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Benito Di Fonzo

From “What For? (Epic Triad Version)”

Part 1. “Utterly, But Naked.”

Well the bankers had taken over the asylum
and I was still waiting for our ship to hit the fan,
for the shit to hit the shore and leave the sure behind,
unsure of just what the shore is for

As we walk through the streets of debris,
the valley of banality -
the cultural desert where the only things that grow
are the plastic plants of distraction;
TV's the size of guilt complexes,
& opiated computer games so hip
that you don't even need to play them anymore,
just drop your pay-cheque off at your local store
& take their word for it,
while you get back to earning money more, more, more,
which it seemed to me was our state religion.

So I got this job ringing people and hassling them
about the job they were doing ringing people & hassling them
into buying some consumer durable drug or exotic drink
so that they could forget about much how they hated their job
ringing people & hassling them

into buying some consumer durable drug or exotic drink,
so that their bosses could ring & hassle my bosses
into hassling my supervisor
into hassling me into hassling you
about the level of harassment you been receiving of late
from the makers of fine consumer durable drugs & exotic harassment,

and round and round and round it goes
like the boiling fur in my toilet bowl,
because I couldn't give a damn if a toilet’s clean when I'm blue

& in the end it's just a choice between being scared or being bored;
bound up and bored as a battery hen,
or single and shit scared
as a feral stray cat in a McTuckey Fried Pie factory -

Utterly, but naked.
Utterly butt naked in the beautiful eyes of the world,
Utterly butt naked in the sad taxi cabs of existence,
Utterly butt naked on the 422 to Tempe Tip & Temporal reality,
via Newtown North & Newtonian Physical myths,
Utterly butt naked in the ocean of amore,
Riding the waves out to sea
& leaving the sure behind.

The audio version of Benito Di Fonzo’s “What For? (Epic Triad Version)” was performed live at the Sydney Opera House, with an improvised score by Waiting For Guinness. Original recording by Regina Botros.

Benito Di Fonzo’s “What For? (Epic Triad Version)” was first published in Cordite 31: Epic (2009). The guest poetry editor for this issue was Ali Alizadeh.

Benito Di Fonzo

Born into an Irish-Italian working class family in Sydney’s inner west, journalist, playwright, poet and performer Benito Di Fonzo has written for, and been profiled by, the best and worst of publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald, The Australian, CNN, and Bardfly Magazine (where he was editor). Benito has performed his narrative neo-beat poems and spoken word in London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Melbourne, Rome, Adelaide, Perth, and Indonesia. As well as writing radio serials and plays for 2SER and 2FBI he has had two plays broadcast live from The Sydney Opera House. He has also performed on ABC 702 & Radio National, 3RRR (Melbourne) and Resonance FM (UK) amongst others. In 2005 Independence Jones Guerrilla Press published Benito’s free-verse novel Her, Leaving, As the Acid Hits to positive reviews. Benito’s 2010 stage-play “The Chronic Ills of Robert Zimmerman, AKA Bob Dylan (A Lie)” was a hit of Adelaide Fringe before several sold-out seasons in Sydney and a litany of glowing reviews, resulting in the show being awarded the 2010 BITE (Best of Independent Theatre) award. It is still touring Australia. Benito’s second Fonzo Journalistic show, “Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze Un-Dug in Sydney” will premiere at Darlinghurst Theatre in November 2012. Benito holds degrees in Literature and Creative Writing from The University of Western Sydney. In 2001 he was awarded the Inner City Life Literary Award by The NSW Writers’ Centre. His favourite colour is irrelevant.


A Typical Day At Work 

Waking in the middle of the night I begin what Les Murray famously called “The 4am Show” in which I lay and sleeplessly panic about my career as a writer and where it is and isn’t going and why such-and-such an editor seems to suddenly hate me so. I can’t sleep now so I will read Lao Tzu or Somerset Maugham till dawn, when I will promptly fall asleep.

Rising again I will suffer Capitalist Guilt that I should have been up and writing hours ago, so after ablutions, cold leftovers, and much tea, it’s to my writerly cockpit where I will ignore the vampires of Stalkbook and warm up by writing a Western haiku or tanka waka.

Now I work at whatever is my current article, poem, story, or play until lunch. After lunch I may wander the streets; pedal my bike out to Bronte Beach; read some more; play guitar, drums, or chromatic kazoo; or just panic about all those unpaid invoices and rent.

It’s here I may have to suffer the indignity of some day job for a while. If not I may review a play for 2SER-FM (where I co-host “Stages” each Saturday morning) or go busking on Newtown’s high street with a Peruvian dobro jazz bassist and whoever stumbles by. This January [2012] I will be checking in on my Short & Sweet 10 minute Play Festival spoof “One Day In The Life of Keef: The Human Riff” at King St Theatre.

Eventually old Mr Moon will raise his watery head over the early hours and I will fall in a stupor in my garret next to Eveleigh Railyards, just waiting for my stage-call for “The 4am Show,” and the accompanying Somerset mourning… Buona notte…