i'd be myself for you

i'd stumble through fragmented

bits of speech, quick breatht

grabbing words away from silence

stuttering through pause to meaning

then open to your smile

i'd be myself for you

aqua profundo (the sign

at the harbour pool

in weather baked like custard

slurping pineapple frosties

then splash & dive

i'd be myself for you

difficult enough to be simple

harder to be naïve

resurging as if bizarre

wavebreakers of suburbanity

then call us the poets union

i'd be myself for you

embracing puzzlement i'd give

silence the right to be heard

dazzled by grace i'd lay down

clumsy &/or delicate

then smile for you & for myself


Screenprint from The Sydney Morning, Volume III, 1993, one of a suite of print folios published by Thorny Devil Press in Wangi Wangi, Australia, between 1989 and 1994. Screenprint on rag paper H 250 x W 200 mm, edition of 84.

1000 copies of Domesic Hardcore were published in 1975 in the Paperback Poets' series by UQP (University of Queensland Press). There was also a run of hardbacks with a paperwrap cover.

Richard Tipping performs his poem Mangoes. This reading of the poem was recorded in a television studio at Wuppertal University in Germany in 1985, while the poet was on a reading tour which also included Heidelburg, Munich and Berlin. He was living in Oxford in England at the time, working on a series of documentary films about expatriate Australian writers.

The mangoes have retained their freshness, and the poem has appeared in many anthologies over the years.

All poems from Domestic Hardcore, as well as from Tipping's other UQP books Soft Riots and Nearer by Far, are online at the Poetry Library:

Deep Water was written in 1972, and includes the line "then call us the poets union", five years before the Poets Union was formed in Melbourne in 1977 and later in Sydney.









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Play the video of Mangoes on YouTube