“The Poet Busker” CD by Kiersty Boon, a review.

May 17, 2010 at 5:43 am | Posted in contemporary poetry, links, poetry, writing | 5 Comments
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There has been a tendency in the past to think of performance poetry as a separate and somehow less serious or valuable mode of expression than poetry printed on the page. This collection of eighteen poems performed to music puts that idea finally and firmly to rest. It is impossible to disentangle the intelligence from the emotion, the poems from the narrative, the craft and skill in the making from the emotional effect on the audience. It takes the listener on a unique and irresistible journey through a carefully observed, immaculately crafted landscape created through the exercise of a unique imagination on the modern world.

From the joyful celebration of verbal virtuosity that is Tiddly Om…

“Now some scholars may
get quite upstropulous,
if you bling up their
well thumbed thesauruses
with colloquialised
conjured up meaning”

to the fierce strength of a poem like “Fairy Steps”

“The trailer’s being towed for a blowjob on Sunset Strip
by a whore who pays her clients with her husband’s credit card,
While the begging question rolls in with the angry sky,
Just who IS paying for this crap?”

…you will be engaged, entertained and moved.

It is part of the responsibility of the modern poet to create an audience for poetry. This CD is a completely independent production, made using freely available technology and software, yet the production values are indistinguishable from commercially manufactured products. The collection is engaged in reconnecting contemporary poetry with an audience without compromising depth, range or complexity.

With all its intelligence, humour, courage and craft, “The Poet Busker” by Kiersty Boon represents, in so many different ways, the future of poetry.

And you would be foolish not to go and purchase it right now, here.

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.

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 plays “Ham and Cheese Sandwich”

October 10, 2009 at 9:37 am | Posted in australian poetry, contemporary poetry, links, memoirs | 9 Comments
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‘Surprises and Apologies’ perhaps reminded of ‘Ornithology’.
Sometimes he just drifts around til he finds a boat
But I remember saying over and over that you rock those

and paddling around on a flat sea without an  F# is quite boring.

Boing splat, some semi-aquatic half amphibian, ripple e dee, I have decided it is best I never arrive in Melbourne.

But any time you are up in Brisbane or perhaps in some New York basement nightclub art gallery with a black baby grand
I am going to do what ever I can
to get you roaring drunk, Pam Brown. Cin cin,

An editor’s nightmare, a wonderful world.

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

Representational versus Utopian Art.

August 2, 2009 at 6:08 am | Posted in links, memoirs, poetry, writing | 10 Comments
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Maxine,
I write the title and then the thought is gone. It’s all just/
explication.

No, I remember now, violence.
Is the difference. And there is a pornography
of violence. That come be of some/
use.

That Guernica is the best work of art to
look at if you want to see the
Twentieth Century and what
those bastards were up to.

George Grosz. Somehow requires a
belief is some thing. Not God.
Each other maybe, some lamed wufnick
tale, spies wandering Eastern Europe
jobless now the cold war is hot again.

Mercenary traders in a world of anti-semites
is how they’ld like to see us.
Again.

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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