Randall $tephens
  • Male
  • Melbourne, Victoria
  • Australia
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My Likeness - 16/06/2018


You know, I like being a man.

I like having shoulders broad enough that I can pick up a set of shelves and walk up a few flights of stairs, when I've had to.

I like being able to do pushups and  climb things and jump a few fences if I had/have to, or being able to sprint so I don't miss that train (or only just barely miss it, anyway).

I like feeling strong and that I can defend myself when I've had to.

I like having the genitals I have and the way they can make me feel, I like the impulses they give me, in enjoying the sight and smell and touch of other bodies.

I like the hair on my face and shaping it to look how it suits me. I like having big lungs and a big voice so people can hear me, when I want them to.

All of these things I like. It feels like I'm confessing but I have no shame about these things.

What I don't like about being a man is that somewhere between the time where I was more scared of women than they were of me, as an object, was learning all that shame.

I don't like how unsafe women feel in society. I don't like being the object of fear, potential danger, harassment, or even just annoyance.

I don't like thinking back on times, incidents, moments in my past where I have definitely done, said, allowed things like that to happen.

I don't like how I've interrupted, shouted down, ignored, competed with, and taken up more space than I needed, around others.

I don't like that it's taken me this long to get here, figuring it out.

I don't like having to connect all the things above that I like about me, my body and who I am, with all these other things that do not like about who I am.

I don't like how close to home this all is. Whether it's Brunswick or beneath the skin I live in.

I don't like trying to figure out, think through how much of this is my fault. Me. But I'm trying to.

I don't like making this about me, but it is, because I am a man, and because I am a man here with you, with other men and everybody else and we have to.

Enough good people have already been hurt and killed.

I do not like that.

Redeemable Qualities - 02/07/2017


Sometimes it seems pointless

There was a point
Where I was addicted
To not being addicted
To things
Kicked that habbit

Gave up on giving up
Because being a misanthrope
Only works around people
...other people

Truth is I rather like people
When they're not around
Don't tell them but

The most times
I've masturbated in a single day
Is six

After that
I ran out of stuff to think about
Also I was pretty sore

There was a point
That I thought the things
I really liked
Were things I was addicted to
Had to be gotten rid of
I know better now

I know
For example
That I'm not
My own harshest critic

Friend of my girlfriend once saw me
Performing poetry
He described me to her as having
"no redeeming qualities"

I'm unclear if he said this
Not knowing that we're going out
Or because of that

Either way I'm almost certain
She doesn't agree with him
Even if I do, at times

She's the smartest person I know
...except for the bit
Where she's still going out with me
She's also the kindest

Don't know what she sees in me
I do know that-
There are lots of stupid questions
There are always wrong answers
In every situation

You'd be amazed
How often I think
Of the wrong thing to say
But then don't
Mmm then again
y'probably wouldn't

There was a point
I gave up writing poetry
Then I gave up on giving up

I still have some stories to tell
When the kid asked me
What it's like to work in prisons
When someone asks
what all that extra stuff on my bike is for
When my teacher asked who Randall is...

For now
Just throw my garbage over your fence
Without separating out the recyclables
In write

I write for an audience
And any jackass that says they don't
Is a fucking liar
Who probably can jerk off seven times
And even more
Every day
Without running out of ideas
Or getting sore

Such people make for poor friends
I mean not that I don't
Just that I tend to categorise friends
With addictions
Except I like the things I'm addicted to

Which means poetry isn't one
There was a point I thought it was
All pointless

Too much of anything
Makes you an addict
Or just shit-boring
Most of my friends shit me to tears
So I'm fine

Except for
The big fucking hole in my roof
And it's going to rain tonight
And this isn't a metaphor

Even if it is
A perfect

I'm still writing
And masturbating
Most days
They are so similar


Despite my brain's best advice
I have no immediate plans
To quit anything
Or anyone

It's far better trying
To add things to your life
Than trying to subtract

It's sometimes seems pointless
It's not

I just have no points to make

Halfway between
A really fowl mood
And a really minor panic attack
Standing hands in pockets
Trying to look like I know

What I'm doing here.



It catches up with you - 17/ 05/ 2017


Stole a four-pack of batteries from the supermarket tonight, then ate a big bag of potato chips, then ran through three maybe four sets of red lights getting home, because why not. There's no judgement under this moonlight.

Light running on third phase power, off the grid.

Listening to Trent Reznor's social network soundtrack. The ride home has lots of highs and lows. My fingertips are cold, my face is warm. Then it's the opposite, and back again. I love it out here.

My bike is perfect, it is the very height of human evolution and technology. My bike specifically. It is at the top of the ramp above Flemington Bridge Road, with me.

It's all downhill from here.



Randall $tephens's Page

Hello Sydney Poetry,

I'm a performance poet who regularly visits Sydney. I've performed features for UTS, Live Poets at Don Bank, Word in Hand,Text Styles (and probably something else I'm forgetting right now).


I'm looking forward to returning to Sydney in September/October 2011. Here's what I'm all about



Word in Hand profile

Tales Told by an Idiot (my poetry blog)



Randall $tephens's Blog

Hello Sydney Poets

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 22:38 0 Comments

Hello Sydney Poetry!


I'm a performance poet who regularly visits Sydney, and I just wish I'd known about this site sooner! 

Anyway over the past 18 months I've performed nearly a dozen features in Sydney for poetry nights at UTS, Live Poets at Don Bank, Word in Hand and Text Styles (plus something else I'm probably forgetting right at this minute).


I've haunted Melbourne poetry for a while, and been in poetry slams in New York and London, ran a weekly…


Comment Wall (1 comment)

At 17:28 on April 5, 2011, Adrian Wiggins said…

Hi Randall, and welcome to the Sydney Poetry social site.


I'm sorry you haven't happened across us sooner too!


This is a social site built by the poets (and friends) of Sydney (and surrounds) for the poets (and friends) of Sydney (and surrounds).

You can:

  • add poetry events, photos and videos to the site,
  • add your own poetry to the site in the Member's Poetry section (but only one a day please),
  • write blog posts, or start topics in the forum,
  • invite poets (and teachers, readers, writers, performers) you know to join,
  • comment on just about everything, or
  • just keep an eye on what's happening.

This being a social site the more we all do here the more interesting it becomes for everyone.

There's no membership fee and no middlewoman – there is though just a bit of moderation to keep it clean and on-topic.

Good to see you diving in already & I hope to see more from you soon.


Best wishes,

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