Thursday 23 February 2023

One Prose Poem by Stephen House




they called me a freak when i said:

i would take off somewhere and might go anywhere and not know where, run away like i do with no plan to return.

i’d accept a role in a play during melbourne winter, learn a hundred and ten pages in three weeks rehearsal, for a low basic fee and not much more, stay in a tiny cheap room in north fitzroy, and find a cafe nearby to have somewhere to go.

i was finished with striving for more and needing the establishment to validate me and my work, that i would live on what i would and could, write poetry daily and do theatre now and then.

i’d go back to india and base myself in rishikesh, live a yoga life for a year or so, and not worry about money or future or what people think about me living in india.

i fell off the wagon for the first time in ages and drank twenty drinks over a crazy night, made best friends with strangers and danced in clubs and got thrown out, like when i was a young and out of control.

i’d hooked up with lots of men from wherever, for a decade or more of my run around life, just for the sake of it for some type of rush, to fall into whatever sex, explore my queerness because i can do what i want.

but he has never called me a freak:

no matter what i said or did or didn’t do, not once in all our shared special time, said anything hurtful about how i am.

and i’ve never called him a freak:

whatever he said and however he is.

but we laughed about maybe being freaks once; a couple of freaks him and me, together and happy without making rules, and how beautiful it is to be free as a freak, and find another freak in this uncertain life, full of expectations and judgements, and non-freaks calling all the freaks, freaks.

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright, and actor. He’s had 20 plays produced with many published by Australian Plays Transform. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts, and an Asialink India literature residency. He’s had two chapbooks published by ICOE Press Australia: ‘real and unreal’ poetry and ‘The Ajoona Guest House’ monologue. His next book drops soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely. Stephen’s play, ‘Johnny Chico’ has been running in Spain for 4 years and continues.  


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