Shane – Typewriter poet

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Where are you from originally?
The Western suburbs of Sydney
What bought you to Melbourne?
When I was about 15 I finished school there and got involved with some shady people. I got tired of dealing with gangs and drugs and rowdy people. There’s so much misery and violence and depression there. The ghettos in Sydney are real ghettos. Sydney also has a bad youth gang problem. You go to a shopping centre on Thursday or Friday nights and you will see it. It’s really bad. So in the end I just wanted to get away from all that.
What got you started with the typewriter gig?
I write short stories and my friend Andrea suggested I do this as I was short of a few coins. I spent my childhood in libraries reading Shakespeare and Tolstoy so I developed my writing abilities there.
Where do you live?
In public housing in North Melbourne. I was homeless for about 2 weeks but I had a friend take me in. I mean if you don’t have a job and you’re on Centrelink you’re always on the brink of being homeless. You can never save enough for a bond and the only other options you have are hostels and boarding houses and they are really horrible. Sleeping on a top bunk with six other people in the room is just backwards.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Mathematician, writer, a stage actor, play write…
Why don’t you think you ended up doing any of those jobs professionally?
I developed bi-polar when I was 16. It still affects me now. It’s a life long condition. It essentially means I am not as functional as most people are.
Do you feel the two different parts of you come on?
Yeah. I can have complete excitation. I will be completely over the moon like I am on crack cocaine and the other half… It’s this over-whelming, deep sinking, melancholy kind of feeling that is completely disabling. You can’t eat, can’t get out of bed… There’s also the anxiety which is worse.
What helps?
Coffee helps with the depression. Cigarettes also help. Reading helps a lot. It reinvigorates the soul.
Do you do hard drugs?
I’ve had experiences. Crystal-meth and others. I have a drink fairly often.
What are you most looking forward to?
The hope of a better life. Things have been pretty crappy in my life all-in-all. For most of my life I’ve not had much. I’d just like to have things for once be proud of myself and feel like what I am doing is meaningful and worthwhile.
Melbourne quick q&a
Favourite cafe:
7/11
Favourite bar:
Baxters in Fitzroy
Favourite restaurant:
Coles supermarket so I can get healthy food.
Favourite thing to do in Melbourne:
Pace around the streets.
Hidden gem in Melbourne:
I don’t really believe in gems in the city. The whole city is the gem

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