for Matt Reid
& for Nathan Damianopoulos
you wake from vineyards
of keith jarrett
slow-drip through veins
it’s a morning that promised thunder full of broken
and a new promise; you can pour
if you want the money
first touch of shovel is heavy
across a ribbed tray the six thirty sun wincing grapefruit eyes
the diesel engine
before it turns
into the street
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
I can’t hide
under the bridge
how something grows in the cracks
of this heart
A friend of mine has this great poem The Cover Drive published on Cricket website espncrickinfo at the moment. It’s a cracking piece (though I want to argue against its premise – right up until he mentions Gower and my side of the courtroom is voiceless – you’ll see what I mean.) Check it out here The Cover Drive by Janaka Malwatta.
line up for the tour bus
groove words in old queensland
today is wind
need picking up
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)
a million things
on in Brisbane right now. this
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
of river can’t be
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
what it did on the carpet.
In need of a poem
so I asked some buddies, who
shared their river.
Facebook Event: Riverwords
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
It has never looked like the right key. Hanging
beside the others. I try it often and slowly
listen to the tumblers say yep yep yep
Shake my head. Sometimes
I quarter turn it
just to be sure.
I can’t open it.
That would be devastating.
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.
Even if you don’t usually go to poetry events
but wonder what-the-metaphor
goes on at them.
It’s free. It’s in Brisbane. It’s this weekend. Great venue.
There will be words that’ll bounce in your heads for weeks.
International Australian & Local poets. GO!
Spoken In One Strange Word Program
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.
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.
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.
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
a friar bird in the banksia
on her phone again
For those not familiar with the friar bird’s chatter here ’tis:
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’
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:
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.
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.