Various poetic items: Including ruptures in the space-time continuum, and a poem.

September 25, 2016

Firstly, if you want to hear me talk about poetry at some length, and read a few poems, please go to the Verity La podcast.  Michele Seminara and Alice Allan are the interviewers/fellow discussants, which means that they like hurling questions like flattened orbs, but in a polite kind of way.  I am just getting up the courage to listen to myself.

Secondly, I was in a most excellent night at The Salt Room on Friday 23rd September.  I was the first reader, armed with lectern, and stayed rooted to the spot, even if my poetry didn’t.  I read about fantastic creatures and climate change.

Then came Miranda Lello, who read a long poem, or poetry sequence, called Election Day 2086 (a memoir, a map), which she had written for the reading.  She also made a zine specifically for the night.  The election described in very grounded in Canberra, but a Canberra that stands as a kind of ghost of the current one.  Black Mountain Tower

‘…rises from the forest pointing
To our neo-retro-future selves
Empty for decades beaming signals to the stars –
Stories of school groups’ noisy chattering
The cruelty of children…

She is a great reader/performer, and I enjoyed her travels in time, and the way she recasts the very familiar in a slip of unfamiliarity. She needs no magic call box. Or lectern, either!

Scott Wings also dealt with time, but for me his use of space was the most remarkable thing; his crawling up a tree by lying on the floor, his pacing the room, so that even the shyer people up the back were made part of the performance.  If you gave Scott a lectern, I think he’d probably use it in some unexpected way.  His work is quite moving, too, dealing with aspects of his life and how he came to poetry.  Here we all are:


Joel Barcham and Andrew Galan were their usual form of excellent, too, and I am very happy to have been asked to read at The Salt Room.

Yesterday (and thirdly) I went up to Sydney for the  inagaural  first Poetry at Sawmillers reading, and enjoyed the brief taste of the lower north shore.  Some really good poetry read and performed, and I’ll post a link to the winner’s poem if it is published.  For me, sitting at a local pub with a view of a bay and a bridge, sipping booze was so pleasant I can imagine another poet, say SP (“Sippy”) Cottier, who would miss the reading and simply stay on the terrace, sunning herself like one of the lizards living under the succulents on the deck who have no idea that they have a view worth about 3.5 million dollars.

But I am not that poet, and really enjoyed reading my poem, which I present forthwith:

7 ways to look at a sculpture

Firstly, it seemed a frozen poem,
which I read in different drafts
as I skirted around it.

Then it was time captured,
as if to trap the watchers,
and so release us from fervent rush.

By Wednesday I saw it more
as a mere mirror to catch
any cracked thought I threw at it —

but the next day it restated
its being as a question, set to
disrupt our certainties with what?

Friday, it seemed to push up the sky,
a small, persistent fist clenched
against wind and mess and change —

but this changed on Saturday.
The grass seemed to give birth to it
as tulip, rocket and shining tree,

which unfurled into beauty
on the stretching, languid, seventh day,
an exclamation, an endless ah!

P.S. Cottier

Now I am off to stare at the Verity La site to see if I’m brave enough to listen to me.

***I have also received my new chapbook, and will post about that very soon.  That’s a fourthly.

UPDATE:  I listened to the podcast and I’m not as inarticulate as I had feared.  I particularly like the discussion on ecopoetry and climate change.

15 Responses to “Various poetic items: Including ruptures in the space-time continuum, and a poem.”

  1. You came across very well Penelope. So well that I intend to listen again

  2. pscottier said

    I also listened to your podcast with Alice, Sean, and liked hearing you talk about the Year and your discoveries.

    • Thanks. Your comments re hierarchy and posting your own poems made me think about my strategy (if there is such a thing).

      I can’t help but wonder if I might move full circle from posting poems on my blog to not posting because I am working hard to make them publishable (keeping myself honest) back to publishing on the blog again (because I have the confidence).

      It’s a movement that reminds of the Zen saying re mountains and rivers.

  3. I was also thinking that it might be worthwhile having an interview sequence based on drafting it where poets post their drafts and talk about how they got them to the published page.

  4. But here we are talking about me. Back to you 🙂 . Am very jealous of your reading venue, would loved to have been there, sounds like a blast.

  5. Michele Seminara said

    I hope you’ve listened to yourself by now, Penelope, in which case you’d know how fabulous you were! I know you’re not a Twit or Facebook tragic, but on both mediums we’ve had very positive feedback to the podcast — just so you know! Thanks very much once again for taking the time to do it.

    • pscottier said

      Yes, I listened Michele, and I quite enjoyed it in the end! It’s just that weird fear that we turn instantly stupid when recorded.

      • Michele Seminara said

        I have that fear every time I open my mouth, Penelope! But I open it regardless. It gets rather draining trying to sound intelligent all the the time, doesn’t it? Thank heavens for those who love us at our most inane!

  6. pscottier said

    Mind you, listening to Donald Trump makes me feel a tad smarter.

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