Ode To Whangarei
There is a Facebook page called Poem Online, where the following poem about the North Island town of Whangarei (vision statement: “To be a vibrant, attractive and thriving District by developing sustainable lifestyles based around our unique environment; the envy of New Zealand and recognised world wide.” ) has been published.
One line of it “Whangarei your teenagers are pregnant with the next generation of criminals“ has caused quite a stir in the town with the pensmith, Peter Larsen, being called to account by a group of teenage mums who took offence at his words. He was less than complimentary about the mayor too.
According to the Northern Advocate he was “assaulted while reading his poem about Whangarei’s social problems and said the town had a culture of unprovoked violence.” A example of art reflecting life reflecting art perhaps?
Here’s his poem:
Whangarei I pour my guts out and you dont give a shit.
Whangarei teenage burnouts in the burger king car park.
Whangarei domestic violence on Friday night.
Whangarei your new police station and courthouse are monuments to shame.
Whangarei Vine Street is a Venus fly trap.
Whangarei I only go to Danger Danger to feel a strangers hand up my skirt.
Whangarei Rugby is not a way out.
Whangarei hurry up and punch me in the face so we can be mates.
Whangarei no one at the library can tell me what Whangarei means.
Whangarei the stories of the names of your rivers are being forgotten.
Whangarei you dont know what you have.
Whangarei you dont know what youve lost.
Whangarei your mayor is a recycled mumbling idiot obsessed with trucks and concrete.
Whangarei you dont give a fuck about culture.
Whangarei your teenagers are pregnant with the next generation of criminals.
Whangarei if dont sort it out you will be overrun by bogans.
Whangarei anyone with a finger of talent and half a brain gets the fuck away.
Whangarei everyone is high on pot because theyre so damned bored.
Whangarei violence is a cheap thrill.
Whangarei Ive been chased by packs of dogs in your streets.
Whangarei if you dont start caring for your artists you will remain famous for your bypass.
Whangarei your museum is a hospice to your history. Its dying.
Whangarei I came here to get well.
Whangarei if I dont tell you this Im gonna get sicker.
Whangarei I picked up a twelve-year-old hitchhiker proud to be in a gang.
Whangarei no wonder youre so fucking brutal.
Whangarei you have no face.
Whangarei no one knows who you are.
Whangarei youre lucky no one cares who you are.
Whangarei talk is cheaper than violence.
Whangarei you need to start taking a few risks.
Whangarei grow some balls and stop trying to be so nice.
Whangarei Im putting my balls on the line for you.
Whangarei go tell all your politically correct busybody councilors to go fuck themselves.
Whangarei I gotta get off my taxpayer funded stipend and get a real job.
Whangarei Im leaving unless you get off your arse.
Whangarei Im not right in the head and youre not helping.
Whangarei Ill pass the course if I pay my fee.
Whangarei you are so mediocre.
Whangarei you kill your own potential by voting in politicians with dead visions.
Whangarei do you wanna give me a spiddy ow?
Whangarei raw sewage in the harbor.
Whangarei this rage is good for my creativity.
Whangarei this is war.
Whangarei I dont wanna die here.
Whangarei I dont have the fucking answers.
Whangarei I reduce the syllables in my words so you dont think Im pretentious.
Whangarei I dance like a spastic and dont give a damn.
Whangarei Im sick of your brutal secrets.
Whangarei Im bored by your feigned decency.
Whangarei your talent is escaping you.
Whangarei what am I gonna do?”