Thursday, November 23, 2006

Under the Influence

I'm doing a reading on Tuesday the 5th of December, but not of my own work...

For the Victorian Writers' Centre's annual 'Under the Influence' event, where writers read work by other writers who have influenced them, I'm hoping to do justice to Federico Garcia Lorca's New York: Office and Attack. They say to never work with children or animals, and I think ghosts should probably be added to the list. They are just as unpredictable, if not more so. Who knows, all hell may (finally) break loose. It's that kind of poem... like Yeats' Second Coming, it raises demons at the same time as launching a damning critique of 'civilisation' as we know it. (Do we know it?)

At last year's event (at Carlton's Courthouse Theatre) I read two poems by the late, great Australian poet John Forbes (Drugs and Angel), to an audience which contained several other poets who had known John personally... which was a very humbling experience.

This year's event will be quite different, since it's doubling as the VWC Christmas Party! Full details below (as posted on the VWC website -

Under the Influence - the VWC's last event for 2006!
with Tony Wilson & Klare Lanson

Stella Glorie returns to host this celebration of our literary influences and the year past. This event will feature four writers, including novelist and broadcaster Tony Wilson, and poet/performer Klare Lanson. Each will read and talk about the writers that have influenced them - and you too can join in the festivities and bring your own three-minute reading. Come along and share the words of the writers that have inspired and influenced you, and celebrate the Centre's last event for the year.

When: Tuesday 5 December, 7pm
Where: Victorian Writers' Centre, 1st Floor Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St, Melbourne
Cost: $7, VWC Members $5
Bookings: 9654 9068

Above: Federico Garcia Lorca

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Self-portrait (with wires, city & no clothes) (2006)

I am open
and open
and open
(we never close, so
why should the city sleep?)

City be slow with me,
city slow down; I love you but
I must get treed, rivered,
rocked, beached
and often

Back home on my body

hair grows like wild grass;
back home in my eye
a snapshot,
quick and approximate,
of the whole perfect whole

You asked to see a photo, but
I asked for paper
to write on

I am colourised wires, ant colony,
wide area network,
landmass seen from an airplane window

I am sub-atomic ghost

I am those
and those
and those

I look very familiar)

I am the words
we squeezed out of nature
which with use
became unusable
(I'm looking for
the new words
to give back)

I want to plant lamps

I'm walking around
no armour, no cloak
(I look pretty strange)

I am yes
and yes
and yes

and here
and here

(I’m so glad
you could make it)

As published in Verandah 22, September 2007.

A reading of this poem can be downloaded from here.