Just had a new poem published at Not Very Quiet, an online journal of women’s poetry. The theme was ‘mask’, which immediately made me think of how useless a mask would be against ghosts. I hope you enjoy the poem, and do look at the rest of the issue, which was edited by Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew.

Tuesday poem: Freckles

May 26, 2019

Another poem via link, this time to New Zealand speculative publication Sponge. ‘Freckles’ is a prose poem meditation on those weird little skin-flecks that many of us have. You can listen to me read the poem, too, if you like.

This one is via link to Eye To The Telescope, an online journal of speculative poetry run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, based in the United States. The issue on ‘Sports and Games’ was edited by Lisa Timpf, who I believe is Canadian, so I’m extra pleased to have a poem about cricket published there. My poem is second in the issue, but have a look at all the poetry!

Magic!

I have just heard that the poet Les Murray has died, and I am rereading some of his best work, such as The Cows on Killing Day. I remember talking to him about this poem, and whether he had thought of becoming vegetarian, and he said that that would mean a lot fewer cows in existence!

In person I found him to be an affable and funny man, and on the day of his death that is a good way to remember him. There will be a lot of proper obituaries appearing tomorrow.

Cheers, Les.

Stealing Les Murray’s beer

Jazz

Sax snaking
between notes,
tonguing air for directions,
poisonously honeyed
ears overflowing
quick thickening

and her voice,
both glacier and moraine
digging cool deep
graves of swoon,
lowering us in,
willingly, longingly
noise-swaddled

now punctuated by
exhortations of snare,
the metal finesse
of the cymbal
so jaggedly round
sweet clanging infraction

their fingers, her larynx
lynx swift yet subtle,
pouncing syncopation
delivers gasp-slaps
on listeners’ lobes —
we clap pauseless poise

PS Cottier

Szaxofoncsalad_001

It’s so very hard to write about music, but I continue to try!

In other news, my poem ‘Lycium Barbarum’ which first appeared in the journal Umbel & Panicle is now published in the Rhysling anthology, which contains poems nominated for the Rhysling Award, a yearly award for poems of a speculative nature. The awards are organised by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, based in the US. Speculative poetry includes science fiction, horror (mine is a humorous horror poem featuring werewolves), fantasy and sundry weirdnesses. Lovely to see it there.

(Image By User:Villanueva at hu.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

Here’s the cover of my new book, Quick bright things: Poems of fantasy and myth.  It features an excellent illustration by Paul Summerfield, based on the poem ‘The Laws of Cricket rewritten for the Fairy World’ inside the book.  It’s a chapbook, with 28 pages packed full of striking gnomes, somewhat sporty fairies, unpleasant elves, skiving but environmentally responsible goddesses, underachieving ghosts, paisley pitbulls, and similar oddnesses.

I particularly like the see through paper after the front cover (and before the back cover) but you can’t see that here.  (A kind of parchment, I think.)  It feels great, and adds an appropriate air of mystery to the chapbook. I am celebrating its arrival with a coffee in this photo.

coffee-cover

The title, by the way, comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Lysander says:

And ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

The book is available from Ginninderra Press in the Picaro Press imprint.  It costs $5 plus postage.  Or buy it direct from me if you are in Canberra.  I’m thinking about a wee launch for this wee book, although I’ll certainly be selling it at readings before any such potential extravaganza.  (The ISBN is 9781760412197, by the way.)

Note that this is not a book intended for really little children, as some of the fantasy creatures are fairly awful.  This is my first collection of purely speculative poetry, if we ignore The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, which I edited with Tim Jones.  And that is full of Other People’s Poems.  Here is the cover in greater detail:

 

quick-cover-copy-front-only

Overseas (or local) buyers can also contact me via the contact form.  This is the best option if you’d like to arrange a signed copy.