Friday, September 30, 2011

fear of fire

Sometimes at night
burning among cautions
so when you wake
sufficient clouds flame
you were floating in

what you haven’t done
seek to tongue and carry
remembered chora
heavy moon
will not let you sleep

Monday, September 26, 2011

negative breathing

Maybe I was born among democracy under libertarians
on the lam. Maybe I was carted with mimics and homeopaths
to the tune of a trice bawdy ballad as exchange.

Then I was a debtor living in jalopies with some new kickback.
I know I swallowed piranhas, and something more confusing.
After that I didn’t speak about the libertarians for a long time.

The mimics wandered, catcalls were exposed.
When rampage reigned, I'd write in multiples. If they were
bad seeds, I couldn't tell, but they were absorbed.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.

There were votes in airships and trampolines, teacake
for dolphins and yogis. I did not lose out though the yields
were all under-reported. If the calories were faulty, it was always
blissful in negative space, and the heavy breathing.


Friday, September 23, 2011

mudstone

faint familiar
what sort of creature
extinct, quarry,
the way they are

anomola, lurks
from shales
mysteries
eyes of rock

could I be capable
of such patience?


the rear view

and lost, skimming
the tinkle on line
the benchmark is
a dumbcluck again

— wrong, it’s a coyote vibraphone
a layette, a kitchen filled with
fireworks and lobbyists

so, avoid the normal, the natural
it's not as if it's a subcommittee
of outcasts

they play, dudes, they play
at the roadblock again among
passersby, robins, leatherette
rampages, the essentials

of the lost, the sum
of being a superstar or
you’ve lost control again

AU/UA: two-way street

A publishing house in the Ukraine, Krok, have just released an e-anthology in English and Ukrainian featuring 20 Australian & 20 Ukrainian contemporary poets, plus a small selection of images by Ukrainian and Australian photographers. Called Contemporary Poetry of Ukraine and Australia, it has been edited by Les Wicks, Yury Zavadsky and Grigory Semenchuk.

Australian poets include Susan Bradley-Smith, joanne burns, Michelle Cahill, Susan Hampton, Andy Jackson, Kit Kelen, Cath Kenneally, Anthony Lawrence and Peter Minter, and photographers include Cath Phillips and Annette Willis. Ukrainian poets include Serhiy Zhadan, Pavlo Hirnyk, Iryna Shuvalova, Natalka Bilotserkivets, Kateryna Babkina, Vasyl Makhno and Yuri Andrukhovych.

The book is available as a pdf download. It's free, it's easy and it's good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

runnin' amok in po'try

Here's something straight outa Eire, the first issue of RunAmok. Poetry by Michael Kindellan, Robert Sheppard, Gerry Loose, Jennifer Matthews, Joe Luna, Andrew Spragg, Giles Goodland, Jill Jones, Simon Howard, Amanda Ackerman and Juha Virtanen. Criticism by Mandy Bloomfield and Aodan McCardle. Edited by James Cummins, Sarah Hayden, Niamh O'Mahony and Rachel Warriner. You can buy it online.

I have yet to see my copy but caught a glimpse online as it appears to have had a first outing at the Sound Eye festival among some other terrific publications, as shown on this blog. I had hoped to act on an invitation to this year's Sound Eye but fate had other things in store for me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

-- but not Enclosure

I could not stop for that - My Business is Circumference - An ignorance, not of Customs, but if caught with the Dawn - or the Sunset see me - Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty, Sir, if you please, it afflicts me, and I thought that instruction would take it away.

Emily Dickinson - letter to Thomas Higginson (July, 1862)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whitmore Prize shortlist

The shortlist for the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize 2011 have just been announced. The following poets, listed in alphabetical order, have been shortlisted for the prize:

B. R. Dionysius

Paula Green

Dominique Hecq

Jill Jones

Jo Langdon

Laura Jean McKay

Eddie Paterson

Nathan Shepherdson

Lucy Todd

Corey Wakeling

The organisers say: "With 116 entries received, a number of other very worthy submissions did not make the shortlist on this occasion. We found the entries to be of a very high standard. ...."

Part of the condition of submitting to the award was to only put forward unpublished work of up to 150 lines and to have a longer work, for the complete chapbook, in mind. As Anne Kellas points out on her blog, these conditions may be what resulted in the 'very high standard'.  

The winner, whose work will be published in a limited edition chapbook in early 2012, will be announced before the end of September.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the nerve of

There are many ways to lose your nerve. Let's not count them.

If you can accept working the flux, and not being branded.

Disregard may save you. If you have the nerve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the misinterpretation thing

This recent poem of mine in Overland is partly about the inbetweeness I've felt, partly about working life, always about language, but also contains a bit of a riposte to some recent reviewers who have made odd statements about who I am and/or what I am writing about or into.

Though it's of little matter what people think anymore - recent events have got me beyond the whole 'Australian poetry' thing - but to note that all kinds of irritants are good for getting the poetry machine working.

no titles

There's a couple of newish poems of mine that have been up for a little while at the OzKo edition of Cordite.

Both are, essentially, untitled, but a 'title' was needed for publication. Oh, the limitations of coding. They are part of a longer series of untitled poems I've been working. It's odd, as I've always championed poets paying close attention to their titles but for this series I have simply capitalised the first three words of each poem. Magazine editors, either online or in print, really don't like it. Interesting.

the flight of poetry

One thing I have missed, and will miss, living here in Adelaide is the physical presence of poetry 'stuff', the talking, reading thing. I am surrounded by books of poems, in my office at home and my office at work but that's not quite enough, I am finding.

There are poets on line. There are poets I know, a flight or two away.

Poetry things, poetry 'stuff' happens here - quite obviously - but it does not seem to synch with my stuff, with how I get with poetry. This is not a criticism or, if it is, it is a self-criticism.

In recent times I've been somewhere else to talk poetry (Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland) but can't, quite, get to what's here. I'm too much of an alien, an east-coast klutz, with no history here. I am in the midst of accepting that.

unter den linden?

A sequence I wrote, 'The Linden Tapes', has been shortlisted (though being part of a list of 23 poems suggests a very lo-o-ong list) for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Essentially it means I will be in the 2011 anthology, which is neat. The prize presentation thingie will happen in Newie in a couple of weeks. I could go, but I am planning an overseas trip (slightly postponed) so can't really afford to. And clearly I'm not a winner or runner-up.

But my real point is that the poems are very much out of living in this place (ie Linden Park). I would have called the sequence 'The Linden Park Tapes' but I wanted to keep a little mystery in these essentially suburban songs (yes, all 14 liners). Linden Park is a very suburban place in a very suburban city. I feel as though I am back where I started, the very suburban Australia I was born into. Unsettling.

I'm not sure if there are any linden trees here. I presume there must be, somewhere. Plenty trees, plenty birds, however.

the 'where?' thing

I have been away from the blog for some time. One reason, only being articulated as I type, is that Ruby Street (the physical place) is not mine any longer. I've finally sold up. I've finally left Sydney.

It raises a lot of questions about place - physical and virtual. And writing, too. Writing involves place, where you sit, where you write or type, what's out the window or down the street.

I don't know where I am at the moment.

It's not a bad thing, it's not a good thing. It is simply 'the thing'.