Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The first time I saw Dot it was at a house I think in Newport
her parents’ place I think her dad was a QC or such I may be
wrong but I desired her she was so fresh and pretty so fiercely
bright and dashing and fearless I could try to liken her to
something or other here but won’t out of respect to her art
I went back home to Adelaide and some time later a friend told
me Dot was a lesbian and I thought well there you go but I saw
her sometimes at readings all of us try-hard kids snakeoiling
stuff we thought people simply had to hear but knew in our
bones they wouldn’t those few who did come were like a stamp
collecting club gone very wrong a shagpile cadre of arcane want
habited with loss but at least they listened and what more
could we idiot poets ask even if nearly all of them were other
poets “and their mothers God bless them” now the Young Turks
wannabe ancient Greeks but Dot would make it and make it big
sell books made into movies theorified at unis namedropped on TV
and later I saw her treading the circuit she saved a whole
reading once following a highfalutin blowhard from Melbourne
with ten tight minutes of menace I never read her detective
stuff till one annus horribilis I had to teach uni kids nearly
all uninterested in Dot but fascinated by Paris Hilton and her
dog and the thingy she carried it around in but Dot made it and
made it big we all have to make a quid can’t argue with that
and she did make a quid and we pretty well all were proud of her
she was one of us who’d read to the beer belchers in the ash and
butt bar-rooms and the school halls where you could hear the
rain gurgle down the drainpipe outside between the stanzas she
was one of us but she sold books to punters lots it could be
done poetry lives! the last time I saw her was on one of those
festival panels “poetry is a wilfully stubborn art form: only
the best will do” I can’t remember what she said only that she
endorsed that wilful stubbornness with zestful zeal in all its
only the best will do-ness though I do remember the look in her
eye which might have pierced lead and her dolphin earrings worn
perhaps in solidarity with the tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippies of
the region or its many dolphins when she died I missed her as
a colleague a friend if seen only once in a soft blue moon for a
small bright moment in all our hours with the other good folk
who give us things to ponder and morse into verse but yet are
much too soon forgot for want of the spice of a dash of Dot

- Larry Buttrose