Monstrous arrival

June 4, 2020

arrival

My new poetry collection just arrived from the publishers, Interactive Press. As the title would suggest, it deals with some horrible creatures, from a re-working of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to killer garden gnomes, to sharks that eat suns, to aliens on a nineteenth-century lunar voyage. There’s also the dubious future of the game of cricket. There’s some disturbing stuff, and some humour too.

You can read more about the book here. And it can be ordered here. The print version is postage free to Australia and New Zealand, for a limited time.

Thank you to Kaaron Warren for the Introduction, and to Andrew Galan for providing a blurb. Also to Zoe Hartland for the suitably freaky gnome, and Geoffrey Dunn for the author photo.

I will be launching it sometime in Canberra (and possibly elsewhere), when gatherings become a little more feasible, and I hear that an on-line event for all IP books published this month will be held. David Reiter, the publisher, is organising that.

Of course I wish that the May launch could have occurred, but the book has won through, in all its manic strangeness. I can’t wait to read some of the poems aloud to an actual gathering!

Because so many poets and poetry books have been affected by the coronavirus, Red Room Poetry produced an anthology of poems, called In Your Hands. Each is from a book which has been in some way touched by the current lockdown. (Even though Australia really has had it easy compared to many other countries, there have been many things cancelled.) My poem ‘The belly of the gnome’ is from a forthcoming collection called Monstrous (Interactive Press) which was to be launched this month, but now isn’t. It is on p23 of the In Your Hands anthology. This link will take you to the page where the free anthology can be downloaded. Enjoy.

I will be launching my book after the restrictions ease (don’t know the date yet!).

many-gnomes

Tuesday poem: Future lungs

December 9, 2019

Future lungs

Everyone mining air
and everyone a canary —
the future is coughing.
Invest in inhalers.
King Asthma ascends —
his sceptre
a smoke cigar.

PS Cottier

travelers-lured

I’m sitting in Canberra at 11am, and it’s almost like twilight because of all the smoke in the air from the bushfires near Braidwood, and possibly even from down near Batemans Bay. We may be having a foretaste of the future, when even the bravest firefighters (like those we have now) won’t be able to put out the climate change induced fires.

There may be no more telling the kids to ‘leave that computer and go outside and play’, because they might find breathing a tad difficult.

Still avoidable, but only if we did something serious about tackling climate change. The Firefighters Union knows what it is talking about.

….
Laugh’d every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,—
Hugg’d her and kiss’d her:
Squeez’d and caress’d her:
Stretch’d up their dishes,
Panniers, and plates:
“Look at our apples
Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and suck them,
Pomegranates, figs.”—

peaches

That extract tells of Lizzie visiting the goblins in an attempt to save her sister, Laura, who has feasted on the goblins’ fruit. I find it fascinating that the wombat is mentioned in this poem; the goblins’ appearance is not limited by mere geography. A ratel is a honey-badger, by the way, also found far from England (except in zoos). The full poem can be read here.

The use of verbs alone from ‘flying’ to ‘mowing’ sounds modern, somehow. This is one of my favourite poems. It has been analysed so much, yet remains fresh as an addictive peach.

Tuesday poem: Haiku

September 4, 2019

Behind the parlour
nail clippings rejoice
castanets

headpiece-scene-7-1

I was just thinking about the constant trail of stuff we leave behind; skin,hair, nails. The idea of all these sheddings coming together is disturbing. Maybe have a go at writing your own weird little haiku? The hair caught in hairbrushes comes to mind.