Come see what all of the buzz is about and pollinate your flowerbed of creativity with Ben Doran from Johnny Utah and the Utards and the mighty Worm Island!
Ben Doran is some shmo* who lives with a lovely lady and two cats in the idyllic Australian seaside town of Newcastle. He has played in a variety of bands including Johnny Utah and the Utards, Half Heads, the Fancy Boys, and Knaw. Other creative projects have included the podcast Worm Island which released 13 episodes over the course of 2016, a one act play and some very bad poetry scattered hither and thither across zines and websites long forgotten.
*a stupid person.
“the jerk disappeared—the tall schmo with the voice up his nose”
a hypothetical ordinary man.
noun: Joe Schmo; plural noun: Joe Schmoes; plural noun: Joe Schmos
“a lot of Joe Schmoes make it to the big leagues”
Worm Island: http://wormisland.com/
Johnny Utah and the Utards: https://johnnyutahandtheutards.bandcamp.com/
Les Fancy Boys: https://mustdestroymankind.bandcamp.com/album/get-to-third-base
- Pick Up Sticks
- Heavy Machinery
- Wickford Pebbles and Chain Link Fence
- Swan Point Cemetery Bees
- Water Feature
- Big Bubble Wrap!
- Bananagrams and Big Pot
- Potting Plants
Listen to the episode!
He struck the match and it lit the cool chamber with a soft orange glow. I watched carefully as he shielded it from the invisible drafts swirling around our feet. The caretaker began lighting candles around the alter.
The chamber began to slowly warm with heat and light as he moved about. His light shroud, whisking along the cold stone floor and across his heels.
After the last candle was lit, he motioned for me to come forward – toward the alter. I reluctantly stepped in front of it, and when I did, the sound of great chains above and in the walls began to clamor.
He knelt beside me and began praying. Dipping his long fingers into a chalice and flinging water ahead of him on the wall.
I felt like an imposter here. This man had spent his life caring for and protecting this holy place. Why had I been called here? Why had I been permitted to enter?
There had been an email. It had sat in my spam folder for 2 weeks, and I was about to delete it, when half drunkenly and looking for entertainment, I had bother to read its contents.
The message was merely an audio recording. There were sounds of people talking, of daily objects being used. The crack of a fire or perhaps bubble wrap. It didn’t make sense, but I became obsessed. I knew there must be more meaning.
I contacted tech friends, audio experts, scam experts, and no one knew where this mysterious audio file had originated and why it had been sent. My obsession got so bad, that I couldn’t sleep for days after listening. I lost my job. I was about to lose my apartment and my car.
But at that time, I knew I had to find the source and the reasoning for this mysterious message. It wasn’t random. I knew that there was a purpose.
One night, after listening to the sounds for the thousandth time, I decided to pick up a pen. I opened my mind and I began to write. I built this temple. This holy monk. These great chains in the walls and the cold on my feet.
The monk stands and nods for me to enter the next chamber.
Check. Rattle. Swallow.
I am having trouble swallowing.
My tongue is a bundle of wet reeds
and I cannot push any music over them,
barely a whisper – a suggestion,
a swilling like King Midas’ secret
gossiped among the grass.
The machines do not speak my language.
Neither the grasses. The wind gets closer
but the dialect is a roaring one and
I am a flimsy bulwark for its holler.
Perhaps I should study engineering.
Is that something I said I would never do?
If after seventeen years of silence,
someone can start talking again – if they can
rustle out of that secret hollow
more words – can I not learn to build
somewhere quiet through intense calculation –
by manipulating the concrete and the cursor.
I don’t know. I still like plants better.
Bees are good talkers. They will fill the holes
in the conversation with just the right frequency
buzz – what a perfect spelling – Z
the letter best suited to bumbler
and honeybee, they make that letter themselves.
They dance it alike to the sun and each other.
I need to slow down. I feel crunched.
Someone is walking through my drying reeds,
my wrack where the shed husks and
snail shells are tangled together and
being crushed. There is too much plastic.
My tongue is drinking straws – the grass
is vanished, slunk into the intertidal zone
and eaten by mudworms.
My tongue is dry spaghetti. My throat
is a dirty electric burner, and I
cannot run the faucet to fill the pot
because the water main is full of lead
and sea spray.
The maps say Providence is gonna go.
The seawalls that held up the bay
will overtop – the rivers retreat,
and event the invasive reeds will not
build the marsh up quick enough.
Somebody will persist. Somebody will
run their fever right up the clocktower
to assess the damage.