Saturday, February 28, 2009

fearapy

Friday, February 27, 2009

synchronicity.....of sorts

Yesterday I watched a lizard pounce & swallow a beetle that was as large as the lizard's head. At the precise moment of encapsulation, a frond came off one of the palm trees in the garden & fell ten metres, crashing into the pool—frond end—& across the pool fence—the reasonably solid trunk end. Water & reverberations everywhere. I do not know whether to buy a lottery ticket or to build a bomb shelter.
Today the
postman brought
me a bridge. I'm
waiting for my
ship to come in
so I can open it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

was / muffin diving / & found this

9)Prairie Muffins do not reflect badly on their husbands by neglecting their appearance; they work with the clay God has given, molding it into an attractive package for the pleasure of their husbands.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me the Time-Life
extraordinary renditions
selection I'd written
away for. The
package was
larger than I'd
expected; some
kind of mistake
had been made. What
do razorwire, hooded
prisoners & torture
cells have to do
with Great Arias
from Great Operas
by Great Sopranos?

Monday, February 23, 2009

strict structure ≠ stricture

Sunday, February 22, 2009

geographies: The Netherlands Antilles

Once were a plethora
of megaliths &
great stone structures;
but the tourists' pre-
conceptions are
satisfied by accounts
of critical residues
& the annotated
graphic reconstructions
that accompany them
in the guidebooks. That,
& the local steel bands
which obligingly perform
requests for 1930's
Berlin beerhall tunes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the scale of economies

"AUSTRALIA and Indonesia, partners in a new era" reads the souvenir T-shirt, a gift for delegates to mark Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's latest 2020-type summit, this one designed to gather ideas for better ties between the two countries. "Made in Bangladesh," reads the tag on the collar.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A belated apology—perhaps—

to the people who used to do our pool.

Amongst the other new (to us) things that were on the property when we moved here were a reasonably large swimming pool & a macadamia tree. It was the concept of the tree that appealed to me—a nutbush inside city limits—because though we'd had a small garden in Sydney, the only fruit-bearing tree we managed to grow was a not-so-large lemontree in a pot. & because the particular chemistry of pools was something I was unfamiliar with, we kept on the pool people who'd been maintaining it during the time the house was empty prior to the sale being finalized.

I have to interrupt myself here to say that I do not particularly like macadamias. They have shells that need specialized equipment to crack, & the nut itself is too floury & fatty for my tastes. I don't mind them in salted & roasted mixed nut assortments where there aren't that many of them; but on their own, whether cooked or raw or coated in chocolate—let me just say I find no trouble in passing them by.

Anyway. That first season we were here, we had about ten macadamias on the tree. That to the novice is a CROP! But, because I didn't like them, I didn't pick them, just would visit them occasionally to gaze at them, as if they were a favorite painting, or a flower, or some such thing.

Then, a day after the pool guy had been, I went down the back to treat my sight buds & discovered that all the macadamias had gone. I'm not a great believer in coincidence, plus the pool place had a high turnover of staff so by that time I had as much knowledge about keeping the pool pH-balanced & algae-free as the newbies they were sending around, so we dispensed with the outside help.

That was five years ago. In the interim we've planted a passionfruit vine which, with much watering, has grown along/around/on the pool fence & actually gone on to weave its way through the macadamia tree & thicken all the foliage to the extent that last year's heavy rain caused a tree branch & its accompanying vine to break off. But the watering & the rain also provoked the macadamia to be fairly fruitful—nutful?—& we discovered that the tree next to it was actually a lychee when it also started fruiting—not too productively; the fruit grow quite high up, in difficult to reach places, &, against the competition of possums & birds & fruit bats & the elements & natural attrition, we got to eat two lychees last year, one this.

But we have a surfeit of macadamias this year. There are about fifty sitting in a bowl on the outside table, plus more on the tree. & so I get to my possible apology.

About an hour ago I went outside for a regular cigarette break & saw a sulphur-crested white cockatoo sashaying its way delicately up & through the macadamia tree, definitely on the prowl, & its only possible target the macadamias. I don't know what the jaw strength of the white cockatoo is, but I remember being up close & personal with black cockatoos when I lived in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, & they used to be able to snap wrist-thick branches with their beaks. So maybe, just maybe, the great macadamia heist of five years ago wasn't the work of the pool guy. Though, on the flipside, I cannot see a single cockatoo having the capacity to carry off ten macadamias in its craw, nor do I recall a chain gang of cockatoos ravaging the tree.

Back to the pool guy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Issue two

of Marsh Hawk Review, this issue edited by Tom Fink, is up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To whoever

has just bought three-quarters of the Otoliths catalogue, let me just say:
1. Sincere thanks.
2. You show excellent taste.
3. Would that there were more of you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

After the storm (reworked)

Elsewhere
flamingos
gathered to
test the re-
shaped edges
of the river.

He gathered
bits of drift-
wood, re-
shaped their
patterns &
tested them on
the greenscreen
of his mind.

Sometimes the
geisha brought
him tea, their
geta caesurae.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One if by land

It has been raining quite heavily off & on for the last few days. Last night, when I went outside to have a cigarette, I could hear what sounded like a house alarm going off not too far away. Unlike an alarm, however, it didn't shut off after ten or so minutes, just kept on going. Puzzling

Tonight the same thing. But L. has solved the riddle. "Could it be frogs?" she asked. & that is what it is, hundreds, possibly thousands of them, down by the lagoon, offering up their croaking to each other, to the night.

Now out from Otoliths: Anny Ballardini's Ghost Dance in 33 Movements



Ghost Dance in 33 Movements
Anny Ballardini
80 pages
Otoliths 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9805096-8-7
$13.50 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/5806078

A schooling in experimental cinema happening before our eyes. A screening. Frame upon frame, the seeing I making her way. In these remarkable poems, Anny Ballardini creates an important new space, a new kind of poem—note, notation, response, criticism, a philosophy of our lives as films responding to films, poems made from & making our new dwelling place. "The eye of the camera centers on their hidden hearts." Made of quotation, of citation, of sight, of insight—always the moving site—a dance in many movements. And a fine, inviting, moving dance it is, Anny's Ghost Dance in 33 Movements! —Hank Lazer

Anny Ballardini is the unofficial poet laureate of UbuWeb; from her perch in Italy she has watched the 20th century avant-garde stream through her computer's screen and has taken copious notes on it. These notes—at once literary criticism, poetry, oblique autobiography and amazing eavesdrop—come to us as an idiosyncratic transcript of a cultural and personal archive. This is 21st century ekphrasis written to an art that flickers and sings and sometimes screams. —Susan M. Schultz

Friday, February 13, 2009

how Big a Bang?

In a space-age first, two satellites have collided in orbit. Early on Wednesday morning, Sydney time, a Russian communications satellite and an American Iridium mobile phone spacecraft smashed into each other, 790 kilometres above Siberia.

The cosmic bingle left both write-offs. US Air Force Brigadier General Michael Carey, of US Strategic Command, said at least 600 pieces of wreckage had been observed circling the world.

In / one of / my past lives—

actually, more precisely one of my parallel lives—I did a major in Strategic Management.

(An aside: I actually did a Bachelor of Applied Science in Operations Research, but because I could do electives, & because I was in a senior management role—this was in the 90s—it made sense to choose a sequence of management units I was familiar with & could write about with ease.)

(A further aside: I did it by distance education out of Monash University in Victoria. The campus I did it through was situated at Churchill, one of the major disaster areas in the current bushfires. I had to make a couple of trips there for project presentation, etc., & because there was only one flight per day into the nearest airport, I spent some time driving around sightseeing, so I'm familiar with a number of the towns in the area that have been affected.)

Anyway, several of the units dealt with organizational structure, & a couple of those structures—one good, one bad—can be applied to the current bushfire situation.

The good one is an adhocracy, usually brought together for a specific situation; the familiar examples are a Rolling Stones' tour or the making of a movie, but the reconstruction that will follow these bushfires will also be an adhocracy since it will cut across but call upon all three levels of government & the various departments contained in them as well as integrating the not-for-profit charity organizations such as the Red Cross that are so essential to the task.

The bad one is bureaucracy—strict vertical lines of command, people focused on their own particular task rather than the organizational goal—& a prime example of bureaucracy gone mad—bureaucrazy—has just been reported. Centrelink, the Federal department that looks after unemployment & family benefits & pensions etc. & who have been charged with ensuring the distribution of the monetary assistance that the Federal Government announced would immediately go to affected persons, have just sent letters to the destroyed homes of bushfire victims, demanding they prove their identity before they can receive government assistance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sprung!

Anny Ballardini continues to channel Vivaldi at the Poet's Corner - Fieralingue. We're now up to the Spring anthology.

I've contributed with my take on a poem by E. E. Cummings.

pre-fixed verses

in
ob
re
uni

con
di
per
tra

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have had

my mandatory ten days off from editorial duties. Have started working on issue thirteen—what will be, in effect, the third birthday issue—of Otoliths, & already it's shaping up to be something special.

Muggy as all hell here today though, comparatively, not that warm. Rained heavily yesterday. The monsoonal trough is moving further south than it ever has before.

Bushfires still threaten in NSW & Victoria. A cyclone builds off the coast of Western Australia. 60% of Queensland is disaster-declared through floods. These things are not new, but their intensity, their occurence & re-occurence, are examples of the changed climatic conditions that are now affecting this continent more & more.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

try / this one / with poor eyesight

Monday, February 09, 2009

Out now from Otoliths: Duhamel & McIntosh, 237 More Reasons to Have Sex



Just in time for Valentine's Day......

237 More Reasons To Have Sex
Denise Duhamel & Sandy McIntosh
illustrations by Rachel Burgess
36 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-0-0
$9.00 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/5805819

"Originally, I thought that we exhaustively compiled the list, but now I found that there should be some added…" wrote Cindy Meston, co-author of "Why Humans Have Sex," in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (Volume 36, Number 4, August 2007). Denise Duhamel & Sandy McIntosh have done just that in this delightful compendium that adds 237 more reasons.

It's an exhaustive list, but it still doesn't exhaust all the possibilities. So be warned, you'll want to find some more.

If you're going to AWP in Chicago this week, you'll find Denise and Sandy signing 237 More Reasons To Have Sex at the Sentence/ Firewheel Editions table: SW785.

A bushfire update

The official death toll from the Victorian bushfires stands at 84 as I write this, which makes them the worst, in terms of loss of life, in Australian history. & with people still missing, & others in hospital critically burnt, this will probably end up as the second worst natural disaster in Aushistory.

The worst occurred in 1899, Cyclone Mahina which struck Cape York in the country's far north, where the floods are now. More than 400 people died, including the crews of about 100 pearling fleet vessels, & an estimated 100 local Aborigines.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The extremities of Australia


The monsoon trough covers North Queensland.
radar image, Bureau of Meteorology




Flooded Ingham
photos AFP



Wallabies seek refuge from the flood.

Some places have had two metres of rain—that's 6'6" in the old scale—in just two or three days.

Meanwhile in Victoria....




Photos from Reuters


Photo by Jason Smith, Fairfax Media

Temperatures have reached 48° C—118°F—in some places. The death toll from the fires in Victoria is estimated to be near 40 so far, & deaths from heat exhaustion & related causes in Victoria & South Australia is up over the 100 mark.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Now out from Otoliths: Ernesto Priego's the amazing adventures of Gravity & Grace



the amazing adventures of Gravity & Grace
Ernesto Priego
104 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9805096-9-4
$12.50 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/5303804

Ernesto Priego has written that "G & G was the comic book I was never able to draw." G & G was, indeed, a sort of comic book experience for its earliest readers when it appeared in installments on Never Neutral, Mr. Priego's blog. The poems can be conceptualized as a series of speech balloons and captions formulated as something akin to a dialectical house party in which the characters Gravity and Grace sing in a kind of cozy yet somewhat slippery counterpoint for their Author and ultimately to us all. These are—it must be said—sweet and wistful, notational, allegorical poems. Much is hinted at. Much is left for the reader to fill in. And that is as it should be, no?
from the introduction by Tom Beckett



This is the first of the four books, coming out roughly a week apart, that make up the final formal round from Otoliths. There are still a few projects in the pipeline to be completed, the catalog will stay live, the e-zine will continue; but the bookpublishing arm of Otoliths, in terms of future output, has become another casualty of the current economic malaise.

bfufalo

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

noir

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a / note on / the post below

It
would seem
that spanking is

a very popular
blog search
term.

Nothing like a good spanking to start the day


Max Ernst’s The Virgin Spanking the Christ Child before Three Witnesses: André Breton, Paul Eluard and the Painter.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Otoliths issue 12 has just gone live



February may be the shortest month, but that doesn't mean that Otoliths has to follow suit. Issue twelve, the southern summer issue, has just gone live, & it's as large as ever, with its usual wide-ranging selection of prose, poetry & things visual.

Included in this issue are David-Baptiste Chirot, Denise Duhamel, Raymond Farr, J. S. Murnet, Tom Taylor, James Sanders, Martin Edmond, Kane X. Faucher, Andrew Taylor, Christopher Major, Forrest Roth, Cath Vidler, Angela Genusa, C.E. Chaffin, John Lowther, Mary Ellen Derwis, Joe Balaz, Mary Ellen Derwis & Joe Balaz, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Felino Soriano, Bobbi Lurie, Bill Drennan, Jeff Harrison, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & various collaborators, John M Bennett, Adam Robinson, Anny Ballardini, Michael Rothenberg, Jared Schickling & John Bloomberg-Rissman, Tom Beckett interviewing John Bloomberg-Rissman, John C. Goodman, Marcia Arrieta, Donald Dunbar, Eric Burke, Joseph Wood, Gregory Bem, George Moore, Brandon Shimoda, J. A. Tyler, sarah k bell, Ed Baker, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Jill Jones, Geri Gale, Geof Huth, sean burn, Tim Gaze, Nicolette Westfall & Jeff Crouch, Paul Siegell, Daniel f Bradley, Stu Hatton, Dan Ruhrmanty, Philip Byron Oakes, Kristina Marie Darling, Katrinka Moore, Mary Kasimor, Charles Freeland, D.C.Porder, Jeremy P. Bushnell, Alana Madison, Michael Filimowicz, & Spencer Selby. The cover is by Alexander Jorgensen.

Enjoy!