That Poetry Thing at Smith’s featuring P.S. Cottier

November 2, 2015


Smith’s Alternative used to be a bookshop and is now a venue. I was lucky enough to be asked to be the first poet to read as part of ‘That Poetry Thing That Is On At Smith’s Every Other Monday’ aka An Evening with P.S. Cottier, by MC Norm de Plume.

I really enjoyed chatting to Norm (aka Josh) about writing and reading my poetry. In between there was a really lovely set by musician Gabriela Falzon. I wanted to listen more closely to the lyrics, but I had to compose a poem from words given to me by the audience at this time. God damn them. The words were:


Here’s what I wrote in ten minutes or so, between the interview (why, how, where) and the reading (what):

So I googled aardvark, and it took me
to South America, where the plants
are lumps of pain, needling the air,
the air thin as capillaries.
I want to be a gaucho,
chasing beef and capybara
through the blank page plains.
I wear chaps like parchment,
tattoed with macho glamour.

So I fell asleep, my pen flaccid
as a pancake’s Sunday hammock.
I am no gaucho, my purple bolas
do not spin. There is no flying
revelation, no roasted meal
in front of tossing, avid fire.
All I have is knowledge,
received knowledge, that the aardvark
seeks ants amongst ruins, as I seek
relics of greater words.
The cactus blooms, and no-one sees.

P.S. Cottier

Rough as a superannuated gaucho’s knees, but I enjoyed the process. (That is unedited, except for the spelling of aardvark, which is a word specifically invented for spelling comps.)

Smith’s has been a significant place for me. My first book launch was held there back in 2009. I wore the same dress tonight that I did then. My second poetry book was also launched there, and I remember independent MP Nick Xenophon read a poem from the book, the night the bar was opened. (Hal Judge launched that book, and Geoff Page launched the first one.)

Senator Xenophon takes a gamble

Senator Xenophon takes a gamble

Now Nigel is the proprietor, and I hope that the space works as a venue for years to come. Thanks to everyone who came along.

I suppose this can act as a Tuesday poem after all!

Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets by pressing here.

6 Responses to “That Poetry Thing at Smith’s featuring P.S. Cottier”

  1. melindasmith said

    That will do me for a Tuesday poem ! Nice work ! Sorry I couldn’t make it last night, congrats on the gig !

  2. pscottier said

    Thanks Melinda. Look forward to seeing you read there sometime! And let us have coffee and capybaras soon.

  3. I continue to be amazed by your ability to write poems on the fly! After 10 minutes, I’d still be worrying about whether I should be including the words “(other search products are available)” after “googled”.

    • pscottier said

      Thanks Tim.

      Other search products? I vaguely remember one called ‘yobo’ or something.

      And, to continue boasting, I couldn’t connect to Google as my phone chucked a hissy.

  4. They do the five word challenge at the Poetry in the pub gatherings I go to. Brilliant poem P.

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