Sunday, November 29, 2009

one more dialect

"Thought, which science has expelled from its place at the top of the spiral of evolution, reappears at the bottom of it: the physical structure of atoms and their particles is a mathematical structure, a relation. What is equally extraordinary is that this structure can be reduced to a system of signs - and is therefore a language. The power of speech is a particular manifestation of natural communication; human language is one more dialect in the linguistic system of the universe. We might add: the cosmos is a language of languages."

- Octavio Paz, 'The Verbal Pact and Correspondence', from Alternating Current.

November gigs

On Saturday the 21st I took part in heat 2 of the Melbourne Believer Slam at Westgate Baptist Centre in Yarraville.

A welcoming ceremony was performed by Aboriginal elder Reg Blow. His didge playing was awe-inspiring, and the ceremony created an atmosphere of solidarity amongst the participants, rather than competitiveness.

I'd never read poems in a church before. I'm not too fond of having to follow a bunch of rules when performing (it can throw me off in terms of focus), but the poems I read ('For Edwin' and 'Vipassana') were well-received, I thought. And I could understand why the rules had to be in place, given the context and audience.

Aside from religious/spiritual poetry, there were some great protest poems performed on the night, including the most powerful Hurricane Katrina poem I've heard. There were plenty of laughs to be had too though, which is pretty much guaranteed when you have the likes of Ezra Bix, Amanda le Bas de Plumentot and Cameron Semmons gracing the stage.

Thanks to Geoff Fox for inviting me along - I had a great night.


On Friday the 27th I was at the launch of Unusual Work #8. As ever, there was a bit of everything... poetry was the driving force, but UW launches are unpredictable, mixed-media affairs. I read 'free of the fear of freedom' (extended performance remix) and 'Found Poem #3' - the latter is featured in UW #8. Anna Fern & co were terrific... loved her haiku double act with Maurice Mcnamara... and Sean O'Callaghan's videopoems (with live delivery) just keep getting more and more mindblowing.

Track down a copy of UW if you haven't already - it's available from Polyester, Readings Carlton, and other non-shit bookstores.

Thanks to TTO for organising another off-the-wall launch, and for allowing me to be part of it.

post- (2009)

late morning
___meditation w/ hangover

night spent
___smoking the dead

a pearl
___melted in wine

to risk
___the beautiful

(it lands as

now look yourself up:

words asleep, time-
___waste / narrowcast

eyes stung
___(fingertip smokestain)

a woman knocks, her
___body a shop

synthetic flies
___leave graffiti

you’re eating &
___sleeping off cellburst

that dead-
___cell ache

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scratch (2nd cut) (2009)

Kristen Bissaillon's remix of 'scratches', as part of our remix exchange.)

‘Burb a vicious experiment. Tentative tenements in the crossword. Garage and grocery doors snub birdsong, as if a separate species of closure.

One politic line bleeds into the next. Nobody arrives in the narrative, receives the inevitable, takes endearment right in the kisser.

One monkish audience bleeds into the next (shy collectors, sniped upskirt). The anonymous branch turns to speak.

Vaseline version of self. Airbrush a vacuum; nature has an opinion. Bitten cheek desires to drink.

Congeal, collide, pass in the night. Some structure has been imposed. Flies backward out of sight, out of sightedness. Lapse retired, retried. A twisted wire restraint.

Everything omen bears repeating. Flourishing collections incarnate again, it may yet prove interesting.

Desire authors the uncertain dear. Pill dies becoming.

(I previously posted a remix of Kristen's 'Cartouche'.)

thumbnails (2009)

emptying days
the soundtrack
wiped fly-zip
stuck open a
softer way to
die the shrink-
wrapped garden
pearly under sun
slick cyclists
packed in slip-
stream legwork
seemed foreign
as to seek more
difficult pleasures
than who you’d love
to scalp sunburnt
from treading vice-
like circles hatless
stripped of skillset
neither the blood
hat nor the funny
one keeping no
favourites there
has to be another
knockout pixel
high says who

Friday, November 20, 2009

tame (2009)

Frequent the small places. Boycott of giants. Armadas of battleships unable to turn. How many m3 of grey? Crime scene cluster: bank, supermarket, exchange. Do not buy my child a gun.

Go bush. Firetraps on the fringes. Generalised iffiness. Loose network cables the cause? Distraction industries. The simian cornered. Optimal yield. Hoard apps, plugins. Planned waste, inbuilt obsolescence. Planet E: renovator’s dream. Foreclosure vultures. Revolving door policies.

Unplug these futures. Are we ‘headed’? Facer, tone up your voice. Read the insane. Artist seeks larger mirror. Caffeine for possibilities. Adjusting the gain. Eating
whatever falls from the sky. Insects fly through rain, never struck by a drop.

Below: Simian 40 virus (image by Phoebus87).

power ballad (2009)

day's dawning, skin's crawling
__pure morning

- Placebo, 'Pure Morning'

who is ever still,
__here in the live feed?

(could go every way)

peering at decisions,
__drinks list

she pierces the yolk-bubble,
__dribbles yellow

everyone loves to be ignored,
__nonchalant or chalant,
____swooping on ignorance

days when you don’t want your name

the future’s correct,
__be so sure

fiction wins

'augmented reality'
__a letdown
____(teleprompter ≠ teleporter)

night opens to speed
__farms out fragments
____raided by addicts

placebo’s pure morning
__a tweaker anthem,
____meth’s power ballad

crystal methamphetamine,
__a naked eraser

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cartouche (Sands of the Desert Remix) (2009)

A remix of
Kristen Bissaillon's poem 'Cartouche'

Hard to get off the roads. Abdicate, bypass. Hyper-
naming homeworld. Even Voyager I ferries
hieroglyphs. Turntables link sun

and sun. Departing the heliosphere. Lose
your face for days: an antidote. Words no longer
family. Become aerial, chaos-bait. Palpate

frequencies, patterns heard in pattern-

less. What sun scries. Return to nothing
but the impossible. Heat

travelled. Desert compass an
encumbrance, tarnished silver reflector.
Here the tomb-wastes, ground and sky of

once-flowing city. Remnants of
Ozymandias’s amusement. Shadow-
found. Drifts of laughter coiling sands.

Below: Cartouches for Ramesses II (aka Ozymandias) at Luxor Temple, Egypt.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Words We Found

I was at the launch of The Words We Found last night. This anthology presents the best writing and artwork from 21 years of Voiceworks magazine. Happy 21st, Voiceworks!

Lisa Dempster has excelled herself as editor, putting together an eclectic mix of raw, vibrant stuff.

Here's the list of contributors: Christos Tsiolkas (foreword), Lisa Dempster, Johannes Jakob, Bel Schenk, John Marsden, Bryce Wolfgang Joiner, Ella Holcombe, Justin Lim, Paul Hardacre, Justin Woolley, Christopher Jacobin, Mandy Ord, Jessica Au, Chloe Walker, alicia sometimes, Arlene TextaQueen, Mel Campbell, David Blumenstein, Christopher Currie, Albee Ontop, Stu Hatton, Jack Heath, Jade
O'Donohue, Alice Swing, Vanessa Berry, Romy Ash, Lili Wilkinson, Andre Dao, Tai Snaith, Geoff Lemon, Cameron T, Mel Stringer, Lisa Pham, Liam Pieper, Lahmann B. Smith, Alison Hall, Greg Foyster, Steve Smart, Ula Majewski, Briohny Doyle, Anna Krien, Ronnie Scott, Thuy On, David Mence, Peter Savieri, Mia Timpano, Sofia Stefanovic, Tallace Bisset, Justin Heazlewood, Zoe Barron, Eirian Chapman and Simon Cox.

The poem of mine that's in there, A Billboard Said 'Yes', was first published in 1998(!), when Adam Ford was editor. I got to meet Adam last night, so it was as if circles were completing themselves. I remember writing the poem while 'working' in a video store. Those were the days, haha!

Kudos to everyone who's been involved in making Voiceworks what it is, i.e. essential.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

music may be older than language (2009)

Recursions. Glitching stars tap out the spectrum.
Trees bend fractal. Ventriloquist froglife. Dub-
pond & thicket. Spiralling through. Halt at the
fire to be its student.

Fire lifts, farewells. Night masquerade: some
of the women stand winged; men wear their
animal. Plant ingesters. Shamanic bass. En-
theogen shaving story-layers.

Cosmologies, soteriologies. The death
side. n, n dimethyltryptamine hyper-
space. Discarnate remedy. Pharma-

kon. (Dis)enchanter.

An audience with. Far space, upper
time. House of the elders. Inter-
section. Coming to. Drums

amsterdam (2009)

so cut off narrowed
in amsterdam bent
in ambers of bicycle
together drink-
ing music through
separate headphones
or in the fountain-
park watching tall
five-year-olds gun
freestyle soccer as
on canal floats
mix genders
grins streamers the
pink drink for free at
pride parade: ‘prik
power’ little self-
conscious holding
the can could be
the weed thinking
feel thinking’s such
a feeling van gogh
such a seer galleries
as headshops smart-
shoppers did you
ever see the night
watch the night
disembodied like
in-game nulltime
stoned to the point
of not escaping
red light district
which took so long
to find my mother
bites the ’dam off as
dirty though questions
of transparency who
wants to be seen to
be free via vondel-
park caught the
last wave of shrooms
back to the trees
where we fell back
and back the reign
of the bicycle cult

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

videopoem #7

Fiona Shaw performs part of 'A Game of Chess' from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

There is a 40 minute film version of the stage production of the poem, which featured Shaw as a solo performer. To the best of my knowledge the film is not available online, or for purchase. It was once screened on SBS. I taped it but later lent the tape to someone and never got it back. If anyone knows where I can get hold of a copy, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

provisional (2009)

only way to face this: approach it as poem:
a process, a making-out / making-in

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The latest issue of Shadowtrain (#23) is now online. Here are a few hints as to the contents...

Jocelyn Page wades out on tiptoe; Tom Page observes a menagerie à trois; David HW Grubb listens to the owl wife speak; Stu Hatton leaves the city; Catherine Hales goes for an audition; Peter Hughes has been listening to Beethoven; Aidan Semmens examines the uncertainty principle; Pete Marshall tries to define what a poem might be.

Ian Seed takes the scissors to Jeremy Over and Rupert M Loydell.

Thanks to editor Ian Seed for letting my poems travel without a ticket...