Archive for April, 2007

new poems

the new issue of otoliths (number 5) is up. usually i don’t like the explanations

“(at the writers’ festival / the mild boredom of hearing people / discuss their work / – it’s what you do – “

- Laurie Duggan’s ‘September Song’

but one of my poems in this issue was written using words penned while watching mullholland drive; one was written using only the top ten google search terms for 2005 across various countries.

it’s what you do, at times.

get back to where you once belonged

Last weekend Paul Comrie-Thomson’s article ‘on old-fashioned reading’ featured in The Weekend Australian’s Review section. It’s not entirely necessary to be suspicious every time someone advocates a return to values or habits now considered ‘old-fashioned’; it is problematic to think every new advance will be for the best. But in this case I am suspicious of what Comrie-Thomson says, because what he is saying is just plain backward-looking.

This piece of ‘opinion’ firstly mentions the fact that the canon of great literature is being put online. Probably true. Then the question is asked though: “Will this internet access diminish our capacity to read books?” What? Your real issue here Paul, is you think computers and ‘the internet’ will make us illiterate, stupid even. Apparently you have a friend that has tried to read War and Peace and never progressed past the second chapter. You can blame the internet if you like. Or blame your friend’s capacities. Personally I think War and Peace is not worth reading. I wish I had spent that thousand hours blogging poems.

Phillip Adams wrote a while back (again in The Australian) that he thought far too many people were using Google to obtain instant knowledge. Probably the young people. He wants us, or them, to search our memories for a change. These commentators (in these instances) seem to think knowledge procured on the net is ephemeral, soon to be consigned to the wasteland of things forever forgotten. This is nonsense. Google informs my memory – works alongside it too. Furthermore, a false corollary Comrie-Thomson seems to believe is that this reliance on Google (and by implication every sort of web-dialogue you can imagine) will destroy one’s ability to read great novels. Along the same lines: using spell-check on your word-documents means you will soon lose the ability to spell.

But let’s move on from this ‘reading great literature’ argument, and talk about poetry. It doesn’t do to talk of ‘great literature’ while you really mean long and difficult books. One might argue that reading poetry is completely different from reading this ‘great literature’, and always has been. The way I read poetry can be placed in modern terms. Like listening to music on cd, or in mp3 format. I will read through a poetry collection all the way through the first time. But then I’ll remember favourite ‘tracks’ and go to them again. I might mix them up, shuffle, have a few books going at once on my 5-disc cd stacker if you will. Sometimes I read a collection backwards (Les Murray’s latest actually worked better for me backwards). Anyway I will not read War and Peace again. And there are many novels I have loved, but only read the once. I do read ‘great literature’ sometimes.

So maybe I’ve gone off-track. Doesn’t matter. My memory is intact. Comrie-Thomson says writers need to “…read more…” but do it in an “…old-fashioned…” way. Good luck with that. I read, write, live in online environment. It has informed the way I read poetry; it has not destroyed my ability to read a book or spell. But what do I know? I’m just expressing an opinion. Which is apparently far too easily done online.

draft for my charms all overthrown

vis-à-vis is visitor on visitor the heavy metal scoreboard

groaning with each lopsided addition cheetohs salting the

earth becky from round a corner is boosted over the gate

her bmx cooler than the boys wonders never cease to flow

like from white paper bags i bend down to pick up a

five cent coin weird movements shed light on new weapons

think a concoction of rubber bands pvc piping & sticks

assume only bangles stick in her mind though there to grow

into all the green sparkling plastic a girl needs wow things

are so beautiful like a wrist on fleecy sweater you’d look

back years later & think of something anything a mirror-ball

centred in a room made of silk the people in it irrelevant the

stray football divides the group no-one up to passing it back

irate weather wraps us in a comfort blanket of spits she

could be saying something about you becky & friend or

does she want to sit close to me sometime one dull

afternoon perfect for warm closeness damn with a new

swatch watch it’s unforeseen you can always tell things

are postponed the game a crushing nothing & some girls

not knowing my secrets: how much more i’m set to become

the fantales the chocolate frogs the licorice i will buy also

how talkative i will seem not to mention the blue parka

i will soon grow out of occasionally miss

/

the here & now

Each new flu symptom a

discovery within love. Nuances,

sounds, ways of being dazed…The

swallow that swells with discomfort.

Temperature brought on by mid-

afternoon. Three sneezes / half an orgasm.

That bit of body. The strange fancy

of plasticine-animation.

/

online poetry

check out the new online poetry journal mascara. it features some poems by cool writers, like nathan curnow & keri glastonbury for instance. & also involved is david gilbey, fellow editor of fourW. i think the gallivanting around the world is helping his poetry. look for a collection from him (ip press) sometime in the future.

the uncertainty principle

you’ve been thinking

speaking interacting in

tabs spaces & backspaces

since 2005 it’s becoming a

concern see you approach the

man made of grit he’s a gnarled

apple but quite big you say

forgive me full stop & pause

for an ellipsis as you knock

down his schooner the smack

to the face purges three double

spaced teeth & his swift actions

also the numerous fucking cunts

are justified

/

take a break, driver 8


so i’m 29 years old. nearly. as of today i can drive a car by myself. is there anywhere to go?

more on books…

these things have i been reading:

A Letter to Egon Kisch by Tim Thorne

many a broken hearted woman by Mandy Beaumont

the flower, the thing by mtc cronin

Passenger by Laurie Duggan

i should say more about them, but i’m finding it difficult for some reason. let’s just say they are all good, for different reasons. that’s not really good enough. i promise to micro-review some of these books.

& well i’m currently printing off a few escaping over trees chaps (there’s a picture over to the side), & i’m deciding these will be the last. even now if i glance at the poems i think ‘ that’s so 2006…’ if you really want one email me quick. else wait another year. when i hope to get someone to do the printing & binding for me.

“war against an abstract noun’s a nonsense…” (Thorne, 2007)

/

books are good

just received my print copy of otoliths 3, after it travelled around the world, back to the usa, then back again to my new address.

you know what it’s really good. really. i like it.

now’s the time to think about sending more poems to otoliths.

stopped saying about

movie punches that sound like nothing else

a pool a shower & then walking into the wind

all the reasons you are a very good driver

stealing slips of paper from the west wall

a labyrinth not created by daedalus but david bowie

a poem for every flower there is

once too cynical for lego

new mailing lists

baby drops

chargeable batteries

/


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