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.

That’s where you’ll find me, from time to time. One exciting development in the horrible world that lies on the wrong side of THE THIN BEIGE LINE OF COMPARATIVE NORMALITY ©* is Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association. Kaaron Warren is editing the next issue, and I have a poem in it, along with a column about poetry.

Press this link for the fully horrible Table of Contents. I can’t wait to be sickened, in a good way, by the issue.

who left the drawbridge down?

who left the drawbridge down?

I also have a poem coming up in the 200th issue of Antipodean SF, which explicitly addresses the merits, or otherwise, of flash fiction. And I believe a story of mine from THE VAULTS, otherwise known as 2008, may also be appearing.

There are other publications looming too, like the mutant pterodactyls of Moscow in a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, but these are enough for today.

*no, not copyright at all. If you like dreadful writing, please help yourself to the phrase.

Moving

August 5, 2014

On Sunday I did something I’ve never done before, and moved away from the microphone to perform a poem, which I had memorised. No fiddling with glasses. No piece of paper. (Both were there, in case my brain melted, but I managed without.) Speaking of melting brains, here is an ice sculpture of Douglas Mawson, melting in the comparatively tropical Canberra sunshine:
douglas mawson

This sculpture, and the perfomance, were part of a wonderful event called the Winter Festival at the Portrait Gallery in Canberra. An ekphrastic competition was held, where we had to respond to a photograph in writing. The writing ranged from non-fiction memoir, to short stories, to poetry. The judge was Paul Hetherington.

Thanks to my poem (and the obviously impeccable taste of the judge) I now have a gift voucher for the Portrait Gallery bookstore, as I was highly commended.

Recently a novelist of my acquaintance, Kaaron Warren, detailed her haul of booty from winning a voucher for the best fiction book published in the ACT. She bought books.

I may well buy an item of personal adornment. A new beret or something, as one can never have enough headgear. Ask Douglas Mawson.

20140803_154352

No poem today.

UPDATE: Michelle Brock was the poet awarded first place. Thanks to Kathy Kituai for jogging my memory.