Archive for January, 2007

home alone two

in america the customs are all good & old-fashioned

should a family of ill-matched actors do any sort of

dash through any major airport they are securely placed

on the nearest flight a flight to anywhere tickets are only

bits of paper crashes & unusual behaviour are tolerated

then getting to new york the site of memories / dreams

is a cinch you just skip along unquestioned unfettered

sporting a million in unmarked bills nobody cares such

thoughts even would be thought rude here you can even

run into someone someone you haven’t seen in ten years

in fact do this it is good to do it right here on fifth avenue

come face-to-face with a person try to summon a smile

but people don’t know how to break from such gestures

conversations interactions there’s always a small chance

of comic misfortune or a wind change that changes the scene

pan towards the view from the top of any set of two

towers fascinating superstructures that fade into a little sky

of stars come night it is cool go & try this perhaps throw a

brick & a can of paint at the view hide them in your bag

bdo

well i completed my first ever gig-review in the medium of poetry. it’s

here

let me know what you think. is poetic music reviewing the way of the future? or not?

who knows. the big day out was intense though. physically draining. i gave up on the bigger bands & instead saw some great aus acts. something for kate (pictured) were the highlight for me. dempsey’s songs are musically sophisticated, lyrically deep, & the band rock.

(i’ll write about other things – editing, publishing news, soon)

peace & love to all.

info

hey y’all

just got back from the coast – bateman’s bay, tuross heads. lovely. now back into work…

but before that, interesting news: vibewire has commisioned me to cover the big day out in sydney tommorow. bands such as tool, muse, violent femmes…

my gig review will be a mixture of poems, photographs & general language about & around the day. a link to the article will appear in the next couple of days. i’m off now for a wearying circuit of midnight trains & hotels.

Prater’s Abendland


i turned the title of this chap over in my mind a few times, & was pondering some kind of ‘bending’ land. of course google solves these problems as it does every problem known to man. but & a lot of the poems in this book bend themselves around european & american culture, + the lyrical, & that’s how i like to think of it. the ‘outsider’ perspective, if you will (i appropriate that label from adam fieled) is appropriate when engaging with culture but also with writing poems (dransfield said: ‘being a poet in this country is the ultimate commitment’ (i paraphrase perhaps badly)). perhaps that’s why you escape – reading this book gave me a feeling like, but not exactly similar too, reading kerouac, where i wanted to jump in a car & drive around, see what’s out there. & look “… in abendland guitar / music is de rigeur words like de rigeur are / never used rivers flow & woods are pictures / hung in galleries frequented on sundays & / feastdays…”

i love wordy poetry too – sparse & delicate poems with loads of meaning & serenity to be found in each word often leave me cold. punctuation is a thing too: like Michael Farrell said it should be used to disrupt: Prater’s poems flow like the text on CNN, but beautifully. & i would suspect he uses typographical measures to determine line length – i often feel guilty doing it as if there should be something deeper, some poetic ‘unit of thought’ at play in each line. but instead there is something visually pleasing about these rectangular poems. something immersive. Poems like ‘Pigtails’, ‘Dachau’, ‘Alone in an Airport’, as well as all the rest, show that language still has great range & relevance.

these poems were written between july-august 2005, a formidable output. i’m out to write a lengthy review here, so i will recommend obtain a copy (i think there are not too many left) or, wait until later this year when i believe his first full-length collection will be published through papertiger media as part of soi3 modern poets. david prater was one of the first poets i started reading online; one of the best contemporary australian poets i think.

check his blog out here, or find cordite poetry review.

XIV

It was like a blur the way we discovered things quickly. Dad was supposed to be in an institution because he attacked mum with a shovel or tried to build several bombs. But it wasn’t him. It was impossible to tell who this man was, the man Sally and I had visited and talked to for years. He had never talked and when we confronted him he turned and looked at us then got up and left. The room under the house led us to this discovery and others. There were papers diagrams notes instructions plans all over the walls. These things were there until they came after us. Then these things were taken and the room disappeared. There was no room when we got back from the institution. Everything had changed. We knew they were coming after us. But I still had the metallic weapon.

XV

The day the came after us was the day I discovered concrete doors. The doors led straight down they had been covered by dirt in the backyard. Sally was home from school for the week, she didn’t know they would come after us yet and she helped me open the concrete doors. We used a crow-bar and a shovel and we were kind of excited. We stopped for lemonade halfway, buzzing with this excitement of discovery. We finally got in to the secret room under the house and the main thing we found was a kind of weapon. I didn’t know what it would do. Sally didn’t know. But we knew it was sleek and it was metallic. It was like in the movies. I held it and pointed it at her and she smiled. The trigger felt smooth and nice but I didn’t try it out yet. This happened before they came after us.

this poem

for Stefan Edberg

after spending one half of the best of the years you should be enjoying asking obscure dudes to turn your fold-back up & getting pissed at the washed out sound coming from an uncertain combo of ibanez & mid-range peavey amplification (dudes give the thumbs up or else you can’t catch their eyes) it’s no wonder you turn to sound engineering after all why not get a job where you can still be ‘involved’ with what you love now you can destroy another young band’s sound there’s art in that because there’s no sound like nirvana & why should the vapid get away with it you grow out the dye & become like the lines extending & strobing from a gothic set design or falling from a new lyricist’s mouth & heart you become cynical but only in a parallel-world kind of way though who cares girls dance next to you not below you

i got nothing

jill discovered the scientific word for the smell of rain the things i discovered
in the past two & a half weeks it seems were written about by 18th century architects:
the self-same silly cerebral jolts like ‘delight’ or more intellectual dalliances
(ersatz whatever) along the lines of ‘ennui’ jill has the licence now to shatter any
unfamiliarity truly the particular word is already working in a longer
sequence to get a new view on life then after such an afternoon
(discoveries abounding & going meta like feral mutations) i fill a plastic cup
with chardonnay and fruit-cup cordial the mix refreshing the cup sporting a
kid’s name in black laundry marker it goes down in the shower like liquid
nitrogen some semi-night at questacon the flyscreen is one refraction denies & passers
by admire my filled out body should they care to do this they do & are moved with
voyeuristic shame but they are felt-on-felt as they glide onward to an imagined butcher because candlestick makers have gone out of business, tallow is a thing
this drought will affect: when an english bounder lands on the moon it will rain there
the smell pungent quite unlike the odour of clear glycerolic soap & water hitting tile this is mine this is the smell of victory like fresh buds but like a walk in the park too

dransfield & poetry

this is a great portrait for a cover (although i have seen pictures where he looks a little less regal).

anyway lets have a poem / i care not for copyright if such a thing exists out here




Goliard

Going south

Sydney two hours behind is less than a memory.

I walked down the highway after a while

a truck stopped and by morning

Melbourne will be all around. Of that city

I’d save only the paintings and the Como House.

The suburbs could be dumped into the Yarra

as Melbourne’s garbage is. Next I’ll go

either to gloomy Launceston to visit

Hofmannsthal’s friend, my publisher,

Or west to wildflowers and the nickel hills.

The driver wonders what I’m writing

but with the superb manners of an Australian

merely asks, ‘Got enough light there, mate?’

We stop for beers at the Surveyor General,

night fills the wheelruts left by Cobb and Co,

the people in the bar have foreign voices.

Progress erodes tradition. When that’s gone

nothing is left but fashionable landmarks

marooned by emptiness, and carved into

a vandal’s library of huge intials.

Michael Dransfield

nothing new / although

learning to drive & i have a thought that like

a lot of my thoughts goes missing. lost in process.

lost on the roadside thumbing at truckdrivers.

i don’t write things down, &/or when i do, the lines

are never as original as when conceived. poems get

made from good thoughts also good poems probably

save lives (some statistics exist). so there’s a moral responsibility –

if A & B, then C – but then there are many driving poems. &

there is something false in them: one cannot write & drive

(unless some sort of advanced dictaphone is involved (real

unlikely)) so if a line presents such as ‘while driving / i see a

definite flash of colour in the bush / it is quick & discarded like my /

personal idea of ethics / i pull over but / 500 metres too late / maybe it

was a / mars bar wrapper & who cares / but now i grimly keep

my eyes / on the road’ you read it & think: that’s bullshit.


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