Tuesday poems: via links

September 21, 2017

A new online women’s poetry journal, based in Canberra and edited by Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, has been launched called Not Very Quiet and I have three poems in it, covering such topics as homelessness — and the middle class desire to avoid the homeless — depression, and the way that depressed people are patronised, and annoying editors, and what should be done with them. That links to the last mentioned poem, which is the funniest one. Writing humorous poetry that also has more than laughs to it is quite an art, I think, and one type of work that I like to write. Have a look around at the journal, which contains a lot of interesting poetry.

Another newish journal is Mnemosyne: South Coast Women’s Journal which is edited by a group of women from, or living on, the south coast of NSW. I wrote a poem called ‘Going to the Coast’,  which was published as part of their ‘Flash Fiction Friday’ initiative. A very lovely journal with a lot of ideas behind it.

If anyone is wondering how the name is pronounced; it’s a bit like Penelope. Which does not rhyme with antelope.

beach

Tuesday poem: On editing

September 11, 2017

awaw2017.jpg

Irma Gold has written a thoughtful piece about writing her story ‘The Line’ that appears in this year’s Award Winning Australian Writing.

My poem in this book, which covers both prose and poetry, is three lines in length, although I did not write it as a ‘real’ haiku. It won a contest for a poem in 50 characters or less, which means that the emphasis was on what was not spoken as much as the words that appeared. Editing and writing become virtually inseparable when the poem is so short.

I took the ‘How Tweet It Is’ title of the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ contest literally and wrote a poem called ‘The Cat’s New Beard’ which is not in the least bird-friendly. It’s about a cat eating a bird. I won’t post it here, as the book just came out, and I can’t really post an extract of a tiny poem. But here’s another short poem about the process of editing a wee poem about a bird.

Plucking words
too many feathers —
bantam or robin?

Now a bantam is bigger than a robin, just as Batman is bigger than the Boy Wonder, so robin is probably the better option.

I am enjoying reading the book, which contains everything from evocative stories (Irma) to dead canaries (me). Why not purchase one? The editor is Pia Gaardboe.

Passing beauty

It’s moving, just ahead
of the player’s most clever feet.
Every four years, we fill a cup,
then pour it out, a month of dreams.
Was it just last week that Bergkamp
flicked with orange elegance,
side-footing space and time?
No, he is long gone now,
off fielding fifty years.
Others follow. Messy time
melts beauty, remoulds it,
casts it always anew.
It never ages, constantly fired,
as we fade, we watchers,
yesterday’s players, passing.
Twenty sips at the cup
will fill a lifetime;
held safe in keeper’s hands.

PS Cottier

Boots.jpg

This poem was just republished in Boots:A Selections of Football Poetry 1890-2017, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand. As Mark has it up as an sample from the book, I thought I would also republish it here. It was first published in Eureka Street here in Australia.

The book contains poems from New Zealand, England, France and the Netherlands, with New Zealand being the home of most. It is well worth reading for the diversity of approaches: biographical, political, elegiac (mine, for once!) humorous and historical. A lovely present for anyone interested in football.

It can be ordered through Lulu through the publisher’s website (HeadworX Publishers). Boots is an expanded edition of a previous collection first published in 2014.

So you like football (the round ball one)?  So you like poetry?  Well here’s a  publication you might find appealling.  Boots is an anthology of poems about football, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand.  I have a couple of football related poems in it, called ‘Passing beauty’ and ‘Side netting’.   The first book was published to coincide with the (men’s) World Cup in 2014, and is out in lots of time for the next one in Russia, in an extended form.

I am entering something of a publication frenzy, having several pieces in that mysterious machine known as ‘the works’, which I’ll link to as they appear.

To celebrate this flurry of forthcoming publications, here’s a new poem about handbags, appearing under a photo of my favourite bag, which was made in Russia.  (A soft Dalek is no Dalek at all.  Discuss.)  There is a football reference in the poem, but to a football of a different shape.

After that appalling segue-ing, I hope you enjoy the poem.  I read somewhere that each blog post should contain one idea; I’ve certainly stuffed that up today, like a bag that has mistaken itself for a wardrobe.

dalek bag

Twenty ways to keep your essentials to hand

Lucite pillbox flaunting small pearls
Shell shape clutch for pocket Venus
Curious net of cunning gold mesh
Eyebending sequins intricately sewn
Art deco black silk organically clasped
Ten thousand beaded fine French paisley
Quaint cigar box rolls lipsticks and tampons
Roomy Mexican holdall hammock wide
Oval pigskin (and it’s not made by Sherrin)
Faux leopard snarls and real pony kicks
Kawaii Japanese anthromorphic bear
Modest exquisite goldchained calf
Ironic grannysquared seventies repro
Tikis barkclothed for quick souvenirs
Crocodiles taught Parisian accents
Poodle pregnant with pompom coinpurse
Felt dubiously coloured and Etsyfied
Blue papoose flaunts fat fleshy handles
Concertina traincase bakelites makeup
Poet’s tote with slant Dickinson quote

PS Cottier

 

 

I just had three poems published at Eureka Street called ‘Three aspects of Australian racism’, ‘Doing a Bradbury’, and ‘Release the dogs of scorn!’.

Why not have a read? I was quite angry when I wrote two of them, and I think it shows. Some think that poetry is the loser if there’s too much anger, but I don’t necessarily agree.

A very well-balanced type of poem, where everything is smooth and lovely, and where any aspect of the external world that manages to sneak in seemingly exists only for the benefit of the poet, begins to annoy me very quickly. There’s certainly a place for political poetry of the more obvious sort, so long as it avoids rant and cliché. You can comment at Eureka Street, should you feel so inclined.

And here’s a very cool picture of a giant. I’m not quite uncouth enough to make a political statement out of him. Not this week, anyway.

giant-drink-stream

(For overseas readers, the Bradbury mentioned in one poem is Steven Bradbury, who won Australia’s first Winter Olympics gold medal in a memorable way.)