Tuesday, April 27, 2010

building the digital bridge

Work has been going on a pace on the digital bridge which is being constructed as a result of the first of two trans-Tasman symposia organised under the rubric of Home and Away.

It includes a page of poems in various formats here.

There's another page where the elements of a collaborative digital poem are being assembled.

screen by screen by

You should get yourself a copy of Mark Young's latest book, Genji Monogatari.

emerging from a lift

The Emerging Writers Festival will be running from 21 May until 30 May this year in Melbourne.

The program is now up on the website.

I'll be around for part of the festival as one of the ambassadors, me - for poetry. I'll also be 'stuck in a lift' with Scott-Patrick Mitchell on Saturday 29 May, 1.45pm in the Swanston Hall at Melbourne Town Hall. I presume we emerge from the lift at some stage.

authentic locals

You should get yourself a copy of Pam Brown's latest book, Authentic Local.

There are other new goodies also from SOI3.

after stasis

Feathers within falls,
entrances of rain,
dust noise in nights
hidden against a curtain
also torn

How facts occur
or what leaves
demand from the past,
uproars, riots,
ignition, a credo

Impressions at the mouth

I have just come back up the road from three days of a poetry festival at Goolwa, a town at the mouth of the Murray.

On the drive back, cows crowding in fields, in black and white (friesians?). A flock of galahs circling the hillside and the dam. Calves, lambs, small horses. Vines in autumn modes. Dangerous drivers on holiday Monday.

As part of the festival’s closing Lionel Fogarty reminded us that English is not the original language of this place, that there’s a sense all English is obscene here. He reminded us it was a white festival.

Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island, of course, are contested places.

I took some time of from the poeting. Saw the mouth of the Murray, the breakers of the southern ocean, the many flocks of birds. Walked on the Goolwa barrage, watched the dredging. The huge problems of water and country, and the failure of policy and practice.

The festival raised and confirmed a number of things for me - positives and other. I got the impression this was the case for some other people who were there as well.

Michael Farrell, Bel Schenk and I did a session on Out of the Box. It wasn’t hugely attended (Sunday morningitis?) but it was a good free-flowing discussion. One woman remarked that she had just come from a master class in which the ‘master’ was encouraging ‘fine writing’, however, she said she preferred the kind of writing our anthology contained. Later, someone told me they were already using the anthology to teach in writers’ group classes.

We were sitting on a bench, Michael and I, looking at the river, when a pelican slowly glided by just above us - that huge grace. We both stopped talking. It was a good thing to see.

Bronwyn Lea launched Dark Bright Doors for me here. She emphasised the noir, the dark and surreal - a great take on the book. I was able to give my own author’s viewpoint, reclaiming intention for a short moment around language and place. Also, the short poem, which, we agreed later, is given short shrift in Australia - a bloke’s effect (the length issue?), distances, or an effect of sprawl?

There were names and tendencies in Australian poetry that were obviously not there at the festival. Recent and upcoming anthologies indicate some lines are being drawn in some of the sand, if, indeed, they were ever not. In other words, perhaps this is always so, and best not to linger on it.

I had to take a break from the poeting - there were panels on the ‘problem of poetry’, and the like. I admit, I ran from a lot of this, having heard and said much of like in the past.

Two important words for poetry are - teaching, and libraries.

Someone asked me to sign my book, someone I did not know. She told me what was important for her about my work was that it wasn’t afraid to venture into the abstract, the surreal, unlike, she seemed to be saying, the kind of descriptive, well-made, syntactically straight-forward poetry that is certainly popular at the moment. That was interesting.

On Sunday evening of April 25th as we were leaving the Corio Hotel, we were bailed up by a young man wearing his sailor’s dress uniform and his medals, from Iraq, Afghanistan, the Solomons and Timor. He said he was interested in poetry and wanted to know more. We wanted to know more from him about what he did at sea. He worked with helicopters on transport ships. So, we talked a while about poetry, about the navy.

On Saturday we were going to set up our breakfast outside on the wooden table where we were staying. A family of magpies moved in before we could do it, took over the tables and chairs. So we left them to it, their songs and movement.

Jen Mills has put together a great sound atlas of the festival, including one poem I read, about the river.

Birds and water are very much the issue, especially down at the mouth of the Murray. Birds and water are not nostalgic, romantic subjects for poetry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

over the hills

The science experiment is over,
the bells ting, litmus paper
is discarded, muddled
like today’s tunes

time flicks, half hour by
longitudinal push,

if you can bend yourself,
fend if you are sorry
about the desert you find
when you look to the north
over the beautiful hills.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

out of more boxes

Michael Farrell, Bel Schenk and myself will be doing a lively panel on the making and being of Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets at this weekend's regional poetry festival at Goolwa. It's on Sunday 25th April at 11am in the Regional Arts Building at Goolwa.

And if you are in Melbourne in May, there will be a reading from Out of the Box at Readings bookshop in Carlton. The date is Monday 10 May at 6.30pm and the readers will be Peter Rose, Susan Hawthorne & Michael Farrell. If you missed the Melbourne launch, here's your chance to catch up with some of the great poetry in the book. Don't be late or presume it's running on poet's time - it's a short and sweet event, but running to schedule.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

launch pics

Adam Aitken was at my Sydney launch and, lo and behold, has blogged some of his cool pics of the event. Thanks, Adam.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


discover you don’t work
going beyond the target,
in forgotten shifts

discover it doesn’t work
the end of the moment
beyond objectives, missing

ancient heart

I like the poison but
blood wears itself out anyway
stuck in the midst of old skies,
the ancient gipsy on the run
but this time high above
the planet, spinning around
hurts the heart, its valves,
who would be pink in the darkness

Thursday, April 08, 2010

first review

Looks as though this is the first review of Dark Bright Doors. Small but pretty neat, courtesy of regional media.

One thing not quite correct is that the quotes on the front and back of the book are from past reviews or articles. But maybe they still hold for this one.

Hope to see some of you on Saturday at the Sydney launch.

Monday, April 05, 2010

more new things

Fresh work at moria.

Poetry by Tom Hibbard, Michael Marks, Arkava Das, Brad Vogler, Kirsten Kaschock, Dion Farquhar, Matina L. Stamatakis, Holms Troelstrup, Jeffrey Side, Kristina Marie Darling, Peter Grieco, Adam Fieled, Justyna Bargielska, Jerrod Bohn, Steve Halle, SJ Fowler, Joel Chace, Amy Garrett-Brown, Francis Raven, Chella Courington, Lance Newman, Pat Clifford, Emeniano Acain Somoza, Jr, Steve Roggenbuck, Sam Schild, Anna Elena Eyre, Robert Verdon, David Harrison Horton, Nate Pritts, Jill Jones, Louis Armand, Charles Perrone, Michael Brandonisio, John M. Bennett, Raymond Farr, Mara Gálvez-Bretón, Gina Myers, Connor Coyne, Andrew Topel, Paul Siegell, Alexander Jorgensen, Phillip Lund, Audacia Dangereyes, Sean Burn, Teresa K. Miller, Awan Amali.

Also, Aryanil Mukherjee on Ashbery and Vertigo; and rob mclennan on Sarah Manguso.

new things

Fresh things in the latest e.ratio.

Poems by Laynie Browne, Jill Jones, Jane Adam, Jeff Encke, Joseph F. Keppler, Mark Cunningham, Jadon Rempel, Keith Higginbotham, Anne Fitzgerald, Halvard Johnson, plus E·ratio Editions E·Chaps: Bashō’s Phonebook by Travis Macdonald, and Polylogue by Carey Scott Wilkerson. And The Alan Halsey Interview.

Read online or download the pdf.

dark bright doors

My latest book, Dark Bright Doors, published by Wakefield Press.

To be launched by Debra Adelaide

Saturday 10th April 2010
3.30 for 4pm
49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

This the first west island (Australian) launch. Dark Bright Doors has already been welcomed into the world in Auckland and more welcomes are afoot closer to my current abode.

bridge building

Here's the beginning of the digital bridge, starting in Auckland, stretching to Sydney (and beyond?).

I still have not caught time back, quite, since I arrived back from Auckland, but I brought back with me books and ideas and, most importantly, friendships.

Also, wondering about all our understandings and mis-understandings across the ditch. Note, I don't think understandings or mis-understandings are bad or good, they are. Something to work with, un and mis/un. Material and flex.

Much energies from a great harbour city. Full sail.

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