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2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)


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I don’t know what’s wrong with people


I don’t know what’s wrong with people
I pass people in the street
I say hello
They say nothing back.
I pass them in the hallways at work
They fake a smile
To a certain person
If they think it will get them somewhere.

They flick lit cigarettes out of car windows
And leer at little kids
Occasionally someone tries to take one
I don’t know what’s wrong with them.
They fight like cats and dogs in their homes
But no one ever leaves
They abuse their kids
Who grow up to do it all over again.

There’s always something to whine about
It’s somebody else’s fault
ALL the men
And the women
The politicians
The banks
The boss
The foreigners
The co-workers
The inspectors
The laws
The unions
The truck drivers
The young
The partner
The lover
The neighbour
They bitch and moan
And rant online
But won’t do anything about it.

They decry social justice
And walk past the homeless person on the street
They decry decency and respect
While treating someone close with disdain

They don’t practice what they preach
I don’t understand why they do that.

They text while driving in busy streets
They speed past crowded playgrounds
And schools
They get impatient and sickened by the elderly
As though they got slow on purpose.

I don’t know what’s wrong with people.

They king hit strangers
For no reason
And lay in the boot.

They’re tough in groups
And target the easiest prey.

They’re quick to judge
While committing the same mistakes.
They take the credit
For the work of others
Especially if it helps in a promotion.

The privileged get a free ride
And don’t comprehend what they have
While others grow bitter
Without putting in the hard yards.

Most live like kings
Compared to other nations
And some in their own towns and cities
Yet it’s never enough.

Some offer you the world
And give you nothing
While others make no secret
That they’re out to take and take.

Some don’t acknowledge the existence of others at all
Which I wouldn’t mind so much
If they didn’t screw others over in the process.

There are many good people about
Yet there’s nothing more disappointing
Than discovering that some 
Are merely arseholes in disguise
After you've invested time and soul.

And perhaps I’m no better
I’m certain I’m no worse
And while I know it’s always been this way
I still wonder
What the fuck is wrong with people?

More Poetry
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2022 update - This poem appears in the new story/poetry collection, Us & Them and the Things in-between. 

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