The $1200 Game of Jenga — Recapping the Ninth Week of ‘The Block’ as Poetry

Did Eliza and Liberty win kids bedroom week on The Block?

Joel Burrows is a poet who has been published by CorditeGoing Down Swinging, and Stilts Poetry, amongst others. He’s also a huge fan of The Block. In this series, Block-etry, Joel recaps each episode of The Block’s 2023 season. Please enjoy his breakdown of week nine and who won the kids bedroom comp on The Block.

The Block — Episode 34

Part One

The grass is soft,
And covered
In the dew of night.

Kristy and Brett step
Across this vista,
Their sneakers and boots
Covered in house ash.

Eliza and Liberty enter
From the other direction.

Eliza is not
Dressed as the
Angel of Death
On this night.

In the middle, Scotty Cam
Stands in an arbour,
Looming like the gargoyle he is.

He congratulates
These teams
For being winners.

He tells them to shake.

He then reveals
A vase from
Behind his back.

A magnificent vase,
One made of glass
And green vines.

A vase that costs $1200.

He then reveals
A Jenga tower from
Behind his back.

He balances it in the
Palm of his hand,
A Tower of Babel for ants.

In his left hand, a vase.
In his right, a Jenga tower.

Scotty Cam then declares that
He’ll give his vase to the
Better Jenga team, that they
Must compete for his affection again.

Now, I’m not sure what
My poetry mentor, Alan Wearne,
Would think of this scene.

But it did happen, more or less. 

A dada X capitalist scene.

Part Two

A single round
Of Jenga
That goes
On for an hour.

After Scotty
Gets bored,
Demands bloodshed,
The tower topples.

This victory:
A tribute to

Brett then injects
Some cringe into my veins.

“We didn’t even
Want the vase,” Brett says,
“I just like to win.”

What a quote for
The history books, aye. 

Part Three

Oh, how the
Night is still young,

Oh, how the haggard
Producer wants drama.

This man
Sends the
Off to his bed.

It’s time for
Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf:
The Sequel.

“We went and got
Changed into matching
Pyjamas and sat by
The fire,” Eliza said.

“It was bizarre.”

However, Eliza didn’t
Attend this pyjama party
As the Angel of Death.

Kristy and Brett
Forgot to bring
Their red MAGA hats.

An improvised aerial bomb
Doesn’t crash into Melbourne.

The two houses, both alike
In dignity, instead decide to be civil.

A truce of disinterest gets born.

The desire to
Transcend the
Drama blooms from
A fireplace flame.

However, somewhere,
Somewhere in
The middle distance,
The producer begins to howl. 

They eat their hat. 

They’re grieving. 

They never wanted to
Work on a building documentary. 

They wanted and wanted
Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf: The Sequel.

The hat starts to
Turn in their stomach. 

The Block — Episode 35

Across the length and
Breadth of Australia,
There are cancer kids,
Leukaemia kids, dialysis kids. 

Some of their families stay in
Ronald McDonald houses,
Homes that are close to the hospital.

However, thanks to the
Hamburglar and
A lack of funding, some
Of these houses are
Now in a ramshackle state.

The paint is
Peeling off the walls.
The grass is a
Tumble of weeds.

Scotty Cam has
Not visited me today.

He is instead in a
Ronald McDonald house,
Somewhere in the
Suburbs of Melbourne.

He has tasked his
Contestants with fixing it up.

Astro turf is verdant carpeted
Across the backyard.
A basketball hoop put in place.

There’s now a dark
Cherry balcony
That stretches across
The side of a wall,
Where the parents can
Live, laugh, and weep.

According to
Troy, a landscaper,
This glow-up
Will be priceless.

“I had a set of twins, and
They were born at 24 weeks,” Troy said.

“My daughter, she’s 11 now,
but my son passed away, two weeks.”

According to Troy, a landscaper,
This house is going to save lives.

Great stuff, Scotty Cam, great stuff.

The Block — Episode 36

It’s kids bedroom
Week on The Block,
And Eliza has put on her
Angel of Death pants.

She calls Ryan McNaught,
The Brickman from
Channel 9’s LEGO Masters.

She then asks him to
Construct a leopard for her
Jungle-themed chamber,
One made of aureate bricks
And has the claws of a killer.

A leopard that children
Would both love and revere. 

Ryan McNaught,
A LEGO Master
Who honours the Angel
Of Death, says yes.

And yet, in
Classic biblical
There’s an issue.

Scotty Cam isn’t all too
Impressed with their leopard.

Eliza and Liberty reveal this
Mog to this man and he scoffs.

“Don’t tell me
You’re being cheaters,”
Scotty Cam says.

“One of the things that
Kristy and Brett have been
Accusing you guys of is
That you guys are working
For us and are Channel 9
Plants. And then you go and
Get Brickman to do this.”

The Angel
Of Death
Starts sweating
Vietnam bullets.

The blood of the
Living exits her face.

“I can 100% categorically
Tell you that we are not plants
By Channel 9,” says Liberty.

“Honestly, if there’s
Gonna be some big scandal,
We’re happy not to display it,”
Says the Angel of Death.

After a moment of
Reflection, Eliza
And Liberty decide to
Compensate their builder.

It’s kids bedroom week on The Block,
So they give the LEGO architect $500.

Each spot
On this leopard,
A sinkhole.

The Block — Episode 37

Dear Gian and Steph,
I’m writing this
Letter to you from
My childless bedroom.

It’s 7.13AM
On October 10,
And I’m having
A Pepsi Max
For breakfast.

You two, like me,
Are also childless.

Steph, you are
Younger than me.

During this week on
The Block, you
Had your 27th birthday.

To put a child inside your belly,
Which will die, which may
Go to hell, which according
To the atheists, doesn’t have
A soul, is a heart-aching choice.

You’d be a great mum, Steph,
You have so much to give,
And humanity must move onwards.

Dear Gian and Steph
On kids bedroom week on The Block,
You created two perfect rooms.

The first room featured
Paper lanterns,
Beams across the ceiling,
And the softest of beds.

There’s a mural
On the back wall,
One of the sun
Comforting a red
Mountain and a lake.

The second room featured
The solar system and a menagerie
Of soft toys along each cupboard.

“Diamonds are made under
Pressure,” said a judge,
“This is one shimmering diamond.”

“The amount of time and effort
That’s gone into designing this,
Choosing every single thing,
Getting all the right pieces, and
Assembling them so beautifully,
Then having the time to do this?”

“Man, I love this.”

Dear Gian and Steph,
Congratulations, you two.

You got 30 flawless points on
Kids bedroom week on The Block.

If you ever
Have children,
Please build them
Bedrooms like
These ones.

The Block drops on Sundays through to Wednesdays on Channel 9 and the 9Now app.

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