April 29, 2013
Looking past the one long leg of tarmac spider, head in Sydney,
refusing to see her iPod plugged ears, hear tart mozzie hums,
or feel insinuating throb of pocket phone, nudging like a bull
against fabric seclusion, I spread blanket on bleached ground.
I closed eyes, and opened them, misting the scene in moisture.
I applied numbing cream to mounds of anted bites, reddening.
Wished away health filled salad, replaced carrot crunch with Corot,
cocky squawk with cagey flute. Then checking watch, I turned to go.
A brand new poem as I enter a very busy week. Tomorrow night (Wednesday), at 7.30, I’m reading at Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest, along with Charlotte Clutterbuck and Geoff Page. Do come along if you’re in Canberra. There’s an entry fee, which includes wine and snacks. It is $10, and $7 concession. Then there will be excellent books for sale, so don’t forget to buy one of them, if you are able.
A podcast of three of my poems is now available at the Blemish Books site. If you like what you hear, the book can be ordered from the very same site.
I have had a poem called ‘A question for Jane’ published at the Eureka Street blog: http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=36017 . The Jane in question had the surname of Austen, so have a look if you have time, and answer the question for yourself.
For other poems, please press this link. The Tuesday Poets are a group who are many and varied, and seemingly moulting:
April 27, 2013
I was thinking about the different ways of being in groups as I went to Conflux today; how some people plunge into things like, say, the Australian swimming team at the Olympics, whereas some of us are always at the side, looking on. Are we just frightened of being hurt? Of drowning? Or of attempting the social butterfly, and performing the dog-paddle?
I like a chat, but choke on gossip;
threads of conversation become barbed wire
glutted inside fairy floss.
Sometimes I despise my comparative lack of conviviality, despite my ability to make excellent small talk:
Small talk so fine
that the Higgs Bosun
can’t find a trace
And yet, you can look on things and still feel engaged; exchange truly well-meant pleasantries. Sometimes reticence is no bad thing, but another way of saying that the other person matters. I’m having a great time, but more in my own head than anywhere else.
So, just a quieter time than some. Here’s that picture of the hat again; I think the Victorian expression should be noted. All I need is my embroidery, or its modern equivalent, the smartphone.
April 26, 2013
I’m letting the emails pile up and ignoring everything to attend Conflux, the science fiction convention here in Canberra. There was a steampunk high tea yesterday afternoon, which allowed me to don a hat that has graced my wardrobe for some time:
Today I have attended two panels; one on publishing and one on horror and the body. Tonight I’m doing a poetry reading, so I’ve escaped for lunch and to get my thoughts together. Then back into the fray.
I really admire those who attend everything possible at conventions; I just lack the stamina.
So far it has been a terrific convention. And it gave me an excuse to wear that hat…
UPDATE: We were a small but enthusiastic group of poetry lovers at the reading, so I turned the chairs around and we had a more casual event. Enjoyed it immensely, and assembling all my speculative poetry made me realise that I have enough for a small collection of my poetry in hat field. Sorry. That field.
Heard Sean Williams talk about TM, which existed long before Scotty beamed up Kirk.
Heard Nalo Hopkinson talk about her early writing career.
Attended an interesting panel on appropriating the sacred.
Caught up with various people, including Gillian Polack.
I’m stuffed, to put it in a most non-poetic way. (Although I am not the sort of poet who tends toward the flowery. Unless that flower be a pavement daisy. Yes, you may sneer at that, in a sneery way.)
April 18, 2013
Horror novelist Kaaron Warren, who is not at all horrible, has just posted a short poem of mine on her blog, with a Very Snappy Title:
‘A Short Poem Inspired by Two Shopping Lists Found Hidden Inside a Cookbook Purchased at the Lifeline Bookfair by Kaaron Warren, Novelist, March 2013′.
That word snappy is a very bad joke, which you will not understand unless you look at the poem. Here’s the link: http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/refreshing-the-wells-20/
Kaaron’s novel Slights is really truly scary, and I recommend you chase it up. It is horror in a true sense.
The woman herself is the Special Guest at the Conflux SF convention next week in Canberra, and I hope to hear her read and perform on panels there. Here is the Conflux link: http://conflux.org.au/ This is the Australian national science fiction convention this year.
I hear there is a poet reading too, but that may just be a rumour…
April 3, 2013
It’s great to write to a strict deadline sometimes. I’m just about to post a stanza of the Third Tuesday Poem Birthday Poem. Hopefully it will be better than that title, which I just made up. It’s actually called the Third Birthday Communal ‘Jazz’ Poem, to emphasise the aspect of improvisation.
Click this feather to see the poem develop…emerge…crystallise…meld…cook…,no no no; rise, Phoenix-like from the unashed and smokeless computer screen. Mmm, perhaps I need to try that sentence again?
For a person who usually works in isolation, this is quite a rare process. I’m going to go for it…whatever that may mean.
Visit the Tuesday Poem site a few times this week and see how things are going.