LAE - Why did I write for the Crocodile Prize? I didn’t. I wrote for me. We all do.
All writers, poets, essayists, bloggers, tweeters, Facebook champions and slanderers, regardless of nationality, proclivity, intended objective, altruistic notion, educational or inspirational motive…. we write for ourselves first.
We want to make our thoughts known. We want to have our say. We want other people to know what we think, how we feel, who we blame, why we agree, disagree, why we want to live and for what cause or status we’d happily die.
Communication is a fundamental human need. It’s as basic as eating, sleeping, fucking and dying.
So, colleagues, get over yourselves.
You are not special in the multiverse of higher-level organisms capable of accumulating and dispersing information of fundamental intellectual value or otherwise plain stupidity.
Back in the bad old days, in some places, folks could find themselves dead very quickly for making marks in the sand.
In today’s modern-age world writers can still, by state sanction no less, be removed from their corporeal bodies simply for doing what they loved best.
I think the United Nations recognises this, or should, as a basic human right: the right to write.
So, when I was writing for myself and sharing my stuff on PNG Attitude and entering the Crocodile Prize, I was fulfilling my own fundamental need to communicate, for me mostly through my poems.
Published. Job done. It’s all good. So, what?
Well, the what is not all about me. And it’s not all about you either, Keith Jackson and Phil Fitzpatrick, although I insist you’re mostly to blame for egging us all on.
It’s not about the Crocodile Prize itself either, or the kudos and koble (moni).
It’s about what the Crocodile Prize represents, what it captures and nurtures, what it provides for us all now and for future generations, from the well-spring of human endeavour and creativity, desire and being.
That’s the what.
It’s all about us as Papua New Guineans.
Not Australians. Not Americans. Not Chinese. Not Kiwis or Kanaks. Not British or Germans. Not Tolais or Sepiks. Not Simbus or Centrals. Us. Papua New Guineans. Collectively. All our voices. In one book.
If there is nothing about this that you find as valuable or worthy, then eat your writing pad and laptop and call them kumu na kaukau [green leaves and sweet potato].
That said, my next question is, what happened to the Crocodile Prize?
One of you writers-in-the-know please communicate to the rest of us on this, please. Or just eat your kumu na kaukau.