Tuesday, January 29, 2008

easy poem (2007)

i like what is happening________________-(a wet painting)

this body
______________-_-_________breathing others

oversleeping________________a haze and smile to things

faces gift_____________-______seductions glow restless

and i cried today_________--_-_______________easily

i go where words are________-__
_____--(no shortage felt)

Paradise Anthology launch

Paradise Anthology has been created as a ‘paradise’ for emerging Australian writers and artists. It is published in association with the Victorian Writers Centre and supported by the City of Port Phillip and Salon Productions Australia. My poem Saturday, Brunswick St is featured in the anthology.

The launch of the anthology is taking place on Tuesday the 5th of Feb from 6:30pm at the St Kilda Public Library, 150 Carlisle St, St Kilda. Entry is free.

A word from the event hosts: "Guests for the anthology launch include Rosemary Cameron (Director of the Melbourne Writers Festival), Rebecca Barnard, Brian Nankervis from Rockwiz, Greg Arnold from Things of Stone and Wood, Erica Grundell from Naked Raven and Michael Crane will be performing with Trish Anderson and a choir and twenty poets reading short poems. The new mayor of St Kilda might be there too."

Hope to see you there...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

an accident

"If in the following pages there is some successful verse or other, may the reader forgive me the audacity of having written it before him. We are all one; our inconsequential minds are much alike, and circumstances so influence us that it is something of an accident that you are the reader and I the writer - the unsure, ardent writer - of my verses."

- Jorge Luis Borges, from the preface to the 1923 edition of Fervor de Buenos Aires.

ny dream (with bits of Berrigan) (2008)

It's 57am in Ted Berrigan.
Never been to New York but
how hard can it be? OK.
Came to me 'first thing' - words
woke me. I needed a gun
in the dream & knew why.
Now I've no idea but
gladly. I do need peach /
tree / mountain surgery...
"What am I saying?

Only this." City's a cut-up.
Pass the scissors. Stray. It's
raining bots & eggs, but
this isn't that poem so
it was really snowing &
raining car stereos
pushing out hiphop grinding
woofers gorgeous blaq-
skinned it's 2008pm in New
York it's 5am in my bedhead
street surgeons pulling fast ones
that one's got a knife! thank yr
stainproof suit time your
coffee so you're peaking
for the meeting 2:15pm.

Note: "What am I saying? / Only this." - Ted Berrigan, 'Words for Love'. "it was really snowing & raining" - Frank O'Hara, 'POEM (Lana Turner Has Collapsed)'.

As published in Otoliths 9 (May 2008).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

refuse (2008)

(after Silliman... sort of)

A day under repair. Remember my foot dead as a book.
Was trying to type but the window was ghosted. Coming down with something: perhaps a poem. My turn to cook? Half-life: blurs of transaction between us. Go through phases, moods, like some old moon. Naming will not keep pace. Downloading Derrida. I just looked as it ticked over. All have a tic about time. Distraction blizzards. Dwelling in the centre of your hand. You’ve lost me. Cherry-fingers blemish the page. A guilt that grows back. Comedown. Log out and log back in again. Need to work back late, keep watch till dawn. As the market clouds. Subtler words leave exit wounds. Remove nothing from the scene of the theft. All this slowdying. Emissions. Heavy myself with. Punjabi pop music strays from another apartment, as if dappling me with colour. I wasn’t quite full. Was deleting old songs. The crouched hand of love (from a song of Creeley’s). New window. Drawn to stories of failures. Driver error. Lab rats in lab coats? They were subtitles for a different film altogether. Photograph these powers of persuasion. But does he look happy to you? Shooting animations in Timezone. Heroic dopamine flow. The doctor suggests closing both eyes. Hyperrealism of high definition. Have fun with it. Happy snaps, sad snaps. Exit the bed as if this were the only exit. Bivouac: noun; a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, without protection from enemy fire. We have overslept. Just one more snooze before we assemble. Living faceless, mouth grows pretty dry. Keep meat away. Touch of the air, air of the touch. Refused endings. Everything’s not you in one sense, but in another: come home. Swim your body for the first time. Untie these roads and lift them from you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

3. my father passing (2008)

never soon,
not yet

he may clutch
at our clutching –

I should not foresee
it yet, but

clenched words, their
echo of approach,

open tears,
eyes breaking

with the weight,
slowing of

his beautiful

2. my father arising (2008)

in freshened
time attending
to himself,

gifting himself

off the channels
that pulse at him,
unneeded tentacles.

the segment
hard in him

like a catch –

his smile as
he dissolves.

Dorothy Porter

In August 2006 I was awarded a mentorship through the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), which entitled me to a year's instruction with a mentor of my choice.

I'd taken a creative writing / poetry class Dorothy Porter gave while she was writer in residence at Melbourne Uni in 1998, and her advice and views on poetry had a strong impact on me. So it was a great honour that she was able to make herself available as my mentor during 2007.

We had meetings throughout the year at the Royal Hotel in Clifton Hill. Hers was a Sauvignon Blanc, mine a mineral water(!). We'd chat about what we were writing and how we were writing it; what we'd been reading, watching, listening to. We exchanged books, CDs, DVDs and talked at length about their arcane properties and effects. I was given further insight into the scenes, cliques, politics and history of Australian poetry. By way of barter I offered what I could in terms of insight into the current state of rock & roll (
I compiled several mix CDs as evidence, each a labour of love), electronic media and online poetry...

Dorothy's sage advice came thick and fast throughout the year, but in particular, there were two acts of generous and wise counsel from Dorothy that will continue to reverberate...

First of these was Dorothy's passing on of the vision of her own mentor, the late Bruce Beaver. Some of his poems had been familiar to me beforehand, but Dorothy was able to offer a much more fully realised picture of his life and life's work. Not only did Beaver provide Australia's own enduring answer to the Confessional Poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, et al), he is also one of 'our' great visionaries. For the uninitiated, Dorothy's brief biography of Beaver and selection of his poems
over at Poetry International Web will provide some proof for these claims.

The second piece of especially wise counsel was Dorothy's insistence that I re-read Euripides' The Bacchae. This was to be partly considered as research for my book-in-progress, How to be hungry, with its themes of drug use, (dis)connection, alternate ways of seeing/experiencing the world, and how the status quo demands to be threatened by Bacchic/Dionysian rites. All of these themes are mirrored (and magnified) in The Bacchae. A very good call on Dorothy's part.

Thank you, Dorothy, for everything. And thankyou to the ASA for offering and organising this brilliant opportunity.

- Stu

Thursday, January 10, 2008

videopoem #2

Three Lions - Roderick Coover (video) and Nick Montfort (text).

"Filmed in Puerto Rico, this one minute loop is a work developed under the Oulipo tradition of creating under constraints. The one minute loop is read by Brett Keyser. Gallery premiere Esther Klein Gallery 2007; festival premiere, Philadelphia Film Festival 2007. This is the first in the CURRENCY Series."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

(by way of) introduction

Some 200 posts in, figured it was time to write an intro to this here blog.

In my practice at least, where there's poetry, there are petri dishes & test tubes, lab rats in lab coats. Everything is experiment. Some failed, some foiled. Some sometimes semi-successful?
(only to be dragged down by lame alliteration)

I post stuff here once it's reached some degree of 'readiness' (my judgement can sometimes be wayward, but hey). Once it's posted, I will continue to edit it on here. Everything here is 'in progress' / unfinished; there are annoying roadworks everywhere.

More recent posts are likely to be the most raw, therefore. Sometimes I'll fall out of love with a piece and
it will disappear off the face of the blog.

Fact is, I go through phases and moods, like some old moon.

If you want to taste a sample of my work, and see how it has evolved (or not), check out the 'specials' list on the sidebar for poems which are special for one reason or another. Some are personal favourites, some are dedicated to friends, some received accolades, etc.
Published poems are also tagged (if you click on the tag all published poems will surface). The links to 'poems elsewhere' on the sidebar is also worth a look. The 'kindred' and 'miscellany' listings provide useful escape routes if you just want to get the hell outta here.

This place started purely as a repository for my poems, but more recently I've been looking to add spice by way of quotes, audio and 'videopoems' (more on those later). In future I'd like to post more of my own ravings re poetics, etc. I'm aiming to feature a variety of content, and am always open to comments and suggestions.

So then, maybe this is more disclaimer than intro.

- Your humble apologist (shown below in pretentious chin-stroking bookshelf-backdropped mode)

1. my father down (2007)

my father down

in the crush
tearful beautiful

if only you could see him under
the machine
__(raining blades,
__time seeping in all ten directions)

my father visibly embarrassed
my father visibly beautiful
___is not what needs fixing

what to fix
___& what first?
nothing’s cheap except the heat

my father failing under it,
or the heat fails him

never thought we’d ask
but come on winter
___need your muscular hand
___on this particular shoulder
______tense as glass

protest (2008)

hear they're going to close us down...

who are these people?
where are the women?

nothing ventured...

air your grievances

the same silence cannot be broken twice
so be wise