Monday, April 23, 2007

Mascara and POAM

The first edition of online poetry journal
Mascara has now hit the virtual shelves. It features poetry by Christopher Kelen, Jan Owen, Nathan Curnow, Ouyang Yu, Keri Glastonbury, Charles D'Anastasi, Ross Donlon and many more... including two poems (Drive-thru and Portrait of Ledong Qui) by yours truly, along with a shameless 'look at me standing in front of all these books' photo.

I was also the 'feature poet' in the April/May issue of POAM, 'museletter' of the Melbourne Poets Union. They chose to publish Inscriptions as an example of my work. A previous version of this poem had appeared in Unusual Work.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Down slow (song of samsara) (2007)

Be careful when you sing a song of broken love, a song of Samsara.
Just when you think you are relieving yourself of Samsara,
you might begin romancing it.
When the song sticks,
your broken love is replaced by a new love...
and you're it-
Samsara. ______________________(from Stonepeace)

beneath the drugs
this is what I am

this is my face:

skin torn up
like carpet,
pair of choking eyes

have to get sick
____ to slow down

standing in the quickfire
the lanes of dust
grabbing at particles

my hands
trying to eat clouds

the roads between us
the fish of light
the millions

have to get sick to slow down,
freeze the eyelake over

see the fish of light
frozen swimmers
a library of ice

let's learn to swim down here
while we're dark

bodies solved

our bodies much older
than we, than we think

have to get sick
to glimpse you
_______________ you
not some death girl
forearms awarded
parallel wounds

(you were laying new roads
with the knife)

skin torn up
like carpet,
pair of choking eyes

this is what you are (too)

beneath the drugs
down slow

A previous version of this poem was published in Poetry Sz issue 25, March 2008.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

hutt 2.5

hutt 2.5 (the 'special 2nd bonus birthday issue') is now online, featuring poems by Andy Jackson, Donna Kuhn, B. R. Dionysius, David Prater, Billy Jones, Jill Jones, Joanne Burns, Nathan Ladd, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, and yours truly (cashed).

hutt is an inspired online poetry journal published by papertiger media.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Over Easter my wife Monica and I headed to
ConFest (short for Conference Festival). We camped amongst friends old and new, got back to nature, attended workshops, did meditation and yoga, witnessed live drumming and firetwirling, took part in a sacred ceremony, went swimming in the river, got lost wandering around in the dark, participated in the 'spontaneous choir'... and the rest!
This was my third ConFest, and while I don't think the festival itself has changed a great deal since I last attended a few years ago, I think I have changed significantly in that time - which made it a very different experience this time around.

I put on a workshop entitled 'You call that poetry?!' which consisted of readings and a freeform discussion addressing questions such as 'What is poetry?' and 'Where is poetry today?'. We were treated to some amazing performances; a number of poets brought their poems along to read out, while others recited their words from
memory. I kicked things off by reading Opening Meditation and went on to talk about the relationship between poetry and meditation, a topic which I hope to cover in more detail in a future blog post.

Thanks to everyone who attended the workshop, and everyone who made ConFest such an inspiring, spontaneous and rejuvenating experience!
I think the poem How to be hungry (which I had planned to read in closing the workshop) sums up some of the truth-seeking, life-changing spirit of ConFest: 'unplug everything'! I hereby dedicate it to those who aren't afraid to resist their programming, rethink, reshape, and reclaim the Earth for the Earth's sake.


Below: ConFest settlements (photo by Monica Barratt)