Showing posts from July, 2007

where i'm going

Just to say, I'm not taking off for other climes immediately but quite soon.

Mid September in New York then Quebec into October, then across the Atlantic to Frankfurt for the Book Fair, then some time in Paris. Then very late October for three days in Helsinki and a quick stop in Hong Kong.

Happy to catch up with anyone or anything along that way.

very sydney

Over the last day and a bit I've been thinking about the villages of Sydney. It's common to think of the urban spread as something either amorphous or monolithic, when it isn't. Inner city types sneer at the burbs and 'westies', certain people won't cross the Bridge either way and everyone else thinks North Shore and eastern suburbs types are up themselves. (I was born on the North Shore, in case you were wondering.)

This is all partly because I have family on my mind. I was having dinner with friends last night over in Paddington - on the sports ground side, meaning we had to make our way through Sydney Swans supporters to get there (Swans won, by the way). At one stage of the evening we were speaking of Manly, a suburb I've never lived in but where my parents had a second-hand bookshop for many years, and which I managed on week days for quite a while. But one of my friends remembered it clearly. 'The Manly Book Exchange,' he said. Indeed. These da…

electric north

Here we go! Finnish poetry in all-electric verse.

I am going to Helsinki soonish (also New York, Quebec, Frankfurt, Paris and Hong Kong, sort of in that order) so I better get to know some more. I'll have never been so far north, that's for sure.

on bloggering around

Australian writer Sophie Cunningham has written a useful
article on writers and blogging in this week's Age. I knew this was coming as it arose partly from a discussion about blogging which took place on the Australian literary weblog, Sarsaparilla, and regarding which yours truly made a comment.

It surveys why a lot of writers blog and don't blog. F'r instance, James Bradley says: "I suspect the reason a lot of novelists and fiction writers don't blog is to do with an unease about dismantling the psychological barriers a lot of us erect to allow us to write in the first place", while Miss Boynton says, "I wonder what writers can learn from blogging? (the electric speed of playful language for one, where ideas seed)."

The article won't sell the idea to bloggers, cos we're doin' it, but might get a discussion going amongst the sceptics. But, in the end, each to their own process.

talkin' poetry

There's a new feature at British poetry site metaroar consisting of a group Q&A between NSW writer Angela Meyer and three Australian poets, David Prater, Paul Hardacre, and myself.

Angela's introduction says, in part, "Australia’s physical distance from the rest of the Western world can make its artists informed reflectors. It is a mish-mash of cultures, of opinions, of denials. It is still young. Mostly, modern Australian poetry recognises its roots but rejects becoming entwined with them. It wanders, delves, is frightened and influenced by a global environment."

The article makes for an interesting play between different poetics and experiences, the things similar and not the same.

From Paul: "I’d say that beauty has been vanquished. So you can see that my politics is a politics whose source is invariably love, compassion and a shared sense of humanity; a politics of similarities, instead of differences."

From David: "I didn’t start writing poetry ti…

The beyond elegy

Those in a landscape know
on the road systems assemble
goals, the black ones
sectioned in newspapers
those not abundant in love
know the parted edge, the torso
beloved of rain, of summer
that love song, delayed, delayed
on extinct avenues, preceding
the thousand eyes, which fire
the future rather than regrets
mobilising bodies of the narcissus

To increase without knowledge
comment hidden by the heart
like any sound in distant sectors
under palms, the practice of death
in a world where ardour survives
an expensive one
which denies you
so that you exist, only you
if the systems are be-jammed
will you not walk outside
into the loneliness of a scene
in front of armours, goodbye speak

Quandary makes its night song for you
who it constructed, as expensive harms
increase in storm, producing victims
to ask for your sisters, orphans
the song trespasses slumber
delivers the black swan to a place
of noise and famished dancers
who go, in order to stay while
you sink through pagan screens
a morning with its unicorn
whose narrow fr…

la vie en rose

You get swamped
by the peleton
if you can’t find the wheel.
Turning on a rhapsody of pain
your own chateau
seems strange in summer light.
It’s not enough to be valiant.
The sermons say different.
Four slim points can seem
an abyss. Getting up
is just a job, no thanks
to dawny fingers
drumming the soul’s office.
A sprint, a climb.
There’s an elephant
in the garden
a tank down the road
under god’s control.
The timer blinks.
Polish the giro helmet.
Hey ho, let’s go!


Down at root level
amongst pearlite mulch
I am drawing vastly
of rain and air.

Planes make you believe
in forever, elsewhere
as they tremble
above the sere leaf line.

At home in dappled
21st century shade
I feel the gnarl of secateurs
scattered iron chelates.

I want to expose a hazy line
to wound the tissue
green sap wood
with love.

East facing I call
to companion plants
as if we’re home and hosed
with care.

we are seeking

Business Programs cannot
move us
not while bulbuls fatten
on the cherry tree.
Highly motivated, results driven.
Direct sun wakes the winter.
We would like to abscond
with beauty over the hills.
As spills on the road
great management opportunities
Robust Next Generation Detection.
Thanks for the heads up but, no
thanks, the sky seems wider
when crossed with wings
and sounds of ravens.
Quit the dream!
My next step is out into the yard
the yellow leaves given to ground.
But I scoop them together
sounding dry, sounding.
Raise them up for the seconds
it takes to catch the clouds
rolling from the south.
My only gift
another thing I’ve stolen.
A suitably qualified person
will always hunt you down.
Not if I see them coming
first, no way.

el hay(na)ku

Hay(na)ku from The First Hay(na)ku Anthology have been translated into Spanish and available at Periodico de Poesia associated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). On the site are translations (and originals) by:

Michael Chmielecki
Craig Freeman
Harry K. Stammer
Crag Hill
Jill Jones
Tom Beckett
Sheila E. Murphy

The translators are Argel Corpus, Rebeka Lembo, Liliana Andrade, Itzel Rivas, Melisa Larios, Alfredo Villegas, Luis Felipe Alvarez, Alejandra Navarrete, María González de León, and Álvaro García. They are part of UNAM's Faculty of Literature and Philosophy/Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.

listen in

You can listen in to all good things at the latest i-outlaw. Cast of thousands (almost a dozen?) including Annie Finch, Aaron Belz, Emma Barnes, Andrew Burke, Jim Goar, Lisa Gordon, Lewis LaCook, Amanda Laughtland, Rebeka Lembo, Ashraf Osman. And little ol' moi.

found poem - things to do in melbourne

Sales Representative

Research Fellow - Hydrogen

Computer Systems Officer

Research Fellow - Functional Foods

Director of Research

Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer/Lecturer – Bioprocessing Engineering

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Stratospheric Ozone

Research Fellow - NIMS Group (Multiple positions available)

Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer/Lecturer – Bioprocessing Engineering

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Climate Change (2 Positions)


music white bird
dream the

mini georgic

That the body goes back to its field or mulch

That ground speaks in hum

To ask how we've wrecked time

small press stuff

In late May I attended a conference (as an observer) run by SPUNC, the Small Press Underground Networking Community. SPUNC was set up to represent and promote collaboration within the Australian small and independent publishing sector. Good idea.

I'll be interested to see what becomes of the ideas raised at the conference, which were many and varied, as you'd expect, with a lot more ground to cover. I'll be interested particularly to hear more about engagement with the web and the possibilities, in particular, of web 2.0 (ie, web as 'communities') for networking, publishing and distribution, and discussion and debate.

starting to become

"We must be who we are." So said Georgina Beyer at a fund-raising dinner for the gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender/ queer (you know the drill) community at the Sydney Town Hall last night. This was the 10th Aurora dinner run by the Aurora Group which was set up to organise events within the lesbian, gay and transgender community to bring friends together in celebration as well as raising funds for community organisations and projects, including Twenty Ten GLBT Youth Support and The Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service.

I must say I wasn't on the wavelength and prolly ought not to have been there, having been pretty ill all week and for other family reasons, although it was a grand and glam sell-out affair, peopled by dykes, queens, trannies, pollies (Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Minister for Short Showers and Tanya Plibersek, Federal Member for Emerald City) and on-side corporates. The Town Hall, I have to say, looked stunning and the James Bond theme was suitably over-th…

on jennifer rankin

One of the few places you get some in depth discussion of Australian literature, including, from time-to-time poetry, is the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (phew - just call it JASAL).

In the latest issue there's a fascinating article by Bonny Cassidy on the poetry of Jennifer Rankin. Bonny did a terrific paper at an ASAL mini-conference in February of this year, looking at Rankin's work through an eco-poetic lens.

This article takes a different tack. To quote the abstract: "Attention to Jennifer Rankin's poetry was spare within her lifetime. Twenty-eight years after her death, the time has come to challenge her critical reception and to recognise the importance of her poetics on its own terms. Her work has an antithetical relationship to the generation of '68, and the shadowy place that it takes among the poetry of her peers can be defined by its struggle against subjectivity; a poetics at odds with John Tranter's descriptions…