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The original La La Land

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

I was physically assaulted... 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.


  1. I've been assaulted twice, both came out of the blue, although I should have expected the second one, but I was drunk at the time. No damage done, except to my sense of security. But to end up in hospital for a week without any memory of what happened, that would really damage your sense of security. The ending of your poem is a good warning to those who aren't aware of their surroundings and what is going on. I have found being aware has saved me from serious trouble a few times.

    1. I'm really sorry to hear that Graham. Even if you were drunk you didnt deserve it, but yes, it does leave you more vulnerable. That was certainly the case for me in the second one even if I dont remember.
      Im very cautious now. That's why people who walk around on their phones are really putting themselves at risk, they just dont get it.


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