Frequently Asked Questions


Brentley Frazer Australian Poet
Brentley Frazer Australian Poet

Why do you almost always have a cigarette in photographs?

Because I smoke . . . oh, and fuck off, Mary Poppins.

Don’t you think it is inappropriate for a person who younger poets and writers consider a role model to glamourise smoking?

A) Being appropriate is immoral for a poet. B) The only role I am a model for is disenfranchised perpetually broke Eurotrash writer scrabbling-about lost in the colonial cultural-junkyard of a stolen nation in the far reaches of a dying British empire. I advise absolutely no-one to follow in my footsteps. C) Glamourise? You’ve seen me, right?

Are you a junkie and mad radical poet as the media portray you?

If by radical you mean I advocate a departure from tradition and actively pursue innovation in the art of poetry, then yes, I am a radical poet. If by mad you mean enraged or angry, then yes, often at the injustices of this world and the brutality of this earth . . . if by mad you mean insane, then I have no idea; I believe that insane people aren’t enlightened to the fact. If by junkie you mean a person with compulsive habits or obsessive dependencies particularly in reference to drugs, then no, not anymore. The period of my life described in my memoir ended in 1998, and if you care to read the book yourself, you will find that I avoided heavy drugs like methamphetamine or heroin. Read Scoundrel Days and make your own conclusions.

Why are you rarely seen without a hat?

A) I live in Queensland, Australia, where it’s so hot you can cook breakfast on the footpath. B) I have male pattern baldness and I have no self esteem, because lack of awesome hair. C) If you think that hat I am wearing is a fedora and you are giving me shit because of that, you are an idiot; I wear a trilby (learn the difference if you want to be a critic) and I choose to do so because I HATE baseball caps that every other male ages 0-101 wear 24/7, and I wouldn’t wear an Akubra if you made me blow a shot gun.

Considering the excesses you write about in your memoir, why aren’t you dead?

I still might die one day . . . oh, wait. Your question reminds me of that Jonny Carson quote: I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.

Are you a misogynist as several critics question?

Literary critics (and otherwise) have suggested that the ugly beast of misogyny raises its head in my memoir in the context of the  sexual objectification of females, not the other inherent implications in the poison word (Read Scoundrel Days and make your own conclusions): Def ~ “Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.” I 100% admit that as a young man I found myself utterly smitten with the beauty of human females, my terrible male gaze compulsively drawn. Show me a living heterosexual teenage boy who isn’t and I’ll show you they are not living. So extreme was my desire my entire self worth became intrinsically dependent on whether females would notice that I exist and grace me with their company . . . me, belittle a woman who is noticing I exist <are you fucking insane? I was the one fearing social exclusion. In social situations I discriminate against male humans, I wish they weren’t even at the party. I despise the patriarchy more than the most militant feminist on earth (come at me and I’ll prove it) and because of my firm non-oedipal stance male privilege is not afforded me, in any way I am able to discern (show me how if you can, please). It works both ways; if you don’t support the old silent generation androcentric alpha male trope you will be excluded from the club, regardless of gender. Violence against anything with a heartbeat I am thoroughly opposed to, and disgusted, by. As for inanimate objects, I smash them all the time . . . annoying kettles, bricks I’ve kicked, etc., etc.

I’ve never found any reason to join in the chest beating, cock comparisons and general bantam bullshit male humans seem to find important. Men can piss right off and take their cars, corporate edifices and contact sports with them. So there you have it. I am a misandrist with blatant misanthropic tendencies. I am a traitor to my sex, a self hating man and not particularly fond of the human species as a whole. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring poets/writers?

Being a writer means you have to live a certain way to do writing. It’s isolating, lonely and suicide inducing work . . . also, 99% of other people who are not writers don’t believe that writing is work; this is something that will stimulate your own misanthropy that you’ve buried deep in your misguided ideals of social good-will. I think being a poet is a condition, not an occupation. Also, don’t make my mistake and write a memoir from the wrong side of the tracks. You have heard the saying: I shot myself in the foot. Well, I got a tank and blew both my legs off just below the neck by writing and getting Scoundrel Days published. You may have heard only Tim Winton makes a living out of writing in Australia (and that’s probably bullshit) . . . no one will employ me, not even in a call centre. They all say the same thing: I googled you . . . you have a national reputation as a some kind of junkie radical poet who gorges on sex, drugs and violence.



How do your values differ from those of your family?

Brentley Frazer: I value making art and enjoying life very highly. I’m not sure art rates a mention in my family’s value system.

Do you have a favourite family story?

BF: There are plenty of stories including a great grandmother who was ambidextrous and could write two different letters at the same time, a great uncle or something that invented the can opener, and the time we all got kidnapped by aliens.

What do you hope for?

BF: Personally, to live long and prosper and die before my children; and for the place we call the world, I’d love all the animals to play nicely for a change.

What do you think is your main purpose in life?

BF: Bill Hicks and Buddha explained to everyone that life is just a ride, Einstein proved time is relative, and Bohr proved that causality is dead . . . but no-one wants to believe them. 

Do you think its ok to lie?

BF: Truth is the most important thing we have, so I try to conserve it. 

What does freedom mean to you?

BF: The realisation that there are no gods and no masters in the real world and that the real world is a savage garden full of people who are half animal and half angel. As Mike Tyson said: everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

What do you think are the most important social issues today?

BFNew Caligulas– the rise of egomaniacal lions and fascist idealism appealing to their prides.

Do you think things happen for a reason?

BF: Everything has reason, nothing has purpose.

What beliefs do you have that you think will never change?

BF: That every humanimal alive is divine and fallen.

Do you believe in the supernatural?

BF: Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s true.

Is any religious text important to you?

BF: Yes, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire.

What do you like the best about your body?

BF: It’s three-dimensional . . . it must suck being a cartoon.

What do you think would be the best thing about being the opposite gender?

BF: The ability to judge the male human harshly without appearing a traitor.

Who is the best teacher you have ever had?

BF: Some withered beaten old person of indeterminate gender at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere who said to me that no matter what any god, master or holy book says, knowing the truth can only happen in your own experience.

Have you ever been lost?

BF: I feel lost in this stolen nation in which I was born. I recently had a collection of poems published, which I titled Aboriginal to Nowhere. According to a Google exact phrase search, I am the first person in history to write those three words together. I think I articulate how lost I feel quite well in that book.

What was your favourite book as a child?

BF: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

If I asked a good friend of yours what you were good at, what would they say?

BF: Something cliché because you put them on the spot.

What stays the same in your life, no matter how much other things change?

BF: My joie de vivre and my inability to pronounce French words.

Social Work: Brentley Frazer