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

…it’s on Wednesday the 23rd July, 7.30pm at Don Bank House, 6 Napier St, North Sydney.

Hopefully my health will have improved by then, as I am currently sounding like a moth-eaten walrus with a two packets a day habit. Here I am looking a little dumpy:

bigstock-Walrus-family-haul-out-26072654

I will try and haul myself together over the next little while, and magically transform myself into a cultured creature who can read. North Sydney is not my usual part of Sydney; so it will be interesting geographically as well as offering an opportunity to meet more poets. I tend to stay in Glebe when I go to Sydney. Or Newtown.

The launch is being held alongside poetry readings organised by Danny Gardner, so there is a small cover charge for non-contributors.

Do come along, dear Sydney persons. Unfortunately, Tim Jones is poetically ensconced in New Zealand and will not be able to make it, but I’ll be there, as will David Reiter, the publisher.

SLS_Cov

Here is a link to the Facebook page with lovely photos of the previous launches, and you can navigate from there to a dedicated Sydney launch page, should you so desire.

Or better still, just come along.

Lift offs

June 11, 2014

earl_livings

Here is an image of Earl Livings reading his poem at the Melbourne launch of The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry. Thanks to Breanne Rodda from Interactive Publications for this photograph. I’ll be posting more images shortly.

Philip Salom launched the book at Collected Works, and about ten poets read.

Tomorrow is the Canberra launch, and after that, I’ll have a lengthier post about the launches. I’m looking forward to hearing what Kaaron Warren has to say.

My fellow editor, Tim Jones, is in Australia and has been cruelly attacked by kangaroo poo down on the south coast of NSW. I was not worried by the marsupial droppings, which obviously target visitors from New Zealand. Tim’s blog also has a brief piece on the first launch.

I am looking forward to the launch tomorrow, and to hearing more of the poems brought to life. We’ll be distributing contributors’ copies at the launch, and copies will be sent to other contributors after that. You can buy copies from the publisher or from Amazon.

Sean Williams is counting to three here.  Honestly.

Sean Williams is counting to three here. Honestly.

tanka and wine crop

What a lovely present for a launch speech! Yesterday it was about 36 degrees in Canberra and unusually steamy, and I gave my first launch speech for the pamphlet In Response to Magpies.  This was organised by Hazel Hall, Australian Poetry’s café poet at Biginelli’s café.

Hazel Hall

Hazel Hall

It went quite well, and the readings by the poets included in the collection were enjoyable. Here I am looking up in the air, as if there is an invisible magpie swooping:

magpie launch

Fortunately I am wearing my special invisible helmet

I am hoping to write up the speech for publication. The wine remains intact, as it is gin weather.

Last night I went to a poetry slam, co-organised by fellow Triptych poet J.C. Inman at The Front, and it was so steamy and hot we were all like pieces of tofu floating in a laksa. Here is a piece of poetic tofu, also known as J.C. Inman:

J.C. Inman(my phone was fainting from the heat)

J.C. Inman
(my phone was fainting from the heat)

I realised how exhausted I was when I read a poem before the slam and my hands were literally shaking. People must have thought I was a very sensitive flower, but that was not it at all. It was: half heat, half gin, half gym. So what? A mathematican I ain’t.

Canberra: freezing one day and Brisbane the next. If only I could afford a pankawallah.  Or another gin.

Now I’m off to be languid.  After the gym.