Day One Rabbit

“Every time a rabbit comes out of its burrow,
it is facing Vietnam the whole of its life …”
Allen Carr (R.I.P.)
they call me pirate dave just to piss me off
i am the vietnam rabbit coming out of a hole
out of a burrow blown to bits i am a rabbit
coming out of my hole every day for the rest
of my life it’s vietnam i’m on pirate radio
for twenty one days bury me face down so you
can all kiss my arse i am a white rabbit on
pirate radio this is my story don’t call me
dave i’m fragging myself i’m fire in a hole
i’m a rabbit on fire in a hole it’s vietnam
on the radio pirates coaxing rabbits out of
holes a memory of a bitumen street at home
i was just dave no one bothered to check if
that was okay by me well fuck you all i am
a rabbit you can call me pirate dave i was
watching tv when vietnam happened we were
eating tv dinners in front of vietnam on a
tv my father made himself from a kit it was
his birthday when they rolled the dice & he
was gone in a puff of smoke someone calls it
magic i called it vietnam i got kicked out
of the band because they had too many daves
in the lineup already so i volunteered for
chopper duty started smoking watching puffs
of smoke from the relative luxury of some
chinook in the sky i dreamed of rabbits in
fluffy white cloud uniforms coming out of
holes in the sky above vietnam we were all
smiles for the tv i saw my mother’s face in
that camera’s lens & blessed america dove
into that hole full of pirates all named
dave on tv daves pulled faces from barrells
full of birthdays dad’s was one of them off
he went a puff of smoke cigarette dangling
from his jazzy lip the tv stopped working
the day he left i bought a magician’s cape
& started fooling around with mirrors magic
dave they called me fuck them all i said
what’s your name pal he said richard nixon
i said how about if i called you dickhead
he said fine by me & disappeared in a puff
of smoke that didn’t come from a cigarette
it came from vietnam where we smoke rabbits
out of holes not just the white ones but the
red and blue ones too i was colour blind as
noah i had a rabbit his name was charlie he
never called me dave just sat there smoking
cigarettes day in day out listening to duke
ellington driving me crazy with that stuff
he was smoking charlie i said you ever meet
richard nixon say what day’s your birthday
charlie never answered back just put those
headphones on & ignored me my penitentiary
was the graveyard shift insufficient wattage
to spook charlie who never did dig the radio
anyway stuck in his hole smoking cigarettes
charlie started turning blue right in front
of me started coughing up red gunk from his
lungs started turning white as vietnam on a
high school map that was the hole they said
dave you gotta get into that hole you gotta
save that rabbit & i said hey don’t call me
dave i’m vietnam i’m pirate radio & i am no
fucking maggot i’m twenty one days of rumour
control twenty one nights of vietnam smokes
& rabbits coming out of my arse i had a hard
on for radio jane fonda she’s a foxy rabbit
in a puff of smoke it all disappeared wiped
those tapes couldn’t bear to hear the loops
winding over & over vietnam awol dave i am
a pirate rabbit clambering out of the hole
the grenades bounce off me as i yell fugazi
or sebadoh running towards the px the depot
every time a rabbit comes out of its burrow …


  1. “it was his birthday when they rolled the dice & he was gone in a puff of smoke someone calls it magic i called it vietnam”

    nice work. nice, nice work.

    it’s a bit angry… i like it though.

    did you bang it out in one sitting? with line breaks, or do they come after?

  2. Hey Adam,

    thanks for your comment. The poem does probably require a bit of an explanation – it was written in response to the death of anti-smoking guru Allen Carr, from whose book the quote is taken. It’s also a response to the urban myth (recently verified) of the GI in Vietnam who went under the call-sign of White Rabbit (I think – I’m paraphrasing here) and who broadcast a pirate radio show from Saigon for three weeks during the war there. So yes, it is a bit angry, I guess … but thanks for the props. I sometimes wonder whether explaining a piece destroys its meaning or mystery – but in this case, as I said, it’s surely useful information for curious readers. Oh and yes, it was all in one go. Line breaks as well Ö Nice chickens, by the way.

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