some sing in shades

February 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, links, poetry | Leave a comment
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I am reading The Best Australian Poems (ed. Robert Adamson). I am always behind in my reading, so I tend to pick up books as I pass by. Today the book fell open on a incredibly beautiful poem by Peter Minter called, “The Latter Shall Prevail”.

A poem like this is a fabulous surprise and I don’t want to give away any secrets. It is one of those works of art which should be allowed to unfold unfettered in the reader’s mind. A kind of gift from the poet to the reader.

It sings and the pitch with which it sings is perfectly matched to the colours it describes which reflect an emotional tone. It has a kind of musical narrative below the words which are carried on a rhythm that they never quite define. It has a great respect for form without being constrained by it. The poem seems to sit so comfortably within itself. It does not attempt to be something it is not.

And I hesitate to say, it would survive translation into many languages. If you want to experience Australian poetry as it is being written by our finest poets (or just buy it for this one gorgeous Peter Minter poem…

Buy the book.


The pianoplayer remembers be-bop

July 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Posted in contemporary poetry, poetry, writing | 14 Comments
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It was Goebbels, whenever I hear the word Kulcher
I reach for my

first table – his generic accent chatter pockets full
of documents, crowded uncool, sniffing
tucking tail under, her rectangular spectacles
and crab-like advantage

(passing silk drift, where’s F.? passed)

haircut cool proof of cleverness through criticism

if I needed patronage I’ld have a tip jar
left hand left hand right!

salt fish and absynthe slaps my back
le-left, the old man, his hat?
be bopping
on a flat plastic sea
like a cruise ship crew

F. she says Scott Joplining by
leave the piano player alone
he’s concentrating
on day dreaming

“What do I care for any crews,
Carriers of English cotton and Flemish grain!
Bargemen and all that rubbish left behind,
the waters let me go my own way.”
Arthur Rimbaud

Con-temporary Poetry

July 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, poetry, writing | 20 Comments
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All poems are experiments, experiments in experience

all are equally difficult to see in their entirety

equally easy to read for sounds and subtle thrills.

When a simple tale of the honesty of water spills/ over

slipways and invades the footpath canvas of street artists,

and Banksy’s anonymity runs graffiti over frames,

Western minds

which delight in dis/section into categories

sticky plaster labels, con-temporary

, a temporary con, and in the

absence of sensible syntax

while somewhere between giggling and tummyful

sits sunonhead under banyan trees

integrating in mysterious digestion

the wondrous simplicity of pastries.

F tattoo (in G, is for horses)

July 4, 2009 at 8:58 am | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, genre isn't dead yet but it should be, tshirt | 1 Comment
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Fear. and freedom from it.
looking in mirrors and startling

fantastical modifications in form
with no apparent function

p is for pointless alliteration
without contrasting consonants

F is for free
to give it all away

and go sailing.

when the meditation fails

June 29, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 17 Comments
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and the melancholic lady fully medicated
and he forgets where the tiger what
it was
he shuffles half asleep into some
nightmare cupboard
of whispers and enemies lurking
by firelight at solstice
simply to imprint some unique mark
puts on his brown bowler hat
and says where’s Art?

On The Radio Again.

April 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Posted in contemporary poetry, links, memoirs, podcast | 12 Comments
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I was on the radio in the USA again. In the past I have shared air time with Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. This time I was as happy as any poet could possibly be, featured on the same bill as Dylan Thomas.

I am reading Argentine Tango. Rattles of insects. night sky prayer. poetic voice, (well i ain’t got one).

Listen to the whole show here courtesy of the best resource for contemporary poetry on the web,


Featured in Hit And Run Magazine

April 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in contemporary poetry, links, memoirs, poetry | 17 Comments
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Hit And Run Magazine is one the coolest concepts in magazines I’ve seen for a long time. I am proud as a penguin to be featured in it.

Notes for a Poem by Paul Squires in “Hit And Run Magazine.”

You can read the piece of prose this became here. Nancy Bird Walton AO OBE (1915-2009).

(Hit And Run are currently asking for submissions, why wouldn’t you?)

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