September 13, 2012
The first was on the Poets Train from Canberra. Four leisurely hours to take in the scenery, to read, to compose a poem (we read out our efforts every hour). Arrival at the beautiful Central Station where we read to ourselves again, and a couple of punters.
The next day we read at The State Library. Here I am doing just that, in a photograph taken by K.A. Rees. (Note the staring into the middle distance):
And that night we read at the Friend in Hand pub in Glebe, where a cockatoo, George, chats to the customers. I chatted to Martin Langford, whose vocabulary is much greater than George’s. (No offence George!)
And in between, I enjoyed all Glebe has to offer. Interesting food, cheaper than in Canberra. The big vegan breakfast at Badde Manors, for example. Lying on a chaise longue that was used as a prop in the film Moulin Rouge, writing a review. Drinking wine. Longing for the ability to stay in that fair city. Sigh. As usual, I found myself looking at real estate agents’ windows, doing very unpoetic calculations.
Then four hours back, dozing and composing on the Sunday.
And today? (That’ll be yesterday by the time I post this.) Up to Sydney again in 23 minutes by plane. Barely up before you’re down; the landscape something to get over rather than through. State Library again, where I was lucky enough to pick up a third prize in the Society of Women Writers poetry competition, judged by Judith Beveridge, for my poem ‘A brief history of fun’. Judith gave a wonderful seminar focussing on sound in poetry, and although her ideas are quite different from mine, I left feeling inspired. There was a haiku/ haibun/tanka reading. There was Mark Tredinnick, although I had to leave his PowerPoint talk early to catch the flight home. A fire siren test provided the ideal moment for slipping out.
Throwing steel through air
We scorch the sky
Now I’m in pre book-launch mode! Radio interview on Friday on local station ArtSound. But I am haunted by a most beautiful spirit at the moment.
A ghost called Sydney
Lithe warm and lively
Winding me back home
Home that is, to a city I have never lived in. And against whose inducements I must block my ears, and tie myself to the cold mast of common sense.
Also known as Canberra.
I’ll love it again in a few days, but I have to learn to do so again.
September 3, 2012
In the pub
Wedges of moon
float in my glass
sky lemon stings
Vodka ice glass
nine tenths hide below
sour head nods in shame
beer swims laps
Salt chips taste
absent smoke plumes
long since flown
After a day where my car broke down, necessitating a service call to the NRMA and a tow truck, I think a drink or two is called for. At least I was wearing flat shoes today, so I could walk home after sending my daughter in a taxi to school! I’ll have to get stuck in at the poem mines to pay for the repairs. About 200 years’ poetry should do it.
*If New Zealand poets are the same as Australian poets, I am just being polite here.
And here’s the official launch invitation for Triptych Poets Issue Three, of which I am one-third:
April 29, 2012
The Canberra based publishers Blemish Books have just announced the line-up for the third edition of their Triptych Poets series. The poets to be published are Joan Kerr, Joshua Inman, and myself. This is terrific news, and I am so pleased to be published by a relatively new Canberra publisher.
I am not very familiar with the work of the other two poets, and intend to do a bit of Googling. One of the strengths of this series is how an unintended conversation between the different poets making up each triptych can sometimes be detected, murmuring away just below the surface. Such strange resonance is a good thing, as is the chance for the reader to explore three poets in some depth.
My suite within the triptych is called Selection Criteria for Death. The book should be out in September.