God I love this singer and this song:

 

I trust he’ll be singing in heaven (or, to put it in a slightly different way, to hear this is to be in heaven).  In the mean time, here’s a wee poem I wrote about seeing Johnny Cash live, which was first published on Project 365 + 1.

Glastonbury, 1994

When they invent time travel,
whether DeLorean or phone box
I won’t go forward, but back.
There’ll probably be strict laws
about interference
and the paradox
as explored in science fiction
forever, and yet, a visit
to Glastonbury in ’94
surely wouldn’t be a threat,
or trigger Bradbury’s
butterfly effect?
(Unless someone already did,
and that explains the Trump.)
I’d blend into the heaving crowd,
a very happy, sunburnt piggy.

I want to see Johnny Cash live.
I want to watch the Man in Black
and hear him walk the line.
’69 at San Quentin
is out of the question,
but ’94 will do fine.

A simple time machine and off she went,
pausing momentarily to buy a tent.

P.S. Cottier

Notes: The ‘butterfly effect’ mentioned here refers to the short story ‘A Sound of Thunder’ by Ray Bradbury, in which the accidental killing of a butterfly in the distant past results in a very different future world, not least in political terms.

Apparently it was hot at Glastonbury in 1994, which I find hard to believe.

(King James Version, by the way.)

 

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.

 

ship-went-away

Frequent Flyers:  The Lives of Coastal Birds is a group exhibition currently showing at Durras Progress Hall, cnr Corilla & Banyanda Streets, South Durras, NSW, running until Sunday 29th May.  On that Sunday, at 3pm, there will be a poetry and music performance at the venue, and I’ll be reading some bird poems, as will Sarah Rice, Johanna Rendle-Short, and Kerrie Nelson.  Helen Maxwell, who has organised the event, will be reading a poem by Francesca Rendle-Short and another one by Sue Fielding. It sounds like a fun afternoon!  There will be flutes and ukuleles, although probably not at the same time.

Sunday 29 May, 3pm – Bird concert and poetry recital – followed by exhibition closing drinks  $10 – BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.  For bookings contact Helen Maxwell helen {AT} helenmaxwell.com, or ring 0439 876 645.

South Durras is a beautiful part of the world, about two hours drive from Canberra.  The photo below shows the main surf beach, from the dunes.

beach

 

A special afternoon

April 19, 2015

David Stavanger works on a line between music and poetry…No.
David Stavanger erases the line between music and poetry….That’s better. Though overly simplistic.

Here he is setting up before his gig in Canberra at Hotel Hotel in New Acton.
david s setting up
Richard Grantham played actual music, including electronic delay with a viola, and keyboards. David played his throat, and the audience, in a devilish performance.

Ellie Malbon also performed her poetry, and at one stage she was joined with Aaron Kirby in a piece with eucalyptus forests, and drowning, which made me think of Birnam Wood coming towards Macbeth in his castle (in the soon to be released play of the same name). Also there were surfing images, and a challenging of the division between elements, and a questioning of myths of improvement. There was a bath, too, in another poem. Here are Ellie’s feet, displayed on the interesting floor which could hardly be described as minimalist:
ellie malbon's feet

CJ Bowerbird emceed and performed, and I regret not having captured either his suit or his performance. Andrew Galan read works from his forthcoming second collection, which had a decidedly canine feel to it. This is the sort of maniac that he had in the audience:
Annie Te Whiu of ag and me
Thanks to Annie Te Whiu for the photo.

All in all, this was a wonderful afternoon of poetry and music at Hotel Hotel, in which a lot of poems about water were transformed into magic. The wine was good too…

David’s collection, The Special, is one I should have read by now, but it’s always great to buy it from the poet direct.

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.