again broke up with yourself
as in flexed those vows of asceticism
left you ghosting gutter-desirous that countergirl
with sky-blue specs at the pharmacy
all you could manage was wanting
to spell her backwards to clap her hands for her
can such natured intent ever be masked
under gush of cosmetic lighting what with
frou-frou fragrances flocking
over from storefront real heady
& she health-white uniformed amply precocious
intuits your what-a-man gaze but
rather than pursue this pipe
go fossick for words back home
cook some text on the theme
this how you fight off urge
to crash/wash out illicit
& instead sedate another hour
so much visual stim steams the mirror
“wtf, bestial technologies?”
rudeboys giggle across the block
what might they download for laughs
whatever, unserious ain’t your look
you’re far too cursèd certainly
& check how you blush
sure could’ve ended worse
just grabbed your prescription
& zoomed lucky you
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
these boys is it such a pity
be fucked up & in sum
cannot meet gazes unlikely
seek you out (charming!) unless
offered close-up with hand-eye co-
ordinates smeared significance
______hell knows this undone gen
many have been seriously torn
from something is it such a pity
emergent debauched sense
of humour or wired near-
omniscience may not
observe ‘how to love’
hormones ever leapt
to such jaded heights
does god know flesh so de-
sensed succumbing easy to
& seriously what their eye hasn’t
can only be off-tap
the hell out of there knew no future as exploitee / where to store your head when not on display no talk of illness injury being firewalled topics staff assistance program sap a click away / each day a parade so much sanity well-groomed from birth better cage that impulse to bark back across mute walls chafing entire floors of employed passivity rewarded recognised surely someone has to bite such suicide-proof furniture / what’s that you’re writing don’t tell me poetry so you’re the one with idiot dostoyevsky wallpaper ‘isolative’ scrawled on your file / maintain your desk ocd-neat sure pin your family to cubicle partition why not a soft toy as juju of joy childhood spent on that other planet unsuspicious & you won’t be reaching for such cuteness your first social drink with us the ropes show we’re all friends here / so what’re the gel-caps you’re sneaking each break too long in the loo praying for firedrill better yet fire / are you the one reading proust poor thing / you really ought to be secure here why tempt anything rash we’ve come to realise let yourself be valued it’s such a womb we’re one big crippled family & trust any expressed desire to leave evidences your need to stay
Monday, April 20, 2009
"Poets who cling to a 'dark-horse' romantic investment in their own maladjusted anti-sociality ... and complain bitterly about nepotist publishing practices, cliquishness, etc. often seem to be longing for a poetic universe in which each poet is one omnipotent god complete unto him-/herself, and somehow the whole cosmos of solipsists is supposed to integrate magically into a heaven of objective purity, uncontaminated by things like friendship, desire, ambition, flattery, and other human diseases."
- K. Silem Mohammad, in an interview with Tom Beckett for e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s
Monday, April 13, 2009
The latest edition of Manchester-based literary mag Sein und Werden has just been released, with the theme being 'cinematique'.
As Rachel Kendall says in her editorial, 'Within this issue you will find an exceptional collection of material that celebrates and creatively imitates the masters of cinema and their genre, and in so doing, brings about a whole new expression of film literature.'
My poem 'Forkhead' (based on David Lynch's Lost Highway) is in the online edition, while 'desist' (based on Stan Brakhage's desistfilm) has been published in the print edition.
Congratulations to Rachel on the birth of her daughter Violet, to whom this issue is dedicated.
"I have read - binged on - poetry since I was a very small child, but must admit that I have rarely felt passionate about more than two or three individual poems in any one publication. I 'love' poetry, in the abstract. I don't 'love' most poems, to be quite honest. Even among my most admired - say, Gwen Harwood, John Donne, TS Eliot - there is only a handful that I feel absolutely must exist if the world is to continue to function. The rest, I think, are practice: necessary, but not necessarily for public consumption."
- Jen Webb, 'Poetry in Australia and the John Leonard Press', Text Journal, Vol 12 No 2, October 2008.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating in a panel discussion at this year's Emerging Writers' Festival.
Here are the details:
The Best Ways Forward
Looking at the merits of the various avenues for helping get your words out into the real world being it tertiary study, short courses, mentors or just sitting down and writing.
With Steven Amsterdam, Rijn Collins, Stu Hatton & Pooja Mittal
Hosted by Tim Sinclair
3pm Sunday the 31st of May
Yarra Room, Melbourne Town Hall
I'll be talking about my Australian Society of Authors mentorship, plus my experience of tertiary study (as student and teacher) and the impact these learning experiences have had on me as a writer. Having done a number of short courses, seminars and workshops over the years, I'll probably throw in my two cents on those too.
A number of questions and uncertainties arise from my experiences with these 'avenues to writing', namely: have these learning experiences made me a 'better' writer, or perhaps a more disciplined one? What did I find most (or least) valuable? To what extent can creative writing be taught? Why not just go it alone and remain 'wild'?
Hope to see you at the festival, which runs from Friday 22nd May until Sunday 31st May. I attended in 2006 and 2007, and can assure you that whatever you write, and whatever stage you're at as a writer, you're sure to find something unmissable in the program. The full 2009 program will be released later this month.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
“... became an artist to experiment on money” tired of sitting in chairs you are an empire death-haunted like beckett demanding frisson the derrière-garde who decides what you can see can’t stand the sight (such a bourgeois phrasing can you even spell bourgeois?) then the application crashes through tubes & tunnels crumbles without fiction to prop fill us with lighting “we’re all made in china” the derrière-garde tired of sitting in chairs to experiment on money like beckett who decides what you can see you even spell bourgeois boojwah then we’re toast the application crashes without fiction what you can see can’t stand became an artist to show off your fans to prop death-haunted video stills attest a last chance to a disproved theory “we’re all made in china” you are an empire phrasing the ultimate compliment became an artist to ward us off
“u became an artist to experiment on money” – Donna Kuhn, from ‘formaldehyde snakes’
“boojwah” suggested by Paul Squires.
"If you want art to be like Ovaltine, then clearly some artists are not for you; but art has always struck me most when it was to do with coping with things, often hard things, things that are difficult to take."
- Peter Reading
Image: Peter Reading, Poet by Peter Edwards