Archive for December, 2006


the poet peter minter on what he does when ‘stuck’:

“Go out, watch TV, READ POETRY, read junk mail, think about stuff, go for a swim, cook dinners, READ POETRY, listen to music, see movies, have sex, talk, go shopping, wander around looking, READ POETRY, sleep, go for a run, read philosophy, do some gardening, read a novel, have a bbq, go to the beach, go to a gallery, READ POETRY, count the number of cats between here and the next place, etc…”

he is interviewed by rosanna licari in the latest stylus.

interesting that he mentions you should go & force your local bookshop to order books of poetry for you, rather than ordering them online, thereby creating demand for poetry. something i hadn’t really thought of. but worth doing i guess.

people mow

people listen as you strum a guitar of an evening they

hover amidst back-yards & trellis

plants they are ambiguous eavesdroppers so you spurn ideas

all good ideas that is because

the idea plays you like an average to good poker hand it is slippery

there are irregular rhythms

& rambling poetic vocals massaging your unstable ‘self’

the idea has you & just maybe

people are informed are well-read are paratactic as they

leap from intention to

emotion only this don’t have no mojo like

other faux-phrases slipping you up falling further out of

the catchment falling out of you &

the idea goes further the slip making your riffs mud even the

dry weeds get slippery while people yell

you don’t have to catch the idea, not anymore you loser

& here thankfully two phones

ring a microsecond after each other like a delay pedal this

truth within coincidence forcing

thought forcing an end that might parallel death if not for the

breathing the beat of something


all that i want

presents i bought myself & like. i didn’t know of haddon as a poet, only as ‘the curious incident…’ guy. some of his poems are good though. some of the classical re-workings bore me, but some of the poems are cool. if i were reviewing it i would say ‘he writes like someone, but not quite, & also a little like someone else’.

the yeah yeah yeahs – much there is that is good about this album.

the sign says trout

motels are like home but

the angles are a little sharper

& the tap fittings are more awkward

people staying in them are on their way

elsewhere: funerals & festive drinks

& muddled projects: emjambed lines

gesturing toward infinity such journeys

often grand if not fun but attractions

always pop up while driving, you know

like the smell of mcfries smelling

good really good as it lingers in your

leather upholstery & when you say

‘why do i always have to be the bad

guy’ some bells jingle somewhere

while several past events unfurl / now

little soaps & a mention of a town’s

elevation in the future they all loom

dark as we go to a big pointy horizon

no chance of summer snow

i’ve read some blogs where people just use the first few lines of their post as the title, like a dylan thomas poem. what’s with that?

marrying poetry & academia? well for one thing there is money out there & governments, universities et cetera, want to give it to serious research students. not poets. so what should u research? i will be scoping out some poets of the past, examining various aspects of their work & lives, tracing some stuff forward to my practice. but mostly it will be writing a lot of poetry & publishing at the end of 3 years work. (the published part is as yet unsettled). doing this means a regular income, something that can be damn important. not a huge income, but still around twice the unemployment rate. & it comes from working under the label of ‘research’.

one part of me thinks i am no scientist researching a cure for cancer, but the other part thinks more people should be attacking the universities, forcing them to recognise creative endeavor as important & valid research. anyway, enough on this strand. i will be gainfully employed again someday – perhaps i shall return to cleaning (?). but for now let the scholarship times roll.

got this for a poem today. fuck yeah.

20/12/2006 UNI. OF MELB.

now i need only decide if i should reinvest it in some books of poetry. seems to be an opinion with currency – poets should buy & read more poetry. maybe. there are also a few parties to attend this time of year. etiquette dictates one must bring booze to such affairs.

to water the lawns or not. the other thing weighing on my mind.

longest ever blog posting in the history of the planet*

reading The Grapevine by richard lopez. there are many things to enjoy in this little book – what i like most are the quiet moments of joy that repeatedly pop up. they are there almost in defiance, but also celebration of the chaotic world that still influences the trajectory of the poems. these are the moments you look for (i call the ‘aha’ moments) as a writer. richard sees the brush of a skirt, the quick glance, the inking of a tattoo; even the sensations of smoke & liquor & rock music.

i guess the language is sensory. i think these poems immerse one in sights, smells & sounds, & that this is more important than existential angst. not to say the work isn’t questioning; i tend not to like poetry that is purely ornamental. it’s just that the vital & jagged pulse of living is part of questioning. it’s the beat you move your head to.

my favourite at the moment is ‘poetics’, but also ‘state of joy’, ‘camel’, ‘speed’, & ‘listening to elvis costello…’. ‘poetics’ begins with the line “so what if the plate fell from the mantel”. cool. funny but i feel like i can sense the writer in these poems. it all comes from blogging i guess. & there are poems in there i think i have nearly written. maybe.

by the way i had never heard of mad dog 20/20. we have something called passion pop. cheap & nasty. i think they might be similar. i imagine if you want to get hold of richard’s book you should contact him through his blog. i recommend doing so. (oh i haven’t yet listened to his cd though. things mount up. i am writing ‘write a ‘to-do list’ down on paper right now. seriously.)

other news for the online poetry world?

- a recording of one of my pieces is available as part of The Countdown. I haven’t listened to it all yet. don’t tell anyone.

- the next issue of cordite has gone online featuring another of my poems. cordite is always a good read. thumbs up. & my name is in the blurb, you know ‘featuring work by…’. they know about my reputation obviously. my name will bring in 3 million readers at the very least.

& most importantly of all… did anyone in australia ever watch a cartoon on abc (i’d say in the 80s) featuring a mad little guy in a white helmet, who commanded a whole heap of other little guys in black helmets? his ambition was always to raise through the ranks, & this would mean a change in helmet colour. i think his next level up was ‘red helmet’.

why can’t i find any info on this cartoon? a friend & i searched google for an hour or so. i thought everything was out there. am i missing something vital? can you help?

* exaggeration & hyperbole are often used by writers / online pundits. readers are often pleased to encounter these literary techniques. some critics have even gone so far as to say irony is the one essential characteristic of all poetry. i am not a critic however.

modern living

we have finally got all our ‘possessions’ into the new house. the one thing i can’t get is broadband. the phone rep tells me they have to advise clients it could be 10 to 12 working days. surely this is not right. but then there is something nostalgic about using dial-up, having people say ‘where were you all last night? i tried calling…’ after nearly a week offline i now have countless blog feeds to catch up on. & all the possessions in the house need to be arranged, placed near walls & stuff. the process is exhausting. but i now have a back veranda & space for my beer-fridge. there is some good in it all.

& richard’s book & cd have arrived, & they are in amongst my ‘possessions’ somewhere. i have yet to read them although i love the paper & the quarter-page size. many things to do… will post more soon…

sidelong neighbour

the hasty scrawl of owner builder &

the addendum of do not enter & a photo

of a large painting is a property manager’s

idea of a joke & the ache of my body is plain

summery like the times surrounding all inner-

suburban plateaus. wheat harvest is a large but

small – a guy with a terse sense of humour would

play the role in a televised community service

announcement (fifteen second variety). this

year the phenomena not to mention mount &

mount perhaps before escaping numbers also limits

also the curious & limited reach of words. i like to

appear loose when seen on the street. i swagger.

bushfire sun

what would john lennon have thought / imagine his hair would have got in the way / as kiwi firefighters are shipped in / helen clarke looks even more a wax-thatcher / things to do mount up / like the water held captive at the poles / the distance between now & another cricket match / the smoke haze through which i still enjoy wine / the cask mid-priced / photos of people & phenomena flit around the online environment / people on the street just flirt & rollick / i saw them commenting on smoke / looking for a kebab / plucking a day to engineer the christmas shopping / i imagine that is important / like everything heath ledger says to an assembly / all regal & soporific / but then people say i’m a dreamer

people & rendering

this is my daughter posing for her first ever photograph. she looks kinda relaxed, as if to say ‘i know you’re there, but i got my own stuff to deal with’. she bounced when the ulta-equipment poked her though. science.

i like this image. a moment of perfect solitude but also perfect connectedness. i imagine she’s collecting herself before having to come out, to face a world of complexity. i know it’s all there; i’ll deal with it when i’m ready.

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