This little story was the winner of the RedBeard Bakery 50 Words Microfiction Competition, at the Words in Winter Festival, Trentham, Victoria. It is up by link on the Word in Winter site, but I thought I’d post in here now. Prize winning entries in the other categories can be read here. The story had to be exactly 50 words long; hence the rather clipped tone! The theme was ‘Origins’.

Fittest

It was hidden in the op shop, behind fifteen copies of Fifty Shades. First edition Darwin. Original Origin.

He grabbed it from me, paid $5, and ran. I followed, did only what was necessary, and reclaimed the book.

It sold for £100,000.

That’s only fitting, if you think about it.

PS Cottier

murder

I also have a micro-poem just published in Award Winning Australian Poetry (Melbourne Books) which is being launched in Melbourne on the 30th August, at the Athenaeum Library in Collins Street, at 6pm. I went last year and it was a great launch.

So, after two micro awards, I’m obviously getting big in a small way. I received $200 in vouchers from a great bakery in Trentham for the story, which probably works out at a large roll a word, and will have to drive down and stuff myself some glorious and calorific day.

***
And on another note, over at Overland there’s an extended debate about whether ‘bush poetry’ deserves to be included in ‘Best of’ collections. I find it fascinating how this sort of debate tends to attract so many more men more than women; what is it about definitions and certainties? But, anyway, here’s my less than serious contribution.

Mayweather v McGregor was more entertaining
than trying to know poetry by explaining.

It’s all so pugnacious.
(Is rhyming contagious?)

Next week: post-structuralism summarised in a limerick, and semiotics in a haiku.

***
And on yet another, far less frivolous note, send a thought to the home of real haiku, who just had a missile sent over their northern island.

I am very happy to have my first publication in India.

The poem ‘Canberra’ appears in the book Capitals, edited by Abhay K.  The anthology contains poems about nearly all of the world’s capital cities, and is published by Bloomsbury, India.  I came across this YouTube film of the book being launched recently at the Jaipur Literature Festival, by Ruth Padel:

Canberra is represented by two poems; the other one is by Michelle Cahill, which I am hanging out to read.  So we’re really writing above our weight division in terms of population, particularly as Oceania is merged with Asia in the book.

I am very much looking forward to receiving my contributor’s copy.  Here is the cover, which is stompingly cool:

cover-image-of-capitals-3

I responded to a call-out for poems for the anthology on the Australian Poetry website, and feel honoured to be included with my mild little poem about Canberra.  Poets in the anthology include Ms Padel, the late Mahmoud Darwish, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva and Derek Walcott.  Just shows that you should always submit a poem if the project interests you. You have nothing to lose but your quatrains, as Marx didn’t say.

Most of all though, I’m delighted to be published in India, which is home to the world’s second largest number of speakers of English.  It makes a welcome change from Oz or the USA.  My poems are becoming much more well-travelled than I am!  (I’m usually beyond rapt when I do a reading in Melbourne or Sydney.)

The book can be ordered through Amazon India, from late April, according to that site, or from Bloomsbury, also in April.  No doubt it will be available elsewhere as well.

UPDATE: I just I just found out that the Jaipur Literature Festival is coming to Melbourne!  Exciting stuff.

Best launch ever?

July 22, 2016

The delayed launch of Suddenly Curving Space Time was held at Smiths late last night, and it was a memorable one.  Gerald Kearney was there, and performers included a band called Shoe or Shoo! (or possibly Choux? says the Francophile), a shakuhachi performance by Barbara, and of course poetry.  UPDATE:  I see from Bandcamp that the correct spelling is S.H.U.!  How’s a person supposed to guess that?

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I didn’t get everyone’s full name, but here are some photos of performers, including Brian,  who has a really great voice.  And Gerald, one of the editors of the book (above and below) also gave a memorable performance.

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me at launch suddenly

In honour of the weather that delayed the launch I read a few poems with a climate change and/or weather focus.  Despite a few people being unable to make the rescheduled launch (notably the co-editor Hal Judge, though Gerald read one of his poems),  it was an event that left me feeling inspired and intoxicated, in a good way.

Consider buying the book.

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.

Tuesday poem: (haiku)

July 16, 2014

sick at the beach
lungs sandblasted
holidays towelled
beach

Continuing the slightly whingey tone that my usually vibrant and witty blog has exhibited lately, I had a week at the beach and I was too sick to swim! I am still sick and on actual medicine! I have not been able to go to the gym for ages! You can’t keep good Aussie germs down, it seems. They are positively marsupial in their popping up when least expected.

I dragged my benighted carcass into town on Sunday, and ran into photographer and person about town Geoffrey Dunn, who asked me to open an exhibition he is having at The Front Gallery here in Canberra. Intriguingly entitled ‘Two Tens and a Tomato’, it includes work by Geoffrey and visual artist and poet Marina Talevski. They have mixed poetry, photography, sculpture and installation into works exploring the written word and visualisations of poetic elements.

I am popping down to the Gallery tonight to check it out, so that I can hopefully say something coherent tomorrow at 7pm.

Hanging out in town with a sign saying ‘Will launch for drink’ has finally paid off…

Here is a photograph of me taken by Mr Dunn. Unfortunately my magic parasol did not keep the germs at bay. Must ask for a refund. From the makers of parasols, not from the photographer.

parasol

For comparatively germ free reading, click this feather:

Tuesday Poem