Thursday, March 30, 2006

A new issue


is out. It's PR Primeau's last issue as editor. He's handing over to Martin Marriott.

My relationship with PR started off a bit testily, but we've become friends since then. & I'm proud to say that I was in the first issue of Starfish, with the poem posted below.

Postcards along the way


Never the elephant but the
last letter of the river
crossing. A night at the opera.
Children re-convene to
march in geosynchronous orbit
across the stone walls
of the aquarium. Gophers drown
in the lemon-grass prairie.


We attended the opening
of the rainy season. Something
about ergonomics. Jaguars kept
racing in from stage right
to kill the fat ladies
before they had a chance to
sin. We stood on
all fours, & applauded.


Live as the


Everyone was at the airport
to meet us. The English cricket
team, ashen sadhus
down from the hills for the
day, the men’s world
sufi tour, the Berlin Unharmonic.
Man Ray took a mammogram.

I wuz tempted to.....

Opened an email account with Yahoo - don't ask why - & gave my gmail email as the verifying address. Received the communication a little while later, & gmail added its little footnote:
Invite to Gmail

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Have added

Pam Brown's The Deletions to the sidebar. You can read more about her at John Tranter's Australian Literary Resources.

& now that I'm back posting again

it means I can direct you to the marvellous Contradicta aphorisms that Nick Piombino has been posting at ::fait accompli:: for the last month & more.

An initial note for Richard Lopez

The H in the url for this blog is for Houghton, possibly a corruption of Haughton, which I'd like to think is a corruption of haughty one which describes me well.

The C is Cawte, a family surname on my father's side, probably originally Caoute, & from some Huguenot ancestor. I share both names with my brother & sister.

My waybacks were Scottish, but with some European influence since my mother's maiden name of Bremner originally meant from Bremen, & was bestowed on German fisherman who had been blown across the North Sea & decided to stay in Scotland.

My closer ancestors were amongst the first European settlers in New Zealand, arriving within the first ten years of its proclamation as a British Colony in 1840. I do not have the embarrassment I would have if they had been amongst the first European settlers in Australia, because at least, in New Zealand, there was some recognition of the rights of the Maori inhabitants, including an acknowledgement that they owned the land (even if the settlers then proceeded to try to buy large tracts off them for, mainly, pittances).

Thursday, March 23, 2006


what can be

should be left

what can be

should be left

what can be

should be
taken down

& used in evidence
against you

Oban 06

A goodly number of you took part in last year's New Zealand electronic poetry centre built live on-line anthology Fugacity 05.

This year they're doing it again with Oban 06. & it's your chance to become part of history. Because unless there's ever a poetry festival in Tierra del Fuego or Antarctica, this is the furthest south anybody's ever going to be published from.

The details:

is the title of nzepc’s online poetry anthology, building 21-23 April 2006 as part of the BLUFF 06 poetry symposium in Southland. Bluff’s famous Oyster Festival happens over the same weekend.

Bring a poem on a disk to any of the symposium events OR email your contribution to between 21-23 April.

We aim to build a local and international poetry anthology over three days, launching Sunday 23 April in Oban on Rakiura (Stewart Island). We welcome your poem. We’d like it to engage with time and place, transience and duration, memory and forgetting, coming and going, poetry and oysters – any or all of the above.

If you could see this jet
fire-seeded sky,
chill here with me
on a plastic chair
on the veranda, we'd hear Bluff hum
while lines of sodium and magnesium
bridge and wharf lights
bleed to black,
as on other nights, other verandas,
another port - a kauri pew,
wings on the sill of an inside-out
lit window,
scrying the dark
insistent stars, fireflies -
we have talked of poetry.

      : Cilla McQueen. ‘Antiphony (Letter to Peter Olds)’

Anthology compilers: Brian Flaherty, David Howard, Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen and nzepc team

Submission guidelines
• work should be your original composition
• if it has been published elsewhere, please include acknowledgement and publication details
• the compilers reserve the right to copy-edit contributions before uploading
• copyright for individual contributions to the anthology remains with the author

a la recherche

Driving home.
Ten pelicans across the sky.
The one at the back, some distance behind the others, waves to me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

For the first time

in about seven months, the daytime temperature has dropped below 30º Celsius. My brain is starting to unfreeze & flow more easily. I'm thinking about writing again. I've tested the waters with friends about starting up an ezine & their responses were overwhelmingly positive. I sent out a round of emails this evening to say that, yes, I'm going ahead with it & a short time ago the first official submission came in.

The omens were good. The birds were there. I decided yesterday morning to go ahead with the ezine, came back from the dentist an hour or so later & found what I call the stupid parrots - they're slow-moving, & have a nasty habit of rising out of the grass if you drive past them; don't know what they are because my bird book isn't that precise, but I think they're cockatiels - in the tree just outside the back door. Hadn't seen them in months. Beautiful things, pastel colours.

I miss the pelican. But over the past few months I wasn't giving it the attention it deserved. Partially the weather, partially the fact that I'm back at work, a lot of things combined. Keeping it going was sapping my writing strength, & I didn't want it to dwindle away, undernourished, anorexic.

So a clean break, on its second birthday. I've loved doing it, meeting people, making friends. gamma days is going to be a more leisurely enterprise, but I hope my friends come along for the ride, & I hope I make some new ones.