepted. And in a world driven by sales (majority rules), that’s never going to happen to true originals like Brian Johnson. Like many with artistic abilities, their gifts are not recognised, (aside from a scant few) until years, sometimes decades later.


Brian knew that his time as a filmmaker and writer was limited, certainly in the style within which he worked. To change is to sell out. To sell out is to be open for success, yet personally it means failure. Some do sell out. Some are able to balance the mainstream and the art. Actors and filmmakers in particularly, (study their filmography and you’ll detect their dance) yet its much harder with artists and novelists. And Brian was no sellout. 

It must be noted that alcohol contributed to his growing bitterness and to his ultimate decision. A coping mechanism for many, alcohol (and drugs) takes more than it gives. A double edged sword is at least fair.


A still from his last film for the BBC Fat Man on a Beach released after his death in 1974



There’s a wonderful, in-depth biography written about him by Jonathan Coe in 2003 called Like a Fiery Elephant, the title coming from a line of one of his poems.

To be in the world is hard enough.

To have talent in the world, the same that comprehends the truth of human beings and of art and not to be recognised accordingly can be insulting to the point where it becomes a soul eating disease. For some, only self-punishment relieves the pain. Yet do not assume suicide is all about misery. It’s also a highly emotional form of protest… and revenge.



Again, sadly the actions and words are wasted on ‘them'. It's only understood, years too late.




RIP Mr Johnson






(Part of) Why Trump Won






I'm not one for commenting on political matters. I have my own views and they're not going to change and you have yours and any debate just turns into pointless arguments and ruins friendships. (Part of the reason I deleted Facebook, a story for another time.)

I wrote this poem a few months ago and wasn't going to publish it but given the outcome of the election, what the hell... I'll follow it up with how it relates to Trump. 



The Foot Soldiers of Political Change

aka

Change is in the Wind, like a stale fart


They took something bad
And made it right
And then repeated the same mistake
Never knowing when to stop
Without observing the flapping faux pas
On their nose
Like a discarded embryo sac
Made buoyant by the hot winds
Of time
Once again solidifying
The corpses of errors
Piled endlessly down throughout history
Reborn and Redressed
For the new school of thought.

Nothing like running that injustice
Into the putrid layers
Of hypocrisy
Tomorrow’s fossil fuel
Still fermenting
Yet if you put your lips to the populous Holy Wall
The stench is obvious
As the silver lining sphincters
From whence superiority flows.

Eww






For the record, I'm left wing. I'm pro gay marriage, equal rights for women, pro immigration (with conditions) and I've attended all sort of protests over the years. At the end of the day, I'm a humanist. I care about people. All people. All victims. Not just a particular, trendy cross-section (that just so happens to suit those people heralding those same particular causes.)






Essentially the Far Left has hijacked the populous media to the point where if you are not a feminist, you are sexist (just to make the point). Any sort of discussion on a range of topics, will see you branded as racist, sexist or homophobic. It's black and white thinking. It's hate filled, condescending and judgmental. All it does is eliminates attempts at reasonable debate and creates segregation. 

The irony being that this attitude is extremely intolerant. People are filled with hypocrisy (including me) and they just can't see it. For example, its perfectly acceptable to criticise straight, white males but no one else. That in itself, is sexist and racist. Pathetic really.







Not a great example but many rap lyrics are filled with comments re bitches and ho's. I listen to independent radio, I hear them all the time. This, just this week; 'I threw that bitch from the cliff.' Where's the outrage? Where's the protest? It does not come because no one wants the 'racist' branding. Yet with many legitimate (and idiotic) things to say have been silenced. No one wants to hear them. The working class too, have always felt abandoned, none more so than recent times.

Essentially, the Far Left has allowed the Right to enter and prosper. It's happened here in Australia too. One Nation has risen again after twenty years, far larger than it ever was. The Left are to blame for this. Hilary Clinton's campaign seemed to focus a lot on women's rights. That's great, but policy has to extend beyond one aspect of society. Politicians should represent all the people, and that's what Trump promised. Clinton may have had other policies, I'm not certain, as 80% of the media coverage (in Australia at least) was on Trump. And they're the same ones asking how did this happen. Trump played the media like the fools they are. They have been doling out politically correct haughtiness for years too, while ignoring other important issues. The truth should prevail, not popularity.


See my recent article on suicide, Not enough attention to Men






Post election, we've seen a lot of protests, rage and intolerance. From the people against intolerance. It reminds me of Victorian times, with their stuffy superiority attitudes. (If you want to fit in, do as we do and say. Okaaaayyyy!!)

Look, I'm still Left Wing. I supported Political Correctness (when it was necessary) but not what it's become. I don't support Trump but common sense went out the window years ago. In fact, he could not have won this election a few years ago. 
The Left did this to themselves.







More Poetry

More Satire



Look into my eyes!



For the past two years, I've been working in Recreation at an aged care facility. I've had many experiences I could write about, enough to fill a book (one day?) and a lot of insight into human behaviour that I had not witnessed in such detail before.

To keep it simple for this situation, the body can fail, but that spark can remain. 




Dusty albums


Skin like cake dust
Taut, flawed
Lustre long dimmed
Shrivelled cocoons
Of lives once lived
Gnarled fingers
Fleshless limbs
Decay dominating
The human art
Faded into the dusk
The only remaining constituent
The colour of the past
Written in glass
Gleaming to the last
Taking stock
One final time

The eyes still have it.





More Poetry