Blogging Through The Ages

April 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Posted in blogging, links, writing | 13 Comments
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I often think about whether certain writers of the past would make good bloggers. Some undoubtedly would, Richard Brautigan for instance, whose short and magical prose would be perfect. Oscar Wilde, can you imagine the joy of his blog?

In fact, whilst the word ‘blog’ is a very modern addition to the lexicon, the activity is as old as the written word itself. Today I discovered three fascinating blogs, each written in a different century.

One is written by a fellow called Vincent Van Gogh, among whose posts is one entitled “One Can Speak Poetry Just By Arranging Colours Well” and another called “Infinitely Beautiful”. Mr Van Gogh is a 19th century painter whose career is not going particularly well, so he is in perfectly compatible company here.

The other is by a strange and furtive English gentleman (although I use the term loosely) by the name of George Orwell. Mr Orwell claims to be a well-respected published author from the 20th century but his blog is largely about the weather and his vegetable garden.

The third is by a English gentleman by the name of Samuel Pepys. It is a fascinating journey through 17th century society by someone who surely ranks as one of the world’s most loquacious gossips.

‘Blog’ is such an ugly word. Perhaps we should just call it writing.


The Year Of Doing (even more) Things.

December 28, 2009 at 8:15 am | Posted in performance, writing | 27 Comments

(it is raining gently

literally whispering

we create ourselves)

Lurking behind many of my verbal ramblings is the idea that the only resource of much value to humans is experience, both individual and collective. And in that spirit I dub this the year of getting up off your arse, Squires and jumping up and down.

That is to say, I must start performing the poetry live. As most of you know, this is something I dread and it would be so much easier if Maxine Clarke, Australia’s finest performance poet was standing beside me with a sharp object threatening to transform it from a thought into a shiny metal object poking me in the ribs saying, “Squires, if you don’t get out there right now…

It would be easier if I could sidle up to Graham Nunn and say, “Graham, I’m gonna make very few live appearances in my life-time, lets charge them a fiver for half an hour. Then we could reinvest the surplus in the Buckmonster Filler Program we stole, I mean the old shuffleroo, Sir Marcus Westbury, what a gent.”

But, as usual, I am getting way ahead of myself. I must choose the first piece for the performance, then I was thinking of group sourcing the rest, that is to say, taking requests,

An Appeal to Reverse Fate

October 21, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Posted in blogging, writing | 17 Comments
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The dog is dogged in chasing pigeons, his three-legged ziggedy zag a Sack Posset perfection of tongue-waggling slobberised smiling. When I was a youngster the jacaranda’s purple bruise signalled the arrival of November, exam time and a momentary sobriety. Now, because of all the boojwah cattle cars farting fumes they have bloomed and it is just October.

So here am I, in the park, with pepperment tea and a notebook, this one here where these words are, scrawling a strange sensation, like a singularity in my centre with the dog an electron planet wildly rotating sending silly birds whirring. I want to give the pigeons names but my sense of humour is so strangely inward, exclusive to various recluses, I would most probably get sued.

I must start submitting actual poems to magazines again instead of parodies in assumed names. I mean, I must stop pretending that I have submitted parodies to every Australian Literary journal (a hoax hoax) and start actually attempting to contribute to our (ahem) vibrant and honourable literary culture again. First of all though, I must brush these crushed purple blooms from my stolen heffalump pyjamas, gather that mad beast in and see if I can persuade Huehuecoyotl to remain still enough to sketch.

An editor’s nightmare, a wonderful world.

August 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Posted in blogging, links, writing | 6 Comments

(subtitle – Letter To Betsy) An editor’s nightmare, defined as – someone who asserts that Goethe did not write enough and who insists like Shapespeare on the visual, on spelling rhythm with two h’s and wierd weirdly. Whose respect for the rules of grammar extends only so far as grammar’s respect for him.

Whose favourite words are fantabulously wonderful! My free copy of Extempore number one arrived in the mail. 192 pages of Australian writing on Jazz, poetry, interviews, graphic art and prose including an article entitled “Surrealism in Music” and a 6 track CD. And what makes me even happier is that I cannot keep a secret, I am an editor’s nightmare, in that I just keep giving it all away but Extempore pay poets.

What to do with someone whose taste in music is so odd that he prefers Nick Cave’s surprising version of What A Wonderful World to Louis?

Review – Squires in Performance

August 29, 2009 at 9:00 am | Posted in australian poetry, memoirs, poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 18 Comments
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The idiot said in his twitter the only way he would perform his poetry for an audience was naked. Pinched the idea from giggling Ginsberg,  but then realised that if he breaks one promise the entire universe of cards half carefully arranged in Buckmonster Filler’s master plan in triangles like a diamond midfield, Scolari.

So I turned up thinking well, he makes a big noise on the net, we already know he’s ugly and that there will be at least one pirate and one tattoo poem, just for cliches sake, he can’t help it. And he will be doing that pathetic little Monk dance all night, when Monk’s not at the piano, and might jump up and down on the x marks the spot aerobically saying Oh Art Tatum. The bouncer in the foyer is a big bastard but I didn’t see any cops on the way in. It’s only poetry after all and they don’t shoot poets, do they old Orca Lorca.

I tell you what though if he does penis puppetry while doing the Ganeesha poem, I’m leaving.

100,000 Questions

July 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Posted in blogging | 23 Comments
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Pop! Fizz and champagne bubble, glug glug out of the bottle, Valentino Rossi style.
100,000 times some poor soul has ended up here, either lost or in search of some strange solace, comfort round the campfire, only to find themselves enmeshed in my wicked scheme, haha.

It does make me happy. I know it doesn’t mean I am a great poet, just that I have stayed in one place long enough. I know it doesn’t mean I am a good person, just that I am a clever pusher of buttons. I know what I am doing, believe it or not.

And so, for all 100,000 individual page views, each one of which was a genuine question and fascination to me, I say to you strangely wondrous and wonderful humans (and the occasional bot) I am having so much fun! Thankyou!

100,000 fallings down into bottomless wordwhole whirlpools pursued by irate platypi,
100,000 chasings round midsummer maypoles giggling redcheeked peasant girls
100,000 scratchings of bonces pondering hmm, whyfore that one this way comes
100,000 why hello, have you heard of redemption through hugging?

Giant Pink Snail

July 8, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Posted in australian poetry, blogging, links, writing | 19 Comments
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As a child I loved the original Dr Doolittle movie with Rex Harrison and I particular remember the amazingly fantabulous giant pink snail. For some reason there is no picture of this snail anywhere on the internet which is both a great disappointment and a mystery.

One of the things about the internet which has always intrigued me is the way that themes seem to arise in various places at the same time, spontaneously like magic. I think it has something to do with the fact that on the net there is literally no time (since everything exists permanently in archives) and no space (because links make everything adjacent).

There is no rational explanation for why one of my favourite poets, Maxine Clarke, should have posted this fabulous poem remembering a snail, “Trespassing (a poem)” on the same day that Paeonia Miko posted this beautiful photograph of my book “The Puzzle Box” being visited by a snail in Bali.

There is something special about seeing photographs of “The Puzzle Box” in places I’ve never been. It is as though I was travelling on the back of that Giant Pink Snail. Adulthood is an illusion. It is an uncomfortable suit of clothes which makes us stiff and complex and at odds with life which is fluid and simple and wondrous.

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