Guest Commentary: Adelaide v Richmond, Round 7 2010

An occasional series where celebrity guest commentators offer their thoughts on the football.  This week Allen “Buddha” Ginsberg reviews his beloved Tigers on the road to Adelaide.


 Allen Ginsberg

                     For Damian Hardwick

       I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,starving yellow and black,     
       dragging themselves along Bridge Rd at dawn looking for a centre half forward
       tigerscarfed supporters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry cousin in the midfield engineroom,
       who winless and tattered and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of the northern stand contemplating misplaced early round draft picks
       who bared their brains to Heaven on platform eight and saw Brad Ottens rucking in Grand Final hoops,
       who passed through Jolimont with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Franklin and Roughead selected by the scouts of yore,
       who were expelled from the social club for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the tactical failings of past coaches,
       who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their members tickets in wastebaskets and listening to the away game through the wall,
       who spoke fire on talk radio or wrote vitriol on footy websites, death, or purgatoried their jumpers game after game
       with dreams, with drugs, with eternal five year plans, alcohol and Richo and endless bull,
       incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of 1981 & 2010, illuminating all the failures of teams between,
       who crushed themselves in trams for the endless ride from Flinders St to the MCG on dreams until the noise of wheels falling off and children crying brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Swan St,
       who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Punt Rd to docklands to the old Nylex sign,
       yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering goals and marks and draft picks and torpedo kicks and shock losses and games occasionally won,
       whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, statistics for the talkback show cast on the pavement,
       who vanished into nowhere Glen Waverley leaving a trail of ambiguous footy cards of Kevin Bartlett,
       suffering Gieschen sweats and Frawley teeth-grindings and migraines of Wallace’s last quarter fadeouts in Demetriou’s bleakly lit oval,
        who wandered around and around at midnight at Richmond station wondering where to go, and went, leaving broken dreams


       What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
       Crow! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
       Crow! Crow! Nightmare of Craig! Tippett the loveless! Mental McLeod! Edwards the heavy judger of men!
       AAMI the incomprehensible prison! Adelaide the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Rundle Mall whose buildings are judgment! Porplyzia the vast stone of war! Goodwin the stunned governments!
       Thompson whose mind is pure machinery! Van Berlo whose blood is running money! Johncock whose fingers are ten armies! Doughty whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Petrenko whose ear is a smoking tomb!
       Reilly whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Maric whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Bock whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Burton whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
       Rutten whose love is endless oil and stone! Jaensch whose soul is electricity and banks! Douglas whose poverty is the specter of genius! Cook whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Vince whose name is the Mind!
       Stevens who entered my soul early! Davis in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Schmidt who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Richmond whom I abandon! Wake up in Adelaide! Light streaming out of the sky!
       Richmond! Richmond! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! Demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
       They broke their backs lifting Richmond to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
       Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the Yarra river!
       Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
       Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ tiger screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
       Real holy laughter in the Yarra! They saw it all! The wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the Yarra! into Punt Road!


       Damian Hardwick! I’m with you in Richmond
              where you’re madder than I am
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you must feel very strange
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you imitate the shade of Jack Dyer
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where they’ve sacked your twelve predecessors
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you laugh at this horrible defeat
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where we are great strategists on the same dreadful whiteboard
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you drink the tea of Tommy Hafey
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you punt on the bodies of your juvenile draft picks
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual football of the abyss
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where you bang on the catatonic piano the coach is innocent and immortal and should never die ungodly at Punt Road
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where fifty more beatings will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void
       I’m with you in Richmond
              where there are twenty-five-thousand mad supporters all together singing the final stanzas of ‘Tigerland’
       I’m with you in Richmond
              and in my dreams you walk Septemberly triumphant from the MCG cup in hand in tears to the door of the Richmond Social Club


About Greg

Middle aged male, resident at the finest of all latitudes, 37. Reputedly an indoor cricketer.
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