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7:28) 10-OCT-2000 03:00 Dirk Flinthart

I am
What I am
Could be a lot worse than
cheerfully out of condition
Married and in love (with the same person). 

Suitable subject for poetry?
I think not. I
drink beer, sleep badly,
avoid work much more than I ought to. 

Unshaven, ill-dressed
Straggling curling dark hair
Dark eyes permanently bloodshot
not the stuff of odes or epics,
or even the occasional sonnet. 

Homer would have passed my house
Without a second glance
(even if he wasn't blind.)
Achilles and Ajax live down the road
somewhere, and drive Maseratis
Not a Ford Festiva. 

Poems and laurels are for
larger, louder men than this,
who grin with Colgate confidence
as the camera dollies in close
during the award ceremony 

While I will smile
raise a glass with my friends
laughing at all the heroes
on the stage the screen the posters
and quietly, cheerfully,
continue the work of this life
which is what I have, and
in my better moments, I
will wish all those heroes
as much fortune as is already mine. 

   (Perhaps then, they won't need poems either.) 


 Written for the online class in which I am a facilitator, this piece serves as well as any as an introduction. However, it leaves out a great deal more than it says.

 Primarily, I'm a writer. My track records includes crime fiction, travel writing, humorous non-fiction, feature journalism, poetry, short stories, speeches, radio   scripts and -- as the advertising always says -- much, much more. 

 Many people find it odd that a writer should be active in so many different areas. Such people also find it odd that I work and teach both online and face to face. They are also a little puzzled to discover that I run two shows per week on the local radio station here in Wondai (Queensland, Australia), that I shoot, develop, print and occasionally exhibit my own black-and-white photos, that I am qualified as a self-defense instructor and as a teacher to fourth kyu in Toh-Kon Ryu Ju-jitsu, that my Bachelor's degree is actually in science (entomology)... and so forth. 

Mostly, people seem to think that writers should sit down and turn out novels. Nobody ever really seems to consider that those novels have to come out of something -- some sort of experience, some kind of life history. Evidently, nobody much pays attention to the biographies of the great writers any more, because in comparison to people like Hemingway and Orwell, I lead a quiet, monotonous sort of existence. 

Never mind. I love what I do, and I do it well -- and the breadth of my interests serves me very well indeed. I can write as easily and fluently about the hard science of genetic engineering as I can about the fall of a cherry blossom. Where I don't know what I need, I am quick to learn, and well-equipped to handle the research. 

 I greatly appreciate the online work that I do for the opportunities it provides -- for the fact that living here, in the outback of Queensland, I can interact with and learn alongside people all over the world. I find the online environment to be an extremely stimulating and intriguing medium of interaction, and I very much enjoy working with and learning from people of all kinds.

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