Tuesday poem: Senryu

November 14, 2017

camera catches
side-eye and grimace
‘say rictus!

PS Cottier

Rictus makes a nice change from cheese, anyway. And here is a totally unrelated image, although it also uses the word ‘side’. A triumph of signage, and not a bad title for a poetry collection!

sign

 

Theatre Tuesday

October 9, 2017

Sedation group happy

So you’ve been feeling a bit past your use-by date, and a little tarnished by time.  Perhaps you are terrified that you are losing your way, and becoming the type of writer who repeats themselves, not to work and rework ideas like an artisan kneading bread, but because they can’t do anything else.  You meet that type, and they piss around the corners of conversations, lest new ideas insinuate and undermine their certainties.

And then someone* finds one of your poems, tucked away on this very blog, and includes it in a theatre work, and it is given a new voice and body by an actor**.  And you listen to it take its place in the work, and feel glad that someone felt its energy and its humour; a humour wedged between despair and hysteria.

Because you’re a total dag, you adopt a horizontal position in a photo amongst some of the other poets, and the actors.  You*** would underline how much the production meant to you in some alien form of punctuation.  You really need to discover decorum, rather than dwell in a cellar of rum.

*Adele Chynoweth, who directed the work Under Sedation, currently showing at The Street Theatre, as well as selecting/arranging the poems

**Ruth Pieloor (The other actor is Ben Drysdale and you can probably spot him in the photo above.)  The photo below shows Ruth adopting a Polonius stance, after the production.

r as p

***You obviously doesn’t mean you, dear reader.

 

blood elephant

Blood elephant
bathes in human river
tusk intact

PS Cottier

Now, next time someone is saying what a beautiful sport surfing is, bear this photo in mind. The person who injured his head (and inadvertently caused the painting of the blood elephant to drain itself onto his shirt) drove two hours home from the coast, with a head injury that required six stitches. Past at least two hospitals.

I think that goes beyond the merely gnarly.

***

In other, less gruesome news, my poem ‘The ineffable boredom of Polonius’ is one of many making up a performance anthology of Canberra poetry, being produced very soon.  The play is called Under Sedation: Canberra Verse Remixed, and it will be at the Street Theatre, from September 29 (preview) to October 14. The director (and the person who compiled the anthology) is Adele Chynoweth, and the actors are Ruth Pieloor and Ben Drysdale.

Here is a list of the poets whose work will appear (apologies for any typos):

A.D.Hope (whose work provided the title of the production), Andi and George Band, Greg Appel, Dorothy Auchterloine, Burrows, Michael Byrne, Adrian Caesar, David Campbell, Coda Conduct (Sally Coleman & Erica Mallet), Malcolm Coller, P.S.Cottier, Vesna Cvjeticanin, Michael Dransfield, Chris Endrey & Bec Taylor, Niloofar Fanaiyan, Bela Farkas, Fun Machine, Kevin Gilbert, Paul Hetherington, Suzie Higgie, J.C.Inman, Subhash Jaireth, Aaron Kirby, Victoria McGrath, Mark O’Connor, Lizz Murphy, Omar Musa, Geoff Page, Anita Patel, Sandra Renew, Sarah Rice, Fred Smith Melinda Smith, John Karl Stokes and Monique Suna.

I can’t wait to see the production.  Here is the director, Adele Chynoweth, who recently (last night, in fact) launched a book by Sandra Renew at Smiths Alternative.   I hope this is the image you remember from this post!

AC

 

 

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.

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