July 25, 2016
Let them run —
but run as they would
chasing the wind or their mate
not a screeching curl-tailed baton
flung round the track
in a circular curse.
And let them live —
just as long as greyhounds live
not dispatched for slowness
and spaded into the bush
in a quotidian slaughter
nose to tail, tail to nose.
So weird to find myself agreeing with a Liberal government…But the Baird Government is right in banning greyhound racing. (As is the Labor — with a sprinkling of Green — ACT government.) No decision is ever totally pure, but this ‘sport’ is undeniably cruel, and the sooner it is abolished, the better.
To all those whinging about the attack on the working man (and it is usually categorised in that gender specific way) that the ban represents; note that there is something incredibly insulting in this thinking. Working class does not mean cruel and unthinking, and unable to act ethically. Most people with pet dogs would shudder to think of them being treated in the way this industry has treated greyhounds (and other animals used as live bait) for years.
My PhD on images of animals in the works of Charles Dickens touched on the history of the RSPCA, and around the time it was created, there were people mounting exactly the same arguments against bans on cock-fighting and the like, categorising such activities as important recreations for the working man. Implying that the ‘working man’ is necessarily a brutal moron.
The NSW Labor Party, in defending the greyhound racing industry, is showing that it is pathetically out of touch with anything progressive.
The ban, which comes into effect 1 July next year, does open up thinking about how we treat other animals, and that has to be a positive development. Go, you good thing!
(I know there probably should be an apostrophe in the title, but it looked so bad I removed it. Fussy.)
July 22, 2016
The delayed launch of Suddenly Curving Space Time was held at Smiths late last night, and it was a memorable one. Gerald Kearney was there, and performers included a band called Shoe or Shoo! (or possibly Choux? says the Francophile), a shakuhachi performance by Barbara, and of course poetry. UPDATE: I see from Bandcamp that the correct spelling is S.H.U.! How’s a person supposed to guess that?
I didn’t get everyone’s full name, but here are some photos of performers, including Brian, who has a really great voice. And Gerald, one of the editors of the book (above and below) also gave a memorable performance.
In honour of the weather that delayed the launch I read a few poems with a climate change and/or weather focus. Despite a few people being unable to make the rescheduled launch (notably the co-editor Hal Judge, though Gerald read one of his poems), it was an event that left me feeling inspired and intoxicated, in a good way.
Loud man pissing round the reading
with irrelevant comments,
dribbling self, reflected in a deep pool
of his own stewed past, steaming.
He is a true Narcissus,
but not so drop-dead gorgeous;
fungus mated with dead cat.
He smells of yesterday and loss.
He shouts his irrelevance
with every tedious joke,
every punch line a squib,
tarnishing the grey sky.
A nasty wee poem indeed, based on a couple of True Incidents.
On a couple of more positive notes, I’ll be reading a poem or two at Tuesday night’s launch of Suddenly Curving Space Time and meeting Gerald Keaney, one of the editors for the first time. That’s at Smith’s Alternative (aka Smith’s non-Euclidean?), Alinga Street, Civic, at 5pm. There is a bar. I’m not sure if Hal Judge, the other editor, is in the country at the moment, but I will certainly find out.
UPDATE: This launch has been postponed as Gerald is stuck in Brisbane due to ‘freak weather conditions’. I think that means fog! I’ll give new details when I can.
FURTHER UPDATE: The rescheduled time of the Canberra Launch of the Suddenly Curving Space Time anthology of experimental poetry is 9.30pm – 11.30 pm on Thursday 21st July.
Secondly, the usually totally impeccable Kaaron Warren has inexplicably featured me as a guest blogger, chatting about how I refresh my wells. That is what they call a metaphor, I believe. Kaaron is seemingly aiming for a Guinness world record in having quite a few people write on this topic. Seriously, there will be enough material for a Real Book based on these jottings, some of which are very informative and detailed. S
ome of the contributions One of the contributions is, however, a tad frivolous and involves violence towards naiads.
July 11, 2016
Oppressing the gnomes
The garden gnomes are downing tools
all over Australia, and whimsy is plummeting.
No more riding snails and pushing barrows,
or fishing for strangely ecstatic cod,
who gape for hooks in a pornography of cute.
The gnomes are turning nasty, attacking
the flamingos who continue to strut —
elegant pink scabs over the quirky lawns.
Gnomes piss on succulents and smear
foul gnome shit on the guinea pigs.
What do we want? they ask the air.
But they don’t know what to chant back —
their dissatisfaction is merely existential.
Even their industrial action raises a laugh,
with their crooked green caps slipping,
and their endless pipes twixt ruddy lips.
Their signs are egregiously misspelt.
Nome’s R Us is at least legible,
but the kerning is much worse than that,
and the punctuation speaks volumes.
Get back to it, gnomes, I say, imperiously.
Ply those forks, and play that accordion.
I bask in my elevation to exploiter,
swaying in a complacent hammock.
Surly yet amusing, the wee green men obey.
The ringleader rides a frog to the pond,
and casts in his line like a sigh.
This is probably a weird commentary on the zeitgeist. Either that or the gnomes have been putting things in my tea.
July 4, 2016
Blue eye of the sea
flutters white eyelashes —
wet sand flirts