July 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Posted in jazz poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 5 Comments
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… a reality whose connection to the actual world of the imagining reader is tenuous at best. The truth becomes gloriously irrelevant, postulations on orchids,

How old fashioned thinks the vicar, louche on Ms Helpburn’s divan. Now we are in the post-Victorian in which all is quaint decoration and pop but he remains tightlipped on the outside of whatever’s slightly outre.  Rain, he suggests aloud as she pours his tea, and struggles to find a tiny niche in which to survive like some strange insect. Happy for the shelter of a waxy leaf from which water drips, snoozing through the day with a low buzz which may just be tired lungs and excessive humidity,

She sits, decorously, Vicar, it is such a wonderful word, don’t you think. Sorry, he says, I was just looking at your garden, so gentle and pretty in the afternoon rain, Ms Helpburn. Do you have a gardener?



July 1, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Posted in memoirs, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 7 Comments
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Soraya’s new toy came in a lovely package. There really are no other words to describe it, nor are any necessary. I wanted to write something that I had never written before, new adventures as it were, but only those two sentences came to me before I was rudely interrupted by a brusque knocking at the door. It was the debt collectors. They had come for the previous resident but one of them recognized me from the club. They saw the open bottle of whiskey on the table and it turned into a bit of a session.

Half way through and quite pissed, I told them of my plan to write pornography but from a female perspective as a kind of challenge and see if I could get away with it. One of them wanted to back the project and the other said it was disgusting and left disgruntled. I doubt I will ever be able to look him in the face again. Still, that is the price you pay as a writer. There is always a certain risk involved or you are not doing your job properly.

The next morning I woke up on the beach, alone, and wearing my four hundred dollar Hong Kong suit, covered in sand, the occasional small crab exploring my hair. I remembered the plan and thought about Soraya, how much trouble she would get in to, and how little chance of surviving it she would have. Went back to the motel and wrote this instead.

simple adding and subtracting

January 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Posted in australian poetry, poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 12 Comments

last year i took away a word ‘gravity’
.I’m not so sure that was a good idea
now. I think I will add a few like ‘eucalypt’.
It looks like an anagram which as a tanka began,

(I like the way in this version ‘.I’m’ sits directly above ‘now.’ which makes a small poem inside the larger poem. A tanka officially has a structure. The number of syllabubbles in each line is supposed to be, 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. Although it should be noted that the difference in the basic structure of Japanese and English raises the question of whether these syllable restrictions have much meaning. There are some who suggest the idea or the mood of forms like tanka and haiku are more important than syllable counting. Anyway, that is a long discussion, it has been going on for as long as I have been around. Here is the original poem, changed a little to fit a formal tanka structure. It is interesting to me that the central line is like a version of the tiny poem contained in the first version.)

Last year took away
a word ‘gravity’ not so
sure that was a good

idea now i think i

will add a few like eu ca
lypt looks like an anagram
which as a tanka began

Getting behind the bid.

January 19, 2010 at 7:39 am | Posted in australia, blogging, football, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 12 Comments
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At some point you have to pick a true allegiance to something, and often it is already a lost cause. In the end though, you are not dead, you are sitting around on a beach watching children led by their mothers into the sea for the first time and thinking cool, The World Cup in Australia would be a nice thing,

I might write another football poem, should be a breeze,

(If I win these tickets, I will give them to someone, hmmm,

Taking stock.

November 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Posted in memoirs, poetry, portraits, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 18 Comments
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just because you believe time is not linear does not mean I didn’t used to write this piece as a slightly drunken father on a starry night round a fire, a blur of his tattoo, an English flag long forgot on his forearm round his son saying,

there is still the past, both recent and distant, line them up. Look up boy, you’re always looking at your feet you should be looking for friend or foe, the pass, the defender, the ball rolls by itself. He was alive when they won the cup, ’66, so I was three.

He was a submariner at sixteen and Welsh coalmining stock.  Stocks which someone had spent some time building.

your life is not an american movie,

September 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Posted in poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 19 Comments
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living the cliche, the artist muse model cruise ship,
something has to sparkle, jewellery you recognise
from previous vague description suddenly alive
two silver wings in rhyme and no apparent ballast
in this ever wondrous paradox whilst
whispering the rope into ever stranger knots

On the Origins of Distinction

September 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Posted in poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 15 Comments
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A very long and scholarly article like a purple sash
for making the distinction between the word and the thing.
Unless we should spend eternity spinning
new and more dead metaphors to create
a carnival literature of image.

Speed would have to count for something
an unwillingness to stop just short
of hems.  Some hermits
are best left sleeping son, he says,
the old bastard never said much anyway
especially when too long standing
with sun overhead
acting up the drunken cartographer
arguing with his dresser.

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