Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tuesday Poem - 'Shoes' by Bryan Walpert


How they make their way
towards the back door.

A row of them, his, hers,
each day picked up, placed

in a closet rack. Pair after
pair they return, as if willed,

as if marking a thing in the heart
left undone.

This pair wants the garden.
This the rain. This the feet

prowling the carpet, late, baby
in arms, a creature unable

to walk or to crawl, yet who
knows she wants to be moved

to sleep, rests only in motion
from one room to the next,

will recall nothing of these days
of pure need filled only by

those who want nothing more
than to get through each cry

to the swinging bridge of silence
before the next, nothing more

than to move this moment
except, perhaps, to hold it,

like this swaddled bundle
she takes so he might

wash a dish, fold
a shirt, put away shoes

unaccountably returned,
open-mouthed, as if surprised

by their own hunger: this pair
wanting the puddle, this

the hard slap of stone,

the wait-up-for-me-guys,
the that's-my-cab-


What fun I had earlier this year travelling around New Zealand with the other two Hoop-La poets, Bryan Walpert and Carolyn McCurdie. And didn't our books do well! All three in the best seller list!

And it was so much fun that Bryan and Carolyn are whooping over to Melbourne in late August to do it all over again. They are at the House of Bricks on Thursday 27th August and The Dan on Saturday 29th August and Sporting Poets on Sunday 30th August. (For details see below.)

But the one I am organising is the big one on Friday 28th August – A Big Read to Celebrate NZ Poetry Day - with 24 local poets and our two visiting poets joining forces at Collected Works in the Nicholas Building 37 Swanston Street from 5 – 9 pm. It's going to go off. I can guarantee.

Thursday 27th August – 6-30 pm
House of Bricks, 40 Budd Street Collingwood

Saturday 29th August - 2-5pm
Poetry At The Dan – Dan O'Connell Hotel - 225 Canning Street Carlton

Sunday 30th August 5pm
Sporting Poets – The Charles Weston Hotel - 27 Weston Street Brunswick

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tuesday Poem - '40' by Jennifer Compton


I feel like a piece of steel — maybe
a railway track, laid out, for travelling.

I feel like a well of deep water
dangerously cold — liquid.

I feel as if I could love — someone or something —
like a living arc of burnished gold (or a rainbow).

I could let go and love like the very devil.

I'm a doona stuffed with rose petals —
lightweight, mettlesome and fragrant.

I speak all tongues: I could be of some use.

I am in the very centre of the paradox — I am huge
and without having to think of it — I am minute.

This is a renaissance: this is the beginning of my life.

I am on fire with that first simple flame of birth —
air incinerating skin, helpless limbs and lolling head.

Myths and icons sloughed, orphaned at last,
I have no opinion worth having,

coming into that kingdom of wanting nothing —
waterproofed, created, solidified. 

I'm at that time of life (not 40 any more) when I am starting to think about putting together a Selected. So for the first time for a long time I am going back to old books. Seeing if I still like anything I wrote so long ago. This one, for instance, I wrote 25 years ago! And I do still like it, so hot damn! I was googling to see if I could find an image of the book cover, and it is surprising how many second hand copies are available out on the intertubes. (But pricey, what with postage, very pricey.) I did spot one copy being sold in the UK that has an inscription to the previous owner! Who can that be? Who did I post an inscribed copy to, or who travelled to England and took the book with them? I am consumed with curiosity and if only it was a tiny bit cheaper I would invest in it just to find out whom!