Wednesday, February 25, 2009

hybrid (2009)

birds siren across hard water. where the girls were to be used nothing is. our business the best protection. major counterfeiters' hedge against disaster scenarios. eye warns against thinking again about. the stress state at the mid there’s someone out there using some. don’t look at what i’m wirebonded. bring your tools and screen-glitch. all comes when it’s not meant variation on this design. as if text chopped of different fonts. a sampler knowledge is to take place at. remixer rendering trees again as strange as they are. under stress a sexual placement of pollen upon the stigma. lean times don't have money to be asking questions

what happens if you redefine

"Under certain conditions any language event can be poetry. The question thus becomes one of what are these conditions."

"The historical attraction of the arts to madness is a question of what happens if you redefine the language."

- Ron Silliman, from 'The Chinese Notebook' in The Age of Huts (compleat).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

want (2009)

will not be pinned or nailed unless we choose a name in the margin ~ sanctify a saint who can be edgecutter too ~ a rat on rat patrol radar on ~ i’m a business cannot assist i feel so oh no master of none milky tea on my fingers ~ think i’ve found the real stuff needs doing hired a hand but it couldn’t hold ~ the use? ~ slob readerships for mediated ~ taped mouths ~ taped mouths ~ theft can be pretty? they’re your words not mine what’s to write home? ~ don’t interfere with mating plants ~ guns stick to your easily think i’ve figured how to read these secured the bridge flee the inward we shit so much repressed breath ~ pocketed another face for later quit sleep take up night fled the junk party room with its pinked haze ~ you want her nametag though & so many buildings your table not content

As published in Otoliths 14, August 2009. This poem contains words from a raiders guide by Michael Farrell.

Below: Andreas Gursky, '99 Cent'

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gigs - February '09

First up was the launch of Unusual Work #7 at Uptown Jazz Cafe on the 6th of Feb. Great atmosphere and an appreciative audience for outer-limits poetry and art - what more could you ask for? Loved Sean O'Callaghan's reading with video/slideshow, and to hear Maxine Clarke perform her West Indian patois poems was something else! What a voice! And great to witness Paul Fearne do his first 'public' reading of his work. I love Amelia Walker's 'Norwegian' piece in UW#7 - you should check it out if you haven't already. In the words of PiO: 'small magazines: the life blood of a great literature... MAKE AN EFFORT!'

Then there was Passionate Tongues on Monday the 16th. Tiggy Johnson and Alex Skovron - couldn't have picked two more different poets really - both gave inspired readings. Plenty of quality and good humour in the open mic too. I read two of my WA Notebook poems, coastal and The day writes itself.

Today I made it down to the Dan O'Connell, where Carmen Main was the feature. She rocks... what can I say?! Open mic was fun today too. I read two more from the WA Notebook, development and Waterfront.

That's probably it for this month - I'll be trying to knuckle down to some serious work before March rears its head.

Below: at the Dan O'Connell 21/2/09 (photo by Michael Reynolds)

Friday, February 20, 2009

haze (2009)

Forecast for Melbourne, February 17, 2009:
31 degrees, smoke
_____________– Bureau of Meteorology


clouded suburbs

smoke haze from the fires

recall Black Saturday
_______________crush of heat

& refuge in numb privacy

justify a cigarette, bottle, joint, TV…
______________________network news lunging for pathos


veins of light through the blinds

her body whispers in the linen

don’t want to say but will
________________ (so much energy fed to honesty)

animating these lips, alone

“why put away things you know you’ll take out again?”

rehearsing the encounter,
_______________trying it on the tongue

“why leave things lying around
_____________when they can be taken out when needed?”

but notice how everything fits?
_______________meditation brings cadence

& in the dreaming-throat
______________ignites small fires

how this static zone of afternoon
______________________________recurs over & over


the recognition

beneath the as-normal laughter
______________fixing drinks inside airconned apartment

haze will lift

heat subside

quarrel resume


Thursday, February 19, 2009

recurring poem #5

Samuel Wagan Watson : cold storage

bussed it into Mitchell
from out of nowhere
and found it on ice

to the horizon line
a smothering layer of cold political rhetoric
the hopeless arguments of history palpitating
__-gently into the cracks
__-of stoneware earth

hurting is the season here in the bush
and winter is the additive that comes with it,

the storm shutters are up -
every second store closed or having a closing-down sale

the hunger pains of the city end here
the spirits are being sucked away into this gas-pipeline
as the Beast just keeps taking ... taking ... taking ...

black and white struggle to reconcile
slashing their own bloodlines
the kids packed off to the Big Smoke
where all the opportunities now manifest

a rainbow-serpent dormant on cryogenic dreams
chiling over into the landscape
while a secret war is fueled on urban innuendo
as a country-town loses another generation of its young
to the lust of the city

a main street void

____________-of the laughter of its children

Below: Sam Wagan Watson at the Brisbane Writers Festival

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Second Seven Sevens (2008)

(following on from the First Seven Sevens)


Numberless hells
recently reopened.
These under lands, the vast
three-way streets
withholding orphan data,
brains meshed in wire.
This is not 2009.


‘To love your mother
tongue is to love all mother tongues.’
what language contorts to depict.
Mangled jokes & mating calls.
Silence is a rhythm too,
resists being thought.

To love your own mother tongue is to love all mother tongues’ – Anjan Sen


come on now, talk
about your family: sister’s cursed
before all coordinates
have even been sown down

every man father
every woman mother

No, screw you, Oedipus.

come on now, tell me about your family, your sister’s cursed...’ = Pavement, ‘Silence Kit’


facile curious
he had all ports open,
a bloodless coup.
tomorrow sees him
flesh-mining for
extremer, extremer.
(words wilt/fail).


They mistake words for things.
Won’t say ‘I’ any more –
how could you?
An artist wants a world
different from how she finds it.

Those who profit by their careful errors.
An exhibition of picture frames.


this is our address:
morning fed on a seemingly low subject:
“Drink me,” male voice requests
– static dream moment –

the nauseating businesslike tones
employed to recruit her
have slid through my mind.


targets, alphabets, numerals & flags
the presentation so literal
flat & given.

searchlights skyward!

morse flashes & flares
hastily deployed.

the winking light that terminates.

Below: 'Seven sevens' by bricolage.108

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sein und Werden : cinematique

I'm told that two of my poems (desist and Forkhead) will be featured in the upcoming 'cinematique' edition of Sein und Werden ('Being and Becoming'), which promotes itself as
'a literary magazine of experimental prose, poetry and artwork that seeks to merge and modernise the ideas behind Expressionism, Surrealism and Existentialism.'

desist is a poetic response to Stan Brakhage's experimental short desistfilm, and should feature in the print edition of the mag, while Forkhead, based on David Lynch's Lost Highway, will be freely available online.

Thanks go to editor Rachel Kendall for offering to publish my poems in the UK for the first time.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Poetry Idol heat 1 / Paradise Anthology launch

Last Sunday Nick Whittock and I acted as judges for the first heat of Poetry Idol 2009, which was held at St Kilda Library along with the launch of the second Paradise Anthology.

Nick and I eventually picked out Marc Testart and Ozlem Baro to go through to the final, while the audience voted for Sharona Radovsky and Duanne Clarke. The encouragement award went to Corrine Phillips. All were worthy winners.

The two former Poetry Idol winners, Geoff Lemon and Ezra Bix, gave energised performances of poems and promoted their respective books. The publication of Ezra's had been part of his prize, while Geoff's is published by Picaro.

Aside from judging on the day, in November I ran a workshop with several Paradise Anthology poets to prepare their poems for publication. I was also asked to pick out what I thought were the three best poems in the anthology. The poems I chose were written by Kai Jensen, Emma Kerrin and Fiona Stuart, who were all awarded prizes at the launch.

It was a great day of poetry and music, and a treat to see Chris Wilson perform live again. I also enjoyed Trish Anderson & Michael Crane's duet of Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire.

Thanks to Michael, Odette & Sally for all the support and encouragement. And kudos to all the poets, musicians, organisers, and everyone involved in The Paradise Anthology for pulling off another well-attended and fun event.

The Poetry Idol 2009 final will be held at Federation Square as part of the Age Melbourne Writers Festival. Chances are I'll be judging another heat or two before then. The next heat will be at South Yarra / Toorak library on Monday the 6th of April.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Cartier Street Review: Feb '09 edition now up

The February edition of The Cartier Street Review is now accessible for your indulgence.

I'm very happy to have three poems in there, rubbing shoulders with some very talented poets: Patricia Smith, Don Cooroughs, Jee Leong Koh, Renee Dwyer, Will Hames, Don Schaeffer, Dianne Borsenik, Sadiq Rahman, Dubblex, John Burroughs, Joy Leftow, Don Coorough, Paul Niziol, Tanuj Solanki and Bernard Alain. There's also tasty prose by Craig Woods and Dave Besseling.

Special thanks to Bernard and Joy for their editorial hospitality!

3 poems to feature in Clockwise Cat

Three of my poems (sad somehow the girl, Nightpiece and Advice) will be featured in issue 14 of Clockwise Cat, which will come out around April.

Thanks to editor Alison Ross for accommodating these oddments!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

otoliths 12 goes live

Check it out. I'm sure you'll find something that startles / tickles / unsettles you.

"Included in this issue are David-Baptiste Chirot, Denise Duhamel, Raymond Farr, J. S. Murnet, Tom Taylor, James Sanders, Martin Edmond, Kane X. Faucher, Andrew Taylor, Christopher Major, Forrest Roth, Cath Vidler, Angela Genusa, C.E. Chaffin, John Lowther, Mary Ellen Derwis, Joe Balaz, Mary Ellen Derwis & Joe Balaz, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Felino Soriano, Bobbi Lurie, Bill Drennan, Jeff Harrison, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & various collaborators, John M Bennett, Adam Robinson, Anny Ballardini, Michael Rothenberg, Jared Schickling & John Bloomberg-Rissman, Tom Beckett interviewing John Bloomberg-Rissman, John C. Goodman, Marcia Arrieta, Donald Dunbar, Eric Burke, Joseph Wood, Gregory Bem, George Moore, Brandon Shimoda, J. A. Tyler, sarah k bell, Ed Baker, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Jill Jones, Geri Gale, Geof Huth, sean burn, Tim Gaze, Nicolette Westfall & Jeff Crouch, Paul Siegell, Daniel f Bradley, Stu Hatton, Dan Ruhrmanty, Philip Byron Oakes, Kristina Marie Darling, Katrinka Moore, Mary Kasimor, Charles Freeland, D.C.Porder, Jeremy P. Bushnell, Alana Madison, Michael Filimowicz, & Spencer Selby. The cover is by Alexander Jorgensen."

I have two pieces in this issue.