Poems at Australian Poetry

January 22, 2015

Press this link for poems written during the on-line course ‘Write what you can’t know’ in which I tutored last year for Australian Poetry:


One by Merryn Juliette, one by Robyn Black and one by the tutor currently known as moi. Mine is about a very nasty poet elf.


This image pleases me; so here it is again.

Better than a facelift

(Inspired by the rejection of a prose work I wrote about poetry for possibly supporting the view that poetry is an ‘adolescent’ activity.)

Damn those adolescents,
with their playful texts
their unruly emotions
and their weird conceits.
The world is as it seems.
Damn them for their quirky fashions
and their belief in signs and dreams.
Settle down, you freaky teens,
and develop a CV.
It is never too early to be half-dead!
There is nothing like
advanced middle age
for teaching what one should see,
and how to take things solemnly
like the sensible me-he
who patrols this moat, and keeps it pure;
ejecting the splashy-squeaky.
Exeunt, stage right, and take
your selfies with you,
and those peculiar devices. Go!
And pick up those rappers!
I like things neat as a plastic lawn,
without a single blush of flamingo,
where no emoji dares to grin
and poetry conjures forth
a proper sense of dread.

P.S. Cottier

World's Oldest Adolescent

World’s Oldest Adolescent

‘Nuff said, really. Except that when one is my age, being called potentially adolescent causes an undeniable frisson.

Of course, a view that the ‘adolescent’ is a thing to be avoided reinforces the belief that poetry is a very dated interest. Ironic that, given that some poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries tended to act like adolescents are reputed to act. Shelley (PB) for example, would now just about qualify for the modern category of ‘adolescent'; if one is oddly interested in such uneccessary categories.

There is a view, of course, that seriousness equates with solemnity. That is, like totes sad. (Rising inflection, please. For am I not an honorary adolescent?)

It did make me think though, that rejection, and swear that I would continue writing what I want. Which sometimes tends toward the playful and humorous, like this cathartic little slap of a poem. Being light, or stompingly satiric, has its place, in both prose and poetry.

I have some more poetry to write, and must break out the shocking puns and the unlikely meatphors*. I promise not to mention flamingos again for a while, as I realise that they are becoming a trope in my writing. A pink trope, which isn’t only adolescent, but ‘feminine’ as well. Shudder. That’s so flippant it’s an ornithological handbag.

*A genuine typo, but let’s let it stand.

If you would like more poetry, defying all easy categorisation, press this link.

That’s where you’ll find me, from time to time. One exciting development in the horrible world that lies on the wrong side of THE THIN BEIGE LINE OF COMPARATIVE NORMALITY ©* is Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association. Kaaron Warren is editing the next issue, and I have a poem in it, along with a column about poetry.

Press this link for the fully horrible Table of Contents. I can’t wait to be sickened, in a good way, by the issue.

who left the drawbridge down?

who left the drawbridge down?

I also have a poem coming up in the 200th issue of Antipodean SF, which explicitly addresses the merits, or otherwise, of flash fiction. And I believe a story of mine from THE VAULTS, otherwise known as 2008, may also be appearing.

There are other publications looming too, like the mutant pterodactyls of Moscow in a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, but these are enough for today.

*no, not copyright at all. If you like dreadful writing, please help yourself to the phrase.

Spliced spork

The apple sauce
and the piggywiggy
It cries on the way
to the house of death
and the tears are sweet!
Sweet as knowledge.
Tears caught in bottles
and served with the very hog
who cried them;
married to the condiment
at the level of genes.
Spliced spork
and chickens who lay fries,
or chocolate, come Easter.
Spliced is good.
Spliced is so much nicer.

P.S. Cottier

Now even more perfect...

Now even more perfect…

This was inspired by the disgusting news that you can buy a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, if you want to be Krowned as Kholesterol King. I imagined a pig that sheds tears that could season itself, due to the Wonders of Science being put to a gluttonous use.

The only thing that stopped my putting on 500 kilos at Christmas was the fact that I am vegetarian, and that I did at least an hour’s exercise each day. I am still too plump to be properly smug though. Please understand that.

A belated Happy New Year to all readers.

Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2014


Just like the title says, to all readers.

If you press this link, you will find a radical poem by Emily Brontë about her relationship with God, along with some rather bashful commentary at the Tuesday Poem hub.
(I wrote the commentary, and Emily Brontë overawes me a little. I felt as if I was putting one of those idiotic jokes that you find in Christmas crackers below something ineluctably profound.)

Now, like the entire population of Australia (give or take a few hundred thousand more sensible souls) I am off to drink and eat far too much. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and neither do I post lists of what I achieved this year, in the manner of the fearsomely scary and boastful letters that some Americans send each other. (‘Clara is graduating from NASA as an astronaut with a sub-major in Klingon, and Peter just bought Harvard to match last year’s Yale.’)

There really is no ‘end of the year’. Time is not a commodity that we control, or which gives any attention to our calendars. But that is no reason not to have fun, and to reflect a little.

I intend to do some reflection in rock pools, and to splash in the surf.

God bless us, every one!


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