Friday, February 29, 2008

too much coherence

"[John Ashbery] seems to fear too much coherence as being a form of dishonesty or falseness ... [because] an orderly syntax sometimes forces the poet to lie, to say easy things that he had not intended." - Stephen Stepanchev describing John Ashbery in Modern American Poetry Since 1945 (sourced from Samizdat Blog).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

collaborative shoutout / some pet projects

Collaboration is a topic which has been, well, bugging me a lot lately: I keep waking with the thought, ‘we poets need to collaborate more, dammit!’ Not just with other poets, but with creators from other fields, from far and wide. There’s no doubt that recent technological advances have opened many doors for artistic collaboration, but I still feel the potential is largely untapped. I’ve been involved in collaborative blogs in the past, but I have three other pet projects in this vein:

1. Harnessing the potential of wikis for online collaboration between poets, as well as other writers/creators.

2. Thieving an approach/technique from electronic music, namely remixing (where any number of other writers are given license to remix an original piece, with the results being published side by side... or not). I've tried this out once with a friend, and thought it worked well. The crux of this one is feeling comfortable about someone else 'messing' with your work, and maybe transforming it into something very different from what you'd originally intended.

3: Videopoetry, in the tradition of the mind-flexing music clips you see on Rage at 2am, being a collaboration between poet(s), scriptwriter(s), filmmaker(s), musician(s), kitchen sink(s), and maybe someone with one of those ‘managerial’ brains to make the whole thing come together.

Also, for a long time I've been wanting to collaborate with a visual artist / painter / photogapher, writing poems based on their work, and/or having them producing artwork based on my poems... which isn't to say that other poets couldn't also be involved. There's plenty of potential to play games with this kind of arrangement, where maybe you collaborate on a work bit by bit, reacting to different stages of drafting/creation, with the ability to lead the collaboration in a new direction, or follow the lead of your collaborative partner on a particular idea or effect...

Anyone interested to take part in one or more of these ideas? If so, post a comment, or email me (my email's available in my Blogger profile).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

chapel st (2008)

lemon, water, sun, saliva

day spins into hubcap

drowsed / stun-gun sun

so coloured up, the crave district

"... you fkn loser ..."

overdress & fuzz with desire

rear denim of 2 thin boys-in-love

street smokes, spits

what a postcard

someone's nonna sucks from KFC cup

fume of Marlboro

Natasha is a party

rushed heels

cross against lights phone clammed to ear

our waiter = pretentious wanker

the pointing tongue

coffee versus boredom

An earlier version of this poem was published in bambikino 9, November 2008.

A train, outbound (2007)

It takes minutes to leave the city. But to leave the city, mentally…

There are always nervous questions prior to departure. You must peel these off.

See this industrial district? It has fled nature.

Likewise I sometimes believe writing is an avoidance; you opt for a conversation with yourself. Living very far apart.

The houses have satellite dishes as standard; ears to the wind. Powerline towers, like posts of an enormous fence. These are and are not life-conductors.

Fields in which to expand, cease? As if cities were centres of forgetting. Gazing out the window, I swim the wild grass.

Published in Shadowtrain #23, October 2009.

Below: 'Powersource' by Patrice Lynne Young

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Otoliths #9

Received word from Mark Young the other day that 2 of my poems (post-rock and ny dream) will show up in issue 9 of Otoliths, which happens to be one of my favourite e-zines.

Issue 8 recently went live. Definitely check it if you're into experimental &/or visual poetry.

stock (2008)

tabs on what others are
doing perhaps leaving
you sipping the wake of
their excellence so
time to rethink the tint
of your calling card &
all manoeuvres as
pedestrian evasive
action stalling tactics
you were always a
next time boy your
room off-limits to
the living its abject
stuffiness sock stenches
those unwanted wanted
things your hibernation
hoard & feigning
upheavals to buy more
time to yourself the
retreat into trivia to
dull & dilute this
friendlessness perfected

As published in Thirteen Myna Birds, September 2009.

how to tell people what they'll never know (2008)

madness collects behind your ears
you might do some writing
or not
you think you could be Hitchcock on Hitchcock
after all we have no qualms speaking for them
(the revered dead)
the arced arrows suggest they could swap places
as post-death it becomes a question of editing
epitomising naturalness of artifice
but this hurts you
fights the grain
of your practice of living
i.e. thicker absorption
i.e. there really is an apple after all
& also driving on wrong side of road
where possible, where impossible

recurring poem #2

H.D. : Oread

Whirl up, sea -

Whirl your pointed pines,
Splash your great pines
On our rocks;

Hurl your green over us,
Cover us with your pools of fir.

H.D. (1886-1961)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Poetry Sz

Received some great news last week: one of my poems, Down slow (song of samsara), will be featured in the March edition (#25) of Jill Chan's e-zine Poetry Sz: demystifying mental illness.

I strongly recommend checking out the previous issues. There's high-quality work all the way back through the archives, and the theme of the e-zine gives it a tight focus, while allowing for as many different voices and poetic approaches as there are manifestations of mental illness.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

For Edwin (2008)

"If we continue in our mindful observation there will no longer be a duality between observer and observed."
- Thich Nhat Hanh

We have always been as weightless as this.

Our modest collection of questions.

Holes full of nets; nets full of holes.

No waiting: all things are present.

Eye observes itself.

As published in The Cartier Street Review, February 2009.

recurring poem #1

... first of a series of poems by (very significant) others, selected for properties of recurrence / return.

Robert Creeley: The Skeleton

The element in which they live,
the shell going outward until
it never can end, formless,
seen on a clear night as stars,
the term of life given them
to come back to, down to,
and then to be in

themselves only, only skin.

Robert Creeley (1926-2005)