February 7, 2017
I am very happy to have my first publication in India.
The poem ‘Canberra’ appears in the book Capitals, edited by Abhay K. The anthology contains poems about nearly all of the world’s capital cities, and is published by Bloomsbury, India. I came across this YouTube film of the book being launched recently at the Jaipur Literature Festival, by Ruth Padel:
Canberra is represented by two poems; the other one is by Michelle Cahill, which I am hanging out to read. So we’re really writing above our weight division in terms of population, particularly as Oceania is merged with Asia in the book.
I am very much looking forward to receiving my contributor’s copy. Here is the cover, which is stompingly cool:
I responded to a call-out for poems for the anthology on the Australian Poetry website, and feel honoured to be included with my mild little poem about Canberra. Poets in the anthology include Ms Padel, the late Mahmoud Darwish, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva and Derek Walcott. Just shows that you should always submit a poem if the project interests you. You have nothing to lose but your quatrains, as Marx didn’t say.
Most of all though, I’m delighted to be published in India, which is home to the world’s second largest number of speakers of English. It makes a welcome change from Oz or the USA. My poems are becoming much more well-travelled than I am! (I’m usually beyond rapt when I do a reading in Melbourne or Sydney.)
UPDATE: I just I just found out that the Jaipur Literature Festival is coming to Melbourne! Exciting stuff.
January 30, 2017
Moderately threatening bird
Between budgie and hawk
you flutter your mild wings,
which still cause wee jumps
in heart rate or blood pressure －
more wallaby than pole vault.
You don’t pick eyes out
like ravens of ill repute
(though I’ve always been partial
to those most Victorian birds).
You don’t trade messages with the dead,
or lead the undead back to tossed bed
of sea doona, or semen sheet.
Yet you are somewhat disquieting,
with your cleverness beyond our control.
So we clip your wings, and ignore
the unclipped birds flocking in our heads.
Ideas swarm like sparrows
and each one is falling into dread.
Something weird is happening with that poem’s formatting, in that it won’t let me insert a proper em dash, just a hyphen. Moderately threatening glitches/your less successful witches/wedged in the keyboard like sandwich ham. (Said witches also make you experiment with Instant Poetry, which is A Truly Dangerous Thing.)
For those in Canberra, I’ll be doing a reading at University House next week, Wednesday 8th of February. This is the series that used to be at The Gods, and the other readers are Chloe Wilson and Keith Harrison. You can eat there before, should you wish, from 6pm, and the readings start at 7.30pm, in the Drawing Room. It costs $5 for the unwaged and $10 for those with gainful employment. (Otherwise called Not Full-time Poets.)
I’ll be reading my usual mix of poems about elves, and poems with a serious political slant. Often both exist in the same poems. I sometimes think I should do a collection called Fairies of Social Realism Playing Football on Mars. Or perhaps I already did.
The new year is finally picking up, and I have had news of a couple of forthcoming publications, which I shall post about soon, witches permitting.
January 10, 2017
Corrugations echo with cluck,
the occasional illicit crow,
ear-pecked neighbours pick fights;
shrill voices make 6 a.m. alarms.
Frosted into internal mush,
harder shell of fallen white,
strawberries mimic the avid snails
munching them like Frenchmen.
Orange peel, meat and coffee
strewn on sacred stewing mounds
create decomposition. Disbelief
that she knows so little, cares less.
An old poem this one, and I don’t think it’s been published anywhere before.
In Canberra the bigger backyards tend to be in the innermost suburbs, although many old houses on big blocks are being demolished for units. So many a chicken scratches within a few kilometres of Parliament House. (Insert manure joke at will.)
Happy new year, by the way.
December 31, 2016
I feel almost forced to reflect, like a cross between Narcissus and the kid in that eye device in Clockwork Orange.
I leg pressed 200kg, which is pretty damned good.
Lots of publications. Lots!
My chapbook Quick Bright Things came out.
I did more live readings this year.
I was highly commended in many a poetry competition, which is winning’s peculiar cousin, sitting in the corner playing endless games on his device.
Not so achievey:
I spent too much time worrying about the news, and letting it affect me.
My budgie won’t talk.
My canaries won’t sing.
I don’t do resolutions, partly based on the fact that I heard two very fit people at the gym sneering at those they called ‘the resolutionists’, who join in January and are never seen after February.
But I will continue with the poeting, the gym, and letting the budgie teach me budgie. And this blog will continue as long as blogging is a thing, and Tuesdays exist. Back to Tuesdays after the celebrations end.
Happy New Year, and easy on the Rabbie Burns!
November 28, 2016
Out for review
Out for the count
Out of time
Out for lunch
Out and about
Out for a duck
Out of luck
Out of the closet
Out on the town
Out of the corner of my eye
Out of the box
Out of the mouths of babes
Out of fashion
Out caught behind
Out of it
Out and out
Over and out
A bit of fun this week; and why not, as we head into glorious summer and Christmas?
I was chuffed (a technical term for a state somewhere between freakily ecstatic and mildly pleased) to hear that I have been shortlisted for the Red Room New Shoots Poetry Prize, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, and Rochford Street Review. You can access the full shortlists here (plural as there was a site specific contest for the Botanic Gardens, too). Lovely to recognise some other people on the list! And to see some names that are totally unfamiliar, as well.
Now I’m off to work on some sunburn.