Sunday, July 23, 2006

Overload Poetry Festival

Poetry in Public

On Saturday the 5th of August, I read my poem
A Taste of Cindy (see below) at the Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne, as part of the Overload Poetry Festival.

Thanks so much to everyone who made it down, and to everyone who sent their best wishes! All the encouragement made a big difference.

The short report: great event, great turnout, some very talented poets, plenty of wows, laughs and surprises! I'm sure those who witnessed it will agree that it was plenty of fun.

Featured poets for the event were Grant Caldwell, Lee Kofman & Justin Beal (WA), all of whom captivated the crowd. I was one of eight Victorian Writers' Centre poets who took part, along with poets from Prahran Mission. As expected, the audience was treated to a diversity of voices and styles.

The Overload Poetry Festival has much more in store, so check the program here if you haven't already:

The Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup.

It turns out that I'll actually be appearing in another festival event: The Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup.

When: Saturday 19 August, 7pm
Where: New Ballroom, Trades Hall, corner of Lygon & Victoria streets
Cost: $7 on the door
What: Approximately 40 poets will each have 1 minute to "prove themselves" to the judges and audience, battling it out for the $2,000 cash prize.
Why: Er... why not?
Expect: short, snappy, high-shutter-speed poetry, and much performative nuttiness.
Full info here:

I'll also be taking part in live readings down the track, including one to launch the next issue of local experimental writing/art magazine Unusual Work (date TBC), and one for the Victorian Writers' Centre's Christmas Party on 5 December. More details on those later...


Below: Reading A Taste of Cindy at Fed Square (photo by Monica Barratt).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Saturday, Brunswick St (2006)

For my partner in crime!

the two of us flow,

cruising, inspired,
the dayglo & drab of the street,

our dialogue torn
from pages of hipster fiction —

humming café
lights us up,

we tell the kitchen
to keep us guessing,

& heads turn for our meals as they arrive,
drifting to the table like carnival floats.

Our knives and forks groove
to P-Funk & Aretha,

then cocktails
for our encore:

one Tequila Mockingbird,
one Test Tube Baby!

We hit the street again hallucinating,
the scene sugarcoated like lovable anime;

we sway through smoke & laughter
spreading from streetside tables,

point at the dead poets for sale
in $1 boxes.

We could sift
through rarities forever,

lose the afternoon
in clouds of patchouli...

today we're in love
with our shop-window reflections,

every t-shirt slogan
tells a perfect private joke,

and even the death-bitten guy

who asks us for change is shining;

he smiles every step
to the bottleshop.

As published in The Paradise Anthology (February 2008)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Misogynist's Song (2006)

You are mine. You are mine like:

1. The glower of a spotlight


a finger pointed down.

2. My keys in my hand


the purpose of hands.

3. An open palm can


{ confidential information }

4. Our buildings are titans


every little(-)loved thing in the world

(and) 5. blood is the body’s river.

The true(!). The true thing is:

no one gives a damn about your ‘music’

"That's just what I use the word to mean."

The one who could hurt me most (la la la)

(la la la) will never be you

(but what am I?)

I am telling the truth.

(lusts / I am not mine).

I’m bound to lose.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Nightpiece (2006)

I know I’ve spoken of this before,
(I’m waiting between work & a movie / tight on coffee)
but the city night
is crying
(with light)
satellites spark the sky
trams queue Swanston
trees skeletal violet, underlit
“something else”
sushi train from $2.50
pollens by Christian Dior
7 Eleven’s vortex white
black icecream

As published in Clockwise Cat, July 2009.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here I sit (2006)

my fingers sentient

with words

taking large gulps of
caffeine in my throat.

A fool’s alchemy:

the extraction of tears
from oceans

all tears having been shed

all oceans dead

and alchemy a lie
for liars

(mystics, poets,

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's over (2006)

I say nothing

(smoking gun)

or at least nothing from
the list (of things
never to be said again),

all our trusty
workarounds (e.g.):

“Leave me
alone to smoke

my cigarette!”

It’s ok,
we don’t have to be sexy
(any more).

Friends, correct?

Page 198 of 198:
I was (I am!) chasing down Smith St –

(had) a hand in this,

I thought,

so do I (in this),

this payment,

Badge of Honour,

well-thumbed anthology of
ways (to get fixed).

It’s over and I’m
mixing up tenses (still);

I chose (I’ve chosen)
the colour blue to
remember you

(storing liquid maps) .

You told me (too),
“Never turn your back
on the ocean”,

but (what if)
the ocean is you...?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Thankyou (2006)

(This is the 100th post to be added to A Collection of Thoughs, so I thought it was time to "take on my own voice" as a way of saying thankyou...)

Thankyou to everyone who has ever: ignored me, criticised me, argued with me, encouraged me (you gave me courage), loved me, made me laugh, made me not laugh, held me, rejected me, indulged me, assassinated me, told me to give up (not enough of you have done this!), made me doubt my own coherence, made me doubt my own appearance (in the world), made me realise that "what you have is yours to find, not to hold", made me realise that quoting yourself is an act of unassailable self-indulgence, shown me something I could not see for myself, shown me that words are probably the most powerful thing within reach, shown me that words are not probably the most powerful thing within reach, shown me that words are the most powerful thing within reach, attempted to explain how things work in the 'real world', blinded me with politics and sighted me with science, danced with me, sung with me, screamed with me, marched with me, cooked with me, fucked themselves up with me, understood me, overstood me, stood on the same step with me, let me be Wordy(!), let me be nerdy(!!!), proved to me that money is less than nothing, resurrected my faith in the simplicity of flux, allowed me to walk in beauty (not like she, but still like the night), allowed me to be quiet, fostered the opening / unlocking / unhinging / singeing of my mind, listened to me speak, (and) spoken to me listen. Thankyou. I could write a list of names, but it would never be complete. Thankfully (most thankfully of all), there is always someone else.

Love (all ways), Stu

"She walks in beauty like the night" = Lord Byron

Saturday, July 01, 2006

How to be hungry (2006)

Take your phone and throw it in the river.

Unplug from everything.

Return each thing you love to its birthplace.

Enter someone else's pain, then steal it.

Zen: this road is you, this weather is you.

Look food in the eye before you eat it.

Respect fear as an accomplished adversary.

Walk city streets for days and nights.

Speak to the strangest of the strangers.

Listen closely for the announcement they make.

____-They say, "Lies have taken office."

____-They say, "Decorate the streets with truth."