Monday, December 19, 2005

broadcasts will be intermittent, broadcasting may cease

I'm taking some time off and looking forward to some 'r and r' and some restorative space.

I may or may not post sporadically, and I may or may not come back to this virtual space.

Thanks to those who have checked in from time-to-time. My best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

no comment(s)

OK, the people have spoken (not) so I've turned off comments from now on.

(No-one has left a comment since 20 November.)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

out in the malley

There's been a bit of mention about Ern Malley recently via email (vis a vis Australian poetry), so it's interesting to see what the sons and daughters of Ern (and Ethel) have been up to on the Cordite site. Malley seems to be a site of endless recovery (or recuperation), which some think we should be over by now.

does the jingle in
the air fresh solitude un-
settle the coming thought


Ok, it seems that my old web site is still there, at least from this computer.

Listening to Randy Weston Khepera.

and hard
to think well

where to now?

As it's the end of another year, a very weird, bad year for me, I'm in a reconsiderin' kind of mode, here in blogland as well as elsewhere.

First, I've noticed something a little odd. Even though I've been posting some odds and sods of late, there's been no comments for quite a while. So I'm thinking of doing one of two things (this is the second time I've written this as my browser has taken to quitting on me - a sign perhaps - and I'm still tending this way).

Least drastic would be to turn off the comments box so I won't worry that no-one is reading (hey, I'm human). I know there's some traffic through Ruby Street. At least my site counter says that but I suspect it's nothing more than click throughs. I was getting some referrers feed as well but, after a frustrating morning trying to deal with the TrueFresco site, I think I'll be removing that code and not bothering. Possibly this blog isn't the kind people want to comment on anyway and, therefore, keeping it simple is best. This is why I have mostly resisted posting images and long posts.

The real bite-the-bullet option is to pull the whole thing. I have been thinking about why I do this blogging stuff recently. There had been various comment on the, mainly US blogs, about the reason why one blogs, as if there was just one. And in that, a bit of sneering if you weren't basically doing the argy bargy thing (I think it was couched in terms of 'debate' and 'community') with other bloggers. That's one mode, for sure. I don't mind argy bargy but I prefer email for that. But I realise that way will guarantee more traffic on blogs.

I am still happy with the kinds of mix this sort of blog generates. Some comments on poetics (a limited genre in Australia), some diaristic bits, scraps of news, and the odd poem, my own or a quote from another poet. I also have to tread a line between what I can and can't say. One day, I will have a lot more to say.

The other thing I am considering when thinking about nixxing Ruby Street, is something quite practical. Ever since I lost (misplaced?) my email inbox, I am more aware than usual of the great instability of so much of this media. The blog can operate as a kind of storage device as gallery, en plein air, perhaps. Or it's a bit like prayer, the thought, wish, goes out into the universe, into nothing and nothing comes back, but there, it's done and out in the open.

I've noted that my ihug web page seems to have disappeared and I will look into that as well. Also, that when I look at this blog from other sites, there's some strange unwanted pop-ups appearing. Like weird, man.

I feel part of a delicate process: if no-one's listening, then time to shut up, or no-one's paying attention so one must go on regardless. I did the first some year's ago and now I'm doing the second. Lack of regard is frustrating, certainly, but nothing new, at least down this corner of the world. There is a kind of freedom in it. And if one's kidding oneself then, fine too. No real harm done.

I may just turn off comments in a couple of days and/or I may reconfigure in the new year after a bit of a rest. I'll see where some time away leads. I have a few more days before I slope off for a while.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Of these hours and days
of the minutes not adding up
of the garbage going up the hill, our garbage
of that kind of epiphany, so ordinary, the mix of food and fish and the decomposing flavour of life on and
off with this dangerous government
of Australians
of the times that will hold our accounts
of those who break houses and execute trees
of those who rob the tongues of children
of comanchero boys filled with flail and hurtle
of a deficiency that fights itself
of an o so average victory
of creating duress with commands and errors - that one belongs not here
of controls and dishonor with fists of newspaper and the uniform effect which ignites layers
of this unreal war making its mistakes
of its cowards who fear peace and skin in the sun

for whom the hour has come - us protect us
not simply of Sydney

Monday, December 05, 2005

disaster of sorts

I've just had an email melt-down today and have lost everything, that is 'every thing', in my In box (the other created folders are OK).

So, if anyone has sent me mail recently and was expecting a reply or needs me to know something important, you'll have to send it to me again. Because it's all gorn.

I've rummaged around in the System, especially the Library mail folders, but to no avail. I still think it's all 'there' somewhere, as my computer's hard disk seems about the same size (there was a lot of mail, let me tell you), but I can't extract it.

Oh, well, move on. And hope nothing truly important has flown.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

out of place

at its borders
not by name
but by numbers

coming ashore faceless
truths behind barriers
belligerence don't diminish

shameless attempt prevent
working on paper
see shadow cast

unspeakable stories

Questions of moment

What then is the moment of the poem?
- the moment it speaks of?
- the moment in which it is experienced?
- the moment when it was written?

The moment it speaks – may not be a moment, for a start. There are those poems which do not catch on the moment. They are static, monuments, or they run on and on. There is distance, a lot of run around, a heaviness.

Can you write about a moment, write around a moment, within a moment, beside it?

The moment of experience – if experience is continuous, how can you break the breath into each of its takes, in/out. But is continuous continuous? I think of Zeno’s arrow and the points plotted on the arc of flight. Of life broken like the line. Of parts like stanzas (rooms) and in each room is air and space but also doors and windows, legs of furniture.

The writing moment – so many of these. The sounding in the head. The pencil or pen scratching. Typing, delete, return. Cut and paste. That may take an age.

Currently I’m interested in the way that often the things called things are not themselves or in themselves, they are abstracted, as they are daily into songs and advertising copy and code. Wouldn’t it be nice? They are games, and games you want to win. Everyone’s a winner! Is that a fact? With poems playing up a storm, that crashes clouds as thunder chords or is it an aeroplane? The emotion of plane is so much different and it goes in ways a storm cannot.

That once wasn't

it's late in the day

as if that's an excuse
or the title
of something)

broader, straighter
a big dip
before it arranges
your rolling wheels

the other hillside
green rises

and not knowing
how to get back

the language
is there

silvery, it hovers

what's in voices

streets, air's breadth

but come inside

to discuss
seduction, rather than

what's in voices
heavy, lifting

hoping this weather

just another one
of our tantrums

walking out the door

Saturday, December 03, 2005

ho ho hum

It's that time of year again, for the 'best of ...' lists to be trotted out. The Sydney Morning Herald did its 'best books of 2005' today and, going on the comments below, you'd think no Australian poet under 40 (under 40 doesn't have to mean 'new talent') and hardly any women of any age had published a worthwhile book in 2005. Mind you, over at The Australian, no books of Australian poetry even rate a mention in their 'best of ...' list.

"In a strong year for Australian poetry, the durability of seasoned performers has been more notable than the breakthrough of new talent. Kevin Murray's Geology (Domain) is an astringent account of loneliness in old age. John Millett's The People Singers (Five Islands Press) comprises vignettes of denizens of Surfers Paradise. Murray is in his late 70s, Millett in his mid-80s. The latter's career was given early impetus by service in World War II, as was that of Michael Thwaites, whose fine final book of verse, Unfinished Journey (Ginninderra Press), was published last year. Thwaites died last month, aged 90. The verse novel has a small but potent presence in the story of Australian poetry. Geoff Page has written three of them, most recently Freehold (Brandl & Schlesinger). This is a bracing and complex narrative of abiding racial misunderstandings in the Clarence River region. Driven by another story of violence is Philip Salom's challenging The Well Mouth (Fremantle Arts Centre Press). Both he and Page have had long, rich and varied careers, without the measure of recognition they deserve. Recognition has never been in short supply for the prolific John Kinsella, whose latest effort, The New Arcadia (Fremantle Arts Centre Press), meditates bleakly on the human blighting of a landscape. Less acclaimed is one of Australia's most confronting writers, Jennifer Maiden, whose Friendly Fire (Giramondo) is by turns acrid and tender. Also published this year was The Past Completes Me: Selected Poems 1973-2003, by the fine all-round writer Alan Gould (UQP). All these authors searchingly traverse the natural and social terrain of Australia. It is our good fortune they have found a number of publishers to back them. Peter Pierce"

some about: my recent

People ask me what my book
is about
I say ‘nothing’ as

I called it
that seemed to be
words for

the nothing I know
which goes out into
and is patterned in language

Then it may say

It will become a book
you can hold
and turn like a poem

a place to mark
something that can be
opened? Dissolved in doing?

I’m going with perception
which may be
‘going on your nerve’

jumping in the midst
of the flow, experience
in language underway

But I have found I need
more tenderness
to pick up the pieces

everything is broken –
systems, gods, engines
now it’s more fun

perhaps against method/perhaps no project
and going without
some ‘reader’ that’s been made-up

feeling my way again
and the importance of wings
the lake, rock and sand

it all runs on the pink sexed skin
a landscape like sound
drips from my edges

asking questions
about how the pieces don’t fit
shards alter meanings

these shards are the parts

‘poetry is too important to be left
to its own devices’ Charles Bernstein

Are we at the end of
‘the body’ and ‘nature’?
Is time disappearing into speed?

Awe is an engine
the particular
‘a glitch in the system’?

Where are the new senses?

It is broken – it is open.

making things with words

the difficulties and dangers in doing any such thing

not good

Someone asked me a couple of years ago why I wasn't writing like I 'used to'. I thought it a strange question and didn't really answer them. In fact, it seemed accusatory to me.

The reasoning, should I need it, runs something along the lines of I was starting to sound like myself, that no-one was interested anyway, that I was sick of 'good' poetry. All of this still stands, especially the last. Goodness has nothing to do with poetry.


crystal balls
and change colours

get in and shake it

there's nothing to be

death row

shake it
get in

across the