Too busy Toosday

August 22, 2016

I apologise profusely for no original poem today. I am a tad busy at the moment.

Thursday 25th at 7.30, I am reading poetry at Manning Clark House, Tasmania Circle, Griffith. Many of the poems will have first been published on this very blog, or at Project 365 + 1. I will be reading for about 30 minutes, as will Hazel Hall, the other reader.  There is an entry fee of $10, I think, which covers wine, some small items of food and the wee literary stuff.

On 27th August (Saturday) I’ll be moderating a discussion on The Poetics of Politics, at the National Library of Australia (a big building by the lake). The immoderators/speakers are Lizz Murphy and Susan Hawthorne, and it happens at 12pm, just after a launch of novelist Kaaron Warren’s new book, The Grief Hole, at the very same library at 11am.

On the 31st August I’ll be going to the launch of Award Winning Australian Writing in Melbourne, and reading a poem, and then attending the announcement of the Australian Catholic University Poetry Competition results the next day. I am short-listed for that, but I don’t think I won a prize this year, for various reasons.  Still, they produce a really nice collection of poems short-listed in the competition.

 

life-hair

Then I will hopefully get some writing done.  Plus I’ll soon be proofreading a new chapbook of poems.  More about that later.

Loud man pissing round the reading
with irrelevant comments,
dribbling self, reflected in a deep pool
of his own stewed past, steaming.
He is a true Narcissus,
but not so drop-dead gorgeous;
fungus mated with dead cat.
He smells of yesterday and loss.
He shouts his irrelevance
with every tedious joke,
every punch line a squib,
tarnishing the grey sky.

P.S. Cottier

Narcissus-Caravaggio_(1594-96)_edited.jpg

Not the subject of the poem

A nasty wee poem indeed, based on a couple of True Incidents.

***
On a couple of more positive notes, I’ll be reading a poem or two at Tuesday night’s launch of Suddenly Curving Space Time and meeting Gerald Keaney, one of the editors for the first time.  That’s at Smith’s Alternative (aka Smith’s non-Euclidean?), Alinga Street, Civic, at 5pm.  There is a bar.  I’m not sure if Hal Judge, the other editor, is in the country at the moment, but I will certainly find out.

UPDATE:  This launch has been postponed as Gerald is stuck in Brisbane due to ‘freak weather conditions’.  I think that means fog! I’ll give new details when I can.

FURTHER UPDATE: The rescheduled time of the Canberra Launch of the Suddenly Curving Space Time anthology of experimental poetry is 9.30pm – 11.30 pm on Thursday 21st July.

anthology covers

Secondly, the usually totally impeccable Kaaron Warren has inexplicably featured me as a guest blogger, chatting about how I refresh my wells.  That is what they call a metaphor, I believe.  Kaaron is seemingly aiming for a Guinness world record in having quite a few people write on this topic.  Seriously, there will be enough material for a Real Book based on these jottings, some of which are very informative and detailed. Some of the contributions One of the contributions is, however, a tad frivolous and involves violence towards naiads.

Two containers image

 

The two items above are the subject of the following poem, written at the Green Shed in Civic, which is a store selling items mainly found at Canberra’s tips.  Late last year, as part of the Design Canberra festival, punters were asked to write a response to objects at the Green Shed.  I was the first to have a go, and set myself a ten minute limit.  Here’s the poem, with just a couple of typos corrected:

Two containers

Black rectangle of leather,
simple silver clasp.  You smell
of clean secrets, of transparent glue,
or a genie addicted to soap.
Gold lettering spells ‘Lodge Elata’
but your elation long fled the bag.
She searches for crumbs, carolling.

Banana jug — cracked as if you were
yourself a punchline  — jagged haha
or an inappropriate smirk,
yellowing a funeral with muted glee.
Three bananas. Two are thick lips,
and one a self-tasting tongue,
enjoying the flavour of milky jokes.

P.S. Cottier

green shed poem

The masonic bag did become transparent after the poem was written, in the sense that I hear that someone stole it from the shop! Not a genie, either.  Or so I suppose.

Thanks to Kaaron Warren for alerting me to this event.

And happy 2016!

Press this link to see what other poets have been doing.  (Check out the sidebar.)

Publications and sloth

April 18, 2015

No, I am afraid you won’t get a picture of a sloth engaging in upside down cuteness on these austere pages. But here is one of some dogs. One of them is even upside down, and some say she is a cross between a dog and a sloth.
mango and scupper asleep

I have been at the beach for a week or so, and relatively slothful, aided by very dodgy internet access. Although I did enter the best poetry competition, whereby a list of ten words is provided and the entrant/masochist must write a poem containing each of the words. In 48 hours. There are, it seems, very few sloths in Canada. That festival of energetic composition is organised by Contemporary Verse 2. For some poets, this contest would seem overly prescriptive, but I quite like the challenge of using the ten words without them screaming ‘We were given, not found’. It keeps you on your poetic toes.

If you would like to read a poem I wrote which did not derive from a competition, please press this link. The poem deals with space and jazz, and is called ‘Miles and Beyond’. It was just published at Eye to the Telescope, which is the online journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, based in the United States, a nation to the south of Canada, also bereft of sloths. Diane Severson edited this issue, which is made up of speculative poetry about music.

Now, to drag sloths into a blog is terribly out of date; a bit like a parent trying to speak to a teenage child and speaking of ‘Instantgram’ and ‘Readit’. (Tragedy often wears a cardigan.)

In fact, including sloths here might be described as slothful.

***
The issue of Midnight Echo I mentioned in my previous post is now available for purchase. It is currently only in PDF, but will soon be available in different formats. I wrote a column about poetry and an actual poem for that issue, edited by Kaaron Warren.

UPDATE 21-4

Midnight Echo is now also in epub and mobi.

A horrible interview

April 8, 2015

Well, to be accurate, it’s an interview I did that is part of a series leading up to the publication of the next edition of Midnight Echo, the organ (I think the liver) of the Australian Horror Writers Association. Kaaron Warren, who is troublingly nice for a woman who writes very disturbing books, is editing the edition, which has the theme ‘sinister’.

I have a poem in the forthcoming issue, and a column about writing poetry, or rather, how I write poetry. I talk very briefly about a few things here:
http://midnightechomagazine.com/2015/04/08/meet-the-poet-ps-cottier/
However I am much more effusive in the column!

The new issue of Midnight Echo is released April 15th.