the gentle art of soft landings (podcast)

June 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, jazz poetry, music, podcast | 2 Comments
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I have podcast the piece below “the gentle art of soft landings’ below this linkage.

I did it in one take with no rehearsal because I wanted to practice live work which I feel kind of fits with the idea of improvisation.

Now I will have to ask Joseph Tawadros for his permission to use the music as a background for the performance. But only if I don’t write a better one for it in the meantime.


Is Dubai The New Sun City?

December 28, 2008 at 9:41 am | Posted in music, writing | 12 Comments
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He thinks sipping black coffee and looking out over the skyline at the towering sail motel. He is alone in a way but he is aware that the male voice has a function especially when blended into a choir and he is confident he knows one thing that is true in every situation. The tattoo of the willow tree which covers his back disappears into the darkness of his suit and he turns into the room just as the phone rings.

Can we get, Is Dubai the New Sun City, printed somewhere on the programme, she wants to know. He says no without thinking. He has spent hours hiding the melody in the string section which alternated between a kind of Peter Onion and Peter Hare tone, somewhere not cello nor birdsong. It’s enough to plant the seed of the thought, a kind of mystic fundamentalism. And he has given away a thousand copies of the original track to local pirate radio stations and one-eyed wild rastas masquerading as tribesman with market stalls.

He looks down at the watch the old man had given him, all those years ago. You have had your fun doodling with that Jazz you’re always playing he had said and closed the lid of the piano. We have hired some more musicians and I have invested in a suit for you. It is a great responsibility to be a conductor.

He smiled, semi-conductor, and wonders if she has remembered to buy him a hat.

“It’s A Wilde Ride” had just been released and for some reason a kind of political masochism had swept through the middle classes at the same time.  All the Lady Windemeres were looking for their D. H. Lawrence. When the offer came to play the New Years Party in Dubai she had hinted that he should take the work more seriously but he couldn’t shake the image of her in pirate hat and red lingerie and had signed the contract without reading it.

Blushing nightclub belles hustle past him on their way to various assignations, Sir Ian would have said. He smiles with the confidence of a man who has been through far worse and paid more for it. Besides, he would have his back to them when the light burst over his shoulder onto the musicians’ faces, one hundred and twenty perfectly polished instruments. The lead saxophone is fidgeting and he hopes he got fixed an hour or so before. “Merciless” he had been described in one review he treasured.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the ex-paratrooper rhythm guitarist nervously trying to slick down his hair while shuffling uncomfortably in his too tight rented tuxedo and through the heavy curtains behind him he can hear the audience entering the ballroom, settling into their seats with a John Lennon jangle of jewellery and the rustle as they opened their programmes. He raises the baton.

Sitting In.

November 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Posted in links, music, writing | 18 Comments
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(scratching his head and lighting a cigarette) backlit olden days, we had to learn to sit in. I mean gigs were hard to get and you couldn’t learn a living with twenty minute solos. Touring artists who couldn’t afford to bring their own band, I saw Jimi squeezing the lizard into a light blue tux, Bootsy said, chuckling and handing me his sunglasses.

The best gig I ever had was in Berlin, sitting in on short notice with Bertolt Brecht, the arch conniver with a heart like Mother Courage. I looked over George Grosz shoulder as he sketched the audience, ha, and then who should step up to the microphone…

The leopard next to him arched its claws, relaxing in a way that accentuated their sharpness. Here, he said, take these, and handed me his sunnies, you’ll need them. Tell F. about Ozymandius and then go and play, that Herbie Hancock Riff

Mortality breeds urgency.

November 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm | Posted in music, writing | 6 Comments

subtitle – getting your hands dirty
subdrop – The Sweeney Todd Riff.
In the event of, eventually, the break glass now button began to haunt him. It was the only colour in an otherwise totally bland office, a flash of red, in the event of emergency,

He looked back at the computer. Another unhappy customer. What the fuck do I care, so you lost some of the money you stole in the first place. He constantly tries to hide the arrogance behind an unshaven shuffling gate, now is not the time, the old man had said.

It was the madness of permanent loneliness, he knew. He had been warned by Odetta, there is no peace without justice for the likes of you, Squires. You’re just another wanna-be Sisyphus. Lay off the Greeks, one of his accidental enemies had said. Where have we come to now, Antigone, where jewellers trade more than the glint in the corner of the eye, the promise.

Betting they’ld lose but not without fair warning, mate, look, it’s cyclical, bubbles burst, the economy’ll come back. Maybe you should have listened to me and not borrowed so much and then used the equity to borrow more, you idiot. In case of emergency only, it haunts him. In his dreams flashes of red like fingernails carving the number 27 into his back. “What am I expected to do”, he types into the computer and someone else who also has a problem asks him for help and all he can think is there must be some place beyond a mere babble and goes back to edit in linebreaks, people say play nice, the ones afraid to slice, slice, slice,

“Fastest Left Hand In The West” Clint Eastwood.

October 18, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Posted in music, poetry, writing | 11 Comments
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popart popout, haha, in the meantime
naked hairy man returns grinning
Oh No not Caliban again she sighs,
doesn’t want her curv’d lines written for her
not in my tongue
no how, ho ho, no way,

art as mere artefact of spont
ayneeus combustion
Ladies and Gentleman in the left corner
Hemingway sweating and sunburnt
bruting up the hill home again
having found some release in dizziness

and the other an elegant creature
the bull survived by a certain skill
of headtbuttingsleeping learned in the taverns
of Marseille , F. said slapping my back
held the left hand together so as to make
the Chico tattoo plopping the green felt hat in his
pocket and sitting down at the piano,

(take five…

horror movie

October 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Posted in antihaiku, blogging, music, writing | 7 Comments
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right there on your TV, people don’t scare easy these days, they really only believe in the harsh reality of physical pain and have abandoned the old ideals of good and evil and their infestations by various creatures best expressed through naked imagination. Horror is the exercise of power over another human being without their consent. Unless of course they don’t realise it and they are happy.

Horror Movie, remix by Fornikator

Vale Graeme “Shirley” Strachan 1952-2001

but ya see

September 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm | Posted in music, writing | 16 Comments
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caught this terrible disease
haha preposterousesesnessnes said the old priest
hands clasped over his jiggling belly
of balancing one with the ‘twother
she said the chains now dangling
round her wrists
and sparkling with emeralds and leading
the eye into the land of the lotus eaters

mamu sat in the limo in the rain
wait she’ld said, he’ld shifted

the guilt was a burden to bear
no hunny
at home in the lair
all you had to do said F.
was keep her here in the room
he clipped the pianoplayer round the back of his head
but i saw it coming this time and held the right hand together
i looked down at the piano and saw i was already playing,

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