The latest published poem I’m posting is one that carries a lot of meaning for me. It’s one that seems to go down well at readings.
Prodigal Son (and his partner) was first printed in the Australian Poetry Members’ Anthology in 2012 (still available here as a free pdf), and ended up becoming the closing poem of my collection Regulator.
The other day, I decided I’d begin posting a selection of my published poems. Here’s one of said poems.
Ridley Scott’s Alien with Moth was accepted for publication by Verity La in 2015. It has also appeared in an issue of Scottish sci-fi magazine Shoreline of Infinity. This poem was inspired by a session of Alien I attended during which there was a moth crawling on the screen.
Just for the heck of it, I’ve decided to post some of my published poetry over the next little while. A mixture of older and newer. Enjoy (or don’t, as is your prerogative).
It seems appropriate to start with the first of my poems ever to be accepted for publication. This one appeared in the ‘Pastoral’ issue of Cordite Poetry Review in 2008. I was pretty excited to get that email. It also got a run in the Sun Herald through Red Room Poetry’s ‘Extra’ project, and appears in my collection Regulator.
Holding taut barbed-wire with one hand
and myself with the other
I gaze at the ground
as hundreds of shining grey dust droplets
roll away from the rotting fence post
down the hill
moving like mercury.
The drumming piss
makes surf of the dirt
churns it into frothy mud.
Apostle birds (perhaps twelve of them)
launch and fan off above my head
upset as I shake off the last bead
One of the most simultaneously terrifying and enjoyable experiences I’ve had in recent times was speaking to the wonderful Alice Allan* on the latest episode of her podcast Poetry Says.
I was thrilled when Alice asked if I’d be interested in taking part, but I can honestly say I was so cripplingly nervous during the recording that I was oblivious to everything coming out of my mouth. I’ve just had a listen now on iTunes and I’m glad to report that the sounds issuing from my mouth were in fact words, and most of those were arranged in such a fashion that a fairly decent facsimile of a discussion concerning poetry was the happy result.
Annoying and overlong attempts at modesty aside, it was fantastic fun. We discussed my favourite Russell Edson poem, my book, my next project and a whole bunch of other stuff. I even got to read one of my own poems.
Have a listen and subscribe to Poetry Says to hear from the likes of Stuart Barnes, Michele Seminara, Robbie Coburn and a growing number of other fantastic poets discussing their favourite poems. It’s such an excellent podcast for anyone who enjoys hearing poetry read and discussed.
*Alice, a formidable poet herself, has a voice that could calm a rampaging bear. Listening to an episode of Poetry Says could potentially reduce, if not cure, your hypertension. Trust me, it’s good for what ails ya’.
I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Glasshouses by Stuart Barnes at the 2016 Queensland Poetry Festival over the weekend. It’s a fantastic debut collection and I’m sure there’ll be a few glowing reviews and probably some prizes heading Stuart’s way.
I was only able to attend a couple of events during the short time I was in Brisbane, but I’m keen to go again next year.
In other news, my poem ‘Ode to the Saturn V’ just went up at Bluepepper. Check it out!
Why haven’t I posted about any of my recently* published poetry? That’s a great question without a satisfying answer. Let’s avoid the awkward issue and just read a list of poems that exist because I wrote them. Hey, maybe you’ll even read the poems themselves.
The Spiders are Here – WritReview
The International Prototype – Meanjin (complete with misleading image)
Space Age – Mascara Literary Review
Ridley Scott’s Alien and Moth – Verity La
Cologne’s Zentrum Anatomie – Tincture
Surrogacy – Cordite
Rozelle Window on Two Consecutive Days – 2015 Poetry & Place Anthology (audio version)
Memento Mori – Shoreline of Infinity
Also, here’s a recent review I wrote.
Species, Specimens and Stuffing: Kristin Hanford’s ‘Curio’ – Verity La
*When I say recently published, I mean it in the way that somebody who has no working grasp of the passing of time might mean it.
Here’s a weird little poem of mine that dotdotdash published back in 2009. I’m not sure if they’re still around (my half-hearted googling suggests they might not be), but they used to (and possibly still do) put together a brilliant little magazine. I don’t think Host has appeared anywhere else.
growth at the top of
my shin is the shape
of a bivalve’s convex shell.
From a tiny puncture at its lower
edge, a slender black extension
emerges and then retracts,
barbed at intervals
like an insect’s leg.
The one who steps in, I presume,
is my father. Like
a Band-Aid he warns,
and drags back
a strip of the scab
to reveal the movement of
something large and undeniably
insectoid. The glossy hornet
banded black and yellow
would pass for a plastic one
but for its rhythmic twists
and the stinging panic it
plants in my now-open
wound. Reaching in
and pinching behind its head,
he looks off to one side,
stays his breath,
and it’s out,
trailing a couple of wings
still wetly connected
by strands of anaemic flesh.