Showing posts from August, 2004
Mark Young of pelican dreaming has some nice words to say about the 'impermanent tenses' hay(na)ku I posted last week. Thanks, Mark. I like reading your hay(na)ku and other poems, long and short, which appear on the pelican dreaming site. Always worth a visit.

Hay(na)ku is a form that helps me focus, I've found. I've never been fussed on writing minimalist kinds of forms but this one works for me.

impermanent tenses 2

staggering stuff
in nested containers

looking back
while going forward

or sung
too little being

creaking rail
the hissing pneumos

sound lava
from old women

in their
mouths and lyrics

culture above
the minimalist abyss

dolcissimo marzipan
a little more

of original
bliss letting the

go 'way
out' signs past

impermanent tenses 1

ways to
talk through pulp

the skin
mistakes of language

within each
other in pursuit

own best
and holy season

singing in
the gloaming gut

hung beating
rivvim the reflection

give up
in the stroke

body fails
even its excuses

watch myself
lost inside myself

changing ratio
letterbox pan widescreen

little stings
from phones redundant

situation with
the real/ word

takes place
on planets sleek

we travel
our uncertain seats

corners render
moments of disappearance

more birds

Speaking of birds (see below), you might also want to check out Mark Weiss's new e-book. It's called 'Different Birds' and is based on his recent visit to Australia.

It was a great pleasure to meet Mark while he was here and a few of us Australian poets made some suggestions about his text, some of that along ornithological lines.

list for a visit

three crested pigeons
a butcher bird
a magpie
many noisy mynahs diving aggressively
two rosellas and their squabble tone
the hovering hawk's wing-tip twitch
a galah in the bird-bath
nine horses in the paddock under the trees
peewee on a horse's back
another twitch
crane and ducks on the dam
two cockatiels screeching
currawongs liquid song
three people and a little black dog crossing the paddock
buzz of a small plane
a rabbit running a gutter in the evening
possum blinking in the nightlight


the sad land song
they fly over the spike
grass and the muddied
snake, creek snake
death snake, money
everything but rain


Visiting my mother yesterday. She will now have to move. They will be building a new suburb in the paddocks next to where she lives. Goodbye birds, goodbye horses, goodbye sky. The drought has dried out everything.

Salt-lick launch in Melbourne

Volume 5 of SALT-LICK New Poetry will be launched, as part of the Melbourne Writers' Festival, by respected Australian poet Barry Hill.

Free wine and general conversation will follow readings by contributors Joel Deane, Jen Jewel Brown, Grant Caldwell and Jill Jones (bios below).

Saturday 28 August, 4.00 pm at The Tower, CUB Malthouse, South Melbourne.

A sample of the cover can be seen in the NEWS section of the new Salt-lick website.

Barry Hill is the Poetry Editor of the Australian. His long narrative poem, Ghosting William Buckley, won the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry and his labour history, Sitting In, won the same award for Non-Fiction. His short fiction has been widely anthologised and translated. He appeared in the Best Essays and the Best Poems of 2003, and his first libretto, Love Strong as Death was performed at The Studio the Sydney Opera House in May this year. His most recent poetry is The Inland Sea (Salt Publishing). Broken Song, his biography of TGH Strehlow and …

Ruby Street-Party

There's a lovely picture of Ruby Street up on Chris Murray's blog (scroll down a ways). My Ruby Street is a little quieter than that one (though it's had its moments).

I wonder how many other Ruby Streets there are in the world.

Anyway, when it's party-time in the street, I'll put on my little ruby slippers and dance (dodging the traffic all the while).

light down-market interlude

Here, courtesy of Tom Payne of the London Daily Telegraph (as opposed to Sydney's own Daily Terror) is a list of literary reviewese. Oh dear, I do think I've used one or three of these phrases.

Note: These are Mr Payne's lists and comments, not my own unless signalled.

achingly beautiful

anything-fuelled – narratives of a new, edgy type of fiction sometimes called Britfic tend to be fuelled by a range of uppers – amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, Robbie Williams

as good as any novel – why should writers of fact [or poetry - JJ] aspire to the standards of novelists? Cf the truth is often stranger than fiction, infra

at its core, **** is a deeply moral work – a handy way for a critic to say that those who don't like the shocking book under review simply don't understand it

breakneck speed – no successful thriller will go any slower

bursting to get out – of novellas in vast, sprawling epics

by this stage, I was ready to hurl the book across the room

cocktail – the resu…
The Tasmanian literary blog North of the latte line has just had a classy make-over. Much easier to read and full of good news and info about poetry, especially Australian and even more especially Tasmanian, but with universal appeal.

Anne Kellas looks after it along with a posse of Taswegians and ex-Taswegians including Ivy Alvarez and Ralph Wessman of the long-running and excellent mag, The Famous Reporter.

what people are reading

Here is an eclectic list, to say the least, at Third Factory of what folks mainly in the USofA are reading at the moment. Great food for thought for one's own reading list.

A nice crit for my work - thanks chris!

Chris Murray has given my new chapbook Struggle and Radiance a neat rap.

Jill Jones, Struggle and radiance: ten commentaries,
Wild Honey Press, 2004.

A beautifully made, hand sewn chapbook. Stunning artwork on cover, a rectangle of splashes, dashes, swirls of color, which might best be described with a fragment of the poetry as "beyond the difference/ trapped in vision" ("I. A Vision"). The poems fairly take off from there, each with Jones customary precision and care for word and deed in life experience. This is a poet with not only ear and eye fully committed to work together in/on the poem, but the entire body of being is ever present, fully an art, then, not only committing distinctly differing parts to the whole, but of engaged commitment to the larger social body of ideas, not least of which that of self-reflective questions of temporal presence, transcendence and influenced by cultural habituation:

But still a consumer
the constant capture
shelves my h…
Hmm, there's something in this remark from Janet Holmes:

She says: "Spurred on by Jordan's and John's blogs, I started reading Ben Friedlander's Simulcast, which feels like I'm reading the study guide to an in-joke, given all the name-dropping of Poetics List regulars. Not to say that it isn't great fun! (The fake Usenet group, based upon the messages, is coffee-snortingly funny.) But it just reinforces my belief that male poets are very often pack animals, carefully delineating their territories and eagerly pointing out the unforgiveable differences among their aesthetics (which activities Friedlander satirizes, but also participates in). Women poets exist only if they're solidly related to schools (in both senses of the word)--thus, Friedlander can say that nobody was writing poetry influenced by rock/rock criticism until Joshua Clover came along, when Denise Riley already was quite well established doing it, albeit i…

sometimes don't know where they come from

What you're doing with the flask
gives you morpheus
and a little sickness
that you've interviewed for
the lost world, the falling one.

You've marked your nerve
built a roof over it
left your heart on the kitchen table
and something high
has flown out the window.

Just like you, to unwrap the drug
an animal in foil
and loosed left of centre
packet strewn with all the other scripts
for pain in the side.

And when you wake
and beg, full of life still
even that's the tablets
inscribed with half-words
and formulas.

Off with the headphones
clap your hands
for the funk and blues
scrap the flack and forget
your heart can be stilled

Just in a second
in the beat-between silence
some old Gaelic cry in a valley
something northern

But talking and sickness
all to much spruiking
too much flack to handle.
Let rip - let sit
in some echt silence.

Then press the button.
It's not a roar
but a pattern you bear
waking and sleeping
turning around.

Just received a copy of Chris Murray’s wonderful and bright-covered chap, Meme Me Up Scotty. I'm loving its music, its sonic play, its fluidity. I read a lot of books where the poems don't sing to me, but Chris's sure do.

It’s funny and serious, it’s “shining as a satellite”.

fur in slow winter
turning the air
saying “now”

- from Jump Phasing 1

In fact, the words ‘yes’ and ‘now’ mean a lot in this book which turns the world’s noise into vibrations, sympathies and conversations. It’s mindful and full of wonder and play - and of the poetry in things, in all our ‘stuff’, the “pollen electricity”.

Chris has one of the best, jumpingest blogs I know and this book is both cool and jumping, thinking and loving sounds of poetry.

Thanks for sending it to me, Chris, even though it took its time making it down here.

fababylala ...
(La La Ism)

call for submissions - foam:e two

Submissions are now being called for the next edition of the terrific on-line mag, foam:e. The details are here and the deadline is the end of August.

The first edition is available here.

Colin McCahon

I have just found an absolute treasure. A database of images by the great New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon.

I saw an exhibition of McCahon's work last year, A Question of Faith, and it was mindblowing. The way McCahon worked with text, the power of the painted word, so to speak.

Anyway, this discovery is thanks to Martin Edmond. Check out his blog, luca antara.


This day is clouds and earth
in our crisp bitter bodies
not our usual knowledge here

journeyed from mountains to city plain
snowish wind and rain virga
a torn drape from cumulus

moist and dry meeting
evanescing into the halfway
what we need is blown

we see this wispy precipitant
virgin thought of rain
not arriving any time soon


I learnt a new word today - virga which more or less means the light floaty kind of rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground (especially when the lower reaches of the air are low in humidity).

I do lots of 'weather' poems. I always recall, inaccurately probably, that John Ashbery once said there are three great themes in poetry: love, death and the weather. When I tell people this they often laugh but I don't really understand why. Seems pretty obvious to me.