Swirling concrete

for Matt Reid

& for Nathan Damianopoulos

1.

you wake from vineyards

the improvised

fingers

of keith jarrett

off beat

grapes

slow-drip        through                      veins

it’s a morning that promised thunder                    full of     broken

clouds

and a new promise;          you can pour

            a house

                        if you want the money

2.

first touch of shovel is heavy

on ears

across a ribbed tray               the six thirty sun      wincing grapefruit eyes

wait

for conctete

the diesel engine
before it turns

into the street

3.

your screed levels the first steps of a new family

sun’s hand on your back           you are papery

notes of sand pungent soapy lime            you forgot to swipe
underarm       fruity lactic   wipe a nose

across your shoulder                        a cedar blend

of Barossa Adelaide hills and a dusty
mushroom across your neck

when you wash

the wood float

it is furry

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Throw your poetry in a boat

My friend Chris Lynch is heading to PNG for The Crocodile Prizes, PNG’s literary awards. He wants to take as much poetry as he can to hand out to writers who don’t have access to contemporary literature.

If you’re heading to Speedpoets tomorrow at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, bring along some books, journals or zines you no longer read. Here’s the Facebook link for more info. And a couple of other ways you can help out our northern island friends. Poetry for PNG

Get on board!
(I have five licenses for bad puns)

Cheers
Prawns

SpeedPoets @ Brisbane Writers Festival

speedpoets

BWF1

SpeedPoets will light up the Red Box (State Library of QLD) this Saturday, September 7 from 2pm – 3pm as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival. There won’t be the regular open mic, but there will be three rounds of live poetry and music featuring some fine local voices, including, Chloe Callistemon, Andrew Phillips, Cindy Keong, Chris Lynch, Trudie Murrell, John Koenig and Sheish Money. So come on out for an early SpeedPoets hit this month and don’t forget, if you have any spare poetry lying around the house, we are still collecting for Poetry for PNG.

Here’s the link with all the details: http://bwf.org.au/2013-writers/speedpoets/

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there are there there are

a million things

on in Brisbane right now. this

is one 

shameless self-promotion 

riverwords photo

Brisbane Fringe Festival is in it’s second year. I really wanted to perform some poems on this river of ours. Partly to interact with the river in a different way, partly because it devastated us not so long ago and I want to learn how to love it again and also maybe just because we can get in a tinny and read some poetry (and that can be fun). If you’re interested… I’d love you to be there.

It’s this Friday night.

Two sessions –  6pm and 8pm.

Get a ticket – 6pm session

Get a ticket – 8pm session

or reserve a seat here: Brisbane Fringe Festival – Riverwords.  and here

is a poem I’ll read on Friday night (first published in fourW magazine 2012)   

 

In need of a poem

Fingernails full
of river can’t be
explained.   

Thoughts seep into the carpet.  

I want the nose of the knee-deep
throwing wet bags of stand back.   

They bulldoze novels into a council pile of lounge chairs.


In need of a poem that’ll break the silence
with the river we loved, point out
we are still deeply in love, but don’t

know how.  Like Grammar girls first time
back, stroking 5am oars. 

Because it drifts past like a dog at the back
fence wondering
what it did on the carpet. 

In need of a poem
so I asked some buddies, who
shared their river.

 

Facebook Event: Riverwords

 

an election countdown

before Saturday:

twelve outgoing tides will suck broken matter out from the mangroves

a seem of coal in the bowen basin worth $keeping-there has never been polled and will not get to vote

the word ‘asylum’ will not get any sleep
the entire 147 hours

the leader of the First Nations party, Maurie, who doesn’t use a computer is contactable on his mobile or you could also be the 516th person to like the Facebook page.

314 displaced koalas will find they like the taste of smaller trees

the number of hairs on the heads of the major party leaders will be considered not a fair comparison

five million pencil ticks will think outside the box

please note: you may separate your thoughts using the multi-coloured commas provided

please also note: counting down is frownable

hangover of words

If anyone finds me in a park        

dribbling metaphors in compass directions

lap full of new books      

and muttering how council workers enjambed

the hedge too much like a map of canada   

       

would you kindly

wipe my chin with melalueca bark

explain to the officer 

about the poetry festival on the weekend

and let me return to society another day.

sincerlycheers

wordfriedprawn.

Winter Ginko: City Botanic Gardens

Graham Nunn (Another Lost Shark) led us on a ginko (a haiku walk) on Sunday. Here are some of the local Brisbane poets and our haiku here:

Winter Ginko: City Botanic Gardens.

 

 

Presence

You won’t be sorry to check this out.

Another Lost Shark

It’s been all systems go here at Lost Shark HQ this last month or so… three books about to launch, the residency at Varuna and now this gem… a chapbook titled Presence that I had the immense pleasure of curating for Cordite.

presence_keong

Presence features artwork by Cindy Keong and new poems from Nathan Shepherdson, Pascalle Burton, Aidan Coleman, Louise Oxley, Ross Donlon, Tim Sinclair, Jean Kent, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Sachiko Murakami and Jacqueline Turner. Each of the artists responded to the idea of Presence in their own way, making this a unique reading experience.

Here’s a link to the chapbook… and please, spread the word as this deserves to be read widely!

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unfolding you

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

you place you on top of the aeroplane pile
big-eyes, arms-out, standing on grass
it’s for me.

I pick you up and crease you with my thumb

cross your arms
turn your eyes over
and press your head into the table

when it’s almost complete
for test-flight hand over

you dissolve into sobs.

take gulpfuls to unfold your words.

I have no idea what I’ve done.

.

for Nogsy

Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. & Meanjin

Check out this installation from the totally wonderful Pascalle Burton:  Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. There are circular poems from feature poets that Pascalle has made into stamps (these will be at QPF in August) meanwhile other poets are interacting with the project online with their own circular poems. Mine is here:    Circular Poetry Contributor: Andrew Phillips.

In other news, my piece ‘Cooee’ is published in the current Meanjin Vol 72. I can’t tell you how stoked I am to be in such a beautiful and well read publication. I’m one super stoked prawn.

it’s a cat conspiracy

 .

there’s one in the shop window

who makes eyes at my family

 .

they toss the idea of him into conversations

and I hiss like a hot wok dad’s-joke

to move on

 .

the manipulation of cute

how could you deprive them

 .

a conspiracy of retracted calls can we pleeeease

has stretched in the kitchen for two years now

maybe it’s time

 .

I move us all back to that country I love 

where cats are delicious

 .

.

.

Go on, send me angry mail. I’ll eat it all.

note: nothing was harmed in the making of this poem

run around renku

Turning Japanese lately with the traditional form of renga or renku. Yes, it’s related to haiku. It’s a collaborative series of linked verse. Here’s part of a summer renga I wrote with jDub which we performed at Speedpoets last Saturday. Enjoy!

 

I’ve been writing with a bunch of other Brisbane poets in a renku called ‘Snake Weather’ and the first three parts of the poem is over at Another lost shark. Check it out if you have a moment. ‘Snake Weather: part 1’  – ‘part 2’ – ‘part 3’ 

review of ‘That Zero Year’

Phillip Ellis recently posted a review of ‘That Zero Year‘. Click on over if you have a few minutes. This is my first publication and therefore my first review so I’m pretty stoked Phillip has sat with our poems long enough to write about the collection and collaboration.  Here’s a bit from his review:

That zero year

The nature of this language is uniform between both poets. It can be seen clearly via quotation; the following comes from the final half of “Routine in Grief”:

I sit and wait
for the spoon to drop

try to work out my answer
to the question
that will follow

The language of this poem (and the others) is a pared-back, quiet language. It makes no stylistic flourishes but, rather, sets out its narrative and situation with a minimum of ideolectical qualities. This language is simple, yet not simplistic, emotive yet not emoting, and the poems are all the stronger for this plain-speaking quality.

If you would like to buy a copy of your own. Please send me an email to: piedhilllprawns (at) gmail.com and I’ll send one to you. They’re a great gift for new mum’s and dad’s and for $10 super-affordable too.

on stilts

 

Those good people over at Stilts have featured Graham Nunn, a few of my friends and myself so if you have a moment click over there to check it all out.  Stilts

Make sure you check out Chloë Callistemon’s poems and have a listen to her read her piece [If we could speak between. Chloe

Here’s a link to my poems Wagtail and other poems

Have a great Friday.