Showing posts from November, 2004

private life

Day thinks in false modernities
rain nights on the other

Hand strong before cold steel and walls
in a way, I'm distant, of course
moved into extreme churches
all absentee nonsense
wind shakes strong to satisfy devices

I relax with hinges, cars, expenses
organize every moment
ring and repair old inclinations
my nostalgia located in extremity
screws of lightning flicked at roofs of iron

O, make work vertical, private
a game of television in pretty calm
hosted at noon, O minor mincemeat
of breathing celebrities
into a paper bag, the joke given form

How much also was lost
ventilating change?


rain, we of resistance
make slip and whisper
heat green

metal separates a hidden

heavyweight windows
exterior cloud valence

better news about Árni

I have just heard tonight that our poet friend, Árni Ibsen, is faring much better though he is not out of the woods yet. He still has pnuemonia, and needs a ventilator to help his breathing, and is very tired. But he has opened his eyes and gives all signs of knowing what is going on. This is such good news. I'm very happy but I know that, still, the support thoughts must go up to the north of the world.

heat zones the insuppressable sky

a river sings to shipments of music
through white assemblies morning remains

calm decodings write days with license
and breathe this skin of mine to extinction

the dry is unturned, taxed interchange
automobiles shimmer in moderation

hope clothes hang in night’s sustenance
as if the sun effects are small

in breath

wings, or something close to hand
word centre
because nothing closes the hand on
the fragile mountain

appreciate shallows if taken water, or

wind moves words
motivating the throat

torsion of trees, or

space covered freely in secret with
cold, shining
and sufficient resistance is form
always said more

without the care of changes, or

where this memory sings rifting
works easy
not to solve the light based here
that writes

birds and phrases

I wrote a poem beginning:

'syllables fall on the green rust
they’re cold and have breathed through
the grey cumulus in time ...'

It was partly influenced by seeing a small rusty-breasted bird up very close from my kitchen window. I got out the bird book and still couldn't identify it. I wrote later in the original:

'and there are no new sentences
today they all are new
but not explaining where the temperature went
or why some days small birds arrive
with rusty breasts and that story
of movement ...'

I thought at the time the bird with the 'rusty breast' (most likely rufous throat), as opposed to the words in a poem, could possibly be a Leaden Flycatcher, a Welcome Swallow or, at a pinch, a Flame Robin. My glimpse had been a blink and nothing more, as a swallow (or not) would be bleeding obvious if I could see the tail at the right angle. It took till some time later while on a stroll down to the river and past the golf course to come across a whole flock of these bird…

a Sydney candle for Árni

You may have noticed the words in Icelandic a few posts down, provided by Icelandic poet, Árni Ibsen. He has been an integral part of the discussion on the poetryetc email list for the last few years.

We have just received some sad news from Iceland that Árni has suffered a brain haemorrhage and that he is in a coma. The prognosis ranges from 'he'll recover' to 'it's the worst'.

I have never met Árni face-to-face. I had hoped to when I went overseas earlier this year but it was not to be. But I know Árni, I talk to him daily through the wire, and this news is most upsetting to me, to us. The list manager of poetryetc, Alison Croggon, has suggested we light a candle for Árni, and this what I've done all this day and will do so until we know.

Now is the time for actions at all levels and this is one of caring and respecting a good man and a good poet. Get well Árni Ibsen, and let's talk again!

what is to be done?

Res Publica: 'The Poets Lie'

words, the words older
than I


of poets the rain's small

pellets small

fountains that live
on the face

of the waters


of the heart they say
too much the heart the
heart of the republic skips

a beat where they touch it

from George Oppen, Two Romance Poems

Here comes J. Tranter

The intriguing interview site, Here Comes Everybody, is currently featuring Australian poet John Tranter. Find out fascinating things such as: John uses an old silver fountain pen (I notice these things as I have a number of fountain pens, including a great old Parker 51 with a gold cap) and he's half-Scots (so, I'm a quarter Scots thanks my Edinburgh-born granny). But, no, I didn't grow up on a farm though John did and he talks about how that was important to him.

There are other Australian poets in the 'future' line-up for Here Comes Everybody. Not yours truly but others nearly as fascinating (joke, Joyce).