"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."
Sunday, November 29, 2009
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.
Thursday, November 26, 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'.)
stuck open a
softer way to
die the shrink-
pearly under sun
packed in slip-
as to seek more
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
has to be another
high says who
Friday, November 20, 2009
day's dawning, skin's crawling
- Placebo, 'Pure Morning'
who is ever still,
__here in the live feed?
(could go every way)
peering at decisions,
she pierces the yolk-bubble,
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
____(teleprompter ≠ teleporter)
night opens to speed
__farms out fragments
____raided by addicts
placebo’s pure morning
__a tweaker anthem,
____meth’s power ballad
__a naked eraser
Monday, November 16, 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
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.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
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
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
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...