Tuesday poems: via links

September 21, 2017

A new online women’s poetry journal, based in Canberra and edited by Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, has been launched called Not Very Quiet and I have three poems in it, covering such topics as homelessness — and the middle class desire to avoid the homeless — depression, and the way that depressed people are patronised, and annoying editors, and what should be done with them. That links to the last mentioned poem, which is the funniest one. Writing humorous poetry that also has more than laughs to it is quite an art, I think, and one type of work that I like to write. Have a look around at the journal, which contains a lot of interesting poetry.

Another newish journal is Mnemosyne: South Coast Women’s Journal which is edited by a group of women from, or living on, the south coast of NSW. I wrote a poem called ‘Going to the Coast’,  which was published as part of their ‘Flash Fiction Friday’ initiative. A very lovely journal with a lot of ideas behind it.

If anyone is wondering how the name is pronounced; it’s a bit like Penelope. Which does not rhyme with antelope.

beach

Tuesday poem: On editing

September 11, 2017

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Irma Gold has written a thoughtful piece about writing her story ‘The Line’ that appears in this year’s Award Winning Australian Writing.

My poem in this book, which covers both prose and poetry, is three lines in length, although I did not write it as a ‘real’ haiku. It won a contest for a poem in 50 characters or less, which means that the emphasis was on what was not spoken as much as the words that appeared. Editing and writing become virtually inseparable when the poem is so short.

I took the ‘How Tweet It Is’ title of the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ contest literally and wrote a poem called ‘The Cat’s New Beard’ which is not in the least bird-friendly. It’s about a cat eating a bird. I won’t post it here, as the book just came out, and I can’t really post an extract of a tiny poem. But here’s another short poem about the process of editing a wee poem about a bird.

Plucking words
too many feathers —
bantam or robin?

Now a bantam is bigger than a robin, just as Batman is bigger than the Boy Wonder, so robin is probably the better option.

I am enjoying reading the book, which contains everything from evocative stories (Irma) to dead canaries (me). Why not purchase one? The editor is Pia Gaardboe.

So you like football (the round ball one)?  So you like poetry?  Well here’s a  publication you might find appealling.  Boots is an anthology of poems about football, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand.  I have a couple of football related poems in it, called ‘Passing beauty’ and ‘Side netting’.   The first book was published to coincide with the (men’s) World Cup in 2014, and is out in lots of time for the next one in Russia, in an extended form.

I am entering something of a publication frenzy, having several pieces in that mysterious machine known as ‘the works’, which I’ll link to as they appear.

To celebrate this flurry of forthcoming publications, here’s a new poem about handbags, appearing under a photo of my favourite bag, which was made in Russia.  (A soft Dalek is no Dalek at all.  Discuss.)  There is a football reference in the poem, but to a football of a different shape.

After that appalling segue-ing, I hope you enjoy the poem.  I read somewhere that each blog post should contain one idea; I’ve certainly stuffed that up today, like a bag that has mistaken itself for a wardrobe.

dalek bag

Twenty ways to keep your essentials to hand

Lucite pillbox flaunting small pearls
Shell shape clutch for pocket Venus
Curious net of cunning gold mesh
Eyebending sequins intricately sewn
Art deco black silk organically clasped
Ten thousand beaded fine French paisley
Quaint cigar box rolls lipsticks and tampons
Roomy Mexican holdall hammock wide
Oval pigskin (and it’s not made by Sherrin)
Faux leopard snarls and real pony kicks
Kawaii Japanese anthromorphic bear
Modest exquisite goldchained calf
Ironic grannysquared seventies repro
Tikis barkclothed for quick souvenirs
Crocodiles taught Parisian accents
Poodle pregnant with pompom coinpurse
Felt dubiously coloured and Etsyfied
Blue papoose flaunts fat fleshy handles
Concertina traincase bakelites makeup
Poet’s tote with slant Dickinson quote

PS Cottier

 

 

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I feel almost forced to reflect, like a cross between Narcissus and the kid in that eye device in Clockwork Orange.

Achievements:

I leg pressed 200kg, which is pretty damned good.
Lots of publications. Lots!
My chapbook Quick Bright Things came out.
I did more live readings this year.
I was highly commended in many a poetry competition, which is winning’s peculiar cousin, sitting in the corner playing endless games on his device.

Not so achievey:

I spent too much time worrying about the news, and letting it affect me.
My budgie won’t talk.
My canaries won’t sing.

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Irresolute:

I don’t do resolutions, partly based on the fact that I heard two very fit people at the gym sneering at those they called ‘the resolutionists’, who join in January and are never seen after February.

But I will continue with the poeting, the gym, and letting the budgie teach me budgie. And this blog will continue as long as blogging is a thing, and Tuesdays exist.  Back to Tuesdays after the celebrations end.

Happy New Year, and easy on the Rabbie Burns!

Tuesday poem: Love letters

November 22, 2016

Love letters

I love you poetry because all I need is an old envelope — Telstra or power bill or guff — and a pen

And you wait there hidden between the grains of paper like a wee tiger, pouncing, or a huge poodle, primping

I can write you for everyone, or just for me

And through you I have met clever people, and some even good (and also pricks, but let’s not dwell in embroidery)

Poetry you keep my mind in the top fifteen percent of my generation

And you make me embed my thought in Real Words™ like a bloodbug in a mattress, burrowing

I weep for you when some use your name to produce pungent advertisements for self — ah! the faces I have slapped, the duels I have fought in your name (if only on paper)

You allow me to take a word — say egregious — and handball it back to myself with slicker hands than Hawthorn

And you stretch back and forward as far as music

And you adapt like Galapagos, but quick

Tourniquet and snake, you bite and comfort, and I love you like a convenient maiden aunt loves her old cat, who miraculously survived the pitbull

And you are the very pitbull, and the pitbull’s teeth.

P.S.Cottier

***

And in vaguely related news, I was just highly commended in the Poetry category of the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, organised by the New England Writers Centre.   Very nice.  The winner of the poetry prize (which I won last year) was  Ian Hood, with a poem called ‘Drowning Satan’, which I look forward to reading.  Paul Prenter was commended.  All the poems (and stories, etc) will be published soon at the New England Writers Centre website, and I’ll link to that when I can.  My poem ‘On average’ was about domestic violence.

The judge was John Foulcher, a fellow Canberran.  (Judging was, of course, anonymous.)

dodgers-work

P.S. ‘Hawthorn’ in the above, is an Australian Rules football team, who have dominated things over the last five years or so.  (Until this year, in fact.)  Another helpful guide to Australian culture for benighted foreigners my lovely overseas readers.

P.P.S. Pitbulls are awesome dogs, and are only vicious if abused.